EtoE #3 - Walker Rd. + 10th Line to Little Rd. 2015-5-4
E2E hike #3, May 4th 2015.
Place: Walker Rd. + 10th Line to Little Rd.
The plan was to for all hikers to meet at the end point (Little Rd.) and shuttle to the start (Walker Rd. and 10th Line). Julie however was so excited by the prospect of hiking another section of the Oak Ridges Trail she drove directly to the start but this didn’t do her much good as she had to wait for the rest of the hikers to arrive by shuttle.
A total of 13 hikers set out from Walker Rd. and 10th Line with promises from Malcolm we would lunch in Bewdley Park overlooking Rice Lake.
It was a perfect day to hike. Sunny, with temperatures reaching the low 20deg C. combined with a cooling breeze always from behind.
After 4.5Km we were tested with confusing blazes and took a right hand fork in the trail. After200m. this trail was joined from the left by another trail which was clearly marked with an ORTA trail sign pointing toward this intersecting trail. Apparently we had taken a diagonal trail and cut off a corner in the ORTA white trail….too bad.
Further along, Malcolm having hiked this section of the trail some years previously knew the ORTA trail forked at Wright Rd. but nearly missed the difficult to see faded blaze. We were not so lucky 50m. later at a barrier we turned south, onto clearly blazed trail. Unfortunately for us Oak Ridges Trail hikers we had turned onto the Ganaraska Trail.
The Ganaraska Trail from this point follows a steep downhill slope; it wasn’t until we were 500m. down the Ganaraska Trail we realized something was wrong. On consulting the ORTA Trail map it was realized we had to retrace our steps to the top of the hill and cross the barrier we previously had turn away from.
Great fun was made at Malcolm’s expense as we trudged back up the steep path we had just descended.
We arrived in the Bewdley park overlooking Rice Lake at 11:55AM and took time to eat our lunch and admire the scene in brilliant sun shine.
With apprehension we noticed rain clouds building to the north and west. Gusting winds foretold changing weather was approaching.
Too soon we were back on the trail heading toward the cars.
Malcolm had warned we would encounter a swamp south of Hwy # 9 to Gibbs Rd. But the Trail was dry when compared to the mire we found along many Kilometers of Leg #2 of the E2E. What we did have to deal with were several large trees that had recently fallen across the trail. This group was up to the challenge easily clambering over these obstacles.
The south end of this road allowance to Gibbs Rd. takes one up a very long non-ending hill. At the top the trail meets the dead end of Gibbs Rd. and the scene opens to provide a wonderful panoramic view to the north west. Even Marco was seen to take pleasure in a short rest to absorb the view.
During the last hour of the hike one could feel the occasional drop of windblown rain but we got to the cars without the need of rain gear on Little Rd. at 1:45PM, having covered 17.5km. (including the side trip down the Ganaraska Trail).
The Oak Ridge Trail was easy to follow with a map, however there were long sections of trail with poor or no blazing