Brice Trail ETE – Blantyre to Bayview Escarpment Provincial Nature Reserve

We are FINALLY up in the Sydenham section, which is also the longest of all the Bruce Trail Sections. From this point on things will be going a little out of order to get the End to End complete. We want to hit the Bruce Peninsula before the snow falls so will be completing most of it during the Thanksgiving long weekend. Sydenham will be completed in large chunks. Such as this one!

With Gemma and I both back in town and able to resume our end to end we decided to chew off almost 50K of the first bit of Sydenham. We have friends who frequent this section of trail that warned us of certain sections, and with my 50K race only 3 weeks out we decided it would be best if we split the day into a 30K run and 17K hike.

We decided to start our day off a bit later than normal. We had cool temps in the forecast and clear skies so we made out to start at 11am taking both our vehicles to do a car drop at Bayview and in Blantyre (where we began).

The run started with us heading straight into Rocklyn Creek Management Area. We were treated to wide runnable trails and bridges with a short road section to bring us to Walters Falls.

Walters falls was….a let down lol! I guess thats why I have not heard much about the area. The trail around the area was lovely though and we were thoroughly enjoying the run and beautiful day.

After Walters falls we hit our first of 3 long road sections. We were pretty prepared for long slogs of road and made quick time through these, stretching out our legs and picking up some speed through them. We then hit the Massie Forest for a quick section of trail then were back on the road until we hit Bognor Marsh Management Area.

Once in this section we had hit 30K and began our hike. And the timing couldn’t have been better. It really was a marsh through here! Lots of mud and non runnable areas so we enjoyed our hike while munching on our snacks.

It was a LONG 17k as the trail got more and more technical with rocks and even some very narrow caving!

We were quickly losing daylight and our late start in the day was starting to come back and bite us. We didn’t bring headlamps but thankfully had flashlights on our phones to navigate our way through the caves and finally on our last stretch of road on St. Vincent-Sydenham Townline back to the cars. We were tired after a long day but were able to run that road section at a pretty good clip!

Despite the long road sections I really enjoyed the trail portions through here. It would have been nice to explore the caves a bit more but the lack of daylight and the increasing presence of critters in the forest made us pick up our pace to get out of there. We are in bear country now! Next Weekend we will be up in the Bruce Peninsula knocking off 160K in 4 Days. Wish us luck!

The Stats:

Total Kms in Sydenham Section: 168.4

Kms completed in Sydenham Section: 47.5 (28.2%)

Total Kms completed on Bruce Trail: 606.6 (68%)

Total Kms of Bruce Trail: 892Km

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