Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Happy Wanderer - Hiking at Ball's Falls

Crisp air, cool mornings, and fall colours have us motivated to get outside and enjoy nature with Molly and Jack.   I'm still wistful with memories of pre-children days when weekends included lengthy, challenging hikes, followed by even lengthier afternoon naps.  The minions can now handle an hour to hour and a half hike alongside us, particularly if we bring snacks.

This weekend we set our sights on Balls Falls, located near Beamsville (between Hamilton and St. Catharines) to enjoy the fall colours, some exercise, and each other.  We probably should have researched our path a little more, and the weekend, as it ended up being the Thanksgiving Festival, which meant our hour and ten minute drive there was more like a two hour journey.  However, it also meant we could bribe the minions with promises of hot dogs and time shooting down the inflatable slide after they slugged it out on the hike along the Bruce Trail.  Cost of entry was $6 for adults and free for kids.

The skyline from our journey into the Conservation area

Our  pathway

The creepy tree Chris named the Stranger Things Portal to "the Upside Down"

Our hike was great, not too many people at the festival were interested in the paths along the Bruce Trail, so we had the space to ourselves.  Since the section of the trail we were on didn't have loops we ended walking out for around 35-40 minutes and then turning around to ensure the kids wouldn't get too tired.  

Following the leader, Molly always wants to be at the front of the crowd

There are spectacular views here, especially as the fall colours come out.  Be warned that people with kids need to be particularly careful since there are numerous big drops and cliffs along this trail.  We ended up playing a few games of red light/ green light on the hike to ensure Molly didn't get too far ahead.

Plenty of logs to use as balance beams

Balancing together

In a week or two these colours are going to be brighter and better, and it will be a much shorter journey from Toronto, since there won't be any festivals in town.  Hikers be warned, this was a really dry summer, if you're hoping to catch a flowing waterfall, this isn't the place to go.  The falls are non-existent right now, but the changing leaves are spectacular.  I'd come back here again, probably in the spring when there is hopefully some movement on the waterfall.  Stay tuned for more fall pictures and hikes!

The still waters at the top of Ball's Falls

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