As the temperature drops and snow begins to fall, winter is finally here. Time really flies this semester, and I’m sure people are busy with exams and can’t wait for the Christmas holiday! As someone who was born in a much warmer place, I had to admit that the winter in Kingston really blown up my mind when I first came here. Everything looks so quiet and pure, just like a wonderland. The snow must love the trees and fields so much that it kisses them and then covers with a heavy blanket and tell them “Hey, go to sleep and wait until summer’s here”.
The British poet Edith Sitwell once said that “Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home”. It’s indeed a time for recovery and preparation, but more importantly, also for an adventure! How much better will that hot drink be when you’ve come in from an active day in that oh-so-crisp air? Coldness doesn’t mean we cannot have fun outside! There are several trails in Kingston which are not far away and have breathtaking views even in the winter time. Below are some of the trails that I have been to and would highly recommend.
1. Lemoine Point Conservation Area
This is definitely my favorite place for outdoor walking. It’s right in town and on a bus route, it offers a large field to try out deeper snowy conditions, as well as 11 km trail system. It’s bordered by Lake Ontario and Collins Bay and has 136 hectares of forest, field and marsh, with a spectacular waterfront. There are also different trails we can choose, and they even have a trail for bikers. You may also see different cute animals along the way. I remember seeing turkeys, squirrels and chipmunks along the way on one of my trips there. Trail 1 has some nice waterfront scenery while Trail 5 has a lot of open areas. There is also some open space where you could sit down and have a picnic there with your friends.
2. Frontenac Provincial Park
Frontenac Park is another great place for some real wilderness adventure. It’s a bit far, around 45 minute drive. However, it has a huge conservation area (about 5355 hectares) and there are a wider variety of lengths and difficulties you can choose, ranging from a couple of hours to even a couple of days depending on your availability. It also opens year-round with 48 interior campsites, and has incredibly scenic trails for skiing and snowshoeing. You may see some little birds darting from branches or squirrels burrowing in the snow. There are also snowshoes available for rental at the park’s visitor centre.
3. Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area
Another great place is little Cataraqui Creek Conservation area which is around 15 minute drive as well. It is around 394 hectares and there are areas of marsh, field, and forest habitat for nature lovers. During March Break Maple Madness event, you will be able to see sugar bush and learn how maple syrup was made in the old days and how we make it now. That’s a truly fun and educational experience! In the end, you could also try the pancakes that’s served with real maple syrup which is really delicious. During winter time, which is actually the most popular time of year, you can enjoy the cross-country skiing and snowshoeing there with amazing views.
Those places are my top three when it comes to walking and hiking in Kingston. It’s the time of the year to put on your warm winter jacket and come out with friends. I promise you will love to embrace the beauty of winter just as much as I do! Also, if you’ve found other places that’s worth checking out, please let me know!