Mill Creek Ravine Hike

Six people came out on a beautiful sunny day. There was a bitter wind, but we were mostly in the trees and the ravine so it passed overhead most of the time.

We had about 5 cm of snow the previous day, so we were concerned about walking through that. As you know, the more fresh snow, the more energy it takes to walk.

But we were fortunate. There must be a lot of early-rising dog walkers that use the ravine, because a good part of the trail had already been compacted to form a single track. This was particularly true along the creek west of 50th Street. We had to break trail in only a few places, none too long.

This was our second hike in a row where we spotted pileated woodpeckers.

Our hike started at the corner of 34th Avenue and 34th Street. The 9 km hike took just under an hour and a half each way. We had a nice warm lunch in the Jackie Parker shelter. No one else was at the shelter. And on the trail, it was mostly just us and the dog walkers.

Thanks to everyone who came out. You can see all the photos on Flickr.

Where we’re going next.

North Miquelon from Spilstead Road

Eleven hikers came out to hike the North Miquelon trail starting at Spilstead Road. Under overcast skies, the wind was a bit stiff for a good part of the hike. Scattered showers were predicted but none came. On the way back, the sky started to clear. Areas where in the past, we needed to step carefully over mud puddles or water, were dry.

When we scouted the hike earlier in the week, we ran into the landowner Mr. Curry as he was working in the hay field (Curry Pasture). He mentioned his concern for the hay crop. Last year it went yellow from lack of moisture. He was very relieved when it came up green this spring.

In 1906, his grandfather homesteaded the land, and in the 1960s the family cleared the bush from the pasture. He said our trail used to come out at a different part. We told him that we had re-routed it when the Sanctuary Estates was built. A strong supporter of our trail, he said the only thing was that he doesn’t go into the bush on windy days. A wise man!

On this day we ran into four people on the trail, two of whom live in Sanctuary Estates. They told us about sled trails through the park. For instance, if you go straight on the broad road at the Spilstead Gate, you’ll head south in a big loop and come back east on the north side of Larry Lake. You’ll come out just on the rise in the trail near the spot where we saw the deer skeleton last year. This is where you’ll have a great view of Larry Lake. The trail is about 6 km.

On the nature side, we heard the drumming of ruffed grouse several times. There were lots of squirrels, ducks and geese. There was one flower—a coltsfoot.

Thanks to everyone for coming out to the hike, to the landowners for their continuing support, and to trail maintenance for clearing the trail. You can see all the photos on Flickr.

See where we are going next.