Thursday, 19 April 2012

Bruce Trail - Ancaster

Ancaster is a pretty town in a valley to the west of the City of Hamilton. Unlike some of the other hikes in that area, cars were driven there and parked and then we hikers followed trails that brought us back to near where we began. As it was spring (April 2004) the cascades were in full spate so this was sort of another 'waterfalls' hike - with a couple of historical sites thrown in for good measure.

Our first viewing point was at Tiffany Falls

To reach the falls we had to walk up Tiffany Creek and that was a little treacherous - I slipped, fell and got muddy. Nothing like a cold stream to wash in!

Tiffany Creek. It was not a route for fast walking so the group became strung out.

From there we crossed a road and began to walk along the actual Bruce Trail coming to Sherman Falls which were impressive. 

A trail through the woods anywhere is a siren call for me - I cannot resist hiking along it. I have a friend who hates walking anywhere and I feel sorry for her as she is missing so much!

Last of this set of photos is a closeup of these Falls.

Jack kept leading us on and off the Bruce Trail - sometimes along roads and some times along auxiliary trails. Our next stop was Heritage Falls

                                                    Heritage Falls from a different angle

Near Heritage Falls we came to an historical building. Before the hostilities of the Civil War broke out in the US there were black people who were able to sneak away from plantations where they were enslaved and, with the help of sympathizers along the way, walk to Canada and freedom. One of these men was a Mr. Griffen who arrived in the Ancaster area and built a house for his wife and family.

Here is the 'Heritage' sign for the house which is followed by a photo of the actual building. This edifice was sold to the Dundas Valley Conservation Authority by a descendant of Mr Griffen during the 1980s.

We were not able to enter the building so we peered in through the windows.

Our next stop was at a different 'relic' from times past where a Scotsman built a 'Manor House' which he named 'The Hermitage' There seems to have been a number of eccentric 'Brits' who settled in North America and, some of them - at least - tried to create the social strata that they had left behind. The man who built the Hermitage seems to have been one of those. From the size of the ruins - the original house burned down at some point - the 'Manor House' was huge.

I am now not clear on all of the details but there were stories of ghosts and strange goings on around the ruins. Nevertheless, a daughter built her 'house' in the ruins and lived there until that abode also burned down.

This is difficult to read (and the sign appears to be quite dirty) but I will exhibit it anyway.

Not to be outdone, that location had a waterfall too - well....sort of. Yes, that trickle is called Hermitage Falls.

Not far from there was a sign about the type of forest that has grown there.  As I am not a botanist, I will not try to interpret this sign. Nearby - and at the end of our hike - was this information center.

Not only is it a trail Center, also it is a remnant of a former rail route. Just for visitors to see - not to ride upon.

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