At the top of the staircase from hell you gaze upon its many steps. You tell yourself that it’s not that big of a deal. With your sports bag slung across your shoulders, you descend into the ravine and make your way towards the Glendon Athletic Club. After a good workout, you retrieve your belongings from a locker and as you exit the building, it hits you: you should not have done leg day. Now, staring up at the summit of the stairs, all the energy is drained from your body. It is as if you are at the base of Mount Everest and the thought of reaching the top is impossible.
It is only one in the afternoon, so you might as well do something else to make your trip to the bottom worthwhile. As you survey the area, you spot it. A bright sea of leaves sway in the cool autumn breeze as if a fire had been set among them and something urges you to explore the masterpiece you see before you. You beeline towards the Glendon Forest.
Despite the great amount of woodland located right behind the campus, the Glendon forest is seldom talked about among students. Surprisingly enough, the Glendon Forest seems to be mostly void of explorers, but those who wish to become better acquainted with the area will not be disappointed, especially not during the fall. The canopy of trees provide a great photography opportunity seeing as the colors of the leaves have now changed. One of the great spots to snap a picture is the space by the soccer field, outside of the Proctor Field House building, where there is a clearing, calling for your Kodak moments.
Two trails run parallel to the West branch of the Don River: the West and East trail. The latter can be accessed by crossing the vehicle bridge in front of the GAC. However, exercise a good amount of caution while walking on the East Trail, since it is not very well maintained. Be especially careful on the edges of the creek banks, as erosion may have chipped away at the supporting ground, thus making it hard to tell if the ground is solid. The West trail on the other hand, does not involve any bushwhacking and is therefore more accessible, making for a nice jog, or an easy paced stroll.
For the avid Fisherman, the West Don River offers decent fishing opportunities. In the fall, Chinook salmon make their way up the river to spawn and provide a good fight when hooked. Prior to fishing, please check the fishing regulations since there are specific dates that you are allowed to fish and a particular limit as to how many you can keep. You must also be 18 years of age and carry a valid fishing license in order to fish. Please practice respectful fishing etiquette by not snagging fish intentionally, and if you have boots, do not step on the spawning beds.
The Glendon forest offers incredible sights, and can be appreciated in various ways. It is up to you to go out and explore nature’s gift for yourself. Who knows what you might discover in Glendon’s very own backyard?