If you wake up super early – and I mean at 5:30 a.m. crack of dawn early – on a Saturday morning, and leave the house at about 6:10 a.m. you can make it up from Toronto to do some exploring Beaver Valley area of Ontario by about 9:30 a.m. That’s if you are taking the side routes and taking your time like we did.
Hunting for signs of Falls colours, we decided to search north of our area of Burlington. Frank decided on heading out for a longer excursion, taking us all the way up to Kimberley, Ontario and the surrounding area.
Last spring we stopped by Hoggs Falls near Eugenia and Flesherton in Grey County, which is intersected by the Bruce Trail. Unfortunately at that time, the view wasn’t overly interesting. This time around, it was much more colourful, vibrant and scented with that wonderful musty smell that accompanies Autumn.
The trail was covered with yellow and rust leaves. The Boyne River, meandering along the trail that led from the parking lot to the falls had the occasional golden leaf floating. Due to a summer of great rainfalls, the forest was lush and full of ferns and moss. The falls themselves – although not too high at 7 metres – were full of water, creating an awesome effect.
We continued on to Old Baldy Conservation Area (Grey Sauble Conservation), located atop the Niagara Escarpment and with the Bruce Trail running through it.
The main Bruce Trail takes you along the edge of the Escarpment, 152 metres above Beaver Valley, offering you beautiful views of the farms and woodland below as well as the village of Kimberley.
By fall, with the leaves on the ground and a bit of dampness, the hike is not overly easy. Roots and rocks litter the trail, and with a slippery leaf underfoot, you can easily twist your ankle. Extra care needs to be taken along the edge of the Escarpment. You don’t want to take a tumble… even for that great photo.
During our recently visit, the leaves were just starting to turn yellow and rusty brown with the occasional red here and there. Along the way we saw the remnants of apple orchards, with many trees with bountiful but blighted/worm-infested harvests. Frank braved picking a few and taking a few bites, while I watched on, not wanting to get an extra dose of protein. Our hike lasted about an hour and gave us a good deal of exercise after a summer of no hikes.
Should you wish to explore this area, to get there, head to Kimberely, which is northeast of Markdale, Ontario. To get to Old Baldy Conservation Area: