April 17th, 2016: KM 422.8 - 438.3

(Blue Mountains 45.9 - 61.4)

The Smith brothers have been slacking. It was almost 1 year ago to the day since our last hike! Anthony and Jamie snuck one in earlier this year. Need to get out more often this year!

Anyway, kicked off the Spring of 2016 with an unprecedented 5-man + 2-dog hike! The weather was absolutely great for it.

Eily was feeling cuddly during the drive up

A bit of a mixup with the meeting spot for the other guys, but Anthony & Jamie made the most of the waiting time with a pre-hike beer.

Got started around 3:30pm, with an uphill / downhill "warm-up" into the Pretty River Valley Provincial Park.

The downhill side was shady, and we hit our first of a few snowy/icy sections. Was pretty slippery at parts, making things pretty slow going (although, we blamed the slowness on Luis). 

The valley part of the hike along the river was really beautiful. The dogs absolutely loved it! 

The trail continued uphill and ended at some pretty nice views from the top.

Panoramas courtesy of Anthony: 

Stopped here for a short bite to eat, and Anthony had a little water bottle retrieval adventure. Eily "helped" him.

Coming out of Pretty River, the trail ran along some pretty muddy access roads.

The trail then cut back in to run along the edge of farmers fields. The dogs were enjoying the small pockets of snow. 

We made our way into Petun Conservation Area, and found that we were really close to the highest point of the Bruce Trail.

We crossed a small dirt road and found the real snow. Had some sketchy climbing in this part.

Popped back out onto New Mountain Road for about 1km. Was still feeling really warm, despite being about 6:30pm.

 At the spot where the trail was supposed to leave the road, we found a sign explaining that the next part of the trail was closed due to a "dangerous bridge", and that we needed to take a 5.9km detour. We decided to test our luck and take the closed trail.

Chris was the only one brave enough to take the bridge. Everyone else jumped the creek.


The rest of the hike was along and alongside of a muddy road. Came out to the end just as the sun was falling behind the trees. 

Celebratory 1st hike beer! 

 ~15.5km in a total of 4 hours. Glad we didn't push for the 20km hike as it would have been pretty dark by the time we finished! 

Finally, here's another few nice pics from Anthony's camera: