Hidden Gems – Midhurt Tifffen Tract Trail
Located just north and slightly west of Midhurst, Tiffin Tract is a 1.1 kilometre loop trail that is one of the most serene and solitary tracts I have experienced to date. During my 45 minute hike, I encountered not a solitary soul nor did I hear a sound except for the sound of my footsteps crunching on the snow and the wind howling through the trees. If you are looking for a sense of getting away from it all, this is the place for you.
This trail is suitable for all levels as it can easily be adapted to be as easy or as difficult as you wish. There are opportunities for taking offshoot paths that lead to higher elevations or that offer a chance to do some bushwhacking. The number of trails that branch off from the main loop provide the possibility of extending your hike and exploring slightly different flora and fauna. As this trail is a less frequented one, the likelihood of encountering wildlife is much higher than the busier trails.
This route is perfect for snowshoeing and cross country skiing. I also saw evidence of Nordic pole walking. No motorized vehicles are allowed on this property and so the peace of these surroundings is never interrupted by the roar of a snowmobile. As I was meandering along the trail, I imagined how this would also be the perfect place for a cross country run or horseback ride. It is important to note that this area is subject to seasonal closure for hunting.
As part of the Ganaraska Trail, this trail is marked by white rectangles. To reach the highlight of this tract, follow the orange flagging tape. Matheson Pond was a complete surprise and was spectacular. Fallen snow covered logs created a bridge across the less frozen part of the pond which sported teal coloured water.
Bright green algae appeared sporadically which may have accounted for the water’s interesting hue. The section of water, situated more to the north, was a glistening carpet of pure white snow and ice. Encircled by a mixture of snow covered deciduous and evergreen trees, it was like something out of a Narnian novel. Fantastical is an understatement.
The experience that gave me the most pause was encountering a simple wooden bench that overlooked this winter wonderland. As I drew closer, I noticed there was a small plaque located on the back of the bench simply worded:
In memory of Margaret Russel
I hope you enjoy the view as much as she did.
I certainly did and I’m sure you will, too!