Writer | Hiker | Outdoor Enthusiast

Hamilton and Area Hikes: Loops & Lattes
Woodrising Inc. 2018

Known as the “Waterfall Capital of the World,” this guide takes you to more than 20 of them. While there’s something captivating about cascading water, the waterfalls are just the beginning of what makes Hamilton and the County of Brant havens for hikers. Within Hamilton’s urban boundaries, there are stands of regionally rare Carolinian forest, tallgrass prairie, wetlands and savannahs. Cootes Paradise, the marsh encircling the tip of Lake Ontario, has been a nature sanctuary for more than 90 years and is deserving of the name “paradise.” And winding its way right though the city is the ever-present Niagara Escarpment — the “mountain” to Hamiltonians.

The aptly named Grand River courses its way through the County of Brant, where an extensive trail system provides opportunities to explore forest-laden river oxbows and to traverse rolling farmland. Not far away is Paris, which has been called the “prettiest little town in Canada.”

Hamilton and Area Hikes’s 34 routes range in length from 2.5k to 23.5k and mostly start and end at the same location. Each hike is accompanied by a detailed map, precise directions, loads of colour photos, a smattering of local lore and suggestions about what to do après hiking. Lattes anyone?

To purchase a copy visit my Bookstore.



Dufferin Hikes: Loops & Lattes
Woodrising Inc. 2017

If you like to hike or walk and don’t yet know about the trails in Dufferin County then Nicola Ross has a surprise for you. Bordering Caledon and Peel Region, the “high” county, as it’s known, is Caledon with a fraction of the traffic, fewer houses, deeper valleys and dirt roads that go nowhere.

As for all guides in the Loops & Lattes series, Dufferin Hikes: Loops & Lattes describes routes that conveniently start and end at the same location. Ranging in length from 2.2 to 21 kilometres, each is accompanied by a detailed map, precise directions, loads of colour photos, a smattering of local lore and suggestions about what to do aprés hiking.

To purchase a copy visit my Bookstore.



Halton Hikes: Loops & Lattes
Woodrising Inc., 2016

Halton Hikes: Loops & Lattes, expands into new hiking territory. Nicola describes 37 routes that will appeal to casual walkers as well as seasoned hikers. Her loops all begin and conveniently end at the same location. Ranging in length from 3.6 to 24.8 kilometres, each is accompanied by a detailed map, precise directions, loads of colour photos and a smattering of local lore.

Halton Region stretches north from Oakville and Burlington, up the cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment near Campbellville, Milton, Acton, Georgetown and Glen Williams and into the rural areas just across the border near Eden Mills, Rockwood, Erin, Cheltenham and Terra Cotta.


To purchase a copy visit my Bookstore.



Caledon Hikes: Loops & Lattes
Woodrising Inc., 2015

Situated in Southern Ontario’s Greenbelt, home to the Niagara Escarpment’s cliffs, the Oak Ridges Moraine’s rolling kames and kettles, fine farmland and several of southern Ontario’s most picturesque rivers, Caledon is a rural gem located within Toronto’s urban shadow. In Caledon Hikes: Loops & Lattes, Nicola provides detailed descriptions of 37 hiking loops that are a perfect way to spend an hour, an afternoon or even an entire day.

All of the routes described in this thoughtfully organized guide start and end at the same location. Sprinkled within her instructions is fascinating information about Caledon’s plants and animals, tidbits about its industrial past, and suggestions about where to top off your walk with a frothy café latte or an irresistible ice cream cone.

To purchase a copy visit my Bookstore.



Boston Mills Press, 1997

Nicola’s love for and familiarity with her hometown shines through in Caledon’s 120 pages of photos and essays. A native of the hamlet of Belfountain where the Credit River meets the Niagara Escarpment as it butts up against the Oak Ridges Moraine, Nicola demonstrates that her pen as is deft as her local knowledge is deep. She describes the region’s rich flora and fauna, its historic rock-quarrying past and its burgeoning equestrian present. Complimented by Gord Handley’s spectacular photos, and archival black and whites, Caledon is treasured by all who display it proudly on their living-room coffee tables.

nicolaross_publishing_2_sept002004Healing the Landscape: Celebrating Sudbury’s Reclamation Story
The City of Greater Sudbury, 2001

Visitors to Sudbury today may wonder what all the fuss was about. Gone is the community’s infamous moonscape that reportedly attracted astronauts from NASA. Thanks to the vision and dedication of all Sudburians, much of the 84,000 hectares of blackened, treeless rock that gave this industrial city its lunar reputation have turned green. More than 11-million trees and millions more shrubs have been planted. And now, close to 40 years after the reclamation began, nature has taken over the regreening process.

Using photos and personal accounts, this inspirational, gorgeous and award-winning book celebrates Sudbury’s reclamation success. It’s an extraordinary account of environmental progress and the community that achieved it..

nicolaross_publishing_2_sept002003Dufferin County
The Boston Mills Press, 2002

 When Dufferin County hit the streets in 2002, it outsold the latest Harry Potter book in local stores. People who live in, grew up in or visited this wildest of Southern Ontario’s rural places lined up at the till to claim their copies. Residents who seldom visited a bookstore checked out with three copies tucked under each arm, one for each of their children, or their children’s children or perhaps to take as a gift when visiting friends in faraway places.

Nicola’s absorbing essays, when combined with Rosemary Hasner’s breathtaking photos and rare archival shots paint the story of Ontario’s youngest county. The arts thrive in Dufferin County’s high, windswept hills, but agriculture remains the mainstay in the place that inspired Dan Needles to create his award-winning and highly entertaining Wingfield Farms performances.

nicolaross_publishing_2_sept002002Humber River: The Carrying Place Trail
Toronto Region Conservation Authority, 2009

When a small group of individuals asked Canada’s Heritage Rivers System to designate Southern Ontario’s Humber River, officials had to curb their chuckles. The Humber? A Canadian Heritage River? Somehow, this small, meandering stream didn’t fit what organizers had in mind when they came up with the designation system. They were thinking of the great, roaring Thompson or the old voyageur route along the French. But supporters persevered. They pointed out that the Humber was part of the historic Carrying Place Trail used by fur traders, First Nations and others to travel from Toronto to Georgian Bay and beyond. In the end, the Humber received its designation. In honor of this accomplishment, Humber River: The Carry Place Trail describes the arduous task of receiving designation, and engages readers with an in-depth and entertaining understanding of the importance both past and present of one of Ontario’s most popular rivers.

nicolaross_publishing_2_sept002001Melville White Church
Belfountain Historical Society, 2012

“That the Melville White Church still stands is a tribute to the staunch Rockside pioneers from Scotland who built the spare little building 175 years ago. But a plucky band of dedicated residents from nearby Belfountain deserves credit too…”

So begins this tribute to one of Ontario’s oldest and dearest churches. Now lovingly restored, the church is the subject of numerous works of art, many of them used to illustrate this precious book.

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