Date – August 20, 2014
Location – Maps 38 Lion's Head and 39 Cape Chin
Distance – 15.9
Total Trail Distance – 661 (233 to go)
Hikers – Steve, Simon, Dean, Marlene, Madeleine, Kent and Benjamin
Start – 82.8 Lion's Head Harbour, Peninsula Section
End – 98.7 Cape Chin South Road, Peninsula Section
Direction – North
Weather – Cool, misty and grey
This is Day 5 and we're feeling foot-weary. We'd consider a day off but Folkerts are planning to leave Cape Croker early so we decide to cram in as many hikes as we can.
We leave Cape Croker Indian Park in two vehicles, dropping most hikers off at the start in Lion's Head. Steve, Dean, Elza and Simon drive to the end at Cape Chin South Road, dropping our van off there and then returning to the start. Elza takes the Folkerts van back to the campsite to pack.
There are some cool caves in the escarpment to our left as we leave Lion's Head, and there are many lookouts over Lion's Head Point.
Some cottage owners permit Bruce Trail hikers to walk across their properties — some even have blazes on their houses!
There is lots of poison ivy, or, as the guidebook warns, poison ivy is "rampant." So far so good -- none of us have gotten the itch, except maybe Dean, who might be having a mild reaction to a previous encounter.
The weather is cool and damp, and the mist means that many of the potentially spectacular views are shrouded in grey. But the cool weather also takes less of a toll on our bodies.
At lunch, Ben and Simon make a small fire and build a stone oven around it, using it to heat up their lunches. They carefully extinguish the blaze and remove all traces of it before they leave.
Our hike takes us through Smokey Head — White Bluff Provincial Nature Reserve, which is green and beautiful and with many spectacular overlooks. When you're focused on putting one foot in front of the other in order to make progress, it's possible to take these gorgeous views for granted; but around every corner there's another breath-taking vista.
Near the end of the hike we descend from the escarpment to a beautiful white pebble beach on Cape Chin. There are so many stones, they're like sand, and equally unstable underfoot. Based on the way they are mounded on the beach, it's clear that winter waves can push these rocks around like grains of sand.
But it's also interesting to realize that we are seeing things that only people who are willing to venture out on foot can see. There are no roads here.
(I forgot my camera on this hike, so all of these photos are thanks to Madeleine. Thanks Madeleine!)
|Lots of properties for sale around here.|
|Another abandoned farmhouse.|
|A natural staircase.|
|Yup, it's rampant all right!|