My inaugural blog post from Canada! A quick two-week trip to Toronto means a pause in Hong Kong hiking, but the cold and snow of a Canadian winter shouldn’t prevent a good trek on some local trails. And so I headed out this weekend with my foodie friends to the Balls Falls Conservation Area, about an hour’s drive from Toronto near St. Catharines. The weather was perfect – sunny and crisp with blue skies, and while cold, there was no windchill. Toronto has been going through a pretty tough winter this year (or so I’m told 🙂 ), so it was good to catch a break.
The conservation area is part of the Niagara Escarpment that spans southern Ontario from Niagara Peninsula on Lake Ontario to Bruce Peninsula on Lake Huron. There are a myriad of trails (many of which I plan to explore this summer), the most famous being the Bruce Trail. The hike today along the Twenty Valley trail is actually part of the larger Bruce Trail.
Balls Falls consists of the Upper and Lower Falls along Twenty Mile Creek, and a number of heritage buildings have been preserved on the site. The Twenty Valley Trail is a short but steep and rocky descent alongside the creek, and can be a bit tricky in the snow. It then follows the creek before continuing as the Bruce Trail, and you can loop back to the starting point via a paved road. In terms of elevation changes, there really aren’t any – however walking through some areas with knee-deep snow can present its own challenges. You can rent snowshoes at the conservation centre, although they really aren’t needed.
Click on the photos for a larger version.