Day 28: Owen Sound - Fossil Glen, 716 km completed

There were two distinctly fun parts today. The rest was just rain and pigs.

This morning we managed to pack a few days worth of beauty, excitement and discovery into a 5 km section through Inglis Falls Conservation Area to Inglis Falls.

Trail Angels Wendy and Jeff were with us and we told them they were in for a treat as the book described the trail in this part as an area of extreme beauty. We started in the canyon area of the Palisades. The cliffs towered over us from either side. Palisades are steel or wooden defensive walls and it really did feel like we had entered a fortress.

Jeff was on the hunt for walking fern. We didn’t actually expect to see it but then he cautiously exclaimed, “I think that’s it, let me check”. He took two steps, got a better look and was off into a run. It was walking fern! This is a rare Ontario species of fern and we had found it. I’ve never been so happy about a fern.

We knew we were off to a good start but it just kept getting better. The trail follows the Sydenham River where in the spring and fall you can see trout and salmon during their spawning seasons. And there they were! Six or so large salmon on their way upstream. We even saw a couple jump over lips in the river.

Up next: hart’s tongue fern. And I spotted it! Now in all fairness it was right next to a infographic displaying its exact likeness. But I spotted it and we all rejoiced again about another fern.

Finally we got a great look at the falls and said goodbye to Wendy and Jeff.

There’s a pretty big chunk in the middle of the day where not a lot happened. We walked, it rained and we saw some pigs. I think they were pets.

Then the second section of excitement. Just before the last section of the day we happened upon some raspberry bushes that were more than just rasp. There were fresh, delicious red raspberries!

Entering the Glen Management Area we saw signs that indicated we might get a glimpse of more of the rare ferns and some fossilized coral. We found the coral right away and then we became botany experts, spotting hart’s tongue and walking fern left, right and centre. But not actually because any botany expert would tell you that walking fern enjoys the north side of big mossy boulders.

A couple more kilometres and a few more scenic lookouts and we made it to our overnight rest area.

Friday Facts
We have exceeded our fundraising goal! It’s so amazing to see the support we’ve gotten and to know it’s going to some great organizations.

With Chris’ work matching $5,000 of the proceeds this means we have raised more than 10 grand! At least a $1,000 will be going to the Bruce Trail so they can continue protecting the trail we have so enjoyed. And at least $9,000 will be going to Trails Youth Initiatives.

Our Friday fact is that Trails estimates it costs $8,000 to put one student through one year of the program. The funds are all privately donated and we are so thrilled we have exceeded that number! It’s a small drop in the bucket but it’s something good.

Happy Trails,
Natalie