We started hiking along a side trail of the Bruce Trail on the east side of the Sydenham River, and although the distance between Harrison Park and the Inglis Falls Conservation Area, our destination, was less than three kilometres, our walk up and down steep hills through the forest was quite challenging. One of Owen Sound’s major attractions is the Niagara Escarpment that runs right through town, and the Bruce Trail, the continuous hiking trail that stretches all the way from Queenston near Niagara Falls to Tobermory, some ways north of Owen Sound, is an important natural feature of the area.
After a 45 minute hike along the Bruce Trail we had reached Inglis Falls, one of three waterfalls that surrounds the city of Owen Sound. Inglis Falls consists of an 18 metre high cascade, where the Sydenham River falls over the edge of the Niagara Escarpment. From the viewing platform we caught a glimpse of the symmetrical waterfall that has eroded a deep gorge at the base of the falls. On the viewing platform we connected with some local hikers that took us down close to the riverbed on the west side of the river past some imposing limestone rock formations. We climbed around the rocks, stones and roots and decided that if we wanted to get back to Owen Sound at a reasonable time, we had better get back up from the river and hike back on the road that runs parallel to the Sydenham River on its west side. Although the exploration of the jagged limestone rocks was fascinating, we needed to cover more ground to get back to our car and finally check in at our bed and breakfast.
We came through this narrow gap in the rock…
Our walk back took us along Inglis Falls Road where we admired many miniature waterfalls that were gushing forth from the surrounding limestone bedrock. At a good pace we walked past forests, peaceful country properties and a major cemetery before we finally arrived back in Harrison Park, just in time to watch some wedding photo shots that were being taken in some sunny spots in the park.
Another view of Harrison Park
This day-long exploration had made us a bit hungry and it was time to locate our bed and breakfast. We continued south on Highway 6/10 to Chatsworth and then past the village of Williamsford. At the last intersection in town we turned right and drove west to Concession 4 where we finally found our bed and breakfast, just three houses south of the intersection.
The Garden House B&B, our destination for the night
Our hostess, Maria Sir, welcomed us at the Garden House B&B and showed us around her beautiful property. Maria is an extremely gifted gardener and gave us the complete house tour. The main floor is very spacious with an open-concept kitchen – living – dining room area. Maria’s white walls are enhanced with her own framed watercolour paintings and hanging plants that drape down from the loft space upstairs. Maria filled us in on some of her decorating secrets and said that she picked up many of her furniture items from the dump and carefully and lovingly restored them. Obviously she is a gifted interior and creative decorator that is a real expert on breathing life into discarded items.
Living room of the Garden House B&B
With our growling stomachs we were in serious need of some dining advice and Maria gave us a peek at the menu for the nearby Kettle’s Restaurant. Equipped with driving directions we set off in search of our dinner and just about 10 minutes later we arrived at Kettle’s Restaurant whose slogan is “Back Home Cooking”. The menu indeed featured many casual hearty dishes at extremely reasonable prices. The place was full, and obviously a popular destination with many of the older local residents. Yolande commented that her salmon dinner was excellent and my chicken fingers were okay as well. Our evening meal certainly hit the spot after a long and intense day of explorations.
We headed back to the Garden House B&B and Maria showed us the bathroom and we settled in nicely in our respective bedrooms. Actually when I originally had made the booking, each room was priced at C$80 per night. I had actually asked for a room with two single beds, and since Maria’s rooms all have queen size beds, she generously offered us two separate bedrooms for the price of one. A very generous offer that we really appreciated.
A flower in the backyard of the Garden House B&B
Exhausted from our long day, we both took turns taking a bath in the claw foot tub and rested up in our soft downy beds for another day of adventures tomorrow, which would start with a hearty home-made breakfast in the morning.