Thursday, November 15

Track and Tower Trail

It was a beautiful November day -- mild temperature, sunny breaks, and my birthday to boot! -- so we headed over to Algonquin Park for an afternoon hike. I got to choose the trail and since I've never done the Track and Tower Trail, and because I wanted to make good use of a particularly fine day, that was the one I chose.

It's a 7.5 km trail including the side loop over to the lookout point. It's definitely worth the extra couple of clicks to get that view! We did it in just under 3 hours with brief stops for snacks and photos. The Algonquin Park trail guide recommends allowing 4 hours for the hike and that's about right for a leisurely pace. It's also wise to err on the side of caution when planning a hike at this time of year. The days are short and there are fewer people on the trails so it's important to start a trail only if you know you can finish well before the sun goes down.

The trail followed Cache Lake to start.
Rivers, rapids, and bridges make for interesting sights and sounds along the way.
A few sections of the trail use boardwalks to protect the land and/or our feet.
A lovely little waterfall cascade. We could hear this one well before we could see it.
Over 130 steps up to the lookout and back down again.
The view from the top! Totally worth the stairs!
Part of the trail follows an old train track. It ends rather abruptly where a bridge used to span a river.
And it picks up on the other side where it left off.
The old track sections make for some easy, level walking.
Even though the ambient temp was 15°C, these frozen little waterfalls stayed cold against the rock face. 
Cool curtain of ice!
Old footings, remnants of a train trestle.
A river runs through it.
Hike complete! Either I'm doing a happy dance or I'm trying to get untangled from the leash. Either way, what a great day!

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