The Avon and Health Valley trails follow the Grand River east of St. Jacobs, Ontario. It passes under the main highway, crosses private land (with permission), and is well traversed. I broke this into two photo sessions with the hopes of trying different lighting. In hindsight, the lighting isn’t that different between 1:00 and 3:00 pm, even in the winter.

The trail starts at a parking lot and immediately, you are at the river’s edge.

Canon 80D – Sigma 150-600mm – 157mm – f5 – 1/640 – ISO 500

Sections of river bank were frozen, but it was mostly wide open, much to the appreciation of the ducks.

Canon 80D – Sigma 150-600mm – 150mm – f5 – 1/2500 – ISO 1600

Old farming equipment is left near the trail head as a reminder to visitors of the farming origins of the surrounding community.

Canon 80D – Sigma 150-600mm – 157mm – f5 – 1/2500 – ISO 1600

Stands of trees line the trail, with one area predominantly consisting of spruce and pine trees. The low sun provided great contrast of shadows and light.

Canon 80D – EFS 10-22mm – 10mm – f3.5 – 1/250 – ISO 500

As you pass under the highway, a large farmstead is visible on the far shore of the river.

Canon 80D – EFS 10-22mm – 22mm – f4.5 – 1/2500 – ISO 500

Large farm fields to the south of the river often contain one tree as a focal point, reminding us of the forest that once stood here.

Canon 80D – EFS 18-135mm – 59mm – f5 – 1/2500 – ISO 500

A chance encounter with a horse drawn sled sent us running for a clear shot across one such field. Out of 32 pictures, one made the cut.

Canon 80D – Sigma 150-600mm – 226mm – f5.6 – 1/640 – ISO 500

Even on beautiful trails, such as this, the evidence of human interference in natural environments is ever prevalent.

Canon 80D – Sigma 150-600mm + 1.4TC – 210mm – f7.1 – 1/1000 – ISO 500

To see these images and many more, check out the session page and view the slideshow of the whole gallery.