It was a bit more strenuous then a walk around the block, in fact it was the most intense walk yet.
We managed a good portion of Goldstream Provincial Park. Unlike Cathedral Grove it has some seemingly remote areas, you almost never lose the traffic noise, with narrow trails, rough slopes, lots of switch back trails and some major ups and downs.
You walk along a rocky river bed to get to Niagara Falls. It is apparently the same height as it's namesake in Ontario just narrow. There is a deep pool at the bottom and some children were swimming when we went by.
Next up a rather steep slope to get on the path to the next point of interest. We talked a lot during that segment as a bear had been reported and we were told to make sure we didn't surprise it. Oh joy.
The train trestle bridge, and yes I hiked to the top. We met some young hikers on the trail and asked directions to the gold mine cave. They were a little confused but thought there was a connection trail partway back. They were going to see if they could spot it and promised to leave us a nice arrow. They seemed rather impressed that we were pressing on.
Could the gray hair, the sweat running down my face, my soaking wet shirt and shortness of breath have given them the impression I was labouring? *grin*
The trail got narrower, the trees, ferns and brush almost touching as we walked by. With a little bit of hunting we did find the cave entrance. The Park Ranger-ette ( as P. dubbed her) had told us that it was inhabited by cave crickets but Paul reported it cold and damp and empty.
Having joked about bears and actually being spooked when I came face to face with a black dog on a blind corner of the trail, I decided this mossy stump was as close to a "bear" as I wanted to get.
This is my trusty walking stick Cervantes. I felt like I was on a quest ... survive to the finish .. and somehow Sancho just didn't have the same noble sound, so we mixed the story with the author. I had picked it up at the Niagara river bed and it was a perfect fit for my hand, a good base for digging in on the downhills and just the perfect length for when I needed to lean and catch my breath.
A light rain started to fall just as we got back to the car. Perfect timing.
Goldstream is certainly a place I would recommend to anyone who likes a challenge when walking and who likes to stop and gawk at the greenery.