Tuesday, May 27, 2008

green way

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The McCormack Trail in Dundas Valley, north of Governor's Road. The McCormack Trail starts at the Trail Centre in Dundas Valley Conservation Area, heads north as a shared route with the Bruce Trail, crossing Governor's Road.


The photo above is from the McCormack Trail north of Governor's where it turns east and does a loop, ending back somewhat north, on the Bruce Trail. You can then continue on the trail to the west which loops around to the south and rejoins the Bruce Trail (it crosses a horse pasture which is sometimes closed for hikers when being used by the resident horses, which would mean backtracking)

It is a beautiful and varied landscape (above), yet the last gasp of new sprawl below) is encroaching as building of "Valley Heights" (named after a hill was levelled to build on it) continues.

As new houses obliterate the natural area, former access points to trails are fenced off. The easiest access points to this area are either from the north end of Davidson Blvd where there is a signed Bruce Trail side-trail marker; or from Governor's Road, just west of the Conservation Area main entrance, on the north side. You can also access via Newcombe Road, where a small unofficial footpath follows a fence into the woods.

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During the week a city bus gets you near the trails (#52 Delaware "Pirie/Governor's)

I've never seen a map of this trail on the CA web site so I made a little google map with some details.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Lost and Found

An infant's shoe sits atop wayfinding signage on the North Shore trails of the Royal Botanical Gardens, off York Road in Dundas, Saturday, May 17. 2008.
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Friday, May 9, 2008

foot path

Feet keep the path. A section of the Spencer Creek trail in Dundas, heading toward Creighton Street, reveals the dynamic relationship that exists between walkers and the earth. Truly a footpath, it's existence testimony to its utility. Everyone who walks the trail contributes to its maintenance and care.

The Spencer Creek trail is a very utilitarian trail compared to some more recreational trails, largely due to it's central location. Passing through town means it crosses roads and is close to businesses and homes. Yet it provides sanctuary, an escape from traffic and concrete, and, as we make our way to a destination, the trail invites us to interact with the ever-changing natural environment that refreshes and enriches our lives.
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Sunday, May 4, 2008

divided highway

Student struck by car on Cootes Drive path
Parent calls on city to prevent further accidents

Craig Campbell, Dundas Star News, Published on May 02, 2008

A Dundas father is calling for safety improvements between Cootes Drive and the paved trail next to it after his daughter, a 22-year-old McMaster University student, was struck by a car while walking the family dog two weeks ago.

Malcolm Skingley said his daughter, Jennifer, suffered a concussion and neck injuries. She must go back to the hospital for further tests and rehabilitation. Ten days after the accident, Jennifer was still suffering headaches, her father said Tuesday.

"I see a lot of people, seniors and people with children, walking on that path," Mr. Skingley said. "But there are no signs or safety barriers to keep cars off the path."

He believes the city should be pressured into making safety improvements between Cootes Drive and the paved trail, to prevent vehicles from accessing it.

"I don't have any choice but to do something about it. I'm involved in it now," he said.

Mr. Skingley said there is nothing to prevent an incident like the one that happened to his daughter.

"She was studying at home and she took the dog for a walk to clear her head," he said.

Fire services spokesperson John Verbeek confirmed firefighters responded to the report of a person and dog being struck by a car next to Cootes Drive at 12:03 a.m., Friday, April 19.

Police and paramedics were already on scene when firefighters arrived, so they assisted paramedics in preparing Jennifer for transport to hospital.

Glenn Jarvie, a Hamilton Police Service staff sergeant in emergency support services, did not have the final report on the incident as of Tuesday afternoon.


Saturday, May 3, 2008

steps to a forest

Some innovative thinking! You could even do better by taking a bag to collect litter and clean up the trails while you are there. But congrats to Conservation Halton for the concept!
Nature hike: 10,000 steps and a tree will be planted

The Hamilton Spectator, (May 3, 2008)

Conservation Halton has a way for you to enjoy the outdoors in spring, lose a few pounds before swimsuit season and help increase forest cover in the region.

It's a guide to 50 local hiking trails that comes with a pedometer so you can participate in the Footsteps for Trees program.

When you reach 10,000 steps -- about three hours of walking -- and register online, the conservation authority will plant a tree to improve watershed health. Money from book sales pays for the trees.

Hassaan Basit, director of communications for the authority, says Halton Hikes: 50 Great Hiking Trails "is more than a hiking book. It offers a way to improve your own health, help the watershed and enjoy the beauty of Hamilton, Halton and beyond."

Painter Robert and Birgit Bateman, who used to live along the Bruce Trail in Halton, say in a foreword to the book that: "Hiking in nature must be the supreme human activity for body, mind and spirit. An added benefit is that hiking stimulates serotonin, the feel-good hormone."

For each trail, there is a colour map, directions and data on length, difficulty and ground surface. You'll find information about wildlife you might see and -- just for fun -- the name of the most famous person to use the trail -- before you.

Copies are available in many bookstores and from Conservation Halton for $19.95. For more information on the Footsteps for Trees program, visit www.haltonhikes.ca.