Okay, I’ll admit it… winter is my least favourite season. To me it has always meant bone chilling temperatures, consist indoor days and as I aged; the inconvenience of snow during a morning commute. So, this year I told myself that I would own winter, I wouldn’t let myself succumb to the winter blues, the snowfall sadness or just the overall blah of constant cold weather. That’s what I told myself, however here I am still feeling resentful to Canadian winter, overwhelmed by the urge to just google images of beaches and stare at them…all…day…long. It seems to me that beating those wintertime blues takes more than wishful thinking and half-hardhearted internet searches such as; ‘What to do in winter in Burlington’, ‘How to beat those -40 temperatures’ and ‘How long is too long? Winter v. The Citizens of Canada’. What I have come to realize is that, you kind of just have to make your way outside. Put on your favourite boots and walk the salty streets or in this case; hike the snowy woods.
I ended up choosing; Happy Valley Via Oak Ridges Trail located near Nobleton, Ontario. Being that I was visiting my little sister in Schomberg and I didn’t know the area, I found this trail by using the ‘AllTrails’ app. If you have to download one hiking app, I recommend the ‘AllTrails’ app, it tracks your location, generating a list of trails in the area. You can also use the search bar to type in a city, town, etc to plan out a hike in the future.
Upon arrival, I drove right by the entrance which is marked with a simple York Region trail marker and really nothing else. Actually the only reason I suspected I was in the right area was because of the cars parked on the side of the road, since the landscaping goes from suburban to farm land and the start of the trail in a slightly wooded area in between. Needless to say, parking and admission are zero cost but you will have to find a safe area for your car either along the country road or up one of the side roads. Once you hit the trail, it is actually really nice and quaint however the beginning was incredibly hilly.
It was quite the leg workout as well as a difficult trek in the winter weather… I fell down the hill. The entire trail is a 4 mile loop which will take you along two side trails and back up the main way you entered. Be sure to stop and take some pictures of the farm land surrounding the area, I thought this was pretty neat and while sadly there are no farm animals, this was a pretty unique part of the hike which I haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing before. Bless my city girl soul.
When the hike was over, there was no revelation, there was no sudden thoughts of how great winter can be or far off looks into the woods along with silent mantras…and I think this is okay. Sometimes we expect too much too soon and I think this was one of those times because realistically one hike is sometimes just that. I did enjoy my time outside and will continue to push myself outdoors during these colder months. Perhaps one day I will enjoy the winter months, that would be awesome, or maybe I will always dream of sand and sun when it starts to snow, that’s okay too.