Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Billy Monkley Cascade for Canada Day!

It's Canada Day! I've been able to be in and around Hamilton a bit more this summer, and it has been wonderful. Biking in Toronto is a rush in itself, but I just love all the trails and trees in Hamilton. I have been wanting to explore Billy Monkley cascade for a while (ever since I saw some live music by a local band, Monkley Cascade) but usually my time spent out that way is visiting Albion Falls, or the Devil's Punchbowl. This time I wanted to see a lesser known one and it was definitely worth it - my mom came along and we had such a cute picnic!

The extent of the directions I could find were "pull into the bird sanctuary and follow the sound of water" so hopefully I can be a bit more clear, because this is definitely worth checking out. In looking up directions I came across a website that said that Billy Monkley Cascade is "sure to disappoint you when you first visit," but it is a nice, quiet little place that is really beautiful and easy to get to!

The cascade is found in Billy Monkley Bird Sanctuary, which is off of Dartnall road, between Rymal and Stone Church Rd. The sanctuary is unmarked but there is a place to pull in for parking; it was closed off today, but there was still a little area off the side of the road though that can fit a few cars. Coming off of the Red Hill Valley Parkway and crossing Stone Church going toward Rymal, the bird sanctuary will be on your left. It's a wide field with different-sized birdhouses and long grass.

After pulling in to the parking lot (or just outside the lot...) there is a path that leads into the field. Follow this and you will come to a fork in the path, and take the righthand side. This walk is only about two minutes and on relatively flat terrain - it's very accessible if you want a quick break in the woods. There are little spots to sit but you can't fit many people in here. The rocks are a little slippery but it's a great place to have a picnic by or read a book, or just sit. It's very secluded from the rest of the field, a little hidden treasure.

just happy to be here.

communing with the tree.

me and my mom!

so hidden and beautiful!
While we were picknicking there, we ran into only one other couple who were exploring waterfalls in the area for the first time! It was nice to be in a secluded area that was so serene, and easy to walk to. It was also a nice little bubble away from the heat and humidity. We also got to see a lot of birds (some taking a bath in the stream - adorable!) from the bird sanctuary.

Leaving the cascade you can explore a bit further into the bird sanctuary and the path leads on somewhere, I think toward King's Forest (which is a whole confusing network itself which I have yet to conquer). I'd like to see where these go eventually but if they are part of the Red Hill Valley Trail, they should take you in some way to Albion and Felker's Falls (which you could also drive to in about seven minutes from here).

Billy Monkley cascade is definitely worth checking out for a quiet little space to relax by, and you can also get your fill of bigger waterfalls around the corner!