Storyteller Scroll | Away from the fast paced city

  • Published on Sep 29 2010 |
  • This article is tagged as: storyteller

Our storyteller Clara McWalters writes about her experience hiking in The Greenbelt with CPAWS.


Though it was a dreary Sunday morning, that didn’t stop us.  Thankfully the raindrops stayed in the clouds long enough so we could take our hike through the conservation area. Led by John McDonnell, our group of gushing Girl Guides, experienced explorers, and nature novices set out on the Beaver Trail, located in the Stony Swamp Conservation Area of the NCC Greenbelt.

As we began walking, it was obvious that autumn had arrived.  The paths were carpeted with fallen leaves and all around were the changing colours of the trees.  With mostly dull yellows and browns littering the forest ground, the vibrant reds and oranges of the maples popped.

Our trek brought us across a couple of boardwalks.  The Girl Guides scampered to look out over the pond, while leaning against the railings.  We saw a beaver hut (but no beaver!) at the first spot. Chick-a-dees began to follow us as we continued on.  At the next boardwalk, there were tens of ducks swimming around in circles.  Every so often one would head under the water to eat some seaweed, sending ripples across the marsh.

We ventured further, but stopped when we reached a fork in the path.  To the right, we could take a 275 km trail to Kingston.  To the left, we could take a 900 m trail to the Lime Kiln.  We chose the kiln. In the middle of the forest were these 19th century ruins, made of grey brick.  Temperatures in excess of 900’C were reached in the middle of this lofty structure when it was used so many years ago to make lime.  Now it sits and patiently waits for passers-by.

As the path wound around the park, we found ourselves hiking in various different types of nature.  Over snaking roots, through colourful meadows, and with towering trees at either side, we neared the end of our two and a half hour hike.

We even tromped through some mud, or “muck mania” as one Girl Guide exclaimed.

While the paths were wet and the air was damp, it was a great peaceful hike with many amazing things to see.  And, I must say, it was a little sad to returning to the car and heading back to the fast-paced city.