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HIKER MIKE
KIDS'n' GRANDMA HIKES

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A Beginner Hike to Backpacker’s Bench

Dave Bradstreet and I were out snooping around a little-known section of the Bruce Trail last weekend. We had found the trail at the corner of the Coolihan Sideroad and Glen Haffy Road up where Hiway 50 meets Hiway 9. Lots of cars parked around the trailhead although we passed only 2 runners on our way to a most spectacular high ground vista in the Caledon Hills.

About 30 minutes from our car we climbed up out of a dark green cedar river valley onto a high deciduous plain. But the trail just kept heading up to a grassy crest, on top of which sat a wide and low wooden backpacker’s bench looking out over what I can truly say is one of the most majestic panoramas of the Caledon and Albion Hills you’ll see anywhere.

Although the wind was screaming furiously all around us, we were sheltered on the bench by great fat old growth maple and pine. Once we were rested, we found the bench difficult to leave. The wind was pure and cool and clean while the vista to the north and east formed a great green coniferous carpet rolling out toward the misty horizon. Reminded me strongly of The Great Smokey Mountains of North Carolina where I walked as a boy. I am recommending this as a good beginner hike - 1 hour to the bench and back to your car.

Directions: Hiway 50 north to Hiway 9 west to Glen Haffy Road south to Coolihans Sideroad, or head up Airport Road, and right on Coolihans. Park your car and hike the half hour along Mother Nature’s most beautiful Bruce, up to Backpacker’s Bench.


For further information about some exotic locations such as the Florida Everglades, Algonquin Park, the Temagami Old Growth Forest, The Gatineau, Basecamp Everest in Nepal - to name a few, eMail HIKER MIKE and he will send you a custom hike for your destination. See his book from Boston Mills Press for more hikes.


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