Well, it’s been a while! Suffice it to say, real life has resumed since returning from Japan, and between work, a brief health scare, and three weddings to attend this fall (one in which I am a bridesmaid), my days are full enough.
That being said, I resolved to take advantage of the many outdoor opportunities that surround my current city of residence this summer. Unfortunately, between the aforementioned health scare and terrible weather (I can’t call it summer weather at all; it’s been really grey and relatively cold), I haven’t been able to do much.
Today, though, promised beautiful weather and both my friend, Melyssa, and I had this weekend off of work, so we decided to do some hiking! Let it be known, however, that I am definitely not an outdoors person. I grew up in a suburban city, surrounded by dozens of residential streets with tiny backyards and little in terms of outdoor fun. Melyssa, though, grew up in a very small town and used to work in provincial parks, so it was reassuring to have her around!
Our choice of hiking grounds today was the nearby Killarney Provincial Park.
Killarney Provincial Park isn’t as large or famous as Algonquin Provincial Park, but it’s still offers some great scenery (think green foliage and sapphire blue lakes contrasting with the white, rocky quartzite landscape). There is plenty to do there – camping, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, wildlife spotting, and hiking (including a 78-km backpacking route). Plus, it’s a lot closer to us than Algonquin!
Anyway, we had a relatively late start to our day since Mel was coming off of night shift. As a result, we chose to do the Cranberry Bog Trail – a 4 km loop trail, which was enough to pass whatever time we had left in the day and leave enough daylight to relax a bit at the beach and have dinner.
Top: Some of the bog/wetland we passed through. Bottom-left: The forest trail. Bottom-right: Whatever bones and fur was left from an animal carcass. We weren’t sure what it was, but it must have been a fairly large animal.
It wasn’t a bad trail at all, and it brought us through both dry and wet land scenery. The dry land was mostly forest and tricky rocky slopes, while the wet land was, as the trail name suggests, bog, where we found an abundance of minnows and tadpoles, as well as a loon and (what we think was) a heron.
Once we finished the loop, we stopped at the nearby beach to take a dip in the lake since we were both pretty sweaty from the hike. It wasn’t a particularly nice or noteworthy beach – lots of little rocks and gritty sand – but it was a nice way to cool off!
We didn’t stay too long, though, since it was already around 5pm and we were hungry! So, we toweled off, changed, and hopped back in the car to drive further towards the actual town of Killarney. If you don’t know already, the area in and around Georgian Bay is well regarded for its fish, especially whitefish, so there are lots of places that sell locally caught fresh fish. We stopped in town for some fried fish ‘n’ chips – delicious! And we got to eat it right by the water, too.
After all this, we were both pooped despite the short day. We only stopped to purchase some locally-made apple maple syrup (me) and chocolate-nut butter (Mel) before packing up and heading back home for some rest.
It was a fun day for sure and hopefully, I’ll be able to do some more hiking around this beautiful area soon!