Cabin Fever? Get Outside!

18 Feb

 

Heidi Martin from Outside Projects leads us on a snowshoeing adventure!

Heidi Martin from Outside Projects leads us on a snowshoeing adventure!

by Diva Trista Russell

A long time ago I tried snowshoeing during a class trip to Quebec. It involved large hefty wooden snowshoes that made you waddle back and forth like a penguin in the snow. Thankfully, when I booked a guided snowshoeing tour during my stay at the Little Inn in Bayfield (more on my Little Inn experience in a later post!), the snowshoes were nothing like I remembered. The were much smaller and made of light weight metal…so no more waddling and tripping over my own feet!

Outside Projects offers guests at the Little Inn an opportunity to book guided snowshoeing tours ($20 per person) including snowshoe rentals ($15 per person). Heidi Martin from Outside Projects led a group of 10 of us “snowshoers” through a 2 kilometre hike on the Sawmill Trail just outside Bayfield. The entrance to this Bayfield River Valley Trail was about 2 kilometres from the Little Inn, just a short drive over the bridge on Bluewater Highway (No. 21) to Old River Road and Sawmill Road. Tyler Hessel from Outside Projects greeted the group at the trail entrance and provided an overview of what to expect and also helped those who needed some assistance (yes, that would be me) with putting on our new shoes.

Enjoying my new winter shoes!

Enjoying my new winter shoes!

The trail started with a lookout point donated by private owners where you can overlook Lake Huron. Then we proceeded with a descent down what Tyler called “Heartbreak Hill”, which I realized why it was named so when going back up the never ending hill! There is no doubt that snowshoeing is a great form of winter exercise. The trail is rated as moderate difficulty, but even with the snowshoes on, I never felt wobbly or unsure on my feet. As long as you walk sure-footed, snowshoes are very safe and an easy way to walk in the snow.

The tour lasted a little over an hour and was very peaceful as we hiked through the clearly marked trail along the Bayfield River. There were interpretive signs throughout about local plants (such as ferns) and animals (such as wild turkeys). Bridges and benches also lined the trail, and Heidi said that about 1,200 volunteer hours were involved in constructing this specific trail, which was opened in 2009. The Sawmill Trail was made available with the permission of various landowners, so it was great to see the results of a community coming together to make this trail happen. Snowshoeing was more fun than I expected, and I would definitely do this again!

Sawmill Trail leads to the Bayfield River, where you can see the remnants of the old mill dam and bridge at the river's edge.

Sawmill Trail leads to the Bayfield River, where you can see the remnants of the old mill dam and bridge at the river’s edge.

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One Response to “Cabin Fever? Get Outside!”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The 182 Year Old Inn | Ontario Travel Divas - February 24, 2014

    […] arrived early for the snowshoe adventure (see my last post for details), and the reception staff was very friendly and welcoming. There were guests milling […]

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