We’ve been feeling kind of blah lately. Maybe it was because of the weather, lack of sunlight, the never-ending pandemic, or the fact that we completed the 52 Hike Challenge about a month ago, and weren’t sure what to do with all this free time. So we decided to head up to the cabin for the weekend.
Located along the rugged shores of Georgian Bay, Killarney Provincial Park is considered a wilderness park. There is a single campground in the park at George Lake and there are a number of backcountry sites that are accessible by canoe or along the famous La Cloche Silhouette Trail. Killarney is open all-year round and provides a number of activities depending on the season. From hiking and canoeing in the summer to snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter.
With a handful of hikes left, we decided to take some time off of work and head to one of our favourite places in Ontario, Killarney Provincial Park, to complete the challenge. We booked a heated cabin in the park for three days towards the end of November. After spending the morning hiking one of my all-time favourite trails, The Crack, we headed out in the afternoon to hike along another one of my other favourite trails in the park, the Chikanishing Trail (3km, rated moderate).
Located within the city of Sudbury, Lake Laurentian Conservation Area contains 13 trails that range in length from 625m to 10km that can be used for hiking, biking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. There is also a boat launch for canoes and kayaks.
Located near the Saint Lawrence River, Thousand Islands National Park is one of Canada’s smallest national parks. The park consists of three sections along the mainland: Mallorytown Landing, Jones Creek and Landon Bay, and 21 islands. While most of the park is only accessible by boat, there are a few hiking trails that can be accessed on the mainland.
Proctor Park Conservation Area was named after the Proctor family who resided in the area. In 1853, Isaac Chamberlain Proctor built a house, which was later expanded by his son John, which became known as the “mansion on the hill” or Proctor House. Proctor House was slated for demolition in 1972 but was saved when local citizens formed a campaign to preserve it. The house was then turned into a museum and was opened to the public for tours during July and August. The conservation area also features two hiking trails through cedar lowlands, and up through a hardwood forest.
Frontenac Provincial Park is situated above an ancient granite ridge linking the Canadian Shield to the Adirondack Mountains and consists of forests, wetlands, marshes, lakes and granite outcrops. It offers canoe routes through 22 lakes and over 100km of looped backpacking and hiking trails. And the best part is that Frontenac is open all-year round.
During the American Revolution, the Ball family maintained their allegiance to the English Crown. In recognition of their loyalty, Jacob Ball and his family were issued Crown land grants in Niagara. Two of Jacob’s sons, John and George, received 1200 acres of land in Niagara in 1807. The Twenty Mile Creek on their property provided a source of power for the brothers to operate a flour, saw and then later woollen mill. Part of this area, along with the historic buildings have been preserved and are now part of the Balls Falls Conservation Area.
Located in Scarborough, Rouge National Urban Park is the largest urban park in North America. The park features a number of trails through wetlands, forests, meadows, and along the coast of Lake Ontario. At the start of the pandemic Rouge National Urban Park became our go-to place to hike due to its close proximity to where we live. We haven’t been in a few months, so with pleasant weather on the forecast, we decided to return to enjoy the fall colours.
Located along the sandy shores of Lake Ontario, Darlington Provincial Park boasts of providing a variety of recreational activities such as swimming, hiking, birdwatching, fishing and boating. It is also conveniently located right off Highway 401 and it is open all year-round.