Submitted by Angus Inksetter
Mild weather put the whole possibility of hiking on snow shoes in doubt but the decision to try the hike in spite of conditions saw six Saugeen Nature members show up at the east-side parking lot on Saturday morning. Equipment problems led to the departure of two of the party, fortunately near the beginning of the trek. Four others continued, climbing the high ridges and chaotic, jumbled landscape that characterizes the northern part of the Gibraltar moraine in that part of the nature reserve. With no leaves to obstruct their view the hikers gained an appreciation of the land the glaciers left behind. From one high point they could look down on McCullough Lake, three kilometers to the north. The North Saugeen River, which flows out of McCullough Lake, drains the lower lands between the Gibraltar moraine to the south and the Banks moraine to the north. The hike was a vigorous work-out because the high ridges which made up the desired route were not continuous; whenever one ended the hikers had to follow the slope down and then up the next height. Heavy clothing was not much in evidence after about an hour.
Eventually the off-trail adventure joined one of the established trails and followed it back to the parking lot, with a pause at the research cabin for hot chocolate. All emerged with a new appreciation for the rugged, seldom-visited terrain along the top of the Gibraltar moraine.