We laced up our hiking shoes today on behalf of “Loops and Lattes”. They will soon be publishing a new hiking guide for Waterloo Wellington and Guelph, which is our own backyard. One of the featured hikes is a 5 km loop around the trails at the Laurel Creek Conservation Area and our job was to make sure that the map and instructions are accurate. After a long hard winter, this project was just what we needed to get us out on the trails again.
Laurel Creek is a tributary of the Grand River which flows through the centre of the city of Waterloo. The Grand River Conservation Authority maintains a dam and reservoir and operates a campground, beach and trails in the park. The park rents canoes in the summer and cross country skis in the winter.
As we followed the simple green, blue and red trail signs, we found the occasional patch of ice along the now abandoned cross country ski trails. The skies threatened to rain, but apart from a few minutes of drizzle, we stayed dry and were able to navigate some swampy patches of trail without getting our feet wet.
A continuous shrill shrieking noise as we passed through the swamp indicated a healthy population of lovesick spring peepers eager to get an early start on the mating season. We could hear some songbirds in the trees and saw a solitary vulture high above us patrolling the urban skies of Waterloo.
We are pleased to report that the hike documentation is accurate and look forward to trying out some of the other hikes featured in the book, once it is released.
This is a busy year, but we hope to explore more of the trails in the watershed, starting with the Speed River Trail from Guelph to Cambridge.