It always figures that when you make plans with a friend to do something outdoors that the weather does not seem to get the memo.

This was largely the case when Mike and I set our sights on a hike in the Toronto Rouge Valley this past Saturday, it was rainy, it was cool, and frankly we would not have had it any other way.

Mike Lobsinger @mlob_creative

After packing up some gear and food we drove out in the rain to the trail head, put on our extra layers and in no time were on our way down the trail laughing and getting more ridiculous the deeper we moved in the valley.

It’s always great how a hike with friends leads to cracking jokes with each other in minutes and lets you forget that the rain is still pelting us lightly through the dense canopy of colorful fall leafs.


It was not long before we had run out of trail markers as fall hiking conditions on city trails commonly fall under “tails are not maintained in fall / winter months” and can be overgrown, covered or washed out and thats just the way we like it.

So off we go now following single track, possibly animal track and making our own way up and down the valley walls like we were kids again.

Despite what you may think, it is a great feeling by the way, getting covered in mud, burrs and everything else the forrest had to throw at us before stopping for a well earned lunch of submarine sandwiches at a spot overlooking the river from about 80 feet up.

Steve Layton @SteveWLayton
Thanks to Columbia for my super warm Heavyweight Long Sleeve base layer!

This is where things get interesting as you climb over, around, under and sometime across the large tress that come down across the “trail” during strong fall storms giving you a taste of a far less “park” hike and a feel of being deeper in the northern Ontario wilderness then you really are.

In this spirit we found what we had been secretly looking for I think all afternoon, a large tree fallen across a water carved trench in the valley wall.

It was perfect for us to climb across, it was wet, slippery, covered in moss and fungus, and just high enough to give us the giggles as you looked down to the running water under the leafs and rocks below.

Level of Difficulty: Comical

We of course, as is the tradition for social media types had to turn on a camera, cause you know that when decisions like this are made it’s best to have a camera rolling in case everything turns for the worse or the comical.

Not long after this we were off again heading along the river banks where some tall reeds and grasses made for the perfect opportunity to pause for a some “camouflage” model shots that seemed very necessary at the time.

Then we were done and on our way home laughing and talking about what we had just done for the past 4 hours clearly more relaxed and feeling great for having doing so.

The moral of the story, sometimes when the weather is at it’s “worst” it is the best time to get out and realize that a bit off rain only adds to the adventure.

With this in mind you might find you try to do something that you either don’t normally do in the outdoors, or something that you have not done in a very long time and really enjoy it, you won’t know unless you try.

If you do I promise you that you will feel refreshed with a sense of accomplishment for pushing through the conditions and doing something physical.

Who knows you might even end up with a case of hike madness like Mike and I laughing for hours in the woods effectively washing away the stress of the work week.

You really can’t ask for more from a hike that was only minutes from the core of the city, I really suggest you try one.

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