It was a beautiful day with the sun shining bright and my thermometer at home read -1 C so I dressed a little lighter than normal for a winter day. Of course, that turned out to be a mistake. It took five minutes after leaving the car for me to realize I was under-dressed. Another five minutes went by before I could no longer feel my face and I was suffering from brain-freeze thanks to the windchill and my lack of a hat. Darrell came to the rescue, as usual, by giving me his hat which immediately warmed me up.
Once I was able to forget the cold I began to take in the beauty around me. The first trail we chose showed us an amazing view that can only be seen during the winter when the leaves are on the ground. To look across the valley and up the slope on the other side was awe-inspiring. It was one of those moments when you feel incredibly small and insignificant. My pictures can’t do justice to the view.
One problem with following this trail in the winter is that the slope becomes quite slippery. I do not have great balance at the best of times and following a trail of snow and ice doesn’t really agree with my feet. Every few steps I slipped and nearly wiped out. The trails are nicely marked but in some areas they get quite narrow with a steep drop. At these areas I inched along ever so slowly to avoid tumbling down to the forest floor.
Someone else did not have the same problem with slipping however. Jack, our Australian Shepherd, was having plenty of fun charging around and checking out the new surroundings. At one point he leaped over two large fallen trees without the slightest effort. Jack is as sure-footed as they come and I as I struggle along the trails he just runs right by.
As we began to ascend the trail I was drawn to the dominating rock face. Everywhere you look there are rock faces and rock outcrops with intricate patterns and mesmerizing designs created by Mother Nature. I decided to go off trail to closer inspect this rock face and managed to step in a natural spring, sinking into the mud and nearly losing my boot.
Even in winter there are beautiful sights and signs of life everywhere. Unlike some conservation areas and forests that seem very ‘blah’ in the winter, Silver Creek has colour everywhere and something to look at.
After stumbling my way back up the trail, and wondering if my lungs were going to explode, we continued onto a portion of the Bruce Trail that leads to an observation point. Passing through cedars and rock outcroppings was the perfect way to end our hike and we took a moment to enjoy the serenity before turning around and heading back to the car. It was a great day!
Silver Creek Conservation Area is owned by Credit Valley Conservation. It is located at Town of Halton Hills 9th Line and Falling Brook Trail (27 Sideroad). There are no user fees. We covered only a small amount of trails in the area and there are more across the road from the main entrance and further down Falling Brook Trail. The Bruce Trail runs through the conservation area and there are multiple side trails. If you are in the area take the time to go for a hike and enjoy the spectacular scenery.
Get outside and have some fun!