Fall is the Best Time to Hike the Seaton Trail

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Fall is in the air. 

The humid days of summer have been replaced by the crisp autumn breezes. This  is my favourite time of year to go hiking in Ontario and it's not just because the mosquitoes are finally gone.

It's the changing leaves that are just about at their peak, making the beautiful trails all the more spectacular. And the cooler temperatures that make you look forward to a hot chocolate after a day out on the trails.

Seaton Hiking Trail

Where we live we are spoiled for choice when it comes to trail options, but most often we visit the Seaton Hiking Trail starting at the trailhead in Whitevale.

hiking Ontario, hiking GTA, hiking Markham, Seaton Hiking trail, fall leaf watchingWhat are we waiting for?  Let's go!The Seaton Hiking Trail entrance off of Whitevale Road has about 20 parking spots, covered picnic benches and a children's play area, which makes this a popular launching point for young hikers.

fall leaf watching, Rouge River salmon, yellow maple leaves, hiking in Ontario, hiking in GTA, hiking in Markham, Seaton Hiking TrailAutumn Leaves over West Duffins CreekThe trail winds alongside West Duffins Creek. When you get close the waters edge you can often see large fish, including rainbow trout and chinook salmon, swimming in the water.

Hiking GTA, hiking Ontario, hiking Markham, fall leaves, seaton hiking trailHiking single trackThe main trails are wide and well marked. We took a few unmarked trails get closer the the river.  On these paths walking single file is the only option, but if you keep your eyes open you might find a souvenir or two.

Red maple leaf, GTA hike, Ontario hike, Markham hike, Seaton Hiking trail, fall coloursThis one's a keeper!

Many of the leaves in the forest had already started to change and our little collectors found plenty of perfect specimens to bring home. No doubt some fall inspired art creations will follow.

Rouge River hike, Ontario hiking, Seaton hiking trail, best fall leaf watchingSteep embankment along West Duffins CreekThe extent of the soil erosion is quite obvious. At times the trail is very close to steep edges that look to have been fairly recently washed away.  Along the bank we saw a number of large, recently downed trees which had fallen into the river.

Hiking Seaton Trail, exposed tree roots, little hiker, Ontario HikingThe old growth in the forest 

The forest has  a lot of old growth and in some areas the soil erosion has revealed the root structure of the tree, which our hikers found fascinating.

mushrooms growing on tree, moss in forest, Seaton hiking trail, Ontario hikingMoss and fungi  along the trailUnder the dense tree canopy, the ferns, moss and fungi flourish.  I was particularly taken by this trio of mushrooms, growing out of the side of a moss covered tree.

handiwork Of a busy beaverFurther along the trail we found evidence of a beaver, who had been hard at work taking down a tree.

Little hiker, Seaton Hiking Trail, hiking in Ontario, hiking in GTA, Hiking in the fall, Autumn leavesFootbridges to keep your feet dryAs we continued south along the trail, the changes in elevation became more pronounced. 

The trail heading north of Whitevale Road toward the dam is flatter, but we prefer the more interesting terrain of the trails to the south, which offer some wonderful views overlooking the river.

autumn leaf viewing, Seaton hiking trail, hiking in Ontario, Hiking in the Fall, hiking in GTA, view of West Duffins Creek,Looking downstream - West Duffins Creek

Where do you like to hike in the fall? 

Share your suggestions for the best places to view the spectacular autumn leaves.

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