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Posts Tagged ‘milton’

After a cool and rainy week, we wanted to enjoy the sun and headed out to Mounstberg this morning, hoping to see the last of the fall colours. We’ve visited Mountsberg before and saw the birds of prey (very cool) but never hiked the trails. Today we chose to do the blue Lookout  trail, which was listed as 5.6km. The weather was sun and clouds and the occasional gust of wind but for the most part, it was nice and an above seasonal 15C degrees.

We saw no one else on the trail for the first hour, hour and a half. It was great! There were a lot of birds chirping and we got to see a few. Heard some ducks and geese in the nearby reservoir as well. We saw another snake – he looked more shocked to see us than we were to see him. We came across a couple of people on horseback near the end of our hike as well. Very quiet on the trail today.

Path to the trail:

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Bunch of bird house condos in “Swallowville”. 🙂

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The reservoir:

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Mushrooms were everywhere:

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Dark sky in the distance – made for a cool picture:

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Into the woods we go….

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Berries!

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Gorgeous:

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Yellow leaves still hanging onto their branches before winter:

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This shot turned out great – bulrushes:

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Feeling small:

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Another friend! 🙂

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We spent the morning hiking in the Hilton Falls Conservation area. It was a beautiful day – about 20C degrees (working towards an expected high of 24C), not too hot or muggy. We started out at 10am and followed the Bruce Trail that runs parallel to the Red Oak trail (red) south of the reservoir, then followed the west side Beaver Dam trail (orange) all the way up to the fire pit, took a 15 minute snack break, continued the east Beaver Dam trail back to Red Oak and took the north trail back to the car. We hiked 12.5 kms total and it was great – we took 3 hours including a 15 minute break. According to the trail map, it should have taken us 3.25 hours so we did good time with 2.75 hours. My legs are feeling it now as I write this after returning home and making some lunch. But it’s a good tired. 🙂

See trail map here.

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Some parts of the trail required more agility:

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Cool tree (right) and mushroom (bottom left):

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There’s just something about water rippling by… so calming….

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Nice shot of the creek and waterfall in the foreground and the reservoir in the background:

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Some parts of the trail were packed dirt and very easy to navigate:

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No swimming!

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Cool rock:

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The reservoir:

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We had the troops down to visit this weekend. My sister and her two girls as well as my brother and his wife all came down from Montreal for the weekend. We had a packed schedule of fall activities planned and thankfully the weather didn’t disappoint!

Saturday we headed out to Stonehaven Farm to visit the pumpkin patch, get lost in the corn maze (life list item crossed off!!) and pick up some farm fresh pies. Our next stop was Crawford Lake to visit the reconstructed Iroquois village (one of my nieces has a school project to build a longhouse so this was a perfect stop as she got to see one up close); we also hiked the trail around the lake (1.4km, easy boardwalk path). The views were really nice. Then we returned home to carve the pumpkins and enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner. 🙂

Sunday we walked around our neighborhood, stopped at some local parks, walked a local trail then back home for lunch. In the afternoon we went over to Springridge Farm for the Harvest Festival and the kids had fun on the Fun Farm. They played with the animals, ran around in the hay bales, slid down the slides, watched the puppet show, navigated the little corn path… A fun afternoon at the farm. 🙂 We picked up some kettle corn and other goodies at the market and headed back home for supper (and Maddie’s birthday cupcakes!) and to watch Harry Potter 2 (Chamber of Secrets). We couldn’t stay awake for the whole movie – we were all pooped – so we’ll watch the second half today. 🙂

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In the longhouse at Crawford Lake, listening to lore and watching a fire starting demonstration – which was pretty awesome!

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On the hike around the lake:

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Thanksgiving dinner!

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Animals at Springridge Farm:

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Maddie’s birthday ghoulie cupcakes:

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This morning we headed to Rattlesnake Point, another conservation area in the Milton, ON area hoping to enjoy some early fall foliage. Although the drive there was a sight to behold with some trees sporting bright yellow, fiery orange and deep red leaves, there was still quite a bit of green and very little along the trails in the park. The next couple of weeks should be showstopping.

We followed two trails. The Vista Adventure trail (red) and the Buffalo Craig trail (yellow), a total of about 4.5 km. It was quite busy for a Sunday morning with lots of families on the trails. We also saw several people rock climbing which is an activity offered here.

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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.

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There was a lot of moss – that was pretty cool.

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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.

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Pretty… A bumblebee (top) happily buzzing around…

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Surprised to see a ripe raspberry still around – you’d think they’d all be munched up by now.

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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:

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The view at the top of the falls – I could sit here for hours, just listening to the water…

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The water was super clear. The view straight ahead to the other side:

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The view upstream:

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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.

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I Googled snakes commonly found in southeastern Ontario and we think it was an Eastern Garter snake, like this guy:

Photo by Joe Crowley

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.

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View of the opening where the mill wheel would have been:

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View upstream from this vantage point:

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We made our way down the stairs to the lower viewing area.

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Good view of the falls from here:

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More mill ruins…

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Cool trees and cliff near the stairs:

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We then headed back on the yellow trail…

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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?

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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.

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Yep, we went back. This time with my sister-in-law, her husband and their two kids. We ate lunch once we arrived, then we were off to explore the kids’ fun area where we learned that there was a new baby goat in their midst (gasp!) – could not wait.

There were tons of things to see and do and the kids (big and small) had a great time. There were lots of animals, beautiful scenery and growing crops (pumpkins are coming!), hay bales for the kids to play in, a spider web to climb, a nice lookout platform with great views over the escarpment (we actually saw the CN Tower – it was a clear day!), tractor “bikes” to roll around on, did I mention the goats?, an informative wagon ride that toured the farm and surrounding irrigation ponds, and more!  We had a great time – it was a gorgeous day, sunny and bright. We stopped by the market on the way out and home we went for a Hawaiian themed dinner party. 🙂

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These chickens were hilarious – you pressed a button and they would tell a joke.

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Lots of sunflowers made the view really “country cozy”.

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Pony rides!

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View of an irrigation pond from our wagon ride – complete with ducks and fountain:

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Bee hives that house one million bees:

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View of the newly built velodrome for the Pan Am games to be held in Toronto in July 2015:

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More pretty sunflowers:

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The pumpkins have started to grow:

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The wagon we rode 🙂 Farmer Don was a great guide!

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Old-fashioned tractor:

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Windmill above the hay bales:

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I couldn’t help myself…I hate spiders…except when they wear slippers and rollerblades. 🙂

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Grasshopper!

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Views from the lookout over the escarpment:

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This little guy was my favourite 🙂

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Oh my goodness…

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Goats…

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View of the Lookout platform from the bottom

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More goats…

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Goats goats goats

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More pumpkins 🙂 And more sunflowers.

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The sunflowers were so tall! Much taller than me!

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The entrance to the maze (more of a path but it was cute)

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Chloe leading me through the maze

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Turkey!

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Peacock!

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Bunnies are so cute

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They live in Bunnyville

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Chris, the goat whisperer 🙂

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A farm wouldn’t be complete without a rooster. 🙂

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Farmer Chloe

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Farmer Zach

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Being silly during our Hawaii-themed dinner 🙂

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This weekend had us heading out to explore another of Halton’s Conservation areas: Mountsberg. This one has a raptor centre which houses birds of prey that you can learn about and see up close including falcons, hawks, eagles and owls. There are also hiking trails and a lake. It was nice to walk around and see the birds.

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After the park, we headed over to Springridge Farm to have some lunch and pick up some fresh-baked goods and fruit. We brought home a strawberry rhubarb pie, 6 tarts (2 each of: wild blueberry, cherry, butter tart) and some blueberries. It had a really nice market and gift shop plus a whole area for kids (which we didn’t partake in). In the shop, we bought a few additional items: cranberry fig port sauce, maple balsamic vinaigrette, peach jam and strawberry rhubarb jam. They had LOTS of yummy things to choose from. Lunch was delicious as well and we enjoyed it on a nearby picnic table. My sandwich was a ham and brie with apple and red pepper jelly sandwich – fabulous. 🙂

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