Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Section Of The Nokiidaa Trail Link Completed, A Strange Encounter

Did I miss the ribbon-cutting ceremony?

The fence is down and Nokiidaa Trail Link access is finally granted after many months of hard work. Without any notice, last weekend the boardwalk trail link was opened to the public. The Nokiidaa Trail link is now semi-officially linking the St. John’s Sideroad boardwalk to the Tim Taylor Newmarket trail, and of course, completes the Town of Aurora section of the Nokiidaa Trail.

Did I miss the ribbon-cutting ceremony? There are probably small details still in progress for the boardwalk to be complete, so maybe the ceremony is still coming in the near future. I requested the grand opening information from the Town of Aurora blog, but I have not received any response yet. It is awfully quiet there, and I mean it.

Boardwalk observation deck, Red-winged blackbird

I have decided to investigate on Monday, and it was worth going there despite a long walk and heat from the sun. Once on the boardwalk, I noticed how nice it was to be away from the road – it was quiet. The road noise on the McKenzie Marsh boardwalk on the St. John’s Sideroad is unbelievable, especially around lunchtime. Not just for my benefit, but for the environment’s sake, I think people should start bringing lunches to work.

Fallen trees

The boardwalk is also very close to the water. I didn’t notice if there was any passage underneath, but there must be. However, if we get heavy rainfall, I wonder how that will affect the area and the boardwalk. From what I understand, there was some kind of environmental study done on the construction of this trail link, thus the reason for the current design of the boardwalk. I am sure that nothing was overlooked.


I am not sure what to call it – a wetland, swamp, or pond. However, some interesting things to notice – a lot of dead and fallen trees. In addition, the water is fully covered with Duckweed, making the sightseeing very green. Kind of spooky with all the dead trees sticking out. However, dead trees are good for birds to perch on and good for us photographers, at least we can see them.

Canada goose, bath time

Despite all the construction activity going on in the past few months, life around the boardwalk seems well adapted, especially the Canada goose and Great blue heron. The Canada goose have been participating in the construction of the boardwalk since the first posts went into the water, and now they are enjoying taking a bath. Great blue heron enjoys perching on the dead trees, and they probably like it a lot because they are closer to the water so they can fish.

Great blue heron, almost camouflaged

That day, I think I did more socializing than taking pictures. I met a nice gentleman who is also into photography, has similar equipment, and is much better than mine. We talked a lot about birding and different places to spot new species. Well, now I know that I don’t have to go far to find new birds. Our conversation was slightly interrupted by a lady who fell off her bike a few meters away from us. She gave us a hand sign indicating that she was okay.

More boardwalk

Now, you may think that our adventure stopped here. No, not yet. At some point, a lady biked by us and commented, “It is like in Louisiana.” I don’t know why, I’ve never been there so I cannot confirm. I continued to take pictures when a man passed by us. He was wearing a hood on his head. It was almost midday and hot, so I guess any head protection helped. Matthew waved at him and said hi. The man looked down at him and kindly nodded his head. He was going towards St. John’s Sideroad. The Louisiana lady was biking back. She stopped, and that’s when I started to get goosebumps on my body.

A strange encounter

If I were you, I watch out for this man,” she said.

Yes, he is kind of strange looking,’ I replied.

Take a picture of him,’ she said noticing my equipment in the wagon.

May be stay closer to the road, where people are,” she continued.

We both looked in his direction. He stopped at the St. John’s Sideroad and turned around. We kept looking at him for a few seconds. We both stayed silent and my heart started to pound. I looked around, there was no single soul when you needed, just me, my Matthew and her, and of course the man was now heading in our direction.

My imagination went wild. “Maybe …” – I started to tell her what I was going to do just in case, but nah. I kept thinking, this is my opportunity to use some of my martial art moves, a kick, a punch, the famous flying spinning kick I could never do. My head was full of crazy maneuvers, maybe it’s time to use dragon style. Or not, I liked snake. Or why not monkey, anyone can do monkey. I was getting ready, I was indestructible. I was a champion. Bruce Lee will be proud, proud, proud of me.

Are you okay?” she interrupted my moment.

Yes, I think so,” I said.

Do you want me to walk you to the end of boardwalk?” she asked.

How nice of you to offer,” I acknowledged.

No, I will be okay,” I replied.

And which way you are going?” I asked.

Towards Newmarket,” she replied.

Okay then, I think I will be okay,” I said it, and she biked away.

The man passed by us again right after the lady left. Matthew greeted him again, he smiled again and we moved on. There was nothing to be scared of at all, but it really does take two people to blow things out of proportion. I did not get to use my moves, but that is completely fine, because I have not practised for many years. I don’t even know if I can kick or punch at all.

The gentleman who talked about birds came back, and I shot some more pictures of birds, this time a Killdeer. No, nobody killed the deer. The name is related to the call of the bird – I couldn’t hear it, but if you listen I think their call is “kill deer“. They are very friendly, just like seagulls, and very interesting to watch.


I wish everyone an enjoyable time on the newly constructed Nokiidaa Trail Link and don’t let your imagination run wild like mine did, otherwise, you will never get to the other side. I will be back to see the rest.


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