Bruce Trail ETE – Mono to Kilgorie

This Run was over a month ago now but I definitely have not forgotten the details!!!

Gemma and I had planned to run the entire section of the Dufferin Hi-lands in a Day. It was runnable in a day at 56.2K but we knew it wouldn’t be easy with the elevation. So our plan was to Run as much as we could of the section then power hike to the end. Easy enough right? Then I went and screwed it all up. I ended up booking myself as a volunteer at a Triathlon the morning of our planned Run. Therefore postponing our run start to 1pm. Did I mention that my volunteer duties involved me Paddleboarding for 4 hours? Ooopsy.


Post Volunteer duties I made my way up to Mono Cliffs. The start of the Dufferin Hi-lands Section. I was tired from the 5am wake-up call and already over-heating from the muggy temps. During my drive up to mono I also encountered some AWESOME WEATHER. Thunderstorms, torrential rain etc. Yeah. 


I met Gemma and our friend Katherine at the Mono Centre Park. Its slightly off the Bruce Trail (about 1km) but offers free and secure parking as opposed to the sketchy side of the road parking next to the trail-head on Mono Centre Rd. It was thundering away so we held off on starting for an extra hour until the storm blew over. 


FINALLY we began at 2pm. Making our way through Mono Cliffs we were greeted with constant climbs, more pouring rain and beautiful trails. It was difficult for us to really enjoy the area with how terrible the weather was. It was so hot and the rain was relentless.


Right away there was talk of not finishing the 56K. Or running 30K and hiking the 25K. After about 7K through the provincial park the trail spit us out onto a road section where we took a break to eat and the sun finally deciding to peek out for a bit. Not that it helped…it was still crazy HOT! 


The next 8K was a mixture of  grassy trails and road. The road being too hot and unbearable and the trails just as bad with mosquitoes. Mentally we were a mess through this section. We realized that starting this late in the day with the weather we were having was not the best of decisions.


 But we trekked on to Boyne Valley Provincial Park and then through Mulmur Hills. At this point we needed to make a decision. We were losing light…the clouds were still rumbling away in the distance and we didn’t want to be stuck in a lightning storm, in the dark, in a forest, with wolves. 


We stopped to refuel in Mulmur where we had made a water drop during the car drops earlier in the day and encountered some kids looking for a waterfall. We asked for a ride but unfortunately their car was full. We then sat (laid down in some cases lol!) and checked our maps. 2 out of 3 had a head lamp. Night running was not the best of ideas in these conditions. And Kilgorie was the closest “town”. At Kilgorie we would be at 36K so we decided to suck it up. Head there…and call a Cab.


We were trying our best to make the best of the situation. Enjoying the trails and the scenery when it wasn’t on the road. Eventually we did make it to Kilgorie and I did manage to get enough signal to call a cab in nearby Shelburne. However the nice gentleman wanted to charge us a $20 surcharge on top of the meter to get us to our cars. Well…what choice did we have..especially since the SCARIEST STORM OF LIFE was on its way towards us. I shit you not we were 3 scared, soaking wet and dirty trail runners on the verge of tears on the side of the road, hoping a tornado wouldn’t touch down where we were. The skies were an eerie green and the rain was picking up again. At this point Gemma made the executive decision to hitchhike. 


On one condition..we were only getting in the car if it was old people or a woman. I was pretty nervous when finally someone stopped to pick us up. But thankfully the lovely woman who stopped had a Chase the Coyote Trail Race Medal hanging from her rear-view mirror so we knew she was one of us! Thank you Trail Gods! We soon realized that there were in fact Tornado warnings in the area and we were lucky to have hitched a ride when we did. Finally safe and sound back in my car in Lavender we made our way back to mono (slowly..through a crazy storm!) to enjoy a nice dinner at the Peter Cellars Pub. The rest of Dufferin would have to wait for another day!


Total Kms in Dufferin Hi-lands Section: 56.2

Kms completed in Dufferin: 36.1 (64.2%)

Total Kms completed on Bruce Trail: 359.1 (40.2%)

Total Kms of Bruce Trail: 892Kms

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