‘I think this place is cursed’. These are the exact words I used when my partner backed our Prius into a fence while we were looking for parking in the minuscule, over crowded lot for the Smokey Hollow Waterfall. This was our first major incident with our first car and it is safe to say that this hike started off pretty darn miserable. So, if headed down this way do a drive-by of the parking lot to see how crowded it is and if it looks like a tight squeeze, I would suggest parking up the hill in the residential area.
I’m not going to sugar coat it…I was one pissed off hiker when we started on the trail and I didn’t take any pictures. As soon as you leave your vehicle you will hear the sound of rushing water, the parking lot happens to overlook the Smokey Hollow waterfall. So, that’s it…it’s right there….okay, I damaged my car for this? There is good and bad when it comes to situations such as this. On the one hand, if you are a newer hiker or not a hiker at all, this may be appealing to you because you don’t need to do much strenuous activity and can take all of the pictures you want of a nice waterfall. Ta-da. However, if you are an experienced hiker you may like a destination that has a bit of adventure to it and while there is still more to see the Smokey Hollow falls are not one of them.
We decided to do quite a long hike and go left up the Norman Pearson Side Trail, this was a pretty steep uphill start to the trail. We followed this to Waterdown Road, which you will need to cross to continue on the hike. This took us to the McNally side trail which has some pretty impressive views of the escarpment as well as the City of Burlington. The trail itself is very easy terrain and mostly trekked through the woods. However, when we reached this point, I noticed that there were silk worms everywhere, including all over us…I hate worms and this was a very unwelcome surprise. We were here at the beginning of June, so keep that in mind when planning hikes.
This was our first big hike after moving to Burlington and I was such a sour puss this entire day because of what happened with our car. So, because I felt that I didn’t give the Smokey Hollow Falls a fair chance, I did revisit the area a couple of weeks ago during our first snow fall!
This was a nice little hike and no one was there, which means we did not back into the fence and the snow falling made the surrounding forest very picturesque and serene. The remains of autumn scattered along the trail in the form of colourful leaves, adding to the beauty. I think the Smokey Hollow falls could be a great hike but the parking layout is incredibly frustrating and really ruins the experience. I don’t think any amount of winter wonderland hiking can make me think of this area as anywhere other than ‘that place we backed into the fence’. Oh well, onto the next waterfall!