Running the Bruce Trail End to End: Sydenham Section

I’ve now completed 8 sections of the Bruce Trail (there are 9)!

What’s the Bruce Trail? According to the Bruce Trail Conservancy website, the Bruce Trail is “Canada’s oldest and longest marked footpath. Running along the Niagara Escarpment in southern Ontario from Niagara to Tobermory, the Bruce Trail spans more than 890 km of main Trail and over 400 km of associated side trails.”

SYDENHAM SECTION

Started the Sydenham section: October 31, 2020

Finished the Sydenham section: June 17, 2022

Run details

October 31, 2020 – Webwood Falls Nature Reserve to Walter’s Falls side trail – 24k (with Kris)

November 14, 2020 – Walter’s Falls side trail to Woodford – 29k (with Kris)

November 26, 2020 – Woodford to Sideroad 22 at Concession 8 – 30k (with Kris)

May 13, 2022 – Sideroad 22 at Concession 8 to Young’s Drive – 29k (with Kris)

May 27, 2022 – Young’s Drive to Lundy Road – 30k (with Kris)

June 17, 2022 – Lundy Road to Bluewater Park – 39k (with Kris)

Run stats

  • # runs: 6
  • # solo runs: 0
  • # runs with my husband Alasdair: 0
  • # runs with friends: 5 (Kris!)
  • shortest run: 24k
  • longest run: 39k
  • average length of run: 30.2k

Run highlights

Best unexpected waterfall: We loved discovering these hidden gems, which we almost always had completely to ourselves!

Another pretty waterfall

Prettiest flowers: Spring on the trail meant bright colours everywhere.

Luckiest re-route: Because of a logging closure of the main trail we had to run along a side trail through the Bognor Marsh, which meant we saw things we wouldn’t otherwise have seen, including a hand-dug well, remains of an 1860’s homestead, and a nearby 1970 plane wreck (sadly 4 people lost their lives).

Best natural cooling device: While running through the forest on a hot May day, we came upon high rock walls with a narrow channel through it, complete with ice on the ground! The cool air felt amazing.

Rock walls

Most unexpected re-route: One day while running a 30k route we came upon a gaping hole in the road (that the trail ran along), and a work crew fixing the hole. We had to run through a farmer’s field at the edge of the road to get through. This closure was not posted on the Bruce Trail website.

Yikes!

Longest grass: Through the Wiarton airport!

Running through grassy field

Highest creek crossing: we did a double-take – are we really crossing here?

Creek crossing

Most photogenic wildlife: an adorable frog! We saw lots of wildlife in this section, including 2 Sandhill Cranes, Snapping Turtles, frogs, slugs, Garter Snakes, Eastern Kingbirds, Yellow Warblers, a Great Blue Heron, Chickadees, woodpeckers, grouse and a Bobolink (a first for me). We heard so many Eastern Wood-Pewees that I started talking about “our friend” who was covering the trail with us!

One adorable frog

Most turtles in one day: We saw 3 Snapping Turtles on our 39k run, 2 within the first 200m of the run, and one in a puddle on a flooded gravel road.

Biggest waterfall: Inglis Falls in Owen Sound.

Inglis Falls in Owen Sound

Most welcome puddles ever: On another hot day, I loved these unavoidable puddles, which cooled our feet (and us overall) as we passed through them! This is also where we unexpectedly ran into a friend’s father (one of only a few people I know living on the Bruce Peninsula!).

First end of run swim: After covering 39k of the trail one day and looking forward to cooling off in Colpoy’s Bay (Georgian Bay) at Bluewater Park all run long, I was determined to swim no matter what, but the water was SO COLD it was painful! I did “swim” (read: I soaked my entire body in shallow water), apparently making other people looking on cold in the process!

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2 thoughts on “Running the Bruce Trail End to End: Sydenham Section

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