In the busy city of Toronto, there is an oasis of calm in the East end. Col. Danforth Park that extends to both sides of old Kingston road offers solitude from Spring through to fall after which the snow and Ice make it difficult to navigate.
Old Kingston road slopes down towards Danforth park and then raises again westward. If you were on a bike, you may be freaked out by the acceleration you experience half way down the slope. This area is a biker’s and hiker’s paradise because of its walking trails that form a network on the north with other parks and on the south it extends to the lake.
The South side of the park has a walk way that is paved in portions and runs along a stream. I think it is the highland creek. Ten minutes of walking would take you under the Kingston road overpass. Beyond that on one side you have the creek and on the other side a lot of trees and shrubs. You can see the occasional hare and a lot of different birds. Suddenly you are away from the hustle and bustle of the city and into the Solitude of this peaceful trail that traces the outline of the stream. Through the season, you can watch the bare trees sprout Green leaves and then change color as fall takes over. In the fall, the ground is carpeted with Colorful dry leaves.
You encounter hikers every once in a while. There are rest spots at various points where you may find a bench or large boulders to sit on. Healthy squirrels run around with a sense of purpose and occasionally stop to observe the passers by. They grow in size and get ready for hibernation as fall approaches.
Ruffy & Corrie love this trail and get excited be every sound that they hear and strain on the leash as they try to catch squirrels. They love the sounds of nature and all the smells along the trail. At times they would stop at a spot to sniff the place in detail as if they were reading some message.
There are parts of the Landscape where Ferns grow wild and yet other areas where shrubs bearing red and white berries abound. All the trees grow thin and tall as they compete for the sun. They spread out their thin branches and fan out the leaves to capture any sunshine that filters through the canopy overhead. On a hot summer day, this trail is cool and very comfortable for a long walk under the shade of the trees.
Next comes a power plant on the left flanked by a metal bridge that joins the walk way. On crossing the metal bridge, going west takes you to the lake shore beach while going East takes you towards Millennium park. So far, we have gone only past the bridge to the beach and back. Maybe this year we will venture further as the dogs grow older and stronger.
There are Coyotes and foxes in this trail but they come out only after twilight. Through out the walk you might encounter a couple of joggers and cyclists. Other than that it is just the sounds of nature.
This is a three part series. I hope to have the second part up next week so do check in again.