Sunday, January 30, 2011

trail report

Skied the Ravine Road trail in Westdale today - the trail surface is great for walking - packed snow, no real icy sections so a good pair of winter boots - or in my case, an old pair of x-country skis - are all you need. With more snow in the forecast, it should remain excellent for trail mobility for the near future.

I saw people in snow shoes, and lots of people walking, but many with dogs off leash which is against the law, and unnerving, as unleashed dogs sometimes get weird around humans on skis.

Hopefully I will be reporting from the ski trails in Dundas Valley Conservation Area in the next week or so. If you beat me to it, please share the trail conditions with us here!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

get lost...

with this fascinating radio program on getting lost, and finding your way...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cold? Snap out of it!

Do you complain about the cold, about winter in general? Then perhaps you don't know how to enjoy this fantastic winter weather. Dress for success, first and foremost, but once you are layered in your thermals, hitting the trails is a year round activity!

I have a supply of walking aids, including YakTrax or trekking poles, but I have lately been trading my boots for cross country skis. We've also hiked over to the new outdoor skating rink at the Hamilton harbour (by Williams Coffee Pub), slipped on the blades and joined others slicing across the ice!

So temper your complaints with a dose of self-reflection: are you making use of the special environment of cold, ice and snow?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

local locomotion

"There is in fact a sort of harmony discoverable between the capabilities of the landscape within a circle of ten miles' radius, or the limits of an afternoon walk, and the threescore years and ten of human life. It will never become quite familiar to you."

H.D. Thoreau

Thursday, January 6, 2011

walking, don't give a crooks hollow dam...

From our bloggery neighbours at Restore Cootes, an update on the fate of the dam on Spencer Creek at Crooks Hollow - 
RESTORE COOTES: back to nature: "The Hamilton Conservation Authority is moving ahead with the task of removing a dam and restoring the original watercourse on Spencer Creek ..."
Good news for fish and wildlife, and for restoring the natural landscape after so much human intervention in the past 100 years!

Of course, our concern at Dundas Walks is about the potential loss of a hiking link: the historical Crooks Hollow trail on the north side of the creek with the neighbourhood on the south is currently linked by the walkway for pedestrians across the dam.

The good news from Hazel Breton, Manager Water Resource Engineering at the HCA, is that a footbridge will be put in place at the location of the dam to keep the pedestrian connection in place. So add a hiking win to the list of wins on this case!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

return to the point

A new year's day walk along the recently re-opened Sassafras Point Trail in the Royal Botanical Gardens' Cootes Paradise.

The record setting warm weather (11C) had turned the trails muddy, though ice persisted on the sheltered inlets between Princess Point and Sassafras Point - a return to colder temps tonight and next week should get the ice back for skating.

The views from Sassafras Point are stunning. Unfortunately we were running out of light and time to follow the trail from the tip of the point back along the north side, so resolved to return and enjoy the tranquility and the ever changing landscape once the snow flies.