It’s a really pleasant surprise when you find paradise, especially when you’re not looking for it! That’s exactly what happened to me that lovely Saturday afternoon.


I was looking for Borer Falls and had driven around the area for a while and couldn’t find it.  Suddenly I saw a sign and what looked like a trailhead to my left!!! Yay! About time, I said.

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I parked, got my backpack, walked across the busy street and checked out the signs. I had somehow found Cootes Paradise and was both surprised and not.  Borer Falls, should’ve been on my right and this trail was on the left, but I was so disoriented I just thought it still was Borer Falls. lol

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  Somewhere, during my research earlier, I had wanted to go hike some trails at Cootes Paradise, but I wasn’t able to find much information on it and decided I’d save it for another time. But here it was and I was already out of my car with my backpack on. Might as well do it, right?

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The trail started on the Bruce Trail Side Trail and the the Royal Botanical Gardens Trails, also known as Cootes Paradise, seemed to branch off of the Bruce Sidetrail.

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The first trail I came across was Hopkins Loop. It was just a small 1.3 km loop. As I was walking along though, I found what I’m assuming is a geocache. It was just laying out in the open, but still kind of cool.  I checked it out, of course, and then continued on my way.

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My feet were getting a bit sore, I began to notice, and I was getting a little tired.  In addition, I had a torn meniscus and torn ligament in my right knee and was not wearing my hiking boots and was not walking the best at this point either.

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I had been hiking since 830am and it was now about 430pm. This was the last weekend I would be hiking for 6-8 weeks, so I was squeezing in as much as I possibly could.

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Earlier in the day I hiked at Mount Nemo ,then hiked on the Bruce Trail from Kerncliff Park to Great Falls…  that’s when my hiking boots gave out so I had to change to these sketcher type fur lined sneakers I happened to have in my car…hence, why my feet were starting to hurt. 

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I hiked the trails at Kerncliff Park and I was going to call it a day, but the sun was still up and I had a wee bit of energy left, so, I started on my mission to find Borer Falls, and now I was here at Cootes Paradise!  Simple simple!! LOL! 

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After Hopkins Loop I took the Bruce Trail Sidetrail to the next RBG trail called Bulls Point Trail.  In the pictures above, I am at the George North Lookout, noted on the map as GNL.

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From the GNL, I headed to Captain Cootes Trail which runs along Cootes Paradise Marsh.

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From there I would take Grey Doe Trail.

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I finally got a picture of my buddy chippy who’d been following me for hours!!! (I’m assuming it wasn’t the same one, but I think it’s fun to think it is!) lol

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I found quite a bit of fabulous fungi!  It looked especially great in the fall.

Time to play in the leaves!


I continued on along Captain Cootes Trail and past Grey Doe so I could get some pretty water pics.


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I had finally found a place that I remembered and was happy I’d gone a bit further down the trail. Now it was time to head down Grey Doe Trail and eventually return back to my vehicle.

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In May of this year, I brought my mom to the Royal Botanical Gardens for mothers day. We went hiking on some of the trails here and I finally had made it to an area that I remembered from that day.

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Today, I had started on the opposite side of the property, so I was happy to have made it to a somewhat familiar place before having to turn back and head in another direction.

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Grey Doe Trail halfway through, turned into Homestead Trail and that would lead me back to the Bruce Trail Side Trail, or, as I’d just noticed on the map, was also called the Pinetum trail.

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This trail was different than the others because it went down for about half of it, assuming the Grey Doe portion and then you came to a bridge that didn’t go over anything, although it looked as though in wetter months, a small creek ran under it, and then you went back up, assuming the Homestead portion of the trail.

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Then you come to an opening and you are back on Pinetum Trail, also known as the Bruce Trail side trail.

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About fifteen minutes later, I arrived back at my car, feeling totally elated after all the hiking I’d done today!


I also felt exhausted and was anxious to get home, have a delicious stick to your ribs type meal and a very long very hot bath. As I turned around to drive back down the street I’d come up, looking for Borer Falls, I finally found it! It was only about a block down the street on the opposite side of the road. The parking lot was set in from the street and not quite as visible coming from the direction I had come from earlier.  I momentarily contemplated going to take a peek, then smacked some sense into my head and continued on my way!

I drove back home on the highway with the sunset in my rearview mirror. Ironically, I’d driven in the opposite direction this morning with the sunrise in my rearview mirror.  I definitely packed a lot of hiking into today, but when I was sitting home, sad because I wouldn’t be able to go outside and play, I’d be content with what I’d done today! And that’s what mattered to me the most. That feeling of content exhaustion was such a grand one and I treasured it!

I really hope you enjoyed my post and it inspires you to get outside and do some hiking of your own. If, for some reason, you aren’t able to make it out there, you are always welcome to join me for another virtual outing for your dose of relaxing stressfree nature!

I’m heading north soon to do some camping, so lots more great blog posts on the way, including a few more from fall!

If you have any comments, questions or criticisms, please sent me a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as I’m able to!

Happy Hiking!

Camper Christina

Check out this !!! Just announced on December 15th, 2015, nearly 100 acres of land situated in the Greenbelt in Hamilton have been safeguarded from development forever!!!! Amazing news!!!!!  Congratulations to everyone involved and from a hikers perspective… YAY!!!!!!!!!!  I’m elated!  Best news ever!