Take a walk in the woods. The fire you have later will be so much nicer!
We can spend a lot of time sitting by the fire. A lot.
A tall coffee, a good book or a season of something new to watch on Netflix, a blanket and a roaring fire – what a perfect way to spend a cold, snowy Sunday.
But sometimes you have to get up and move. Breathe the fresh air and take in the sounds and scenery we’re so lucky to be surrounded by in Niagara region. A chilly morning walk in the woods makes your afternoon by the fire even more comfortable.
No matter where you live, whether you’re close to the border or closer to Beamsville, your home is close to great trails to get out and explore.
These are our favourite places to hike on the cold, sunny winter days.
Get to the Glen
The trails are clearly marked and well-traveled, but never crowded. You can work your way down to the Niagara river and watch the river boats battle up current or you can stick to the main trails and wander, stopping to watch the groups of rock climbers scattered throughout the gorge.
Hikes in the Glen are the most physical on our list, with elevation changes of 200+ feet.
Ball’s Falls conservation area is a large historical park and conservation area.
The Bruce Trail, Twenty Valley Trail and smaller trail systems are marked through the conservation area and surrounding land. You can hike for hours and be treated to views of Twenty Mile Creek as it rolls over two sets of falls, upper and lower.
You can view the falls from above or below, and very close up. In spring the falls are at their most turbulent, or during a snow thaw like we experienced earlier in February.
Long Beach conservation area
Long Beach features…a long beach. Winter or summer, the beach is beautiful (although you will have to bundle up a lot more to take in the view of the water in February).
The 56 hectares of groomed hiking trails through open areas and forested lands are easy to traverse and include almost no elevation change.
This is a great option for a leisurely walk in the woods.
The Bruce Trail. Just about anywhere
The main Bruce Trail and endless side trails area accessible all across the region.
The book is full of detailed maps with topography and simple landmarks. Each stretch of trail is described in detail and you can clearly identify sections for advanced hikers and sections for a leisurely afternoon.
The trail is maintained by volunteers and runs through private property at times. It’s worth supporting by buying the guide book or donating.
There you have it!
Get out for a hike this long weekend and you’ll feel you earned that evening or afternoon relaxing by the fire.
And if you are tired of stacking wood, feeding your fire and shoveling out ashes, upgrade to a gas fireplace insert. You can maintain the beauty of your large masonry fireplace and upgrade to the convenience of a gas fireplace. It’s the best of both worlds.