Discover the Niagara Escarpment, One Footstep at a Time
Niagara Falls is a well-known 8th wonder of the world, but what is the Niagara Escarpment? Centuries ago the forces of nature created a ledge of limestone spanning from New York State, through Canada, to Michigan. Most people, if they’ve heard of the Niagara Escarpment at all, know it only because the escarpment creates Niagara Falls as the Niagara River spills over its edge. But, the Niagara Escarpment is on par with the Everglades, the Serengeti Desert, and the Galapagos Islands. Each is classified as a World Biosphere Reserve because of its one-of-a-kind flora, fauna, and geology. The Niagara Escarpment is home to 500 year-old cedar forests, twisted and stunted from the harsh conditions along the cliff face and rare ferns such as hart’s tongue and wall rue that thrive on the limestone. The ferns existed 350 million years ago; some of the oldest living organisms on earth.
The Bruce Trail follows the Niagara Escarpment from its Canadian / U.S. border at Niagara until it dips under Lake Huron at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula. A walk along this unique corridor passes through three distinctly different regions. The southern segment is a narrow green corridor through a populated area in southern Ontario. It’s a wonderland of waterfalls with fields of touch-me-nots and panoramic views of ships plying their way on Lake Ontario. The central section becomes remote and hilly. The escarpment often disappears into the hillsides, only to pop dramatically out again when least expected. Through the northern section, the walk is along azure blue waters of Georgian Bay, sometimes high on the escarpment ledges, sometimes on cobblestone beaches at the water’s edge.
Readers can experience the Niagara Escarpment without traveling far. Join the adventure with experienced backpackers on a five-hundred-mile trek along the Bruce Trail. The daily journal will make readers feel the blisters and savor the views. Help identify an evening campsite visitor and cool off with a dive into the icy waters of Georgian Bay. Learn trail tested wisdom including recommended equipment, meals, and mail drops from a couple who have worn over 2,700 miles of trail dirt into their hiking boots in under two years.
Whether the reader is planning a hike of their own or merely dreams of seeing far off places, they’ll enjoy this ramble along a truly unique part of North America. On the way they’ll learn about the history, the flora and fauna, and the people who populate the Niagara Escarpment, one of the wonders of the world.
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