Distance hiked: 5.0km
Location: Rouge Urban National Park, Ontario
Date: March 19, 2020
We’ve been starting to go a bit stir crazy working from home this past week because of the COVID-19 outbreak. So after work we decided we needed a change of scenery and went for a hike. Since traffic has been pretty light on the roads, we drove to the Rouge Urban National Park, which is located about 25 minutes from where we live. The park is the largest urban park in North America and features a number of trails through wetlands, forests, and meadows.
We arrived at the park just after 5:30p.m and decided to go for a relatively shorter hike along the Mast Trail (5.0km roundtrip) as we weren’t sure how much daylight we had left. We parked at the Glen Rouge Campground parking lot at the southern trailhead.
The trail leads from the parking lot of the campground, over a bridge and along a ridge to Twyn Rivers Drive where it meets up with a couple of other trails in the park. The first stretch of the path was a bit awkward as the middle of the path had started to cave inwards, but at least it wasn’t muddy (yet).
The path then leads to a staircase for a bit of a cardio challenge to get up the ridge. The portion of the path along the ridge was relatively flat (once you worked your way up the hill) and quite pleasant.
As we were hiking along the ridge there was a helicopter circling overhead. To add another element of weirdness, a few hundred metres from the staircase we came across this woman who was standing in the middle of the woods, away from the path, waving her arms around (maybe to signal the helicopter?). As soon as she saw us, she made her way over to ask where the path was. Also super strange. We explained that the trail was marked with white blazes and that she was almost near the start of the staircase. She thanked us, turned around, and walked away. Weird.
We continued onward. The path eventually winds down the side of the ridge to a muddy mess. We strategically tried to manoeuvre around the mud, but in the end there was no avoiding it. At least we were wearing our winter hiking boots. Perhaps as a benefit of hiking slowly through and around the muddy sections of the trail, we spotted a few deer in the forest.
The path opens up into a meadow, which leads back through the forest. We were surprised to see that there was still quite a bit of snow here.
We turned around once the path met the road and hiked back the way we came. By the time we reached the parking lot it was starting to get dark outside.
My progress on the 52 Hike Challenge can be found here