During the American Revolution, the Ball family maintained their allegiance to the English Crown. In recognition of their loyalty, Jacob Ball and his family were issued Crown land grants in Niagara. Two of Jacob’s sons, John and George, received 1200 acres of land in Niagara in 1807. The Twenty Mile Creek on their property provided a source of power for the brothers to operate a flour, saw and then later woollen mill. Part of this area, along with the historic buildings have been preserved and are now part of the Balls Falls Conservation Area.
It's been an unusually hot summer here in Ontario. With temperatures exceeding 30°C on the regular, it hasn't been ideal weather for hiking. But we were on a mission to complete 52 hikes this year, so even though it was sweltering hot and humid outside, we went for a hike anyway. Besides, we planned to visit G & S afterwards to go swimming in their pool. So how bad could it be? Spoiler: it was terrible.
Inglis Falls is one of three waterfalls that surround the city of Owen Sound and is reputed to be the most impressive (and therefore the most visited). In addition to its waterfall, the Inglis Falls Conservation Area include a number of hiking trails at varying degrees of difficulty.
Nestled high up on the Niagara Escarpment near Collingwood, the Nottawasga Lookout Provincial Nature Reserve features some great hiking trails along a cliff, forested slopes and through caves and crevices. There are also a number of great viewpoints overlooking Georgian Bay along the way.
We initially planned to spend the weekend up at the cabin, but due to a mosquito apocalypse, we came home a day earlier. Since we had no plans for Sunday (and let's be real, any other day of the week because of the pandemic), we decided to go for a hike through the Hockley Valley Provincial Nature Reserve.
Provincial parks and conservation areas opened back up again last week in Ontario. With warmer weather on the forecast for the weekend, you can only imagine how packed the trails were. We initially planned to hike at the Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area, but apparently you now have to book a reservation online. We didn't realize this until after rolling up into the parking lot and getting turned away. I checked my phone to see if we could register, but all the time slots for Rattlesnake Point and all the other conservation areas in Halton were full for the day. Cool.
It's finally starting to feel like spring (maybe even summer?) here in Ontario. Provincial parks reopened last week for day-use only, so we've been taking advantage of the nice weather and going for more hikes. However, the nice weather tends to bring out the crowds. Especially on the trails as they are one of the few things open these days.
We initially planned to spend the Victoria Day long weekend at Acadia National Park in Maine, which has become a bit of a spring tradition for us. But because of the pandemic, our plane tickets and campsite reservation were cancelled a couple of months ago. Instead we planned to spend our long weekend hiking close to home in Ontario.
We’ve been under lockdown for the past couple of months, and as of this week, provincial parks and conservation areas in Ontario are back on the menu. What better way to spend the weekend than hiking. Especially since the weather was (finally) pleasant.
Hike #13 of the 52 Hike Challenge