Three Epic Outdoor Adventures That Do Not Require A Plane Ticket
Brianne here; I am Renée’s co-conspirator, camping buddy, pretend sister, and fellow coffee snob (because life is too short for crappy coffee. . . ). I first met Renée working at Balzac’s Coffee in Stratford, where we quickly became close through night shift dance-offs and epic latte art. Today, I am here to hijack her beautiful blog with a post titled:
3 Epic Outdoor Adventures That Do Not Require a Plane Ticket
As a graduate from an Environmental and Geography degree, it’s inherent that I enjoy spending a lot of my time in the good ‘ole outdoors. Furthermore, being raised by a quinoa loving (note: before quinoa was trending), ex-hippie momma also granted me with many outdoor opportunities from a very young age. Not everyone has been raised this way, so here I present you with some guidance on how to break into the #neverstopexploring world. Yes, the hashtag is mandatory.
1. The Grotto (The Bruce Peninsula, Ontario)
This destination is remarkable. The towering limestone bluffs (nerd alert), coupled with Cuba-esque turquoise waters will win your heart over immediately.
What you need to know:
-Book yourself a campsite for Bruce Peninsula National Park and access the trail to the Grotto from the Cyprus Lake Gatehouse.
-While the Grotto is remarkable, it is also remarkably busy during the summer. Go during off hours; I’m talking like 6 or 7am, or during the off-season (fall and even winter) to enjoy it with some peace and quiet.
-Pack a wet suit if you plan on swimming. I’m serious.
-If you are feeling extra adventurous, continue your hike along the Bruce Trail. The views and topography are breathtaking.
2. Killarney Provincial Park Yurts (120 km southwest of Sudbury)
A group of wonderful ladies and I made the trek up to this Provincial Park during the fall of 2015. While we had the worst weather imaginable (rain, hail, lightening, wind), we had the most epic adventure. I had never stayed in a yurt before, and let me tell you, it is a giant canvas fort of fun.
Killarney & yurt tips:
-Fall and winter are the best seasons for yurting (it’s officially a verb), and spring if you like bugs.
-Make sure to do “The Crack” hike. It’s 6 kilometers of awesomeness. Make sure to pack lots of water and snacks, because this hike will make you sweat.
-Pack lots of wine and lots of coffee, and enjoy sleeping in bunk beds like the good old days.
3. Day Trip to Kolapore Uplands (20 km west of Collingwood)
I first discovered this area while doing research on rock climbing impacts for my job at the time. Kolapore exists in the heart of the Niagara Escarpment; an internationally recognized featured formed over millions of years prior to glaciation. In layman’s terms- it’s super badass.
Have the best hike:
-Rock climbing is huge within Kolarpore, but my enjoyment of the area is experienced while hiking.
-Take a map! If you stay on the main trails you should be okay, but it is super easy to get turned around in there, trust me. Note: Trail maps are only sold at Ravenna County Market GO THERE. The atmosphere is adorable, and the sandwiches are even better.
-Make sure to seek out the caves. It’s like stepping into Jurassic Park without the fear of dying.
Some Outdoorsing Tips!
Be respectful. Nothing bothers me more than seeing garbage left on trails and camping sites. And people using shampoo in lakes. And
Ok there’s a few…
-If you are camping in bear country, be Bear Wise. Even a leftover granola bar wrapper in your tent could attract a bear. That being said, don’t let this deter you from back country camping, just don’t be dumb 🙂
-Plan ahead! Make gear lists, food lists, and map out your route.
-Bring your camera, it’s worth the weight.
-Invite a good crew that you don’t mind not showering with.
Now get out there and explore, eat s’mores and stink like a campfire. Check out my photos for some wilderness adventure inspiration!