Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy trails to us

On a recent weekend, we found ourselves in the midst of a rare warm and sunny day (for this fall anyway!) and decided to head into Westdale to grab a coffee and take the dog for a spin around the neighbourhood.

We, admittedly, aren’t too familiar with the ins and outs of Westdale, apart from King Street West, and vaguely remembered there being some parkland in behind the houses, so we headed due north with our coffees in hand and the puppy in tow.

A block or two up from the coffee shop, we came upon a large field to the right, and a park straight ahead. Then a trail marker caught our eyes.

It was the Royal Botanical Gardens’ “Ravine Road Trail”.

In spite of all of my Hamilton travels, explorations and research, I have to admit I didn’t really know the extent of the RBG's series of trails.

Of course, we had to check it out. So, in we went.

All of a sudden, we were out of Hamilton, and in the middle of a beautiful, forested trail. The leaves were changing colour, people were walking dogs, it was quiet and peaceful and it smelled like fall. It was perfect.

As previously mentioned, we checked out the Rail Trail over the summer, and while we enjoyed it, the RBG trails were beyond our expectations. Where the Rail Trail (at least the part we were in) was largely open to the elements (on that particular day, the sun beating down on us), the trail behind Westdale is shaded, leafy, and in some parts, it seems you can walk for miles without running into a single soul.

The best part is, this trail network is huge – so huge, in fact, that we didn’t know how long it would take us to get back to our starting point if we continued on the trail. (With a young dog, this is a serious consideration. We didn’t want to have to carry her back!) It’s a real pity we didn’t have a map with us, because we ended up turning around just to be safe. Who knows what we missed out on further down the trail!

Needless to say, there is a lot more exploring for us to do here in future.

I love when you’re expecting a certain thing and what you end up getting exceeds all expectations. That was this trail for us. It was so far beyond what we were hoping to find that afternoon, and the dog adored it. It made our Saturday.

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