Discouraged and bored by winter and can’t think of anything to do except channel surf? Don’t be, SD & G has a wealth of mostly free outdoor activities, that frequently require a minimum financial investment in everything except warm clothes and footwear.
Here is a list of 25 activities you might want to consider. I say might, as while a polar bear dip is a favourite winter challenge for some people, it doesn’t enter my list of top ten things to do!
In Cornwall we are well served by Guindon Park, which offers groomed cross country ski trails and is also an ideal place to go snow shoeing and fat tire bike riding.
Hiking and snowshoe enthusiasts can follow Cornwall’s historic plaque tour in Lamoureux Park, or trek along Cooper Marsh’s duckwalks hoping to see view winter wildlife from the blinds, or enjoy a walk along the 2.1 kilometre loop at Glen Walter Park. If you don’t have snowshoes you can rent them at Gray’s Creek where you can explore 6.4 kms of wooded trails.
Along with doing some bird watching in one of the many conservation areas, I hang bird feeders on my front porch to be rewarded every morning with the sight of Cardinals, Blue Jays, Woodpeckers, Nuthatches and Chickadees.
Snowman making is a must and is free; the creative make snow sculptures. This year a man in Toronto fashioned a car, that rumour says was so authentic looking was given a parking ticket!
Many a snowman, however, is never completed as the participants end up in a snowball fight. An activity teachers and parents seem to frown upon, but everyone else enjoys.
You can make an ice rink for skating and hockey. If you feel that your talents can do more with ice, you can try your hand at making an ice-sculpture.
To overcome the winter challenge every community of any size has an arena for both pleasure skating and hockey.
There are also many public outdoor skating rinks.
Then there is ice-sailing for those that miss their boat.
Even though Cornwall doesn’t have a natural mountain, we have Big Ben for downhill skiing, and snowboarding. The facility also has a skating rink.
Snowmobiling is a favourite for many.
For those that want to be active, but not go outside there are curling clubs in Alexandria, Cornwall, Lancaster, Maxville , Morrisburg and Lancaster.
If you want to stay active, but off the ice, there are numerous pickleball clubs throughout the Counties. What’s pickleball? Invented In 1965, pickleball is a played with a paddle on a court and is a combination of badminton, ping-pong and tennis.
Back outside again, there is no more Canadian sport than tobogganing with the word itself deriving from an indigenous term for sled.
Some people have tweaked the old sport and created some highly dangerous versions of tobogganing that I would NOT recommend. Out of interest only, they are shovel racing, snow kayaking and snow kneeboarding, all forms of sliding down a snow covered hill.
And for the very hardy, there is winter camping and polar swimming.
If all of this fails, don’t forget to get your free monthly dose of positive news from THE SEEKER.
RECREATIONS and other OUTDOOR AREAS
Alexandria is surrounded by a number of very accessible, wooded trails operated by the Glengarry Trails Association, for details log onto their various websites. Free, memberships available.
Countryside Adventures, 16495 6th Road, Moose Creek. Equipment rentals for all outdoor activities, includes skating, cross country skiing etc., food truck.
Peanut Line Trail, accessible from Cornwall by taking Boundary Road just north of Highway 401, to the left, signed. All winter cross country sports. Free.
Summerstown Trails, 615 County Road 27, Williamstown; 20 kms trails; plus 9 kms for groomed trails. Free.
Two Creeks Conservation Area, 6 kms west of Morrisburg, County Road 2.4.5kms of trails. Protected from the elements by a tree plantation, the park is flat and ideal for the novice winter warrior.
Upper Canada Bird Sanctuary, Ingleside. Trails for hiking and snowshoeing through the woods, perfect for seeing Blue Jays, Cardinals, Nuthatches and Waxwings. Don’t be surprised if the Chickadees follow you! Free.
Warwick Forest, 15751 and 1755, County Road 9, Berwick. 6 kms of trails, ideal for cross country skiing and showshowing. Free.
To find more Conservation areas log onto Conservation Areas Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry.
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