Distance hiked: 49.5km
Number of hikes: 2
Toronto is the shortest section of the Bruce Trail. And is reputed to be one of the easier sections – not just because of its short distance, but also because the terrain is relatively flat. Because of this we decided to participate in our first ever End-to-Ends event for the Toronto section back in September 2014. Over the course of a weekend we hiked its entire length over two consecutive days. The Toronto club does organize a one-day End-to-Ends, but that seemed a little too intense, even for us. Below is a summary of our two-day End-to-Ends hike along the Toronto section of the Bruce Trail.
All maps and kilometer references are based on the 27th edition of the Bruce Trail Maps and Trail Guide.
Hike #1 – September 2014
Map #12, #13, and #14: 49.5 – 21.3km (distance hiked = 28.2km one-way)
We signed up for the Toronto End-to-Ends hike back in August. A couple of weeks before the event we received an email with more information and details about the hike. We met at the parking lot at the Limehouse Conservation Area (located at the 21.3km mark) just before 7:30a.m, signed in, and boarded a yellow school bus that shuttled us to the end of the Toronto section just south of the Cheltenham Badlands.
The start (or rather, end) of the trail is along a paved road for the first couple of kilometres or so. This provided a good opportunity for hikers to naturally sort themselves based on pace. The trail dips into a wooded area only to connect with another somewhat lengthy road portion. From there the path winds through the incredibly scenic Terra Cotta Forest Conservation Area followed by the Silver Creek Conservation Area. The path then alternates between some small road sections and wooded areas before looping back to the Limehouse Conservation Area.
Along the way there were various checkpoints every 7 to 10 km or so for hikers to refill their water bottles and refuel on some fruit and baked goodies supplied by many of the volunteers.
By the time we finished we were feeling a little sore. This was probably the longest distance we’ve ever hiked in a single day. But we were eager to hit the trails tomorrow and earn our first ever badge of the Bruce Trail!
Hike #2 – September 2014
Map #11 and #12: 0.0 – 21.3km (distance hiked = 21.3km one-way)
Day 2. Part 2.
We met at the parking lot at the Limehouse Conservation Area just before 7:30a.m again for the second part of our hike. As with yesterday, we were blessed with blue skies and fabulous hiking weather. We checked in and climbed aboard the yellow school bus. This time the bus shuttled us to the start of the Toronto section at the 0.0km mark just south of the Hilton Falls Conservation Area.
We enjoyed the second day of hiking more so than the first day. And not because it’s shorter. Well, only partially because it’s shorter. The first part of the trail hugs the Niagara Escarpment and offers some panoramic views into the valley below. The trail weaves and winds through more wooded areas and doesn’t nearly cover as many road sections as the first day.
Once we completed our hike and signed in at the final checkpoint we were presented with the Toronto End-to-Ends badge. It may have all been worth it just to receive this badge. Even though we’re not sure what to do with it. But that’s besides the point. Victory!
Return here for more of our Bruce Trail adventures.