People were having picnic by the Little Rouge Creek and so did we. Apparently K2 and children in the entourage enjoyed it the most.
From our vintage point, we could see hikers moving on all 4 trails making it a nice scenery and beaconing us to get going too, which is what we did after having our breakfast.
We were able to wade through the creek by the remains of an old dam, which was still visible in the creek.
In the 1950s, a hotel in the valley was a popular vacation spot and the river was dammed for swimming. People often skiied on the hill on the south side of the creek. Nearby, the remains of old orchards and farms are reminders of former residents in the area.
The official trail leading up the ridge seemed easy, but made all us hikers, including K2, our great white Kuvasz pup, toil under a bright early fall sun. The view from the top of the ridge was beautiful. The colours had just started turning into various colours of red, orange, and yellow. Hikers in brightly coloured hiking dresses hiking through the valley offered a beautiful contrast to the green colour of the foliage.
While hiking in the forest on the ridge, the mercury fell down by several degrees and as the sun began to set, we started feeling cold. This reminded us that in Fall weather no matter how warm it can get, ultimately it is going to get unpleasantly cold.
Twyn Rivers area turned out to be a great access point for Rouge Park in Toronto. There is access to four official trails, Celebration Forest and Little Rouge Creek offers pleasantly cool waters to dip your tired feet in and to have picnic by.
We walked on the gravel path and ended up on the scenic outlook with a pretty view of autumn foliage. Down in the valley, we could see the Rouge River and Little Rouge Creek valleys and a rock on the other side of the valley, which is a provincially-significant geologic feature.
There was an outdoor interpretive exhibit just at the end of the parking lot from where the trail starts. It provided us with information of the scenery and some background on the history of the site.
The Registry Office of North York (not to be confused with the city now incorporated into Toronto), is quite obviously an old outpost of the province's administrative structure in this established community. Today its serves as a sort of municipal museum, documenting the founding of Newmarket and its evolution from milling centre to component in the long sprawl of suburbs north of Toronto.
St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church is somewhat reminiscent of the church of the same name (although of a different sect) on King Street in Toronto. Its solid rock structure contrasts with the lighter and more typical buildings of the other sects that dot the area of the historic district in Newmarket. The fact that this church is set off a bit from the historic area, near Fairy Lake, adds to its distinction. Unfortunately I don't know when it was built, but I would guess that it is from about the same era (latter half of the 19th century) as the other churches in Historic Newmarket.
I have to admit that, since I visited Newmarket and took these pictures, I've forgotten exactly why I photographed it - but I do know that is a Baptist church. I do know that it is older than the Trinity United Church (the plaque above the door is from 1872) and that, today, it hosts a Protestant Spanish-speaking congregation. Its steeple is quite tall, which is what makes it so noticeable among the many churches on the Main Street strip, and its design is probably the most typical of small-town southern Ontario churches.
Trinity United Church was originally constructed in 1879 as a Methodist church but, since the conglomeration of Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregationalist churches in the 1920s, has been a United church. It forms part of the historic buildings on Main Street, even though it now hosts a Korean congregation (I'm guessing that it wasn't here during the founding of the church) and is one of the many places of worship that preserve the historic character of the town while accomodating its growing diversity.
One of the many historic buildings along the Main Street strip is this red-brick Post Office, which is pretty typical of a southern Ontario town. Its clock tower (which barely reaches over the roofs of the surrounding buildings) was probably quite significant when the post office was first constructed.
Old Town Hall in Newmarket is hardly a big tourist attraction, but it does help to add to the historic character of the Main Street district. I believe that it is now used primarily as a theatre/play house, and its architecture is somewhat traditional for small town Ontario. There is a small square in front of Old Town Hall called Market Square - commemorating the fact that the building known as Old Town Hall was used as a farmers market until the 1940s.
In 1801, a Vermont Quaker by the name of Timothy Rogers dammed a part of the Holland River and built a grist mill at the site of the dam. Settlers began to build homes near the site of the mill and thus the nucleus of what would later become Newmarket was born. Today, Fairy Pond is a quiet and pretty pond and park at the end of the Main Street district. There is a fountain in the centre and a small boardward area with flowers and a plaque commemorating the town's history.
If you drive up Yonge Street into Newmarket, you are likely to get the impression that this is nothing more than an extension of the massive urban sprawl that now connects the city of Toronto with Barrie at Lake Simcoe. Not true! Newmarket is actually a historic settlement and much of its old town charm can still be found on Main Street, where the oldest town hall, churches, records' office and post office can all be seen. Main Street is now billed as a form of revitalization for Newmarket, so there are lots of non-traditional businesses, but it still has the feel of a small Ontario town. Parking is ample behind the old town hall, and there are plenty of places to buy coffee and snacks to make an afternoon of it - including a new establishment that combines a used bookshop with an antique store and a café.