Today we headed over to Hilton Falls and followed the yellow trail (Hilton Falls trail). I’m eager for the colorful fall foliage but there’s still a lot of green; just a bit of yellow and once in a while a hint of red. Not quite there yet but it’s coming soon. It was a warm day, 20C degrees and sunny. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the summer season with the green grass, warm weather and long days. But I feel most alive in the fall, when the air changes and I can smell the leaves, the colors change with yellow, oranges and red, and all I want to eat are apples, cider, squash and Thanksgiving dinner. :) Aaaah, bliss.
Anyhoo – I digress.
What I should have started this post with was: Yes, we saw a snake!
I teeny tiny one, and I was too slow to take a picture but we enjoyed several seconds’ worth of watching him pause in his tracks (probably wondering why the crazy humans went off the beaten path and dared disrupt his midday stroll) then slither away through the forest.
But, back to the beginning of the trail first… Most of the trail was packed dirt and quite wide. Very easy and very flat, lots of shade.
There was a lot of moss – that was pretty cool.
As always, looking up provides a different perspective on things. I kept peeking for any sign of the leaves changing color but all I saw was green, and occasionally some yellow. Soon, soon.
Pretty… A bumblebee (top) happily buzzing around…
Surprised to see a ripe raspberry still around – you’d think they’d all be munched up by now.
As we approached the area where the falls were, there was a fire going (that smelled amazing!!!) with lots of seating, picnic tables and rocks. There are a few viewing areas – we visited them all. This pic was taken from the path approaching the fire area:
The view at the top of the falls – I could sit here for hours, just listening to the water…
The water was super clear. The view straight ahead to the other side:
The view upstream:
We followed a short trail (that connected to the Bruce trail) along the water to get a better view of the mill ruins. We had to climb some pretty steep rock to get up there and it was along this path that we met our snake friend. He was small – maybe a foot and a half in length, black with a yellow stripe.
I Googled snakes commonly found in southeastern Ontario and we think it was an Eastern Garter snake, like this guy:
Photo by Joe Crowley
We were still giggly from our snake encounter as we made our way back to the fire area and headed to the cairn, another viewing area.
View of the opening where the mill wheel would have been:
View upstream from this vantage point:
We made our way down the stairs to the lower viewing area.
Good view of the falls from here:
More mill ruins…
Cool trees and cliff near the stairs:
We then headed back on the yellow trail…
Saw some cool lichen too – I had to ask Chris what it was since it looked like ice but at 20C degrees, clearly couldn’t be. Neat eh?
That was our hike! An easy one – it was about 4km and took us about 1.25 hours including the time spent at the falls.