The growing popularity of our Fall Colours Chairlift Rides has proven itself again. Last weekend saw a great turnout of eager nature lovers looking to experience the changing of the seasons without the long trek up the mountain or as part of a good day’s hike. With the Thanksgiving long weekend only a couple days away and the leaves sporting brighter shades of orange and red, there’s only good signs ahead for a fantastic vista.
For those regulars who make a point of visiting every year, we have something for you too. This collection of photos provided to us by Tomoki Onishi from last year’s Autumn spectacle. Maybe next year we can share your photos for the 2017 Fall Colours Chairlift Rides.
As a hiker, it’s been a source of great pride to see so many of you taking an interest in coming out here to Calabogie and walking the trails these past couple of weeks. Combined with the impressive crowds during our Thanksgiving weekend Fall Colours Chairlift Rides and the number of hiking maps downloaded from our website, people have taken advantage of the weather to witness nature in perhaps its finest display.
When I tell people I’m a hiker, the first reaction is that I must be a hardcore, stocked-to-the-gills-with-official-Nike-gear kind of hiker. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I hike in jeans, strap a water bottle to my hip, bring a few quick and easy items in a backpack (couple of granola bars, a change of shirt, a towel, and a cell phone in case of emergencies), grab my walking stick and I’m off. I like to clarify this because while you can be a dedicated, athletic hiker (or a cross country runner, as was the case in my youth), the beauty of this activity is that it’s the definition of casual. Which is exactly what we saw from tweets shared with us over the past couple of weekends.
Now with my three-month old son to enrich my life, I secure him across my chest and bring him along to experience the trails with me in the hope it will become a tradition as he slowly develops the ability to walk with me. Years ago, it was the solitude and time away from crowds, deadlines, even responsibilities. A hike was my time to myself with nothing but my thoughts and some squirrels to keep me company. Times have changed and as a dad I know understand it’s also about getting away from the distractions we take for granted: pulling the kids away from the TV and spending some quality time outside, sharing an hour with someone special for a little hand holding under the canopy, snapping some amazing panoramas with your grandparents… the possibilities are endless.
It’s also about the accomplishment when you reach the trail’s destination, be it the top of the mountain or the gorgeous vista of Eagle’s Nest. It’s quality time in a place no video game, painting, or poem can reproduce and it’s why you have to see it to believe it.
Thanks for stopping by this weekend and I look forward to see everyone back on the trails next Autumn… and on the slopes this Winter.
As a growing hiking enthusiast, this may be the best time of year to charge up the camera batteries, strap on a backpack, and grab your walking stick for a journey into the woods. Not only because the cooler temperatures have basically eliminated the bugs (which were quite nasty this year, though the trails about The Peaks were actually quite hospitable to those of us who prefer not to become bug food), but to experience the fall colours firsthand.
It’s something we take for granted and not only because it signals the end of one season and the slow approach of another. It’s a natural event unique to our part of the world, a kind of gentle fireworks display marking the approach of something bigger to come. Timing is key to the perfect experience because this is not something spread out across many weeks and it all depends on weather conditions from weeks before. If it gets too cold too early, the leaves shift into duller colours and quickly fall before we can finish tying our shoes. Too warm and the leaves remain green until a sudden frost hits the air and we’re literally looking at half the time to absorb this occasion. Plus some areas change faster than others for no reason whatsoever. Mother Nature makes us work for it, that’s for sure, but when the time comes and you’re in the right place at the right time, it’s magical. I love it!
The beauty of sitting in the midst of the Ontario Highlands is the wide open expanses of fall colours spread across rolling hills. Take the view from Eagle’s Nest, for example, a local favourite. It’s an impressive view at any time of year, but it becomes a magnificent array of yellows, oranges, and browns as far as the eye can see. Only the view from a plane or the space station can beat it.
While I haven’t been able to get outside as often as I would have liked these past few months, the reason is also why I’m especially looking forward to getting onto trails like the Manitou Mountain Trail and Skywalk with my three-month old son. His vision is acute enough that he enjoys looking out the window when it’s all green trees and blue skies, so imagine what he’ll see with the perfect blend of Autumn. It’s a similar mindset fellow blogger, Michelle Kobzik, had last week when she took her five-month old to the top of Dickson Mountain.
If hiking is not your thing or simply out of your realm of possibility, we can help with that. Our annual Fall Colours Chairlift Rides are taking place this Thanksgiving weekend between 11am and 4pm. Catch a ride to the top of the mountain for only $10 per person (or $30 for a group of four) and walk your way down along Ole K&P or stay a while at the Top Hut and relax before catching a ride back down. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention joining us for lunch or sticking around for a Thanksgiving dinner at our Canthooks restaurant. It’s a time to give thanks for friends and family; why not take time to appreciate the world around us too?
Calabogie Peaks Social Media Guy here. I’m going to get a little personal today (but don’t worry, it’s nothing strange, just something that’s very near and dear to my heart). I’m a sucker for hiking. It calls to me and has done so more and more over the past few months. When I started working here back in November of 2013, the view from the base of the mountain took my breath away. Under normal circumstances, you’d think I would have been riding the chairlift as soon as the motor started running or tied up my boot laces post haste and started marching… but it’s not as simple as that.
Everyone has their unique challenges in life. Obstacles they must overcome as part of a personal conflict, be it mental, physical, or both. My employment here at The Peaks ended up being more than a fantastic professional opportunity, but a personal challenge that would take 18 months of training, perseverance and determination. Within days of sitting at this desk, I knew I was going to hike directly up the mountain and see the view from the other side. Not only that, I was going to document it and share it with all you fine readers.
Last weekend, I did exactly that. Starting from the base, I marched my way up the Juniper Junction’s ski trail, connected to Whistlin’ Paddy, and pushed up to the top of the Lakeview chairlift. There’s a reason why I’m sharing this with you beyond good marketing for our fantastic trails and it’s not just because it’s been at least 10 years since my last big hike – my right foot is filled with eight screws and lined with a metal plate locking my heel in place along with continuous nerve damage sustained from a nasty accident years ago. Four-and-a-half years ago at this time, I was completely dependent on walking with crutches or a cane undergoing physical therapy and here I am planning to reach not only the peak of the mountain but the peak of my recovery. It was going to be a painful, demanding experience and after months of planning and preparation (all in secret, as I kept all of this from everyone here in the Front Office and all my friends and family – save for my incredibly supportive wife), last Friday was finally the day.
With my trusty walking stick, binoculars, two bottles of water, a handful of granola bars, a camera over my shoulder, a cellphone in my pocket and a GoPro strapped to my chest, I set out to document this challenge. Have a look!
This is what hiking is all about. It’s not just the fantastic views, the appreciation of nature’s roots surrounding you, or the tranquility of a life beyond humankind. It’s the exhilaration of success when you stand on the tip of a giant rock overlooking a valley as wide as the Earth itself. I’ve missed that feeling after all these years, to be standing in a place where we are the minority, experiencing a moment only I can witness thanks to my own physical and mental efforts. Even with the bugs! I have the same feeling as I did when I completed a marathon, just without the desire to collapse on the ground or feeling like my lungs wanted to relocate to a bigger apartment. What made that moment even better was the realization that I was never expected to experience it again. It was to be nothing more than a memory of a time long gone. Not anymore and I couldn’t be more proud of myself.
This was my challenge to myself and everyone has theirs. Call it your bucket list, a New Year’s resolution, whatever it is in the back of your mind. While I could settle with the self-satisfaction of my own accomplishment, I want to take this to the next level. If my story can encourage at least one more person to overcome their challenge, that success will be all the more sweeter.
What is your challenge and how will you overcome it? Share it with us and let’s help others feel the confidence and willpower to #challengeyourself.
The leaves have fallen and carpeted the ground in a fabric of orange and reds. There’s nothing left to do except wait patiently for the snow to fall, right?
Wrong! Now is the perfect time to get your body ready for the rigours of downhill sports and cross country skiing. It’s not just about being in shape, but acclimatizing yourself to the dropping temperatures. Unless you’re one of the few and proud joggers who wake up at the crack of dawn – in the Summer, no less! – there is a significant difference between outdoor activities in the warm months versus the chill of Autumn and Winter. Exercising in shorts allows your skin to aerate and even the slightest breeze freshens the skin and lets you feel invigorated as you move about in the great outdoors. Bundling up in even the simplest of gear automatically eliminates that freshness and keeps any sweat bundled within your clothing, which creates a humid environment for your skin that causes it to sweat even harder than if you were in shorts. And once you start to remove your gear, you might as well jump straight into the frigid waters of Calabogie Lake in January.
Racing downhill is a serious sport, whether you do it on skis or strapped to a board, and responsible enthusiasts need to prep themselves as well as their gear. That’s why this is the perfect time to get yourself ready for the snow by hiking across the trails winding around your favourite mountain… like our own Dickson Mountain, for starters. To give you that extra boost of inspiration, our own Intrepid Adventurer and Blogger, Michelle, is already well underway to getting herself ready for that glorious white powder. So we’ll leave you with this link to her blog as she shares with you the beauty and tranquility of an Autumn hike up the mountain.
Michelle and Mike Eady take the trek up the Manitou Mountain Trail over this past weekend.