A short trek at Marble Rock Conservation Area

Daily Stats

Date: July 17, 2016

Distance hiked: ~11 km // 6.9 mi

Steps taken: 15, 679

Time on the trail: ~3 hours

Calories burned: 1, 228

Fuel consumed: 1 Clif bar, ~1L water

Wildlife spotted: just your run of the mill squirrels, chipmunks, and forest birds (but lots of cool butterflies!)

Yesterday, I decided to try out a nearby hiking trail located in Marble Rock Conservation Area. The full loop is around 11 km long and is advertised as being of high to moderate difficulty. I arrived at the trailhead around 10:30 in the morning (after getting mildly lost on my way to the parking lot), and there was one other car parked there. Another car pulled in just as I was getting on to the trail, and I briefly crossed paths with that hiker at the first lookout on the trail (Leaning Rock Lookout), but other than pretty much had the trail to myself.

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Map courtesy of the Frontenac Arch Biosphere

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Some examples of trail along the south loop 

It was a hot day out, but the forest was shaded and cool, which was lovely. The trail goes through some really nice forested area, and you can see awesome chunks of the Canadian Shield sticking up out of the ground. I didn’t find many of the lookouts to be too spectacular, but there were definitely a couple of good views along the trail. The red/difficult section of the south loop was quite rocky, and had lots of scrambling up and down steep slopes. To get to the north loop, you climb up on to a more exposed section of the trail, and most of the trail here is over exposed shield rock with lots of lichens. I really like this kind of trail, but it does make it a bit easier to get lost, as evidenced by the fact that I briefly wandered off trail and had trouble finding where it picked back up again. The trail is quite well-marked though, and the rocky sections even have some cairns and blue arrows painted right onto the rocks. Continue reading “A short trek at Marble Rock Conservation Area”

Rideau Round 3: this is what I came here for!

Daily Stats

Distance hiked: 16 km // 10 miles

Steps taken: 25, 953

Time on the trail: ~5.25 hours

Calories burned: 2, 306

Fuel consumed: 2 tortillas w/ peanut butter + jam, 1 baggie of dried fruit, 1 cheese string, 1 baggie of party mix, 1 apple, 2.6 L of water

Wildlife spotted: 1 loon, 2 deer, 1 woodpecker, 2 garter snakes, 1 ground hog, gang of turkey vultures, 1 ruffed grouse, 1 unknown medium-sized mammal

Yesterday, I returned to the Rideau Trail for the third time, this time starting my hike from Gould Lake Conservation Area, which the trail runs straight through. I wasn’t long into the hike before I knew that I had reached the section of the Rideau Trail I had been dreaming of. When I decided to hike as much of the Rideau as I could this summer, THIS is what I imagined it would be like!! I was treated to rocky and rough terrain, with a narrow and twisting trail through deep forests and rocky ridges with sweeping lake views.

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Continue reading “Rideau Round 3: this is what I came here for!”

Return to Jones Creek.. and a successful beaver pond crossing!

Daily Stats

Distance hiked: 14.7 km // 9.2 mi

Steps taken: 21, 496

Time on the trail: ~4.75 hours

Calories burned: 1, 565

Fuel consumed: 1 cheese string, 4 oreos, 2 tortillas with peanut butter + honey, ju jubes, 2L water

Wildlife spotted: many chipmunks, squirrels, mosquitoes, and frogs, 5 garter snakes, 1 eastern ratsnake!

This past Saturday I returned to the Jones Creek trail system of Thousand Islands National Park. I was determined to make it around the entire system in one straight shot, beaver ponds be damned, and I had come prepared with a properly water-proofed pack, an extra pair of socks, and most importantly, a plan.

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Continue reading “Return to Jones Creek.. and a successful beaver pond crossing!”

Return to the Rideau! (Sydenham Rd. to Unity Rd.)

Daily Stats

Distance hiked: 16 km // 10 mi

Steps taken: 20, 813

Time on the trail: ~4.25 hours

Calories burned: 1, 421

Fuel consumed: 1 banana, 1 apple, 1 cheese string, 2 medium tortillas with PB + honey, 1 clif bar

Wildlife spotted: many red-winged blackbirds, 2 turtles, 7 mallard ducks, 1 otter (or other small swimming mammal?), 1 turkey vulture, 1 garter snake, family of Canadian geese, and TONS of caterpillars frantically crawling across the trail

This past Sunday saw my return to the Rideau Trail, as I hiked a 5-mile section from the intersection of the K&P Rail Trail and Sydenham Road to where the trail intersects with Unity Road. I was expecting this section to be much nicer than the first section of the Rideau that I hiked, and I was not disappointed. This section heads out of the city pretty quickly, travelling cross-country through farm fields and forest.

Continue reading “Return to the Rideau! (Sydenham Rd. to Unity Rd.)”

Long-weekend-hiking-extravaganza Part 3: Jones Creek Trails, Thousand Islands NP

Daily Stats

Distance hiked: 19.5 km // 12.2 mi

Steps taken: 29, 956

Time on the trail: ~6.75 hours (including driving from one end of the trail system to the other… more on that later)

Calories burned: 2,378

Fuel consumed: 2 cheese strings, 1 clif bar (turns out the mint chocolate flavour is actually good), 3 oreos, 2 medium tortillas with peanut butter + honey, 1 apple, peanut butter m&ms

Beaver ponds across trail: 1

Beaver ponds successfully crossed: 0 (more on that later as well..)

Wildlife spotted: too many chipmunks and mosquitoes to count, one chickadee, two blue jays, two great blue herons, two frogs, one freakishly large tadpole (swimming in the beaver pond with me… more on that later), one rose-breasted grosbeak, one red-winged black bird; heard one woodpecker and calls from ovenbirds and green frogs

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The final hike of the long-weekend-hiking-extravaganza was meant to be a 9 mile hike along the entire Jones Creek trail system of Thousand Islands National Park. As you can see from the stats above, that didn’t quite happen. A series of mishaps lead to an accidental 12 mile hike (which is about the length of the longest hiking day for my first overnight trip!).

Continue reading “Long-weekend-hiking-extravaganza Part 3: Jones Creek Trails, Thousand Islands NP”

Long-weekend-hiking-extravaganza Part 2: Rideau Trail (Trailhead Place to Cataraqui Cemetery)

Daily Stats

Distance hiked: 12.8 km // 8 mi

Steps taken: 16,922

Time on the trail: ~3.5 hours

Calories burned: 1,105

Fuel consumed: one cheese string, 3 oreos, 2 medium tortillas w/ PB and banana, 1 apple, half bag of peanut butter m&ms, 1.7 L water

Wildlife spotted: one cardinal, one red-winged blackbird, three robins, three black squirrels, one chipmunk

Day 2 of the long-weekend-hiking-extravaganza took me down a short stretch of the Rideau Trail. I hiked a 4-mile section from Trailhead Place to Cataraqui Cemetery (and back), but the entire trail spans 387km and runs from Kingston to Ottawa.

I parked in the nice, big (free!) parking lot just off of Trailhead Place at King St. W in Kingston, ON. There were a few other cars in the lot, but it was mostly empty, and I again spent most of my time on the trail alone. Right off the bat, the trail enters a lovely forested area, with a golf course on one side and some scattered wetland areas on the other. The trail was easy walking for the most part, and this section would probably be accessible to most people. The path was nice and flat, with not much in the way of roots or rocks.

The spring weather was lovely, but beware of sparse spring vegetation when trying to trail pee!

Continue reading “Long-weekend-hiking-extravaganza Part 2: Rideau Trail (Trailhead Place to Cataraqui Cemetery)”

Long-weekend-hiking-extravaganza Part 1: Blue Mountain Trail, Charleston Lake PP

Daily Stats

Distance hiked: 9.5 km // 6 mi

Steps taken: 13,563

Time on the trail: ~3 hours

Calories burned: 1,095

Fuel consumed: two medium tortillas w/ peanut butter, 1 apple, 2 melted cheese strings, 5 melted oreos

Wildlife spotted: too many mosquitoes and chipmunks to count, 2 black flies, one frog, one garter snake, a handful of turkey vultures circling the peak; heard three woodpeckers and calls from some yellow warblers (tweet-tweet-alittletoosweet) and ovenbirds (teacher-teacher-teacher!)

This May long weekend, I decided to try out a new trail each day. My first excursion took me into Charleston Lake Provincial Park, along the Blue Mountain trail. This trail can be accessed by road at the intersection of Blue Mountain Rd. and Warburton Rd. in the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, ON. It can also be accessed by water via Huckleberry Hollow in Charleston Lake PP, which would be a whole other adventure. The nice part about the road access is that you can park and enter the trail system without paying any fees.

Continue reading “Long-weekend-hiking-extravaganza Part 1: Blue Mountain Trail, Charleston Lake PP”