I made a resolution this year to run the entire Bruce Trail End-to-end. All 900Kms of it. Now I didn’t just wake up one day and decide to do this. I had a lot of inspiration along the way. I watched as the Wild Bruce Chase happened this past summer where an amazing group of women completed the end to end with a new Fastest known time. I also watched as a female member of my trail running club (Lori F) completed her end to end in 2016. So with all that inspiration and a need to see more of this beautiful province and the trails I have not yet traversed…I decided 2017 was my year to complete it!
I am not alone in this. A lovely new trail running friend, Gemma, will also be completing this section by section with me. All our runs may not be together but we plan on reaching Tobermory by August this year together. I also have other club members joining me (Gillian Pictured as well) for sections at a time. I am extremely excited about this journey and all those who are joining me on it!
This past weekend we began at the Southern Terminus of the Bruce trail at the Queenston Heights Park. It is LITERALLY at the Canada/US border. There were even border guards patrolling in the park, probably wondering what these 3 women were doing so early on a Saturday morning in the dead of winter in this park.
Using our Bruce Trail App we had already decided that we were good to run about 25K of this section of trail. The elevation wasn’t too bad and we had heard that the footing wasn’t terribly technical. We were also lucky that the Niagara region has not seen very much snow so the trails were clear of Ice and Snow and perfect to run on.
We had dropped a vehicle at a park close to brock university earlier that morning and had another at the start in Queenston heights. It takes a little bit of organizing these runs since we are doing them point to point to get max mileage in each week but it will help us in completing our goal quicker. Thankfully I have willing trail friends to do this with!
We began our run in high spirits..excited to start this journey and get this show on the road. We ran through the park then into a forested section with lovely views as we were up on the escarpment edge. We were only about 1.5K in when we realized we left the car keys to the second vehicle at the start! D’oh! Re-starting the run we were now confident we had everything we needed and continued on our way. The trails were lovely, mostly hard packed dirt with some packed down leaves. There were a couple small sections of road, and a couple sections where some bikers went through on a recent muddy day that make a lot of deep ruts on the trail, but other than that…perfect!
We ran mostly along the Niagara escarpment and through a few small conservation areas (Hardwood Hills, Woodend Conservation Areas) and we crossed the Welland Canal. We also ran alongside the old Welland Canal which was pretty neat to see all the old locks.
Another cool feature of this run was the “Screaming Tunnel“. There is a story behind this tunnel and that it is haunted, no spirits during our short visit, but we did get a photo op!
We finished the run at Glenridge Avenue where we parked at the Glenridge Quarry adjacent to the Brock University Campus. I really enjoyed this section of the Bruce. The trails were very runnable and scenic. 25K down, 872K to go!
This weeks Bruce Stats:
Length of Niagara Section: 80.4Kms
Amount Completed: 25.27Kms (31.4%)
Total Length of Bruce Trail: 897.5Kms
Total Completed: 2.8%