Date – February 20, 2011
Location – Map 4, Ball’s Falls
Distance – 9.1 km
Hikers – Dean, Marlene, Benjamin, Steve, Elza, Katelynn, Jacob, Simon, Robyn and Riley
Start – 51.0 Niagara, Staff Avenue
End – 60.1 Niagara, Moyer Road
Direction – West (North)
Weather – -3°, sunny with cloudy periods
Details – It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to hike, and our last hike was the disastrous one in Collingwood, so we are not sure that this is going to be successful. Elza only wants to do part of the hike so Steve has worked out a complicated shuttle system using three vehicles that will accommodate all nine of us, plus one very excited, rock-collecting dog.
We meet Steve at Moyer Road. He drops us off with Simon at the start, then meets us with a third vehicle and the rest of the hikers on Seventeenth Street.
It’s a glorious day and we have a wonderful hike. There are sections along the Twenty Valley gorge in Ball’s Falls that are very treacherous, and we spend a lot of time going very slowly and picking our footsteps very carefully. There is also a steep, ice-encrusted staircase leading out of the valley that is impossible to navigate, but we use the railing to hand-over-hand our way up the slope.
The thaw last week has melted much of the snow, and Twenty Mile Creek and its tributaries are rushing torrents. The rocks and vegetation at Ball’s Falls are covered in ice. It’s very beautiful. We are very glad to be hiking.