Saturday, 31 March 2012

Paris to Cambridge

No, this post is not about places in France nor Great Britain - it is about a hike between two communities on the banks of the Grand  River in Ontario. Once upon a time a tram line ran between one of the towns that is now a part of Cambridge and a port on Lake Erie. When the tram line was abandoned, the rails and ties were removed and the remainder became a well maintained bicycle and hiking route. Following the organized hike through the Rouge River Valley I joined another Out and Out Club hike from Paris to Cambridge.

On all hikes outside of the Greater Toronto Area, hikers who don't drive take the transit to a designated station where those with automobiles pick them up and drive them to the trail head for the hike. For this hike that was just outside the town of Paris.

It was a Saturday in April and, as it was a 'late spring' that year, the hike began in a snow covered area but ended where the snow had all melted. There were  16 of us (I am not in this photo as I was the one who took it), the route was along a level path so, for the first 'major hike' of the season, the walk was easy. Actually, this photo was taken at the midway point of the hike - at the hamlet of Glen Morris where we had stopped to eat our sandwich lunches.

When we began the hike near Paris, the route was snow covered with evidence that a number of people had hiked it since the last snow fall.

The hike was along the banks of the Grand River which is one of southern Ontario's major streams.

In the photos of the Rouge River hike - and the photos of all the hikes of which I will be blogging after this one - the 'Hike Master' was Jack Candido. However, the hike master for this annual walk was another Jack. That is him in the foreground of the photo taken on a weir which crossed the river - following photo.

We enjoyed a very pleasant picnic lunch at Glen Morris and then continued on to Cambridge. As we went along we saw less and less snow until there was none. You will have noticed that the vegetation is almost entirely deciduous trees. Later in the spring - and through the summer - that would have made for a leafy bower along the route. Nice - except that the mosquitoes would have been out and very voracious!

Prior to going on all of the hikes, the Hike Master chooses a pub or restaurant at or near the trail head where we gather for a meal before returning to Toronto.

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