Hike #21 – Sandy Hills Trail

January 25, 2016
Hike #21
Sandy Hills Trail
Elmira, Ontario

My first night hike for my challenge! A friend of mine (who is also part of the 52 Hike Challenge) invited me along for this group event in Elmira, part of Woolwich Township. It was their first official night hike as well, and included a couple stops during the 2.5km hike through the woods. One of the stops was to be still, silent, flashlights off, and to hear nature at night. While I don’t mind listening to nature during daylight hikes, it’s a little more intense at night, in the dark. At least with a medium-sized group it wasn’t so bad.

Another stop introduced us to our sense of sight. Each person was given a recipe card and a crayon with the label removed. We had to guess what colour we had and write it on the card, again with all our lights out. I was sure mine was orange (it was black!)

The remainder of the hike was peaceful. It wasn’t too cold thankfully, and we were presented with hot apple cider back at the trailhead. My friend Kyle also received his hiking patch for completing 200km of trails in the Woolwich Township. I think he’s the first person to do it, too. Awesome!

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Hike #8 Huron Natural Area

Hike #8

November 5, 2015

Huron Natural Area, Kitchener

I had one day off this week. I took advantage of the unusually beautiful November weather (it was 23 degrees Celsius, what!) The skies were mostly clear, the sun was as high as it could be, with barely a breeze blowing by. The air wasn’t anything like the summer air; this was different, and although it was warm, it still held a crispness to it.

I used to hike along a very small portion of this trail years ago and decided to tackle it with my two free hours. I covered approximately 3.7 kilometers in just under two hours… I stop too frequently to capture photos!

One section of the trail was in a boggy swamp area, with felled logs to cross it. As I got closer to the makeshift bridge, there were animal prints in the mud… they looked a bit large to belong to a dog, and it was then I realized I hadn’t seen anyone else in the area for awhile. I picked up a stick for safety (there have been cougar sightings in Kitchener before, so I wasn’t going to take any chances…)
Without falling into the bog, I made it across the logs and landed safely on solid, dry ground again, and I was met by two girls looking for the actual trail. The other side of the swamp didn’t have a direct “trail” look to it, so thankfully my phone’s GPS came in handy πŸ™‚

Along one of the side trails, mountain biker went ahead of me and stirred up the leaves. It released a true-to-autumn fragrance which made me want to grab a mug of hot apple cider!