Friday, November 30

Arrowhead in Between

We're in between seasons now. The fall colours have all fallen but the snow hasn't started yet (not in earnest, it hasn't). It's too cold for swimming and too warm for snowshoeing and that leaves a lot of people wondering what to do with themselves around here. My favourite answer to that: hiking!

Cool days, fresh air, clear paths, no crowds. All excellent ingredients for a great day on the trails. A popular local spot for afternoon hikes is Arrowhead Provincial Park, just north of Huntsville, Ontario.

The park is closed to vehicle traffic at this time of year but there's ample parking at the entrance gate and visitors are welcome to walk, hike, cycle and even roller blade into the park during the day. It's about 1.5km from the gate to the (closed) park office and the start of the 2km Mayflower Lake Trail or 2.7km Homesteaders Trail.

You can venture further into the park to access even more of the trails, such as the one that goes to Stubb's Falls. From the park gate to the falls and back is about an 8km round trip walk/hike. While there are some good long hills on the route, most of it is on paved roadways absent of cars.

I recently did the hike to Stubb's Falls and back in about an hour and twenty minutes, but allow yourself at least two hours so you can spend some time viewing the falls or wandering along the lakeshore. There are lots of photo ops, even if this isn't our prettiest time of year.

Even though the park is officially closed, you won't be alone there as it a favourite outing for many locals and visitors, especially on a mild weekend afternoon. Plus we have park maps here at the inn for guests to bring along on their hike so you'll have the lay of the land.

It's between seasons now, what some would call the "off" season, but take advantage of this limbo time while you can. Once winter sets in, the cross-country ski trails, snowshoe trails, and the new ice-skating trail will be open and Arrowhead Park will be a bustling hive of activity for outdoor enthusiasts once again.

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