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Hike Info

N43.15781 W79.49739

11.6 km

4 h

Intermediate

N/A

Very rocky and slippery when wet.

Free parking at Mountainview and Beamers Falls

None

At Thirty Mile Creek Falls ; at waypoints 004 or 005

26 Aug 2010

Not wheelchair accessible

N/A

N/A

Thirty Mile Creek Falls; Beamer's Falls

X-country skiing; Snowshoeing

 

The Site

Mountainview CA to Beamer's Falls

Comprised of Carolinian forest, the 25 hectare Mountainview Conservation Area conserves natural features of the Carolinian plants, animals and a portion of the Niagara Escarpment. The Bruce Trail traverses this property which is thought to be an ideal area for hiking purposes. Throughout the trail, there are various lookout points which provide a unique view of the Iroquois plain and Lake Ontario. There is small scale parking facilities available at this location. However, washrooms have not yet been developed.

Beamer Conservation Area is located on the Niagara Escarpment, immediately above the town of Grimbsy and about 2 km south of the south shore of Lake Ontario. The conservation area encompasses the steep-sided, north-south gorge of Forty-Mile Creek, which is carved into the escarpment. The 12 m high Beamers Falls is located at the head of the gorge. The north-facing cliffs of the escarpment are exposed. The drier uplands support forests of oaks, hickories, maples and hemlocks. The cliff faces are predominantly covered by White Cedar, some of which may be centuries old. The escarpment slopes have forests mainly of Sugar Maple and White Ash, but include other Carolinian species. A small abandoned quarry provides habitat for several species of amphibians and reptiles. Grimsby Point, at the northwest edge of the gorge, is an exposed rocky outcrop overlooking the Forty Mile Creek Valley and the Lake Ontario plain.

A rocky trail

The most common bird species are the Turkey Vulture and the Red-shouldered Hawk. This is likely a reflection of the recent population increase of Turkey Vulture in Canada. Other species recorded in large numbers include Sharp-shinned Hawk, Broad-winged Hawk, and Red-tailed Hawk. Beamers is significant as a concentration point for migrating raptors because of its physiography. The Niagara Escarpment is oriented almost parallel to the southwestern Lake Ontario shoreline. In many locations, the cliffs of this escarpment are up to 20 m high. Often on many days in March and early April strong updrafts occur along the cliff rim as a result of the microclimate. The migrating hawks take advantage of these updrafts. The added feature that helps concentrate hawks at Beamers is a change in the orientation of the escarpment. At this point, the distance between the escarpment and the Lake Ontario shoreline is at its lowest. As well, the escarpment surface is at a much higher elevation than the plain. All these features bring larger concentrations of hawks over the escarpment at Beamers relative to other locations along the escarpment. After mid-April, when prevailing winds tend to have a southerly component, birds usually pass over the park in the early part of the day, then pass to the south as thermals form over nearby farmlands.

This is another hike that I would not recommend in wet weather as a good part of the hike is along a rockstrewn trail partway down the escarpment edge. The rocks can be very slippery as I found out in the summer of 2010. This requires more concentration on the trail ahead. One interesting aspect of this hike is the partial descent of a ravine where caves can be seen below with water falling over the rock edge. Further on a bridge gets you across the ravine. This is repeated again a bit further along in the hike. At Grimsby you can take the Bruce Trail up to Beamer's Falls or opt for the Forty Mile Creek Trail to the Grimsby waterfront as I did. This side trail is not as well marked as it should be, leaving you guessing at times. Since I only had one car, I took a taxi back to Mountainview CA. Unfortunately the taxi driver got lost.

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