Ken Martin led our merry group on Part 3 of a Bruce Trail journey throughout the Niagara Section in Ontario. Eight of us began our 20 km hike near the gorgeous Balls Falls and finished just east of Grimsby.
We enjoyed perfect Fall weather, along with views of Lake Ontario and Toronto for most of the day. We climbed over 1900 feet in elevation, adding together all the scenic ups and downs along the Niagara Escarpment. While taking in the views from a cliff, we were surprised by the appearance of a rock climber who silently arrived at the top!
This is a lovely area, full of beautiful woods and numerous vineyards and wineries. Stay tuned for Ken’s next Bruce Trail adventure!
For more photos as well as maps and a video, click here.
— Submitted by David and Janet Kowalski
A dozen Happy Hikers had perfect sunny Fall weather to descend into the Niagara Gorge for a close encounter with the mighty Niagara River.
We hiked along the wild water from Whirlpool to Devil’s Hole State Parks, viewing the gigantic boulders alongside the trail, and a few natural caves in the cliff walls. We saw numerous fellow hikers of all ages, and a large number of fishermen as well, and even witnessed a catch that was about 2 feet long! The Devil’s Hole stairs were closed for repair, so we backtracked to the Stone Flats adjacent to the Whirlpool for a relaxing lunch.
Altogether we did about 5 miles on mostly flat terrain along with the challenging rock staircases. What a beautiful area this is, a WNY gem!
— Submitted by David and Janet Kowalski
Ice Skating (February 17) – Is it possible for those over 50 to re-enter the world of ice skating and enjoy themselves as they had in earlier years? YES! Under the guidance, encouragement, and friendship of ADKer Paul Kochmanski, our outing in February has proven just that for 5 skaters at the North Buffalo Rink. One skater used to be a figure skater in her youth, but hasn’t been on skates in 25 years. You should have seen the joy on her face as she rediscovered her turns by the end of the evening! Another skater used to play hockey, but hasn’t been on skates in 15 years; he was proud to have not fallen the entire evening, though somewhat swarmed with pre-teens! The season is over now, but keep it in mind for next year as we explore different indoor rinks and different times, and not have to worry about the weather. Submitted by Judy Catalano.
Eighteen cheerful hikers enjoyed a 4-mile scenic gorge hike, starting at the trailhead on South Creek Road in Hamburg. At the 2-mile turnaround point there was a comical sign: TRAIL ENDS HERE. The Creek’s name is based on the distance between its Lake Erie terminus and the Niagara River. There is another Eighteen Mile Creek in WNY that flows into Lake Ontario, which is named for the same criteria. I never realized this until I researched the Creek before our hike…. Cool!
Submitted by David and Janet Kowalski
Tom Burkman had a wonderful breakfast for us hikers of bacon, eggs, coffee, and juice. Participants added fresh fruit, English muffins and exotic flavors of yogurt. Yummy! With our bellies full and a feeling of camaraderie, we set off for a lovely hike around the creek, woods, and wet lands adjoining Tom’s property. Our first adventure was crossing the mostly frozen creek over a bridge that made us wonder what we were getting ourselves into. But following our brave leader, everyone made it across safely. We saw footprints that may have been coyote and many wild turkey tracks. Crossing the wetland ponds and hearing the ice groan and splinter under our weight was also a thrill, though no one got a wet foot. After about 90 minutes, we warmed up around the fireplace with hot cocoa. It was a great way to visit with a new and well known ADK members, get some exercise and enjoy the lovely wilderness of Grand Island. Thank you Tom for sharing your home and woods with us all!
Here’s what Tom wrote: On February 4, seven members including new ADK member, John Melithoniotes went for a winter hike in Grand Island. They gathered at the home of Tom Burkman for a hearty breakfast for which several brought food. Snow cover amounted to only a couple of inches, so hiking boots were sufficient in what was originally marketed as a snowshoe outing. The group hiked into the woods along Gun Creek. Then along trails and a pipeline and fields ending back at Tom’s house for hot chocolate around the fireplace. The cold temperatures of the preceding week made it safe to cross the creek and wetland areas. The snow cover was a graphic display of deer, coyote and turkey tracks. A good time was had by all.
Beth Hartz led a friendly group on a beautiful winter hike through scenic Stiglmeier Park. We we treated to several bird sightings, including a Red-bellied Woodpecker! We also savored the wide variety of Old Growth trees there, including ash, black cherry and beech. We saw evidence of some busy beavers too! This well-maintained park is a local gem, with benches, boardwalks, and several miles of well-marked wooded trails.
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No -Snow – Walk at Knox Park – January 11, 2017
On a cold & dry winter morning four of us walked almost all of the perimeter paths at Knox Farm. We made a brief stop at the ‘little library ‘, went around the outermost trails where we could look across the road to the seminary, the path to the waterfall and the polofields. Found a ‘letterbox ‘ under a tree stump. (Google it. Letterboxing is a less technical version of geocaching ). Then we peeked in the windows of the mansion & the Polo barns.
FYI Knox is a busy place on the weekends. Many happy canines cavorting in the dog park area. By noontime, cars were parked on the grass all along the exit road, right next to the ‘do not park on the grass’ signs.