2022/10/02 – Rouge River I

Good morning from the very southeast corner of Toronto. Today I’ll be ticking off a very big and outstanding item on my walk list: the Rouge River. I’ll start at the ever-shifting mouth at the lake, and go upstream. Let’s go.

First time here as a national park. Clearly still a popular fishing spot. The mouth at the lake is actually an outflow from a wetland, formed behind a berm for GO’s Lakeshore East corridor. Makes a great habitat, but also means a detour from the riverside.

Up Rouge Hills Drive, past many large houses. Found an access point at the end of Island Road. There was a beaten footpath leading east to the river, and then north, but it turned out to be a dead end due to more houses and steep slopes. Backtracking.

Back on track, mind you it’s on a tight footpath squeezed along the fence for the 401. After diving back into the valley, it eventually opens up beside a storm pond, and gets you under the expressway and Kingston Road.

A couple familiar sights from the tail end of my walk along Little Rouge Creek, and then onto new paths. The trail hugging the bank is closed, so having to climb high onto the valley’s tabletop. The river is somewhere down there.

Up some more. A good valley lookout but the river remains shrouded by tree cover. It’s actually kind of bizarre, you get pinched between the valleys of main Rouge and Little Rouge. Oversteep drops and downed trees. But plenty of beauty.

Down, down, down to Twyn Rivers Drive, and up, up, up the main path along the hilltop again. Still no sight of the river.

The Vista Trail offers no views of the river either, though the ridge did flatten out at the Gatineau Hydro Corridor. Continued stumbling through the forest. One last shot into the valley. Gotta wrap it up there, the terrain shredded me today.

Date: October 2, 2022
Length: 12.3 km
Type: Riverine

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