Hamilton Township, Ontario has some of the greatest vistas you will ever see in Southern Ontario. The reason for this is because of our unique land formations. Most of the hills in the southern township are known as drumlins. A drumlin, from the Irish word droimnin meaning an elongated hill in the shape of an inverted spoon or half buried egg formed by glacial ice acting on underlying unconsolidated till or ground moraine. Our northern township hills are mostly moraine, which is a landform composed of an accumulation of sediment deposited by or from a glacier with peaks running from west to east (Caledon to east of Rice Lake).
Albert’s Hill. Our first beautiful vista is from atop a drumlin known locally as Albert’s Hill. If you happen to be travelling Northumberland County Road #18 northbound out of Camborne, at the intersection of Kennedy Road…look up! That lovely home you see half way up that massive hill is located on the southern exposure of Albert’s Hill. This particular hill can actually be seen from as far away as Cobourg and Port Hope and can be recognized by its prominent gap in a line of trees over the top of the hill. The hill is named after the Willis family of Willis Road in Coldsprings. The Ranger and sister Sharon (where were you Barb?) have had a plan to climb to the top of that hill for many years. The last time I was up there I was a teenager, Sharon had never been.
One sunny afternoon last autumn we decided to go for it. I have to tell you, because of the height of this hill it is a formidable hike approaching it from the south in Camborne. Because of our age and hiking ability, we hatched a great plan…why not drive to the top of the hill in Coldsprings, get permission from the Willis’s, park in their driveway and approach the hill from the north. Seemed like a great plan at the time. Trouble is, we had forgotten how far north and downhill the Willis home was from the top of the actual hill. After walking for what seemed like an hour (in reality 20 minutes), seemed like a great idea to take a break and check our pulses. Feeling refreshed off we went for another hour (or 20 minutes!) until we reached our goal, the pinnacle of Albert’s Hill at last! This amazing view will take your breath away. Note: check pulse again!
From the top of the above picture you can see another great hill known to the locals as the Ski Hill. Note the windbreak row of evergreen trees running down the hill, part of the former chair lift route. From the center right you can see Jibb Road heading west and from the top left of picture you can see County Rd. #18 on its way north to Coldsprings and Lake Ontario at the extreme top of picture. Completely hidden under all the foliage is the village of Camborne.
The Camborne Ski Hill. The vista from this drumlin is the most beautiful for miles around. Many of our readers have been to the top of this hill many times enjoying its great view from a pair of skis. The hill was known to the Ranger growing up first as Jus’s Hill (Justin MacCarthy), Bob’s Hill (Robert Lane) and now to the locals as the Ski Hill. Many years ago, the Ranger, sisters Sharon & Barbara decided it would be fun to trek up the former ski hill once more. In our youth we had climbed this hill hundreds of times and could easily climb it and think nothing of it. Now at our advancing age and hiking ability, we had to prepare a plan of attack to get to the top still breathing! The plan was to approach the hill, hike for a while and take a break whenever. This was a do-able plan. I forget how many times we stopped, sat down in the weeds and reminisced about growing up at the bottom of this great old hill.
Finally attaining the summit we enjoyed a long look around, snapped a few pictures and admired the beauty of the village below and how much it had changed since we were kids in the fifty’s and sixties. See the ‘kids’ Sharon and Barbara in the picture taken that day. As this was private property we thought we should very quietly sneak up the hill and return before anyone knew of our little caper. No way!! Seems our reminiscing all the way up the hill got a bit noisy. On our return to ‘ground zero’, local residents Pat and Carol who own property at the bottom of this hill were awaiting our arrival. Yeah, with the hills echo and acoustics we might as well have been using bullhorns to converse! Good thing the Ranger didn’t start in on his yodeling, eh Bushwhacker!? Assuming the hill owner, by law, would have had to ask us at least once to leave…before he could legally shoot us, we now felt safe. Besides, he would never know we were there. After the usual great visit with Pat & Carol, off we went to another great adventure…KFC!
A couple of years ago Sharon and I decided to make what might be our last trip up to the summit. Because there was now a lovely private mansion at the top of the hill we decided to go legal this time. With permission now secured, we drove up the winding new driveway located off Jibb Road…all the way to the top! The lazy way to get there to be sure.
Mount Ararat, Gores Landing Ontario.
This Oak Ridges Moraine vista is located on historic Lander Road just west of Gore’s Landing on the highest point of the Rice Lake Plains overlooking Rice Lake. Gore’s Landing is located on a small bay on the south shore of Rice Lake and went through several names changes over the years…Saxe Town, Sideys’s Tavern and Claverton. Once home to such famous persons as Archibald Lampman Jr. (poet) and J.D. Kelly (renowned Canadian historic scene painter), its most famous resident would have had to be Catherine Parr Traill (1802-1899). The Traill’s started their Canadian life on the Rice Lake Plains for a year visiting Wolf Tower (now Tower Manor). Later renting 60 acres at Mount Ararat (named by Catherine) and even later owning land at Oaklands on Traill Road in the village of Gore’s Landing.
Some of the many books written by Mrs. Traill while living on the Rice Lake Plains were: “Canadian Crusoes: A Tale of the Rice Lake Plains” (1852), later renamed “Lost in the Backwoods.” “The Canadian Settlers Guide” and “Canadian Wildflowers.” There was also a few children’s books such as “Lady Mary and Her Nurse or a Peep into the Canadian Forest.”