The Cabin – January 2021

Length of stay: 4 days
Visited: January 2021

Ontario has been under a strict province-wide lockdown since December 26, 2020. So to safely ring in the New Year we decided to head up to the cabin for the long weekend. There is no running water or electricity there and the road leading into the cabin is not maintained, so we usually have to walk in with all our supplies, including water, during the winter months. But we were up for the challenge.

And speaking of challenges, last year we completed the 52 Hike Challenge and went for a hike at least 52 times throughout the year. So this year we decided to set a new goal for ourselves, one that assumes that travel restrictions will remain in place for most of this year. Our challenge for 2021 is to visit as many of Ontario’s provincial parks as we can. Since the cabin is located near a few provincial parks, some of which are open all-year round, we figured this would be a great way to start the year and challenge.

Day 1: New Year’s Eve

We left Toronto shortly after lunch and made the 3 hour drive to the cabin, stopping in Belleville to refill one of the empty propane cylinders that we took back the last time we visited the cabin in November. There was next to no traffic on the road and we made great timing. We rolled into the cabin, or rather the road leading up to the cabin, shortly after 3p.m. We parked the car at the top of the road and walked the rest of the way in. It wasn’t too bad of a walk in, there were some icy patches, but there was enough snow to provide some traction. It also wasn’t too chilly outside (-2°C).

I made two more trips back and forth to the car to carry mostly the rest of our supplies in while K stayed behind to get a fire going in the wood stove and heat up some water for tea. I made it back just as it was starting to get dark outside.

We played some board games for the remainder of the evening and ended up going to bed at 10p.m, which is considered quite late for us. The wine we brought will just have to be used up another night.

Day 2: Happy New Year

We woke up bright and early and were ready to start the year off on a good foot by going for a hike and crossing the first provincial park off our list. After eating breakfast, we walked out to the car and drove to Murphys Point Provincial Park. The park is open all year-round and is a popular place in the winter for cross-country skiing and snowshoes. We brought our snowshoes with us and were optimistic that we’d be able to use them. Not today it seems as there was less snow (and more ice) at Murphys Point than at the cabin.

We spent the morning “hiking” (more like sliding around) a few of the “easy” trails (more like strenuous given the ice) and decided to call it quits earlier than planned due to the conditions. This is why we really should buy a pair of microspikes or ice cleats.

When we returned to the cabin we got a nice fire going in the wood stove and spent the remainder of the day reading by the fire and playing board games.

Day 3: Let it Snow

We received 10cm of snow overnight and woke up to a wintery wonderland. I was eager to get out and enjoy the snow. After eating breakfast, we walked out to the car and drove to Silent Lake Provincial Park. This is where it would have helped if we had taken our snowshoes into the cabin with us, but instead they were in the trunk of our car.

Silent Lake is open all year-round and is quite busy during the winter. There are over 34km of groomed cross-country ski trails and around 8km of snowshoe trails. The park also offers a few winter camping options, including yurts, cabins and electrical sites. We contemplated booking one of the cabins after staying in one when we visited Killarney last November, but figured our cabin was close enough that we couldn’t really justify it.

Silent Lake did not disappoint. After spending the morning strolling through the snow covered forest, we returned to the cabin in the early afternoon. We took it easy for the remainder of the afternoon and just played a few board games and sat by the wood stove. As an added bonus, since the cabin faces west, we were able to enjoy a beautiful sunset.

Day 4: Heading Back Home

We spent the morning cleaning up around the cabin and restocking the firewood for the next time we visit. After eating a late breakfast, we made a couple trips back and forth to the car to carry out our stuff. The hike out is usually easier, but there was a lot more snow than when we had to hike in.

Just in case we didn’t get enough exercise, on the drive back to Toronto we stopped at Ferris Provincial Park to go for a winter hike.

While 2021 is shaping out to be another strange year, I’m glad our provincial parks are still open for us to enjoy and that we’re able to visit the cabin. All-in-all, we had a pretty decent start to the New Year and have already made great progress on our Ontario Parks Challenge.


56 thoughts on “The Cabin – January 2021

  1. kagould17 says:

    What a great way to start the New Year. Winter walks and hikes always look better with a fresh coat of snow and that light at the cabin is spectacular. Thanks for sharing. Allan

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Agreed. We figured we spend enough time cooped up in our apartment anyway, so it was nice to actually go somewhere to celebrate the New Year. As an added bonus, the cabin tends to get significantly much more snow than Toronto, so it was nice to enjoy it while we could. On the drive back to the city, it was actually raining outside. Thanks for reading.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I love how magical and sparkly it looks after a fresh snowfall, especially when the sun is out. The cabin definitely feels cozy during the winter when it’s snowing outside and there’s nice fire during in the wood stove. It’s the perfect place to curl up in a blanket and do some reading.

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        The Finnish Lakeland looks simply stunning. I find there’s always something so peaceful about being near the water. If you enjoy spending time in the outdoors, than you will definitely love Canada. I’ve never been to Finland before, but I would love to. I’ve always wanted to go to Lapland in the winter.

      • Little Miss Traveller says:

        I’ve only visited BC and Vancouver Island and that was ages ago, so really need to return. When you have time you might like to take a look at some of my Finnish posts. Definitely one of my favourite destinations.

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        I have yet to visit Vancouver Island, but have heard it’s beautiful. There never seems to be enough vacation time!! Thanks for letting me know about your posts of Finland. I’m going to make a cup of tea and check them out. I can’t wait for this pandemic to be over so I can start travelling abroad again.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      For sure. I’m glad we visited Silent Lake during the winter as it looked gorgeous, especially after a fresh snowfall. The hiking is usually more challenging in the snow, but it just makes for a better workout. Besides, the trail was pretty short, so no big deal.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I feel so fortunate that we have the cabin and that we’ve been able to spend more time there this past year because of the pandemic. It’s tough being cooped up indoors in our apartment in the city. It’s nice to have a change of scenery. I just find it so much more relaxing spending time so close to nature. Too bad it doesn’t have running water or electricity otherwise I would just move there.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It was the perfect place to (safely) ring in the New Year and enjoy the snow. I feel so fortunate that we’ve been able to escape to the cabin for a change of scenery every so often. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks. There’s nothing more satisfying than watching a beautiful sunset at the end of the day. The winter is usually dark and dreary, so you got to take advantage of those sunny days while you can.

  2. ourcrossings says:

    What a fantastic way to ring in the New Year, and your cabin is located in such a scenic spot. Beautiful winter photos, there’s nothing more magical then freshly fallen snow. 🙂

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      For sure, it was nice to be able to go away and do something special to celebrate the New Year. Options were limited because we were under a strict lockdown, but glad we could at least visit the cabin. It’s especially beautiful in the winter with all the snow. Take care.

  3. Bob Boynton says:

    I very much enjoyed the Cabin blog, and want to wish you a happy new year. Looking forward as you are to a world where we are not constantly Covid conscious and free to walk about. BobnCarolyn.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words. I feel so fortunate that we have the cabin to escape to, especially this past year because of the pandemic. It’s located in the middle of nowhere on nearly 100 acres of forest, so it really is the perfect place to social distance. And same, I’m so looking forward to a post-COVID world. I can’t wait to just hug my family and friends again. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks, there’s nothing like spending time in nature to keep you grounded and put things back into perspective. It’s nice being able to unplug from the world around us, including the news, and just focus on the simple things in life.

  4. Ab says:

    Those are beautiful sunset photos – with that late afternoon light – bouncing off the white snow off Silent Lake! And must be so nice to hike those freshly snowed trails with the snow coated trees! And that fire in your cabin looks very idyllic and calming!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks. It’s funny how the sun can make such a big difference to your day. There’s nothing better than watching a beautiful sunset to end the day. We’re planning on returning to the cabin this weekend for the Family Day long weekend. Fingers crossed we get more snow (and warmer temperatures).

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks. It was nice to be able to go someplace special to celebrate the New Year. Even though it’s a lot more work to visit the cabin the winter, it was well worth it. Plus, we could use the exercise since we don’t go for our daily walks now that’s it’s winter.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We replaced the wood stove a few years ago with one that is more efficient. But the best part is that you can see the fire burning inside. We’re planning on visiting the cabin again this weekend. It’s a bit chilly outside, so it’ll be nice to curl up by the wood stove and read a book. Thanks for reading.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Definitely. We’ve had to celebrate holidays a bit differently since the pandemic. I’m glad we were able to do something special and escape to the cabin for the long weekend to ring in the New Year. There is usually significantly more snow at the cabin compared to Toronto, so we took advantage of it while we could.

  5. leightontravels says:

    Love your cabin log posts. It all looks and sounds so idyllic, despite the back and forth to carry in all the supplies. The snow covered forest is enchanting, as is a night spent by the fire playing board games. That’s a perfect New Year’s night, even in a world without lockdowns. Good luck with your new challenge, will be following as always!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks. We’ve certainly made good use of the cabin over the past year. It’s been nice being able to escape from the city and just spend time in nature (despite the work required to haul our supplies in). Our Ontario Parks Challenge is quite ambitious, but it’ll be good to have something to work towards and look forward to on the weekends. It’s a good excuse to get some fresh air (and exercise). Take care.

  6. says:

    Beautiful photos, must have been magical waking up to all that snow, its all so pretty. And lovely that you had somewhere to escape to during the pandemic. England has only started to open up today so we are about to head off for our first trip this year. 🙂

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words. Despite the cold, I actually enjoy the winter. Even more so after a fresh snow fall. It was great being able to escape for a few days to just get a change of scenery. I heard on the news about how after 100 days the lockdown in England eased yesterday. That must have been such a great feeling. What better way to celebrate than by going on a trip. That’s so exciting. We’re in our third wave of the pandemic here in Canada and have been recording record high numbers of new cases. We’re of course back in lockdown for the foreseeable future. At least we still have our cabin to visit.

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        That’s crazy that you weren’t even able to visit your other property. We’re technically not supposed to visit our cabin, but it’s not enforced. So many people have been visiting their cottages, even this early in the season. How exciting to leave tomorrow. Safe travels and enjoy your freedom!!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words. Our cabin has been a wonderful place to escape to during the pandemic. It’s a great place to just reconnect with nature and tune out from the world around us. Prior to the pandemic we would usually visit a few times during the year, but this past year we’ve been coming down about once a month. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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