Dreaming of adventure in 2017

Last fall, we were planning a trip to Algonquin to hike the 35km Highland Backpacking Trail.

I know, I know. Who hikes in Algonquin? That’s THE place to go to canoe/portage. Just take a moment to do a quick Google search of this trail. It’s beautiful. And it comes highly ranked as one of the top hiking trails in Ontario. A must see! I wanted to complete the 35km trail (as opposed to the 19km loop), because what’s the point of going all that way if I’m not going to hike the entire trail? I’m a bit of a completionist.

We had it planned. We booked the days off of work. And as the day approached, I eagerly checked the forecast. It was October, so chances are it would be chilly. But I was determined that if I packed enough and wore enough layers, mittens, socks, sweaters, jackets, moisture wicking clothing… I could do this. It would work.

And slowly, my dreams of a fall hike started to dwindle. 50% chance of rain. 60% chance of rain. 70% chance of rain. 90% chance of rain.

We made the call to stay home. We cancelled our vacation days (to be used another time). We stayed in, listened to the rain, and watched a movie instead. I don’t think I’m prepared to do this as a winter adventure. As much as I’d like to. I don’t have winter camping gear or experience. I get cold easily. And winters in Northern Ontario can be quite harsh. Especially so if you’re under-prepared.

So I’ve resigned to waiting. 2017 is going to be an epic year.

We’ve already begun to plan some adventures (and I’m sure there will be more than what it planned). We will definitely make it to: Algonquin, Tobermory (and finally visit The Grotto), Cape Croker, Bon Echo. Maybe Killarney, Red River Gorge, New River Gorge, Red Rocks.

Huron Natural Area

For months I’ve wanted to check out Huron Natural Area. It’s about 5 minutes (driving) from home and in the middle of the city. The trail map it readily available online.

The other weekend was one of the colder ones this season and the forecast called for rain… and snow! We didn’t feel like going out of town with a chance of the hike being rained out. So we took this as an opportunity to check it out.

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Honestly, my expectations were low. I thought we’d be bored. I though we’d run out of trail and go home early. THIS EXCEEDED MY EXPECTATIONS! We hiked for about 10km!

The primary marked trails lead to a pond with a bridge and lookout point. (There was a sign identifying this as the perfect photo opportunity. It was right!)

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The trails were dotted with apple trees. We stopped to pick and eat some apples. Yum!

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And there were forest trails beyond the ones on the primary map! This was my favourite part.

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We even came across an old car, which had been in the forest so long that you couldn’t see a clearing in the trees where it would have come in.

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