Cheltenham Trail (Caledon)

Another fine weekend comes to a close and another awesome hike along Bruce Trail through Caledon. This time around, newly-found Cheltenham Trail. It’s not even suggested on Alltrails but happened to stumble upon it while searching the map for nearby hiking trails. Fortunately, found a gem of a trail to discover with little tykes. They have been frustrated indoors with no end in site due to pandemic and needed that release of energy. The hike today was dubbed as a ‘field trip’ to supplement their ‘home schooling’ curriculum. The emphasis being nature of course!

Cheltenham Trail Breadcrumbs

Recent snow accumulation in the forest was certainly a scene to behold. My eldest labelled it as ‘Arendelle’ from Frozen, the middle one as ‘Narnia’ and the youngest just kept calling out for Olaf all along. They pestered me during the entire hike what I relate the heavenly scenery to, and my response being, Canada!

My teenager and I have been having some interesting conversations regarding the future of our planet. Climate change and global warming usually comes up as a topic at dinner table quite often these days. Discussion of Winter Storm Uri wreaking havoc in southern parts of the US came up tonight, in hindsight after kids had a field day in deep snow in the forest, which baffled us all. I had some interesting questions from young’uns which I do not have the answers for. I do not believe anyone does at this point. Is it a wavy polar vortex gone bonkers particularly this year? Is it climate change? Is it rising temperatures? Is it carbon in the atmosphere or greenhouse gases? Is it just a normal cycle in planet Earth’s lifetime? Is it Sun’s influence on its child planet? Is it Anthropocene? There are many theories, many possibilities but outcome is devastating for mankind as could be seen from suffering from Texas. Humans caught off-guard once again! Clueless!!

“For the first time on record, the National Weather Service (through its 13 regional offices serving Texas and adjoining portions of OklahomaNew MexicoArkansas and Louisiana) issued Winter Storm Warnings for all 254 counties in the state.”

I could not fathom snow or ice at the scale they experienced in some of these states as in my mind, for instance New Mexico, southern limbs of these states fall under arid or desert climate category. Young minds pick on these events and their first impression is to query whether such an event occurred before in recent past that their parents can relate to. My younger ones had different take on it, however, a bit baffled watching people struggle in Texas due to lots of snow, or in Greece for that matter. Here in Canada, we are covered by the white stuff from November onwards till April or so and life goes on normally. They cannot yet comprehend why it is difficult for people to not ‘like’ snow. I think I have digressed from the topic quite a bit, but an interesting chat that has left me searching for answers nevertheless. As quoted above from news sources, winter storm warnings in desert states unheard of before. Perhaps just a one off!

I would be doing this blog post an injustice if not delving into the history of Cheltenham in Caledon. This beautiful hamlet was established by the first settler in the area and grist mill owner, Charles Haines, who came in 1820. His birthplace was Cheltenham, England. The Haines shaped the area around the Credit River by expanding the mills. The population rose to around 225 people in 1850s as commerce expanded around the area. Around 1870s, railways and industrial growth further bolstered Cheltenham’s credentials on Canadian map, especially two ‘wheat whiskey’ distilleries in the area. Today, much of the original vibe can be felt driving through this quaint hamlet, although, some of the contemporary buildings were re-built after fire damage to initial setups commissioned by Haines family. A must visit for anyone hitting the various trails for hiking in the area.

Finally signing off with a couple more pictures of Red-headed Woodpecker casually pecking away at treetops on a chilly February afternoon. The kids enjoyed the scenery, the walk and the effort of trying to catch the falling woodchips from the pecker’s beakwork!

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