Earth Matters by Jacqueline Milner – Enjoying the Out Doors – February 6, 2012

CFN – I enjoy the outdoors and all it has to offer, but often find myself caught up in a lengthy “to do” list to make the time to just unwind, enjoy and indulge in the peace and quiet that an afternoon in the outdoors has to offer.  I had received a call from a friend in the a.m. with an invitation to join her for some snowshoeing.  My list was calling me to work, however the sun and opportunity were calling and it seemed it was time to take some time for me.I had wanted to try out snow shoeing for sometime and this lovely sunny winter weekend provided wonderful conditions to do exactly that.  Turns out that there are some wonderful groomed trails close to home that offer the ideal environment for skiing and snowshoeing and also rent the shoes, skis and poles to do one or the other.

So off to the Summertown Trails I went to meet my friend and rent some snowshoes for an afternoon adventure.  My expectation was that snowshoeing would be an easy way to trek through rolling terrain regardless of the snow depth.  Having cross country skied through this same terrain years before I found it was easy going on the snow shoes and provided a firm platform for my feet any time I wished to stop and take a photograph.
We breezed through about 7 km’s of trails.  The one challenge I experienced on this day was the footwear I decided to wear.  I wore a pair of boots which weren’t form fitting, they were a little on the large size and as such were rubbing on my heel.  As we were heading back to the rental hut I was concerned that I might end up blistering my heel.  In hind sight a good warm hiking boot would have served better.

It is amazing how an afternoon out in the great outdoors can completely empty our facilities of the cares and worries of day and re-energize us for demands of the days ahead.  It was lovely to see families sharing some time and laughter together on the trails.  This is an activity that I would recommend to anyone; it is fun, relaxing and in my opinion easy for anyone to participate in according to their fitness level and a great way to reconnect with the simplicity and peace that a natural surrounding has to offer.At Summerstown Trails You can rent skis ($9.00 plus HST) or snowshoes ($5.00 plus HST) at the parking lot every Saturday and Sunday in January/February, between 9 AM and 4 PM.  The equipment fee covers the rental for the day or for a couple of hours.  The 7 k.m.’s of trails that we covered on this wonderful day were groomed and well marked.  These trails are located off of Hwy 27 in South Glengarry.

Equipment rentals can sometimes be arranged at other times for larger groups such as children’s birthday parties, workplace or family gatherings. Questions about such gatherings can be directed to Doug Boeckh, or 613-931-3264. Rental of equipment will only be available when the trails are groomed and operational and when the weather permits.  One can expect in very cold or rainy conditions that the rentals would not be available.Snowshoeing is also available at the Gray’s Creek Conservation Area on the edge of Cornwall proper at 18045 County Rd #2.  They also offer rentals of equipment.  Further inquires about rentals, trails and hours of service may be directed to 613-938-3611 or visit their website,

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