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A Fall Walk

Updated on November 14, 2010
Near Micksburg, ON. Skyline colored hill.
Near Micksburg, ON. Skyline colored hill.
Fall of 2005
Fall of 2005

A Hike in the Park, is No Walk in the Park...

My wife and I live about 4 1/2 hours drive from some of my children. You see since this is a second marriage I have 4 and I inherited 4 from her previous marriage also. We both spent almost equal time of being single; myself, 10 years and 8 for her, prior to our meeting. (I might tell you that story sometime.)

My children are, 3 girls and 1 boy, and hers are 2 of each.

With the exception of one; her oldest daughter, the others live in the same city as us and so we see them frequently. My eldest daughter lives the closest of my children approx 2 hours west from us and the others are as I said 4 1/2 hours drive north. The drive there is a pleasant one without having to spend any time on the very busy 401 that runs across the province. We get to enjoy a leisurely drive through some small towns, by lakes and rivers, and in the fall with the vibrant colors it only makes the trip even more picturesque.

Thanksgiving weekend in Canada is in October, so it's at the prime time for most coloring of the leaves. Having been an avid photographer in the past, meaning pre-1998, doing weddings in the fall was always a great pleasure, adding to the bride and grooms special day.

So, this thanksgiving we ventured up north to visit with my children, and partake in a hike that would encompass going into Algonquin Park, which is the largest park in Ontario and having an entrance on its eastern border only a 20 min drive from where I was raised. We would drive in and hike to the Barron River Gorge and also to High Falls, a natural set of waterfalls on the river just a bit further west.

My second daughter has a 3 1/2 year old girl. As you know little ones can be full of energy, vim and vigor and always on the go. Our hike started with a short walk to the Gorge, and wanting to be extremely mindful of my granddaughter, since this is easily a 500 to 1000 feet up from the river below us, we were not wanting anything to happen. There are no guard rails or protective fencing; everything is natural. The cliffs are used by the army who come here from Petawawa and regularly practice repelling as do other groups. Our photography shoot starts on the trail and then at the high point of the steep rocky cliffs. The trail is well worn as the park gets a myriad of tourists, and local folk enjoying this great part of our Canadian outdoors. We met some other families enjoying this spectacular sight also.

Beyond the gorge is Grand Lake, a very popular site, then Lake Travais where there once was an active observatory. Some of these lakes have terrific fishing, trout, bass, pickerel, (walleye for my U.S. friends) pike, musky and numerous other varieties. While canoeing here otters are always a welcome site, as they're curious and will come quite close to the canoe.

This little girl walked and listened and took everything in, enjoying herself immensely.

I asked her what she thought and she said, "It's amazing!"

We made a big circle along the trail and headed back to the car and then up to the next trail in to High Falls.

I was used to canoeing to the falls, because it made a great day trip coming up stream from where we would put in at the bridge. It was about 3 1/2 hours of paddling and a couple of portages where the river is shallow to get there. A nice workout in the quiet, with just the sound of the paddle dipping into the water. You might meet a few others and share a campfire for lunch and exchange some pleasantries.

But walking in, I had forgotten how long a trail it was. From the car to the falls was about 1 3/4 hours, some of that time waiting on the little one. But she kept right up with us as best she could and never complained and we offered to carry her only a very small part of the way. I thought that she was fantastic. There were some long uphills and there were some rocky places of holding hands across, over and around boulders. She was unstoppable.

We arrive, with the last part of the trail being the toughest, as it wound through the natural rocky terrain. We met some other family hikers along the way here also. A great way to spend some family time, getting exercise and burning off those calories. For myself having an injury that effects my back, left leg and foot with nerve damage, I was having a fantastic time, since this is one of my favorite loves of life. Hiking was part of my girls heritage from carrying them on my back in a child carrier, to their walking from an early age on up. We would go in the springtime when the creeks were slightly swollen and make boats from whatever we could find along the trail and race them down the creek. This was just part of who we are, and this weekend was no exception, other than only one of my children was available to come.

We finish our visit to High Falls and make our trek back to the car. We are  all feeling the weight of the exercise and we watch as we start our drive toward my daughters home, a little girl who was an absolute pleasure to have with us and enjoy, fall into a sweet sleep in the backseat of the car.

During our walk we came upon a box on one of the trails, and inside it was a log book of visitors, from not only around this province and country, but from various foreign countries, who had come here to enjoy our little part of heaven. 

Thank you for joining us, Blessings all... as my U.S. friends are about to have their thanksgiving; make it one to remember.


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    • profile image

      Deb Welch 5 years ago

      You are so fortunate to live in such a beautiful clean country - I have been to Canada many times and love it there. Enjoyed reading this Hub about a hike with your sweet family. Many blessings. Up.

    • Saintatlarge profile image

      Saint Lawrence 7 years ago from Canada

      cs, bless you... and thank you. Great to hear from you. There is nothing more precious than family. L.

    • profile image

      coffeesnob 7 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this. It took me back to so many of our hikes in Newfoundland, Canada and in Maine.. What a blessing to pass on to the children and grandchildren..

    • Saintatlarge profile image

      Saint Lawrence 7 years ago from Canada

      Lady_E, Nice of you to visit. Blessings,L

      Fred, thanks for the prayer. To get those lower shots of the waterfall, I climbed down through a crevasse in the rocks so I could get closer to the water, and shot them while laying across the boulders at the bottom. Any small amount of pain I may have incurred, was well worth spending time with my granddaughter. God has been extremely good to me. Thanks again and blessings St.L

    • fred allen profile image

      fred allen 7 years ago from Myrtle Beach SC

      Awesome pics! I love to walk too. I pray that you will be able to continue doing it in the future with less discomfort. Losing the physical ability to continue doing what you love is heartbreaking. "Lord give my brother strengh." amen.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      The photos are beautiful. Glad you enjoyed the walk with the family. Thanks for sharing.

    • Saintatlarge profile image

      Saint Lawrence 7 years ago from Canada

      His daughter, Hi... yes this is a great park which covers a vast part from Eastern Ontario to Central Ontario, covering over 700,000 ha of land(7,725 sq.kms or almost 3,000 sq miles). It receives close to a million visitors per year. Here is a link to Ontario Parks

      Thank you for the visit, Blessings St.L

    • profile image

      His daughter 7 years ago

      Thank you for sharing this. How gorgeous is God's creation. I didn't realize there was a park like that in Ontario. I have been to Canada many times and somehow we missed this. Wow!

    • Saintatlarge profile image

      Saint Lawrence 7 years ago from Canada

      Blessings to each one of you... thank you for joining with my family on our little adventure. It was very hard to choose the photo's and not make a book out of a page. Love you all, St.L

    • UlrikeGrace profile image

      UlrikeGrace 7 years ago from Canada

      Thanks for taking us along on your walk/hike saint...what a beautiful day you had and with a granddaughter as plucky as the one you have, who could ask for anything better! The photo's are great...what a good eye you have. Enjoyed this immensley...blessings to you Ulrike Grace

    • djbraman profile image

      djbraman 7 years ago

      What a beautiful family you have, you are sooooo blessed, and thank you for the fall display, gorgeous, and reminds of the beauty in G-d's creation.

    • RevLady profile image

      RevLady 7 years ago from Lantana, Florida

      What a beautiful experience the walk must have been. The pictures of God's creative beauty are lovely. It was more than a walk, it was an adventure. How marvelous!

      Thank you for sharing a bit of Fall with me as it is something Floridians do not experience.

      Forever His,

    • profile image

      "Quill" 7 years ago

      God, Family and His creation, what better a combination could one ever ask for, Thank you for sharing your day with us.

      Blessings and Hugs

    • carrie450 profile image

      carrie450 7 years ago from Winnipeg, Canada

      A beautifully written hub Saintatlarge. The photos are spectacular. I'm sure there is never a dull moment in your family. I also came from a large family and wouldn't have wanted it any other way.