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Hiking to the Havilland lookout (17 photos)

It was wet and muddy and sometimes treacherous, but completely worth it

Fully aware that the trail at Robertson Cliffs would be busier than normal with the fall colours at their peak this past weekend, my hiking partner and I decided to take a path less travelled.

We took the trail to the Havilland Lookout – a moderate uphill hike through fairly dense bush and marshy areas, over rocks and a few steep areas, with a babbling brook and some small waterfalls.

Thank goodness for trail markers as the path itself is not always obvious and fairly overgrown on some portions.

Also thank goodness for waterproof hiking boots since the trail crosses the aforementioned babbling brook twice. They also came in handy in those marshy spots.

The trail is not a loop, so once at the top – which offers a spectacular view of the entire Haviland Bay – we simply turned around and headed back the way we came.

My hiking partner's keen eye spotted a vantage point off the marked path that (after trudging through a bit of underbrush) rewarded us with an incredible vista of vibrant fall colours.

Recent rainfall made the hike muckier than expected and the rocks slicker than desired, especially on the way down. It was actually a bit treacherous at times.

When all was said and done, the hike was a very satisfying 5 km trek. And I felt pretty smart for buying waterproof hiking boots... until I ended up shin-deep in mud. Thankfully, that happened at the very end.

The views and pair of socks I had to throw out were well worth the effort.