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Middle Falls And Lookout

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Another incredible fall day! I’ve strayed a bit farther from home this time. It’s a good half hour drive to what was at one time an active provincial park called Pigeon River. It is now abandoned but hikers are still welcome. Access to the falls is very easy, either through the old park or off of the Devon Road (Highway 593). With all of the rain this fall, the falls were very impressive. They don’t compare with Kakabeka Falls, or High Falls, but just the same they are well worth visiting.

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I then followed the trail south along the river to the lookout. It’s a more difficult trail, lots of up and downs, than I had experienced before. A little tough for an old out of shape guy! It took me about an hour to get to the lookout but it was worth every minute. It is an absolutely incredible view of Lake Superior! I sat for a while taking it all in while I sipped on my cup of tea and had a biscotti. The hike out was quicker by about ten minutes or so. The trail along the riverbank was still muddy from the earlier weeks rain. There were plenty of deer tracks on all parts of the trail, but the only wildlife I say were sqirrels.

This is a must hike for anyone who lives in this area. As mentioned the view from the lookout is not to be missed. But be careful as there are no barriers at the cliff’s edge.

Cedar Creek

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Cedar Creek, a Lakehead Region Conservation Area, is located west of Thunder Bay, past Kakabeka Falls. Follow highway 590 and turn left at 2nd Sideroad. Turn left again at Broome Road and follow it to the end, about 1.5 kilometers. There is a good parking area and, as with all LRCA trails, a pay box where you can drop off your $2.00.

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This is a short trail, under a half hour one way, but is very pleasant and suitable for all ages. The trail is well maintained with only minor up and downs. At the end is a small waterfall and numerous rapids. A bench awaits those that want to sit and contemplate nature. On this trip I brought along my Kelly Kettle, some water of course, and some tea bags. I had boiling water ready in a matter of minutes! Trouble was, I’d forgotten to bring along a mug to drink from. This is when I realized a check list would have been a great benefit to me. So from now on I check and double check my list. But I sat and enjoyed the view anyway. When I left I drove the long way home, following some great back roads along the Kam River. It was warm and mostly sunny and a very enjoyable day.

Mills Forest

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Today’s hike was along the trail in the Mills Forest Block, a Lakehead Region Conservation Area site off of John Street Road. It was overcast and about 15C, great for walking but not the best picture taking weather. The trail runs along a pretty swampy area and then up and around a ridge before it comes back on itself. The long straight stretch lets you view a couple of beaver ponds. The whole trail is suppose to be four kilometers, but seemed shorter. The only wildlife I came across was a young duck in one of the ponds and a partridge that I heard but did not see. With the abundance of deer in our area, I thought for sure I would see one.

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The trail is very easy with only minor up and downs. It certainly could get messy along the beaver ponds so be aware during rainy periods. The loop around and over the ridge is very nice and includes a rest area with a small bench. If not for the trees you would get a very good view of the south side of the city. I would recommend this trail for all ages.

Little Falls Trail

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A beautiful September day, over 21 C. I dressed too warm for the weather – long pants, long-sleeve shirt, vest and hat. I should have worn shorts and a t-shirt. The trail was wet, but well worth the walk to see Little Falls.

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The trail starts at the parking lot of the interpretive centre on the south side of the river. Once you cross the bridge follow the boardwalk along the escarpment, then up the slope and veer left to the parking area. You will have no problem finding the trail-head. Follow this excellent trail about two thirds of the way to the return loop and you will find a trail off to your right. This will take you to Little Falls and return you via the river bank. The trail is very easy to follow and has some good up and downs, particularly at the very end. As I mentioned, it can get wet along the lower parts, so be prepared.  A walking stick will help get you through it.

The falls are very picturesque, be sure to bring your camera. You can do this trail in under an hour for sure, so it’s great for any time of the day.

First Hike At The Cascades

Sunday, October 2, 2005

I took my first real hike in my new boots. They seem to be fine, I just have to remember not to make them too tight. I went to the Cascades at the end of Balsam Street. I’ve lived here all my life and had never been there before. I tried to follow the map once I got started, but misread where one trail started. I took the Forest Trail to the short cut over to the Orange trail. This lead me down to the Blue trail where it meets the Red. This allowed me to follow the river up to the cascades. Today was absolutely beautiful, at least 20 – 23 degrees Celsius, so the place was busier than normal. I didn’t spend a lot of time at the river and headed back on the Yellow trail to the parking lot. Then I redid the Blue – Orange and cut-off trails once more, then back to the car. Lots of families and dogs, the trees are in full autumn colours and lots of leaves where falling. A beautiful day.

Note: The above entry was made in my hiking journal after returning home from the hike. I made no mention of the fact that these trails are easy and enjoyable for all ages. The actual “cascades” are quite beautiful and have great areas for picnicing. Don’t forget to take your camera.

Trails

Here is a list of trails in the Thunder Bay area. If you read the whole article you will find links to most of these trails.

Lakehead Region Conservation Area trails

Sleeping Giant Provincial Park trails:

Nipigon Area trails:

 Rural Thunder Bay

Urban Thunder Bay

 I believe in supporting organizations that help keep trails and nature areas available for our hiking enjoyment. In Thunder Bay they include the Lakehead Region Conservation Authority, and the Thunder Bay Hiking Association.

Other important links:

Boreal Forest Organization

 Ontario Parks

Ontario Outdoors

Superior Hiking Trail Association 

Superior Trails

Thunder Bay Field Naturalists

Thunder Bay Nordic Trails

Township of Nipigon

Trails Canada

Trans-Canada Trail

Wherever you live and hike, please support those that keep our trails open. Many of these people are volunteers and avid hikers like you and I.  And remember to leave as small a footprint as possible wherever you go.

Lots To Offer

I live in what is often called The Great White North. This is what the uneducated say. Actually, we have just about the same weather as a third of the USA. Only we don’t have all the people to deal with.

So we have really great springs, summers and falls, and winters that can be both brutal and beautiful at the same time.

What we also have are some incredible hiking trails that are accessible year round. So if you are looking for variety, well kept trails and fabulous scenery, why not visit Northwestern Ontario? As our city slogan says, “Superior by nature”.