Part 6: Cave Springs to Park Road
Date: Wednesday 23 May 2018
Start: North end of Campden Road, Cave Springs Conservation Area
End: Park Road South, Grimsby
Distance covered: 12.8 km
Total distance covered: 75.5 km
64. Spring in Cave Springs Conservation Area. Mike contemplates the green world below the rim of the Escarpment. This part of the Trail is exceptionally beautiful at this time of year.
65. The Trail runs along the very edge of the Escarpment for a spell. And through a gap in the leafage, we can see what looks like the white of a Cyclopean eye on the horizon. It’s actually the roof of the Rogers Centre (formerly the SkyDome), the Blue Jays’ baseball stadium in downtown Toronto. Look carefully and you can make out the CN Tower and adjacent skyscrapers. It’s more than 100 km from here to Toronto by road, but only about 60 km as the crow flies across the narrow western end of Lake Ontario.
66. Here we briefly share the Trail with Apheloria virginiensis, a black and gold flat millipede. We didn’t know at the time that this slow-moving creature is slightly poisonous. Apparently it secretes a cyanide compound, that smells pleasantly of marzipan, when defending itself.
67. Dolostone layers pitted by erosion are visible in this spectacular boulder looming over the Trail.
68. Forget-me-nots are starting to carpet the forest floor. Their scientific name is Myosotis, meaning “mouse ear,” a good description of each of their five small petals. “Forget-me-not” is a literal translation of Vergissmeinnicht, the German word for the flower. According to a German legend, God, when naming his creation, failed to notice the humble bloom, which cried out, “Forget me not, O Lord!” … and thus received its name. The forget-me-not was originally a European import to North America, but has been enthusiastically adopted over here. For example, it has been the state flower of Alaska for over a century … rather longer than Alaska has been a state!
69. For a while the Trail follows public roads through the Beamsville Bench. This area is winery central for this part of the Niagara peninsula. There are seven wineries within a short walking distance of here.
70. This beautiful house on Locust Lane, Beamsville seems to have been part of the now closed Mike Weir Estate Winery. This 50-acre winery, named for Canada’s most famous golfer, was on sale last October for $10,900,000.
71. Whatever the fate of individual wineries, the vines must be tended. This gentleman is mowing the grass and dandelions between the rows of vines.
72. On Mountainview Road, we chat for a while with a gentleman standing in his driveway. He warns us about Mountainview Conservation Area: “It’s pretty rough going up there.” And indeed it is … wild, rocky, and beautiful. The Trail itself is almost hidden by the undergrowth, but if you look carefully you can spot the next blaze, indicating a left turn, on a tree at centre.
73. A rich array of wild mushrooms growing on a mossy log in Mountainview C.A.
74. An orchard in full blossom on Ridge Road.
75. By a small waterfall on Thirty Mile Creek, there are plaques recognising local people who have donated land or money to the Bruce Trail. And there’s also a wooden box provided by the Niagara Club of the Bruce Trail Conservancy containing a log book to which passing hikers are invited to contribute by appending their names and comments. The Trail is a communal effort in which many individuals pull in the same direction to achieve something that is much more than the sum of its parts. We are grateful to all Trail donors and feel honoured to play a small part in this enterprise.