Wandering in the Woods

These days, we have the world at our fingertips. In one single device we can contact our friends anywhere in the world, quickly navigate with a mapping system, capture top notch images,  google the weather, and even book a hotel; the options are limitless. When it comes to traveling there is a comfort in having your trusty side kick with you. Your phone. But deep down, there is an innate part of us that is screaming, “Put down the phone. Look up!” Although difficult to remember sometimes, there is indeed a world outside of our screens.

The science behind just how beneficial time in nature is for the human body and brain is becoming more and more readily available. Ontario Parks hosts Healthy Parks, Healthy People every year encouraging the use of provincial parks with free admission and programming. Nature RX’s hilarious take on the topic has circulated the internet for the past year. Even David Suzuki tells us that, “studies show that enjoying a natural setting — like a park, beach, wetland, or forest — can reduce blood pressure, anxiety, and stress levels. Exposure to nature can help you sleep well and increase vigour and liveliness. It can even boost your immune system.” And let’s be honest, what other opinion do you need? He’s David Suzuki, Canada’s ecological warrior –I certainly trust him!

Thankfully we live in this beautifully expansive province that has kilometres and kilometres of untouched, natural land for us to enjoy and explore. Why not do exactly what the doctor ordered today? Get your daily dose of nature.

Hike Haliburton

This weekend, September 24 & 25th, Hike Haliburton celebrates its 14th year of bringing nature and people together. With over 80 guided hikes to choose from, there is no shortage of opportunity to embrace nature. Today.

The Festival goes beyond just ‘traditional hiking‘; heavily integrating the arts, culture, heritage and foodie experiences to truly showcase the local flavour. Count your kilometres by picking up a hiking journal and recording your adventures throughout the month of September to win prizes. Or enjoy one of the great events happening throughout the region during the Festival for all to enjoy; whether you’re a hiker, or not.

Luckily enough, hiking, exploring, wandering is not just a one-weekend event. This region is full of unique, natural environments for you to escape to.

Here are three of my favourite spots to wander in the woods:

Shaw Woods

Wander through the old growth forest, catch a glimpse of an eagle, or enjoy a moment of silence on the resting bench. Whatever you do, don’t forget to breathe deeply and slow your pace.

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O’Hara Mill Homestead and Conservation Area

Wander back in time by touring the black smith shop, the original homestead or the one room school house. Tip: grab a map at the visitor centre to help you easily navigate the trail system.

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Bon Echo Provincial Park

Not all hikes need to be leisurely, and the trek to the top of Mazinaw rock surely isn’t (although you can 100% take it at your own pace). Every step brings you closer to one of the most magnificent views around.

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Nature is the one medication where you don’t have to worry about the side effects; they’re all good for you!

Happy Wandering.

The Wanderer

Chasing my desire for unrehearsed days and unexpected moments across Ontario's Highlands.

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