Wednesday, January 1, 2020

2020 First Snowshoeing Adventure


Happy New Year!  We have been quiet during the last couple of months because we have been busy with our kids' hockey.  Although we took some time off from blogging, we have been planning our next big adventures for 2020 and we look forward to sharing these with you in the coming months.  We also have a number of tips for hiking with children that we have been working on.  And now with our new found love of snowshoeing, we expect that we will be updating the blog throughout the year.

Rather than wait until the spring to begin hiking as a family again, we decided to try snowshoeing.  We picked January 1, 2020, as the date of our first snowshoeing adventure so we could accomplish the first hike of the year and to set the stage for a very active year in the outdoors.


The temperature in Toronto has been extremely mild and there has been no snow on the ground so we needed to travel up north to Algonquin Park where we were welcomed by cooler temperatures and opportunities to experience the enjoyment of winter in the outdoors.


The temperature was fantastic (- 4 C) with mostly cloudy, but the sun did peek out several times during our five-hour adventure.


We have completed the Track and Tower trail in Algonquin Park almost yearly since the children were babies, but we have never experienced the trail in the snow.  The blue trail markers were easy to locate and the trail was clearly marked throughout.  We did see a couple other parties snowshoeing the trails and this also helped with a clearly marked passage.


The trail took us a lot longer to complete than in the summer, but mostly because we stopped frequently to take pictures of the snow-covered scenery and to soak in the amazing views.


The fresh snowfall made the trail clean and crisp.  A winter perspective on the trail made it feel like a new adventure on a familiar trek.


Familiar trees and landscapes look different when covered in snow and it provided a lot of opportunities for comparing and contrasting the trail across the different seasons.


With the extra exertion of snowshoeing, we make sure we make frequent breaks and that the children refueled with energy snacks along the way.  We also brought our camelbacks with water to ensure everyone hydrated.  Because the temperature is colder, the desire to hydrate was not as strong even though our bodies still required to be hydrated.


Ascending to the top of the lookout seemed easier than in the summer because our crampons gave us extra traction in the snow and seemed to give us the extra grip to make the trip.


There are many places along the trail to take a break.  This section of the trail (#10) is just before the long stretch back so it is a perfect place to take a break and marvel in the old railway bed and bridge.


The trail offers a number of spots with beautiful ice sculptors that are shaped around the rock cuts.  This trail is particularly spectacular because a portion of the trail follows a previous 1900's railway cut out from the Canadian Shield, so the frozen rock drips are both plentiful and spectacular and offered a completely different look in the winter. 


Family Peak Seekers first hike of 2020!!!!!