Date: - March 8, 2016
Highlights: Ray Lowe's Side Trail, Rock Chapel Sanctuary, Royal Botantical Gardens, Lower Borer’s Falls, Rock Chapel Falls
( 58.6) Sydenham Rd., up, up, up to Rock Chapel Sanctuary, Royal Botanical Gardens, Bores Falls, forest after forest until the end, Grindstone creek to the “Great Falls” (71.0) waterfall at Smokey Hollow.
Warm spring weather, beautiful forests and falls. Lots of uphill climbing today, and the biggest challenge – VERY slippery mud. I was exhausted at the end and was covered in mud. Gorgeous scenery though. Here you will find outdoor display signs explaining the formation of the Escarpment. It is fantastic!!
The best things about hiking the Bruce Trail is going back into ancient time. Imagine going back to the beginning of earth’s creation, 500 to 400 million years ago during the Ordovician and Silurian Periods belonging to the Paleozoic Era. At this time, a large area of North America, including Southern Ontario, was covered by warm shallow water. The Escarpments caprock is comprised of dolostone and limestone created by the coral of that warm water sea. The base is comprised of sediments forming shale. Herein, one can find the beginning of marine life in the form of fossils; primarily being the Trilobite. I have my own fossil collection that I like to share with friends and groups. I do a full Niagara Escarpment, Bruce Trail presentation as well.
Royal Botanical Gardens
The landscapes of Royal Botanical Gardens have a grand story to tell, from primeval forest and prairie to degraded landscape, restored nature sanctuary and internationally known living museum.
Rock Chapel Sanctuary
Rock Chapel, a 72-hectare nature sanctuary located on the Flamborough-Dundas municipal boundary along the Niagara Escarpment, is part of the Niagara Escarpment UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. This south-facing forested habitat features Borer’s Falls and the escarpment valley. The escarpment and its wooded areas are home to a diverse range of rare and uncommon plants and birds. The escarpment edge supports a rare eastern white cedar old growth forest community. Rock Chapel, named for a frame chapel erected in 1822
As you round the escarpment, a newly constructed stairway takes you along a geological exhibit. Each exposed formation name and rock type is labeled. In an escarpment minute you walk through 420 million years of history.
Sand, silt and clay were deposited and over time compressed into sedimentary rock strata. Thus the Escarpment is made up of sedimentary rock. The coarse materials were deposited at the ancient sea’s deltas and later compressed and hardened to form sandstone. Lighter materials were carried out farther and nestled into the sea bed as clay and over time become shales, which are found at the base of the Escarpment.
Coral reefs also established in these warm waters. Compression of calcium (lime) from the coral rock and the accumulation of marine organisms formed carbonate rock, which are mainly made up of dolomites and limestones. These carbonates form the caprock of the Escarpment.
Hamilton Conservation Area
Ray Lowes side trail: here you can turn right a hike the Ray Lowes side trail, or stay on the main trail.
Did You Know?
Ray Lowes of Hamilton was the founder or “father” of the Bruce Trail, an 895 kilometer footpath stretching from Niagara Falls to Tobermory, North America’s longest, volunteer-maintained trail. Ray passed away in 2007.
Boers Falls Conservation area
Bores Falls: Also known as Rock Chapel Falls.
Borer’s Falls is 15 metres high and can be seen year round. It is is a 15 metre high ribbon-style waterfall found in the Borer’s Falls Conservation Area in Dundas, Hamilton,
Borer’s Falls was originally used to provide water power for the Rock Chapel Village Sawmill. This mill was run by the Borer family for over a century. After years of land clearing throughout the area, the creek’s flow was altered to the point where it could no longer power the mill. Borer family descendants still live in the area today.
The area is a hiker’s haven and also an ice-climbing destination in the winter when the weather is cold enough to freeze the Falls.
Tunnel under Hwy 6 (64.6)
I totally thought of when Harry Potter met the Dementors in the same type of tunnel in “The Chamber of Secrets” when I walked through here. Imagination is a wonderful thing!
As soon as you turn right after coming from the tunnel and go up a small slop you reach this homestead ruin. It is not explained as to why these ruins are here. I spend some time here, but did not get any particular energy from it.
All I can say is “Spectacular” !!!
Grindstone Creek originates above the Niagara Escarpment in Flamborough. It drains an area of 90 square kilometres making it one of the main tributaries discharging into the northwest-end of Hamilton Harbour . A 50-hectare marsh lies in Hendrie Valley, where the lower portion of Grindstone Creek flows. This highly productive, shallow wetland, northeast of Cootes Paradise, provides crucial spawning, nursery and adult habitat for many native fish as well as food and shelter for a variety of birds, mammals, amphibians and insects.
Great Falls – Stunning!
Falls Type: terraced ribbon Falls facing: S
Falls Latitude: N43.33044 Longitude: W79.88708
Height: 6 m Width: 4.5 m
The area around the falls is known as Smokey Hollow which was once heavily industrial. Grindstone Creek was a source of power for a sawmill at the base of Great Falls. Other mills were also located nearby over the years.
However by 1912 the mills had all shut down. A big fire had ended the life of the last mill ,but the railroad deciding to bypass the town was the final blow. There is almost nothing left to show what was once there -all of the mill building stone was pilfered for other uses.
.End of the day! very, very tired…wow, that mud was so difficult to walk in.