Hiking Peach Cliff

by Josée
You never know what magical places you will find when you step outdoors and explore beyond your home. Sometime you don’t even have to go very far. Today our Learning Circle hiked up Peach Cliff, an area that I’ve driven passed numerous time. From the road Peach Cliff is a formidable rock face with an elevation of 600 meters at the top. The cliff was formed by volcanic eruptions millions of years ago and rounded out by glaciers. When the last glacier finally receded it left a large volcanic rock precariously teaterring on its edge, this rock has been appropriately named the “balancing rock”. But before you reach the “balancing rock” there are many neat sites to discover on the way up.

We started the hike by walking through a large cattle gate. As I write this post, there are about hundred head of cattle grazing on Peach Cliff. We never saw any cows, but there were lots of cow patties (poop) on the trail. The first leg of the hike brings you to what appeared to be a stack of pallets, but on closer inspection it is a storage contained for coring samples. There has been some mining done on Peach Cliff for silver, gold, copper and zinc and these cores samples are the first evidence of this history on the way up.

Around the corner from the coring samples is a small body of water called the gold fish pond. Apparently, this pond is filled with gold fish in the summer making the water glitter and shine. We didn’t spot any fish but it’s still quite early in the year. As the trail goes up from the pond you come to a point were you can follow the trail left up to the top of Peach Cliff or you can go up a littler further and see the “balancing rock”. If you follow another trail to the right of the balancing rock you will come across an old mining cave. The cave is a home for rats and bats so you don’t really want to go inside but it’s neat to have a quick look. These areas are well worth exploring before heading up to the top of Peach Cliff even if it means a bit of backtracking.

I debated going on the final leg of hike to the very top. My eldest was keen but I wasn’t sure how my daughter would do and I have a harder time helping her with Teddy on my back. So with some hesitation we set off and made the steep, yet relatively short, climb to the top. The climb was well worth the effort because the view from the top of Peach Cliff is incredible, just amazing.

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