A hike along Canada’s Bruce Trail

Mr F and I were in Canada last week.

Fall …

On Labor Day Monday we hiked on the Bruce Trail.


The Bruce Trail:

  • is a hiking trail in southern and central Ontario
  • is Canada’s oldest and longest continuous footpath
  • is about 840 km long, though it can vary from year to year as more trail is added, or trail is moved to different routes.
  • If you hiked eight hours a day (about 30km) it would take 30 days to complete the Trail End-to-End.


We hiked eleven kilometers of the Duncan Crevice Caves section.

You may think a hike is a hike is a hike, but hiking in Ontario is very different from the drier Southern California landscape.

The route led us over several stiles (ladders set against the barbed wire fences)  which I’ve climbed over in England, but never in the Los Angeles area, possibly because the paths don’t go through farmer’s fields over here in California.

climbing over the stile

The trees were dramatically different

The wildflowers were small and brightly colored (I’d be glad if someone can identify them for me…)



The yellow flowers are Goldenrod.

A Sumach bush. The red fruits are high in Vitamin C.


I’ve never seen so many mushrooms.  Several varieties grew on tree trunks



… and some on the ground….


Don’t worry, we only photographed them. Unless I’m hiking with someone who really, completely totally understands and knows mushrooms, I walk by them.

What is this?


The path crossed a few streams

 became steep

then steeper, and covered with loose rocks which is hard to walk on,

led us past beautiful rock formations

….  some rock climbers

and huge old trees.

big old root

A gift on the path  …

Maple tree leaf ..

An interesting co-incidence, Sue Kenney with whom I walked with on the Camino, is going to hike the entire Bruce Trail – barefoot – starting tomorrow, “to raise awareness for the Vision One Walk, her new foundation, ‘which is going to pay artists to walk’ “.

Sue explains:

After conducting some casual research, I found out that most artists were inspired through walking.

A story in Ripley’s Believe it or Not explains how Beethoven was once commissioned by three Austrian noblemen to write music. Instead of paying him for the composition, they paid him money to walk every day from sunrise until noon because they knew if he walked, he would create a masterpiece.

I think it’s a great idea. I’m always inspired, and write the best stuff, after I’ve gone on a walk.

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We think we need so much, when all we really need is time to breathe. Come walk with me, put one foot in front of the other, and get to know yourself. Please click the link to my blog - below - and leave me a comment. I love visitors.
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41 Responses to A hike along Canada’s Bruce Trail

  1. souldipper says:

    Aha, you’ve taught me about the Bruce Trail. Very interesting fungus on those trees. Even here in BC, I run into types that I’ve never noticed before. I keep thinking it’s becoming more prevalent. I lived in Southern Ontario for about 7 years, but I didn’t touch that trail.

    In BC we have the West Coast Trail (75 kms on the outer section of Vanc. Island) and I just read a fabulous blog about it. http://hikingphoto.com/2012/09/04/west-coast-trail/ As I read it, I thought of you!

    A few of my friends did it quite a few years ago and the women all said it was very, very challenging for them. Each one had a few cries along the way. I think it’s past my preference level at this stage of life – it’s very rugged and it’s no-frills camping every night. A male friend took an RCMP member on the hike – as a spiritual hike. The RCMP was loathe to go into the wilderness without his pistol. Terry said no! It was quite an intrinsic experience for the mountie.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Amy,
      It gives me much pleasure to teach you about a Canadian hike. I’ve walked a few other smaller sections of the Bruce Trail previously but don’t remember which ones…

      I haven’t heard of the West Coast Trail. Thanks for the link to that amazing blog. I loved his pictures! Imagine falling into a bog and not being able to get up so you drown face down!!

      I’m not surprised that the RCMP mountie wanted to take his pistol into the wilderness. Do they ever go anywhere without it? Are there mountain lions in BC?

      Although I’m up for all challenges I don’t know whether I’m ready for that kind of no-frills camping. When I hiked on the Camino sleeping on those bunk beds and showering in communal male/female bathrooms was the most basic no-frills kind of I’ve ever done.

      • souldipper says:

        We have mountain lions, lynx and cougars. The only time they are a problem is when we encroach on their territory. It confuses them and they, in turn, scare the heck out of people.

        We have cougars on our little island right now. One swam across at low tide and we think she had babies because there are a few around now. No people have been bothered, but once the rabbit and deer populations are culled, they may turn to sheep. The farmers will shoot them if that happens. Otherwise, they are tranquillized and taken back to Vancouver Island which is their home.

  2. I love your reference to Beethoven in still another tribute to hiking/walking. You inspire me.

    • dearrosie says:

      Sue told me the Beethoven walking story when we were on the Camino.
      I don’t know whether you hike Georgette, but I find my best inspiration when I walk in silence.

      If you haven’t done any hiking yet, don’t feel you have to start with a five hour hike. Start small. Go on a walk round your block then add another block to it, and another…

      I’m so glad I can inspire you.

  3. Robin says:

    This looks like such a beautiful hike. I love the idea of walking for inspiration, and paying artists to do so. 🙂

  4. Nandini says:

    Wow, thanks for sharing so many photos! I felt I was there. Such a diversity of plants and trees! Loved the tree shots, very fascinating. Also, the flowers have brilliant colors. 🙂

    Maple leaves are one of my favorites. The trees are just wonderful! 🙂

    Have fun, Rosie. And take care.

    • dearrosie says:

      Always a pleasure to welcome you here Nandini.
      It’s gratifying to know that just from looking at my photos you felt you were walking with us. Thank you. You’re too kind.

      It was such a gift to find the red Maple leaf on the path waiting for me. I also love Maple trees, but as far as I know they don’t grow over here.

  5. Mahalia says:

    Mmm, lovely Bruce Trail pics! The daisy-like flowers are most likely fleabane (can’t see the leaves to confirm).

    • dearrosie says:

      Hello Mahalia,
      The Bruce Trail is such a beautiful place that it’s easy to take lovely photos. Point in any direction and voila!
      Thank you for identifying the fleabane 🙂

  6. E fullstop says:

    Greetings from Perth, Australia. Thanks for another lovely post! I would love to be with you next time you hike a part of that trail. It looks magnificent.

    • dearrosie says:

      What a pleasure to welcome you here all the way from Perth e fullstop!

      We’d love it if you joined us next time we hike in Ontario. It’s a beautiful Province with hundreds of pristine blue lakes surrounded by forests and wild flowers. The Bruce Trail goes through the picturesque Niagara Escarpment all the way up to Tobermorey

  7. Rosie, with all the hiking you do, are you on a mission to accomplish a bucket list of world trails? I mean, do you set out and say, these are the places I’d like to hike? I see a book in the making. Wondering Wandering Rosie. Thanks for sharing your trips and trails with us.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi EOS,
      I don’t have a list of world trails that I’m ticking off one at a time, but I love the idea of the book. What a great title!

      We were on vacation in Canada and when we heard that the Bruce Trail ran right past the lake where we were staying we put on our hiking boots, grabbed a picnic lunch and off we went.

  8. You find some of the most interesting hikes, Rosie! What beautiful and lush foliage. The little “ladder” was most interesting! How nice that this time Mr. F was able to join you. I’d never heard of the Bruce trail, but now to hear that your friend Sue is walking it barefoot I must say I’ll be thinking about that it represents! An artist’s walk is really an interesting concept. Debra

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Debra,
      Ontario is a beautiful province. There are hundreds and hundreds of lakes all surrounded by trees so when you’re lying on the dock reading your book the silence is broken by the sound of the wind blowing the leaves ….
      Have you ever heard the call of the Loon? [A loon is a duck that swims in those northern waters] It’s a sound that takes your breath away.

      It was really lovely fitting in the hike with Mr F and our daughter.

      I got today’s update from Sue. She said it had stopped raining and they’d walked 18 km.

  9. Sybil says:

    I think the flower is an aster. Not certain. And the unusual item an animal skull, but you knew that didn’t you ?

    Wonderful to see these shots of the Bruce Trail.

    We have lots of lovely trails here in Nova Scotia (hint. hint).

    How did you hear about the Bruce. It sounds like you’ve been there more than once. Autumn in Ontario is lovely but you may have been a couple of weeks too early for the really lovely colours.

    Ya gotta love a country that puts a leaf on their flag ! lol

    • dearrosie says:

      Good morning Sybil,
      Thanks for trying to identify the flower. I didn’t realize that asters were so small.

      If the unusual item was an animal skull why was it hanging in a tree and how come it was so clean?

      I’ve only been to Nova Scotia once and a long time ago. I look forward to seeing Halifax with you, and my hiking boots.

      We spent a couple of nights at a cottage on a lake near the Bruce Trail which had a copy of the official trail booklet.

  10. Kathy says:

    This looks like the terrain around our house (although we don’t have that many rocky stone outcroppings right where we are). Have you always been such a hiker? You are really hiking a lot these days. The white flowers are aster. There are a couple different kinds of aster and they are an abundant flower at the end of August and into September.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hello Kathy,
      You live in a beautiful part of the world. Thank you for identifying the white flowers. Even though asters may look like daisies they’re tiny little flowers, that’s why I photographed them with my daughter’s hand in the picture to show how small they are.

      I’ve always enjoyed hiking. I love spending time outside walking along a path next to the trees and also how good I feel after pushing myself on a strenuous hike.

  11. An amazing hike that leads to a lot of discovery both from within and from the Nature around us. Beautiful images and looks like the first signs of Autumn is here. Thanks for the fun adventure. Have a great day!

    • dearrosie says:

      Hello IT,
      It was strange to see the first signs of autumn, when the summer sun was still very hot on our backs.
      It’s amazing how empowering one feels after a strenuous hike with much huffing and puffing and sweating and pushing yourself to keep going

  12. aFrankAngle says:

    You are a hiking machine! Thanks for sharing the trail’s beauty.

  13. Reggie says:

    Your photos are sooo beautiful. What a lovely introduction to this trail – do you think that you would want to do longer sections too, Rosie? 840 km sounds like a loooong distance to hike ‘in one go’, particularly if the terrain is quite varied and demanding.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hello Reggie,
      Very glad to hear you like my photos. Thank you. I would’ve loved to walk a week or two with Sue along the trail. I’m not sure how Sue’s organized the hike because it’s not the Camino, there aren’t places to eat or to sleep or even get water along the way.

      • Reggie says:

        I didn’t realise it was quite that rough. Is she carrying camping gear with her then? Is she walking it on her own or does she have company? I am still in awe of the fact that she wants to walk this whole trail barefoot! That is impressive.

      • dearrosie says:

        Sue is walking with a group – anyone is welcome to join her.
        I don’t think they’re camping along the way, and I don’t know whether she’s sleeping at home every night or somewhere along the way.

        Did you read any of my posts from earlier this year when I walked along the Camino in Spain? I walked with Sue who walked barefoot. I’ve included several photos of her bare feet in my posts.

  14. Arindam says:

    Rosie auntie, I have just one question for you. Do not you ever feel tired of walking or hiking! I find it difficult to even walk 2kilometers a day. 🙂 Yes Indian weather is factor here.
    You are a true inspiration for all of us. I just loved these picture. I loved the picture of maple tree leaf. My first introduction to this leaf was on a theater screen, when I went to watch a romantic Indian movie called “Mohabbatein”; but yet to see one in real world. 🙂

    • dearrosie says:

      Hello Arindam,
      It gives me much happiness to know I’m an inspiration to you.
      Of course I get tired when I walk, and I’ve walked on some very hot days (both in S. California and when I walked on the Camino), but – and this is the important part – when you come home after a hard day’s hike, although you may feel exhausted, hot and bothered, your clothes wet with sweat, you also feel empowered as if there’s nothing you couldn’t do …

      I’m so glad I was able to share my Maple Leaf with you. It was a gift lying on the path which I didn’t ignore and walk past, but picked it up. Now I know why 🙂

  15. Sue Kenney says:

    Rosie! Thank you so much for article and for sharing Vision One Walk. We are on day 9 and have walked 160kms so far. Have a touch of poison ivy on the top of one of my feet, saw 2 rattlesnakes (both on the edge of the narrow path I was walking on), met lots of lovely people…all going the other way. 🙂
    We have lots of pics on FB Visiononewalk. Wish you were walking with me. You would love it! Hope your blogging friends will help us to help artists!
    Big hugs.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hey Sue,
      Welcome! Glad you were able to find some time to pop in. Day 9 already! I’m also sorry I’m not walking with you. I know I’d love the challenge of doing a long walk in the Canadian woods. So different from Spain.
      Ouch sorry to hear you got hit by poison ivy.

      Interesting that you met so many people all going the other way? Why? What’s so interesting the other way?

  16. karen brodie says:

    I live and sculpt stone on the Ganaraka Trail, a feeder of the Bruce trail. Lovely article and pics. Enjoy Sue and keep those feet warm and dry!

    • dearrosie says:

      Hello and welcome to my blog Karen,
      It sounds as if you’re living in the perfect place. I’m sure you must be inspired by the peace and quiet and beautiful nature.

      I love this:
      “When I create a sculpture I dream about the stone and then remove everything that wasn’t in the dream.”

      I went over to your website. Wow your work is unbelievably wonderful. Actually I can’t think of an adjective to adequately describe what I felt looking at your sculptures. I was blown away…

  17. bronxboy55 says:

    “I’m always inspired, and write the best stuff, after I’ve gone on a walk.”

    It’s obvious you’ve been doing a lot of walking, Rosie, because you’ve been writing some great stuff.

    • dearrosie says:

      I don’t know how you do it, but you always know which phrase to chose in complementing a bogging buddy, so that you leave us feeling like a million dollars. Merci boucoup Charles.

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