E2E hike #11: Hillsdale Rd. to Robinson Tract 2015-8-24

August 24th. 2015, E2E hike #11: West bound from RR30/Hillsdale Rd. to Robinson Tract (west end)

Several of the twelve hikers who shuttled to the start of this hike noted we were starting out in the best possible hiking weather (21 C. with a few white puffy clouds and a decent breeze from the west).

This section of the trail follows the road around Mussleman Lake where there are tight blind bends and no shoulder for mere foot traffic.

Marco accepted the challenge to be Sweep for this hike and was rewarded with a Canadian flag to be draped from his back pack to ward off cars coming from behind.

As if to demonstrate the tricky nature of this section of the trail, just before we reached the first bind bend a car that had been parked at the side of the road moved off crossing the road and was nearly hit by a car coming around the blind corner from the opposite direction. Luckily both drivers were skilled, one swerving and the other gunning the engine to narrowly avoid contact.

There is a rumour ORTA is working on a plan to re-route this section of the trail off the road to avoid the potential for accidents to hikers. 

As we passed the gates to the Ballantrae Golf and Country Club some were heard to comment that it would have been a nice touch if the hiker who lives here was to invite us in for some RR. But that hiker has a thick skin and we were left to trek further north before a suitable RR location was found.

Whilst this initial section of the trail is over unwelcome country roads it did allow us to cover the ground rapidly. An hour and a half after starting out we entered the YRF Hollidge Tract having covered 7.5km. and took our first break.

Half an hour later we were at the Eldred King Woodlot parking lot and met Joan Taylors’ group of Monday hikers who were about to finish their hike and head off for lunch.

We pressed on to the north end of the Patterson Corridor and its log/bench before resting for our lunch.

After lunch most of us could ‘feel’ the approaching end of this hike with discussions about how rapidly the E2E was approaching the end….after this hike all that remain are back to back hikes the first week in September.

Soon we reached Jessie Thomson Road. The trail over Jessie Thomson and the Robinson Tracts are similar distances (both about 2.5Km.) but Jessie Thomson has the ‘feel’ of being at least twice the distance…likely the ‘feel’ of hard road surface under the boot compared to the somewhat forgiving surface of a forest trail.

We reached the cars at the west end of the Robinson Tract at 1:35PM having covered 19.5Km. in beautiful weather.

Malcolm Hann   

E to E #11