Coming from northwestern Ontario originally, spoiled by natural beauty on our doorstep, I always thought that urbanized southern Ontario couldn't offer any truly natural outdoor experiences. But now living in Toronto and going stir-crazy, I've softened my snobby attitude and decided to check things out before ranting.
I was inspired by L84toff's trip report: http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=50775
Took the regional train 1 hour out of Toronto to the eastern end of Lake Ontario. Ontario is a pretty flat place, but from Niagara Falls running west along the south shore of Lake Ontario and then north up to Lake Huron is a really long cliff known as the Niagara Escarpment, about 50-80 m high usually. The Bruce Trail runs some 880 km (550 miles) in a corridor above, on, and below the escarpment.
Started hiking around noon. It was weird to be backpacking through the city to get to the escarpment, known locally as "the Mountain" Once on the trail, I was pleased by the variety of things to be seen: really urban views, industrial ruins, farms, really natural spots, a whole bunch of awesome waterfalls falling off the cliffs, spring flowers, and lots of songbirds.
I hiked about 20-25 km (13-15 miles?) at least the first day. Did a leave-no-trace stealth hang in a Conservation Area. A few minutes after settling into me hammock, a bright light disturbed me--I forgot about the Supermoon! Had to put up the tarp to get some sleep! In the morning I discovered that my "stealthy" spot was no more than a few feet from a hiking side-trail I hadn't seen. Two hikers walked about 10 feet from my set up without noticing it! They were too busy focusing on the trail and talking. Whew!
Day 2 I was beat. This trail just goes up the cliff, and then when they don't have permission to cross someone's property, you have to go back down, and then go back up again!
Finally found some nice landscape with a really nice trout and salmon stream running through it. This must be where L84toff hung a few weeks ago. Old dude came down the hill--I swear it was Jerry Garcia with a walking stick. Talked about salamanders, butterflies, and really knowing the area after 40 years of walking it. cool. Got off the trail at Waterdown Road and hitchhiked down to the train station (first car picked me up--that's country hospitality for you!) Back in Toronto for Sunday dinner.
Here are some pictures. I really like the graffiti: "Learn from the Streets, not Forums!" but totally disagree with it. This forum has changed the way I hike.