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Beaver Valley Bruce Trail Club January 2022

On The Trails in January. Happy New Year!

Snowshoe hike in snowy forest
Photo credit: Michael Arkless, 2018.

Let’s burn off the holiday calories, load our snowshoes and icers into the car and enjoy the magic that winter can bring to our Beaver Valley. The bare branches of the forest provide views sometimes not seen in the summer. If you’d like to try snowshoeing and don’t have the equipment, let the hike leader know. We have a couple of extra pairs you can borrow!

Perhaps one of these guided, scheduled outings will entice you. Go to our website for details and to register online. http://beavervalleybrucetrail.org/hikes/schedules.html

January 7th  West Side of the Valley – Experience moderate heights and ravines of the escarpment as we travel along to find beautiful views across the valley.

January 9th  Sligo - A wonderful loop for snowshoeing, generally with good probability of significant snowfall. Broad valley views, some varied elevation, wetlands, cedar groves, deciduous forest, a picturesque rural road.

January 17th  East Side of the Valley - We’re on the other side of the valley with this outing! A different view perspective and some lovely forest.

January 29th  East of Kolapore – We’ll be hiking through some winter woodlands and it may be a good time to practise our animal track identification skills.

Winter Cross Country Ski Trails in the Valley

Bruce Trail side trail blaze beside a winter cross country ski trail in the Beaver Valley
Photo credit: Lilla Fodor, 2021.

Many have discovered the serenity of nature during these turbulent times, and with our snowy Beaver Valley winters many have also discovered the joy of gliding through the forest on cross country skis. We are lucky to have a number of cross country ski opportunities crossing parts of our Bruce Trail system here in Beaver Valley, both groomed and back country.

The Beaver Valley Nordic Ski Club (BVNSC) at the top of Kimberley Forest offers 10kms of groomed, track-set cross country ski trails as well as some snowshoe trails. The trailhead is located in the upper back parking lot of the Beaver Valley Ski Club with the trails traveling along the top of the escarpment, crossing and for a short section joining the Wodehouse Karst Side Trail.

These trails are relatively flat, with only a few hills, and are suitable for beginner or leisurely skiers. Please note that as these are groomed trails, no dogs allowed on the ski trails. Hikers and snowshoers are also asked to please stay well off to the side of the groomed tracks.

BVNSC offers memberships at a very modest price as well as welcoming day pass skiers payable at the trail head or pre-purchased on line. For more information and maps, see beavervalleynordicskiclub.ca.

For a more wilderness experience the Kolapore Wilderness Trails offer a 50km network of rugged backcountry wilderness ski trails in the Kolapore Uplands, travelling across the top of Metcalfe Rock and through the Duncan Nature Reserve, crossing and for short sections joining parts of the main Bruce Trail as well as the Chuck Grant Side Trail.

These un-groomed trails are more suitable for intermediate and advanced skiers. In winter, the Kolapore trails are for cross country skiing only - please no walking, snowshoeing, biking or dogs.

The main access is from the Grey Road 2 parking lot 6 km south of Ravenna, however a map is a MUST, as this is an extensive network of trails. Maps are available for purchase at the Ravenna General Store as well as online. Like the Bruce Trail, there is no charge for use of the trails, but donations or memberships are appreciated. For more information, map availability and parking info see kolaporetrails.org. Please note the south end of the trail system through the County Forest is temporarily closed for logging.

Winter Hiking on the Bruce Trail

A group of hikers snowshoe along a snowy forest trail in the Beaver Valley
Photo credit: Lilla Fodor, 2019.

The Bruce Trail does not maintain trails over the winter, yet more and more hikers are using the Trail over the winter months. Some tips and precautions when heading out for a hike during the winter:

Trailheads
In rural areas, GPS directions may continue to direct motorists onto roads that are closed over the winter. Watch for signs indicating an unmaintained road and avoid roads too narrow for two lanes of traffic.

Parking safely along roadsides becomes trickier during the winter. Snowbanks reduce shoulders and obscure ditches. Take care not to impede traffic when parking on roadsides. Large farm vehicles (and snowplows!) use these roads. Do not block entrances to private properties. If using one of the BTC parking lots, do not exceed maximum capacity or block other parked vehicles. Plan for an alternate hike if a chosen location is busy.

Hiking Conditions
Check the weather forecast before heading out. Choose shorter walks as daylight hours are reduced and snow makes navigation more difficult since white blazes and snow covered footpaths don’t stand out as much. Blazes and trail signage can be covered by snow and trail and blazes get lower on the trees with each additional snowfall. Hikers can encounter everything from deep drifts to icy slopes. Depending on the amount of snow, snowshoes or icers/crampons will make hiking easier and lessen the risk of injury. Hiking poles are handy in all seasons.

Personal Comfort
Dress in layers and pace yourself to avoid overheating. Pack an extra set of gloves into a pocket. Don't forget sunglasses on those bright winter days. Hydration is still important in cold weather. A hot beverage or juice crystals added to cold water can make stopping for a drink more appealing. Exercising in cold weather burns more calories; pack a snack to help keep warm and energized.

For more information see Winter Hiking Safety Tips.

BTC Seeking Art for 2023 Calendar

2022 Bruce Trail Conservancy Calendar Cover

Help the Bruce Trail Conservancy show off the beauty of the Bruce Trail and Niagara Escarpment and raise funds to support our mission through our 2023 Bruce Trail Conservancy Calendar!

The BTC is asking artists to provide colourful images of the Niagara Escarpment and Bruce Trail - showcasing its natural beauty, heritage and the people who hike it - for submission in the 2023 Bruce Trail Conservancy Calendar. Original artwork is preferred - no prints, photocopies or photographs, please.

Deadline: Friday, March 18, 2022. See the Bruce Trail Conservancy for more details on Submissions for Calendar Art.