Helloo!! Its been about two weeks since I have had the inspiration to write about something. Its definitely hard to maintain a blog about hiking and backpacking when miss rona will only let you hike so far!
This past Sunday, on May 30th, I hiked 21KM from the Edward Gardens, down Wilket Creek Trail, through Don Trail onto ‘The Ridge’ and then looped back up. It took about 6 hours total including a lunch break, a rest our feet break, and an attempt to filter water in a creek break. This was also my first time on the trail so a few wrong turns definitely added to the mileage. I went on the hike with two of my close friends.
Starting the trail at Edward Gardens was definitely an expensive decision, parking cost $2.50 an hour so I ended up paying $20 to park for the whole day. However, I was not driving so I guess its a fair price to pay for a free ride. We arrived around 11:30am, so the beginning of the trail was pretty busy.
Walking from Edward Gardens through Wilket Creek was super beautiful, and I even got to do my first ‘river’ crossing and cross the creek. I am not too sure why All Trails led us across the creek but was a fun addition to the hike anyways, and all three of us successfully made it across without slipping off a rock. We also got to hike under a few overpasses which was fun and provided some nice shade.
Once we got deeper into the trail and onto the Ridge there were definitely more mountain bikers than pedestrians which slowed us down by having to stop every few minutes and move off the trail. It also made us question if we were even allowed on this part of the trail. In the end, I did not find out if that section was mountain bikers only but if you know, leave a comment!
The Ridge section was super treacherous with lots of jumps, curves, bridges, big drops, and switch backs. Honestly, shout out to anyone brave enough to mountain bike that thing because I could barely walk it. Also, a shoutout to the two canine companions of some mountain bikers we saw just crushing the trail! I know Spud would decide my tire looked like a delicious snack and then cut through all the switchbacks to the water leaving me behind in the dust.
After the Ridge section we made it back onto the Lower Don Trail and made our way back up to Edward Gardens. At this point I looked down at my hands, and not to be dramatic, but I had literal sausage fingers and I got a little worried. I did some googling and figured my hands had swelled up because I ate a bunch of salty crackers and cheese with lunch and only brought a liter of water with me! Good thing I brought my water filter to test out on the trail.
The filter I brought along with me was this Outdoor Water Filter Straw from Ali Express, because as mentioned before I am broke! I was a little skeptical to use the filter as it was only $25.99 for two of them, but the reviews were good and I figured live fast and die young of a very preventable waterborne disease if I had only been willing to spend 15 more dollars.
But hey, I figure its better to test the filter out in the city where there is help in case I do get sick instead of in the backcountry. Besides I have definitely drank way more unfiltered lake and river water while swimming than I did on this trail.
I ended up drinking probably 200ml because the bladder the filters came with was impossible to fill up and I didn’t bring anything else to screw the filter onto. My two friends also had a couple sips of the creek water and we have all survived a full 24 hours later.
By the time we got within 2km of the start of the trail it was packed with kids, families, and big groups of friends. This was at about 5pm so everyone was leaving for dinner! I definitely would go earlier next time to leave earlier and avoid the absolute chaos!
All in all it was a super fun day, I got to go hiking with two of my friends and try out a new trail. It also felt good to test my abilities as I can’t remember the last time (if ever) I have hiked 21km in one day. I can’t wait to get some stronger trail legs in the coming weeks.
I would definitely recommend this path for anyone with a bit more endurance under their belt as my feet and hips were killing me! Thank goodness I felt okay the next morning for walking Spud.
I also wish I had brought my trekking poles, solely for the ridge part as there were some super sketchy parts that I was sure I would fall on my face. Thankfully, I managed to stay on my two feet. If you plan to do this trail, make sure you bring lots of water and snacks to stay fueled! 21km is a full day!
Don’t forget to check out my Instagram and TikTok for more pictures and videos of all my hikes @katstraillog everywhere! Take care 🙂