Gord Harry Trail (A few steps)

Gord Harry Trail is located in Port Colborne, Ontario. It is 13 km in length and runs as a point to point trail. On January 11, it was encredible hot for the time of year ( 10 degrees Celcius) and my girlfriend and I decided to go check out the trail.

The main parking lot of the trail is located in the centre. From there, trail goers can choose either direction to walk, the parking lot is also close to a small conservation area that was once a landfill. The trail is covered in loose gravel and can be travel on by bike (including fat biking) , I hope to come back in the summer to bike it. The scenery of the part of the trail we walked  is a mix of wet forests, farmers fields, and a country club.

Arriving at the trail the weather was perfect, nice and sunny with the wind coming from behind us. We could hear birds chirping as we walked along, occassionally catching a glimpse of a chickadee or cardinal dart across the path. There was no end to the amount of tracks that could be seen in the snow, I could make out deer, rabbit, and even muskrat.

We only walked in about 4 km before stopping to cook some soup on my alcohal stove at the side of a road (roads intersect the trail about every 1-2 km). It was funny watching vehicles slow down and look at us, puzzled as to what we were doing. After lunch, we decided to turn back and made it back to the car just before a storm hit. It was a nice little hike and allowed us to time our pace. Hopefully, in the spring, we will come back and walk the whole trail to one end and back (26km) which should take us about 8 hrs with two food breaks. THe trail aslo connects to the Wainfleet Wetlands, which is where we were originally trying to make it to if it hadn’t been for the rain.

I recommend this trail to anyone looking for a nice gentle hike/ bike ride. the only down side of the trip was the amunt of animal poop that we had to watch out for. I also tried out a sample for an energy snack called BOUNCE, it was really good!

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Cheers,

Kerrp

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Mud Lake Hike

This past weekend I went for a hike at a local wetland. Mud Lake conservation area is located between Port Colborne and Welland. It is a man made site, being created from the dumping of sediments from the creation of Lock 4 of the Welland Cannal. The land is owned by the Niagara Pennisula Conservatio Authority (NPCA) and contains a small pond/lake, bird hunting blinds, and a few trails. There are four different trails ranging in length; White Egret Trail 0.2 km, Yellow Warbler Trail 0.8 km, Red Fox Trail 2 km, and Blue Heron Trail 3.2 km. I decided to take the Blue Heron and make a detour through the Red Fox Trail as well.I came to check out the site as a possible cross-country ski trail for when we finally get snow.

Within the first 100 m in I stumbbled across a small shrew/mouse. He was curled up in a ball, but still alive.

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I went back to my car and grabbed a thick pair of work gloves and picked the little guy up. He scurried around fine on my hands, but it did look like he might have been injured on his rear end. I placed him on the leaves at the side of the trail where he curled up again and continued on my way. I know you shouldn’t mess with nature, but I couldn’t leave him in the middle of the path to get stepped on or run over by a cyclist.

When I arrived at the Red Fox Trail I was happy to find juniper berries growing. I have found beauty in house these small blue berries clash again the green leaves of their trees. I grabbed a few for a small seed collection I have.

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The trail became muddy and this point and I could see the foot prints from previous trail goers. I spotted a few deer prints in the mix of human and dog foot prints.  I was alone for the duration of my hike, except for some ATV that drove by on a road close to the trail.

Mud Lake is used for water fowl hunting, the season was ove Noveber 29, but the signs of the hunt could still be found in the forest. I found a bench were a hunter had plucked his kill, feathers were spread everywhre like white snow, I also found a shot gun casing.

I came up to an area where there was a lot of reids by the edge of the water. I paused for a few minutes, I thought I had heard a large animal moving within the reids. I was hoping a deer might emerge, after seeing the prints form before! I eventually realized that loud russeling I was hearing was not a large animal at all, but a large amount of birds moving within the reids! As I rounded a corner I startled a chunk of the bird causing them to take off, there were tons of different types! I am no birder, but I did identify a few blue jays and cardinals. At this point, I was also treated to a pretty view of the lake and reids.

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Walking on the last half of the trail loop I found a few decks that had been built, most likely to allow hunters to reach the hunting blinds that are only accessible by water. The decks gave me an idea to come back in the spring with my kayak to do some birding and look for some turtles.

Overall, the hike took me about 45 minutes to complete. It was not the most secluded area or prettiest, but it was nice for a short hike on a Sunday afternoon. Like I said, I plan to come back in the spring to see th enew growth and hopefull spot more wildlife!

-Kerrp

 

 

The Ontario Winter Camping Symposium

Last Saturday I was one of the lucky 300 peole to get a ticket to the sold out First Ontario Winter Camping Symposium hosted by

I originally was not going to go to the symposium despite my interest in the event. Having never winter camped, or even interior camped for that matter, I was worried about attending the event and feeling left out. I felt as though I wasn’t worthy of having a ticket. I actually didn’t even buy my ticket, it was a gift.

Nervous butterflies danced in my stomach on the car ride to Waterloo University where ther symposium was being held. Entering in the Arts Theatre I was surrounded by people, women and men of all different ages, some children too! The sponsors of the event were awesome as well, including Lure of the North, SnowTrekker Tents, Ontario Outdoor Equipment Co., and many more.

The symposium itself was a blast, all the speakers brought something different to the event. I found that all the presentations were cattered towards all types of experience levels, making me feel like I belonged. The Camping Family discussed car camping at Mew Lake Campground in Algonquin Provincial Park and how winter camping is something the whole family can enjoy. The idea of trying to summit Silver Peak this winter at Killarney Provincial Park was put into my head by The Passionate Paddler. I was very excited to meet Kevin Callan, The Happy Camper, who talked about his new book (I got my copy signed while there!). The youngest persenter, Teirney, demonstrated that winter camping doesn’t have to be expensive. A great way to save money and experience prime wilderness is camping on Crowned Land as discussed by Martin Pine. The final persenter was Jim Baird, co-winner of Alone (Season 4), it was amazing hearing about his and his dog Buck’s (such a good boy) talk about their winter trip across the Ungava Pennisula in Northern  Qubec.

It was even interesting just hearing the people around me talk about all the adventures they have recently gone on and the funny stories from their trips.  At the end of the event I was even the lucky winner of an Anorak (A type of canvas winter jacket) made by Empire Wool and Canvas based out of Minnisota. I have never been so excited about winning this prize, I would never have been able to afford such a beautiful item! I left the symposium feeling over the moon and like I belonged in this community, I learned so much and I am excited to get out and into winter! If only it would snow!

Also, the Anorak was a Large so I had to send it back to get a new size. Heres a picture of me in the large though.

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-Kerrp

The Start

Hello,

Today I am going to start this blog.

I am kind of at a stand still in my life. I recently graduate in the spring with a degree in Environmental Geoscience, I don’t know if it was the fear of having to find a job or wanting to better my education, but I decided to go back to school for a Graduate Degree. Along with going to school, I work as a part-time janitor at a city pool.

Its odd, when I left home for my first year of school five years ago I always said I’d travel and do some much more than I’ve actually done so far. Since leaving for school, I feel like I am alwasy busy, there is always something that has to be done, that I’m constantly watching the world fly by around me and I’ve stopped fighting to go against the flow. The rythem of school, work, sleep, repeat keeps running in the back of my head.

I want to do more.

Part of me is afraid that I’ll get so focused on the social media aspect that I’ll forget to enjoy the adventure. The other part of me is hoping that this blog will make me have to keep finding and doing new things to write about. I want to break free and I want to fight again, I want that spark of adventure that I lost somewhere.

I am excited to start.

-Kerrp