Torrance Barrens Hike – Spring Sensory Overload

Have you ever been to Torrance Barrens Dark Sky Reserve in Torrance?

I headed there on Saturday to check out the trails and go for a short hike.

I had been there in the fall with some friends, and another time in the summer,  and really enjoyed the area.

I stopped to take a photo of rose petals strewn out over some rocks near a campsite.  I hoped it was a good experience someone had here and not a bad one.  The petals on the rocks were quite a contrast and I did my best to capture it with a photo.

Even though it was a bit dark and gloomy today, it still was a beautiful spring day that needed to be taken advantage of.

I was prepared for rain, but so far, it didn’t fall.  What I was sad to see, were the bugs swarming all around me.

Over the last month, we had received a record breaking amount of rain, and now, that the weather was warming up, there were LOTS of bugs being born. I had a good coating of deep woods off on my clothing and they weren’t actually biting me, just bugging me.

I stopped here for a bit to drink some water with my new Sagan Xstream Straw which I have used a few times now.  Pretty cool little filter indeed!

I packed it away and continued on my adventure!

Spring is actually very drastic on the senses, the difference in sight and sound between winter hiking and spring are blatant and obvious.  In winter everything is so quiet, there isn’t a sound, everything is white and not many other colours exist. In spring, it is the complete opposite. The bugs are buzzing, the birds are all calling, cawing, even rustling in the leaves, squirrels and chipmunks are running about.  The colours are so vibrant, the green is neon in some places and 10 different shades in others. The flowers are popping up in yellow, red, purple, orange and many other colours and shades with their beautiful uniqueness.  It really is a huge shock to the system, but in a very good way!

When I got to the bridge, I stopped to check out the plaque.  I  loved seeing these type of plaques along my hikes that share information and teach people about local reptiles, flora, fauna and other interesting items in the area.

After  checking it out and feeding my brain, I  continued on my way.

I love the cool bridge that is located here,  and even though it’s missing a few boards, and I should be a bit scared of it, I still love it.  It goes up and down and sideways in some places and it looks like something out of a Tim Burton movie!  It is one of those things you can photograph but you really need to experience it in person.

It was pretty apparent why there were so many bugs here due to the large amount of standing water throughout the park.  Thankfully, they had just started coming out and it was windy today in most of the areas so they weren’t too overwhelming yet, just a bit pesky and another sense being brought to life that had been dormant all winter.

I’ve been to this park now three times and each time I’ve done the same trail.  The reason being is I’ve not ever seen another trail option.  Today, I went down a trail that heads off to the left from where the sign is that has the map on it. (Also, the only map I can recall ever seeing for this park.)  I saw some trail markers in that direction and decided to see if I could find the outer loop, the Pine Ridge Loop Trail.

I checked my GPS a few times and my compass to the map I’d taken a photo of.   I seemed to be going the right way if I were on the outer loop, so I continued.

There were trail markers in the form of ATV tracks and every once and a while I would see an arrow or a sign that could be interpreted as a trail marker, but nothing similar to the ones on the previous trail.

It was very pretty though, even though many areas were very very wet and some were flooded, adding to the cool sounds of spring.  As long as I saw the tire tracks, I knew I wasn’t really lost and could get back to where I’d started fairly easily, so I continued on doing what I loved best, exploring!

According to my gps the lake in front of me was Pine Lake and according to the map the trail was not looking like the one I thought it was.  I kind of had a feeling I knew where I was though and what had happened, but I was still miffed I hadn’t found the whole loop I’d wanted to do from start to finish.  It was still nice to explore a new area of the park, but I was determined to come back again and find  that other trail from start to finish.

I sat at Pine Lake and had a snack.  The bugs were buzzing around my head and since I had not been able to find my beige bug buff that morning before leaving, I put my bug net over my hair and ears to keep them from annoying me and wore it kind of as a hat.  So sexy!   It did exactly what I wanted it to and the ear buzzing had stopped. AHHHH.

After some pondering, I decided that it was time to start heading back.  I had hiked quite a while to get to where I was and with homework waiting and a dark sky coming in, I knew it was time to return.

I crossed this cute little stream and continued on my way.

Regardless of the gloomy sky, everything still looked incredibly beautiful. The colours still popped and the sounds continued on throughout my hike and it reinforced to me over and over that it was spring and everything was coming to life once again and beginning anew.  It is a great time of year and even though my senses were on overload, it was a welcome sign of  warmer weather and lots of new adventures to come!

The rain finally came as I finished the last 15 minutes of my hike. It was fresh and brought out the smell of the forest, adding a few more items to my already overloaded senses.  Spring really is here and it is spectacular and most of my senses were touched today in several ways. Being outdoors is not only something you do, but also something you see, hear, smell and feel.  Something to think about on your next adventure.

Hope you enjoyed our visit to Torrance Barrens Dark Sky Preserve and Trails.  If you have any questions or comments or just would like to say hey, please send a message.

To see the video on this adventure, click here. 

Happy Hiking!

Camper Christina

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