Monday, October 29, 2012

Head's Up Hikers!

Conservation Authority closes trails for Hurricane Sandy


The Hamilton Conservation Authority is closing several trails in advance of Hurricane Sandy's arrival.
The high winds may create possible hazards from falling or fallen trees and possible trail washouts.
As of 4 p.m. today, trails in the conservation areas will be closed until at least Wednesday.

Trail closures include: the Dofasco Trail through the Vinemount Swamp, Chippawa Trail, Hamilton to Brantford Rail Trail, Lafarge Trail in Flamborough and Lower Spencer Creek Trail.

The following conservation areas will also be closed, and parking will not be available at:
Dundas Valley, Webster's Falls, Tews Falls and Eramosa Karst Conservation Area.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Complicated Colour

The fall colours are evident on the hills surrounding Dundas, but plenty of green leaves remain, especially apparent when we enter the interior forest on a footpath. We went for a little walk along the Bruce Trail Borers' Falls side trail, beneath water-heavy skies and got a different perspective on the autumnal transformations. 

With so many leaves still green and on the trees, the forest floor remains mostly bare, not yet resplendent in that thick, full-colour carpet that is yet to come. 

 What struck me today, more than colours, were the gorgeous textural surfaces and the complexity of the relationships between different plants and animals. Without even trying the forest provides such varied and constantly changing inspiration for the hiker - a feast for the eyes, at least, on this Thanksgiving Weekend.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Binkley Hollow Bridge Open Again!

On my way out to Dundas Valley today, I came across some workers on the deck of the replacement bridge at Binkley Hollow. I was thinking to myself, "when is this thing ever going to be open again?"

Pedestrians and cyclists using the detour around the bridge, with workers on the bridge,
October 3, 2012
I had e-mailed the Conservation Authority a week ago and got this response:
We are still waiting for the final supply of lumber for the bridge deck. This is special order material and the supplier recently informed us it would still be another week before it will be delivered to us. After we receive the lumber, there is about two days work for our construction crew to finish the bridge and get it back open to the public. It is a priority job to finish but we cannot finish until the lumber arrives.
On my way back from Dundas Valley today, I was greeted by an open bridge, the barriers having been removed in the hour or so I was in the valley. I crossed on my bicycle for the first time in a long time (15 months).
The replacement deck stands on steel supports.
So while it appears they are still waiting for some lumber to finish one section of the railings, they got the bridge back in working order by having a temporary fence on the unfinished section of the side rails and removing the barricades at each end of the bridge. Freshly packed sand makes the transition from trail to bridge a smooth one.

View from bridge looking south-west, October 3, 2012
It makes a lot of sense to get the bridge back in play rather than waiting for the wood, and just in time to convey nature lovers across the beautiful Binkley Hollow as the fall colours emerge, with Ancaster Creek running beneath the span. Well done!