I managed to turn an ankle while running frozen trail a couple of weeks ago on some ruts and sidelined myself for a week. I could have run as it doesn't really affect straightline running but I wanted to play it safe, and the less than desireable weather meant I didn't feel too bad about sitting around for a few days.
The trail system is peppered with signs informing users to stay off the trails in muddy conditions as this damages the slopes and really messes up the surface. I've been running them all winter and conditions have been good but it looks like plenty of people ignored the signs when the temps crawled over freezing and the trail was heavily rutted from walkers and a small handful of cyclists. After it froze over, which is when I ran it, it's like cobblestones turned on their edge and I managed to misjudge on a downhill, rolled my ankle and hobbled home. The swelling a couple of days later let me know it needed some rest.
Nonetheless, back at it this weekend and inspected the trails on Sunday. They seemed fine until I got to some messy muddy sections near Bayview Avenue and had to run off-trail. While high in the section near Bayview I heard a consist trundling it's way southbound on Bala near the trial crossing at the 5 mile mark. I had my camcorder with me and was a bit out of position for a clear shot which left me finding a reasonable opening through the trees. Much to my surprise, being a Sunday, it was VIA train #2, the Canadian, running more than a day late after being held up by snowstorms in Saskachewan.
Related news article:
Quite the catch as there isn't much activity on south Bala outside of the Canadian and the weekday GO commutes. I used to see a lot more freight action along this line. For freight action these days I hang out around the level CP crossing at Wicksteed when time allows: