Author Topic: Cootes Paradise - Iroquoia Bruce Trail Club - Jan 24, 2010  (Read 6613 times)

Offline DaveC

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Cootes Paradise - Iroquoia Bruce Trail Club - Jan 24, 2010
« on: January 24, 2010, 02:12:38 PM »
     I found myself itching for a good hike today, and with nothing on the GHTC schedule, I turned to my Bruce Trail newsletters to scope one out.  I ended up joining the Iroquoia Bruce Trail Club down at Cootes Paradise, in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington.  I am putting it on here, because it is quite accessible for Guelph residents really.  Parking was 35km from my door in the south end of Guelph, and it only took about half an hour to drive down.

     We gathered at Raspberry House in the Royal Botanical Gardens, which is the HQ for the Bruce Trail Club.

     From there we passed an unusual piece of artwork as we set out for the trail.

     About 20 people showed up, even though the forecast was heavy rain.  If you do decide to go check it out, I would recommend icers...even thought there was virtually no snow, there were several significant hills, and the trail itself had a nice little crust of ice.

     The trail regularly popped out for shoreline views that were quite impressive.

     The second of those three pics is of Hickory Island.  It was forested until the late 1990s.  The first cormorant nested there in 1995.  Cormorants are colonial nesters, and within a few years there were over 200 nests.  Their droppings are high in nitrogen, and by 1998 the nitrogen had rotted the tree's root systems, allowing all of the trees to  blow over in short order.  The cormorant population on the island began to decline immediately afterward, and there are now no longer cormorants nesting on the island.  Guess we will see if the trees return.

     There was a large population of friendly chickadees that followed us playfully on portions of the hike.  It is a little hard to make out because of the red and black jacket behind it, but this next pic shows a chickadee perched right on a hiker's hand as a few offered seed.

     The rain held off until the last 15 minutes and then really let us have it as we finished up.  All in all, it was a great hike, and there are tonnes of trails that crossed our route that I would love to go back and explore.  I recommend this area to anyone who doesn't mind a half hour drive for a decent hike.

« Last Edit: January 24, 2010, 03:05:20 PM by Dave Culham »

Offline Pat

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Re: Cootes Paradise - Iroquoia Bruce Trail Club - Jan 24, 2010
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2010, 02:02:27 PM »
Wow!  Dave, this is fantastic!  What a wonderful report on this hike!