Just before Victoria Day weekend in 2013, we had the itch to get outdoors. After a miserable and long winter, we decided to get some fresh air by hiking the trail at Starkey Hill near Guelph, Ontario.
The last time we had been on this trail it was summertime – the trees were in full foliage and the ground and bogs were fairly dry. During the spring time, its quite different.
The first thing I realized as we started on the trail, at about 9 a.m. in the morning, is that Victoria Day Weekend reminds people of the outdoors. We were not alone on the trails – families, couples and people walking their dogs passed us or walked in front or behind us.
The second thing about the trail at Starkey Hill is that it can be extremely muddy in the spring-time in low-lying spots. Add to that almost a week’s worth of rain in the days leading up to our visit and you have one soggy hike! Prepare to have mud splatter all over your boots and the back of your legs.
Winding Trail and Light Green Everywhere
The looping trail at Starkey Hill is fairly easy, with only a few rocky areas and small hills. One of the key destinations is on top of a hill that gives you a glimpse of downtown Guelph in between the trees.
Although there are many conifers, there are also hardwood trees. Everywhere you look is light green – from the new leaves on trees and bushes to the fresh moss climbing up from the base of tree trunks. Even some of the fungus is light green.
Our hike was after the ice storm of December 2013 that affected so many areas of Southern Ontario. Although Guelph wasn’t as hard hit as areas east of there, some of the trees did show damage from the rough winter.
Tips For Visiting the Trail at Starkey Hill
The trail at Starkey Hill isn’t very long – it’s approximately 4 km. However, you may want to bring a small snack and a bottle of water with you, particularly if you are hiking with children.
Good hiking shoes are a must, as some areas are slightly rocky.
I noted that our visit was during a busy weekend, when many people were on the trail. Please keep in mind trail etiquette and move to the side to let people pass if you plan on doing a slow walk.
Check out my post with more information about a summer visit at Starkey Hill including photos.