#brucetrailend2end

Bruce Trail Supplement – Decew Falls and Morningstar Mill

Bruce Trail Supplement – Decew Falls and Morningstar Mill

Bruce Trail: Decew Falls

Bruce Trail – Supplement – Decew Falls and Morningstar Mill

Got up to some new snow this morning so thought we’d go for a drive and maybe a short hike to catch some nice photos of the trees all white and all.  We are old so it took us a while.  I had to eat breakfast and all.  

We drove around a bit and ended up at Decew Falls; we had been there before and it is quite photogenic so we thought, with the snow it would be quite nice.  A fair bit of the snow had melted off the trees but it was still quite lovely.  

We were just beginning to walk about taking photos when one of the volunteers came out of the big house there and asked if we’d like to look inside some of the buildings.  We had never been in them, although we had been through there a few times, so said we’d love to.  

The place dates back to 1895. There is a sign that is now inside the building, you can see the photo below, that was up on the outside for 100 years.  As you can see from the photo below, the shot of the sign inside, it is still in pretty good shape.  Terry, the fellow that was showing us about, said the replacement sign they put up lasted about 20 years.  There is another one up there on the outside now.

It is called the Mountain Mill or Morningstar Mill (or both).  The original grist mill, still working, was built in 1872.  

Terry, our guide, was full of an amazing amount of information.  Can’t remember half of it but he also loaded us down with pamphlets so that it wasn’t completely necessary for me to remember every detail.  There is a photo below of the mill/grinder thingy where they actually make flour.  Apparently, you can’t buy it, they have to give it to you if you want, you can donate.  The mill is turned by the water from the river.  

(Rant: Amazing the bureaucratic complexities of any government at any level.  Terry tells us that it take ages to get money, if they get it at all and they are way down the list.  And here with the flour, they could actually make money to pay for some of the restorations and thus not have to wait for various approvals.  But no, the bureaucrats need a ‘raison d’etre’!)

Next door, at the back of the building they rebuilt the Mill part with old barn boards and beams.  Built last time in 1995 I believe.  They have the original cranks and shafts of the mill there as well.  Some cool views of the falls from the windows inside.  And one photo, if you cannot figure out what it is, looking straight down to where the water turns the wheel thingy for the mill.

The house, originally lived in by the Morningstar Family has been restored a couple of times.  All of the work is now done by caring volunteers.  

Lots more information about Decew Falls and Morningstar Mill and Family here:  http://morningstarmill.ca

This spot is on the Bruce Trail.  If you make it the beginning or end of one of your hikes, try and time it when they are open for tourists.  Depending on how many kilometres that you do each hike, this will be anywhere from your fourth to sixth segment.  

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Bruce Trail End2End – Hike #2

Bruce Trail End2End – Hike #2

Hike #2 Bruce Trail
(End2End)

Marty’s Road Trip

Yvonne and I did our second hike of the Bruce Trail Friday the 11th of January 2019. Was a bit shorter than the first – was approximately 6 km. I say this in inexact figures as although I had two electronic ways to track our hike I kinda messed up both.

First my iPhone. I like the phone but it doesn’t like the cold. It died about 2/3s of the way through the hike. It was a pretty chilly day and I kept in an outside jacket pocket. I was using the Bruce Trail App on it so it caught the first part of the hike and because I thought I was tracking it also on my Garmin watch (hiking app), I wasn’t too worried. But then after a few hundred meters I checked the watch and realized, new app, and I forgot to hit ‘start’. So, the hike is mapped in parts as you will see below.

A point here on the iPhone. From my research, they generally don’t like the cold. If you are hiking with it, keep it close to your body and as a back up keep an external charger, if you don’t want to lose part of the data from your hike.

This hike, as I mentioned was about 6 km or so. It was cold, about minus 5 C so the trail wasn’t muddy. We have very good winter boots, coming from Calgary where hiking in -15C to -20C wasn’t that uncommon for us. It’s the wind that kills us. When it comes off Lake Ontario and hits you on that exposed part of the escarpment, it is harsh. It was a very nice sunny day and fortunately it wasn’t windy at all. Which made the hike quite pleasant.

We started on the east side of Fireman’s Park at the bottom of Dorchester Rd. There is parking at the very end and a secondary trail that starts there. The main trail starts up near the rail tracks. There are two concrete barriers there. We parked there but likely shouldn’t have although there aren’t any ‘No Parking’ signs.

Most of the first part of the trail is low and in the woods so is protected from the wind, if you are there in winter. The trail is always quite well marked. We did go on a secondary loop along the QEW for a couple of hundred metres coming up to the walking bridge by the railway. Didn’t matter that much. The bridge is where my phone died. I was taking a few pictures and kaput! A couple of hundred meters beyond that is the Howling Bridge. You have to walk under that. It was mostly filled with water/ice. There was an edge of gravel on one sight. Not much choice but to go through there, so make sure that you have waterproof footwear.

Once you are out of the tunnel you have a bit of a walk along the road. Don’t worry, there is a sign telling you where to turn right. You are going through someone’s property – be respectful. And it is quite a pretty property. Then back in the woods of Woodend Conversation Area.

If you are parking your other car at this end, you have a choice. You can park at the entrance to the park, near Taylor Road or go all the way into the park and park near the education centre/outdoor school. There is a parking lot there. It is a little bit of a walk from where you come out of the woods but not that far.

You can also cross the road when the sign is there and follow the trail through the woods. We had done that part of the trail 2-3 times so didn’t bother this time. That section is a nice hike as it looks over Lake Ontario. Can be windy but great views, particularly in the winter when fewer leaves on the trees.

Enjoy!

Posted by faffyrd007 in Blog, 0 comments