This week’s guest post comes from Sharon Loaring, Burlington mom of 2 kids who loves spending her downtime out in nature with her family. Sharon’s breaking down her favourite spots to take her family hiking to help you plan some fresh air fun this weekend.
This is our favourite hike for the fall. It’s an easy walk for small children with a cleared path. A treat is the fire pit at the end of the trail by the waterfall, so be sure to bring hotdogs or marshmallows to cook over the fire! If you go in the spring then the waterfall will be a full rush, and in the fall it is just a trickle. Keep your eyes peeled for bugs, frogs and small fish.
We love the diversity of Bronte Creek. Trails start at the parking lot and, ranging in length from 1 km to almost 3 km, wind along the top of Bronte Creek (always be careful when hiking and biking!) to cover all of the grounds. Bronte has a great trail to have your family dog off leash, going through a little forest and along a stream, where, in season, you can fish for trout and salmon, among other fish. You’re sure to see little creatures like frogs, small snakes and bugs and also the Branote Creek farm animals like cows, pigs, and goats. With a wheelchair and stroller accessible trail and a play barn for kids, this is truly a family-friendly destination sure to please everyone.
Crawford Lake is as full of great history as it is full of hiking trails. Crawford Lake is the site of the Iroquoian longhouse and a meromictic lake. With the boardwalk wrapping around the lake, Crawford Lake offers 5 great hikes for any season, ranging in length from 2 km to over 7 km. Add a tour through the Iroquoian Village and a picnic in nice weather, and you’ve got a full day of fun in one location. We’ve added snowshoe hiking to our winter bucket list because rentals are available at Crawford Lake.
This trail is hilly and takes you through the forest, and my kids love it as there are little creatures to look for. The trail is a favourite for hikers and cyclists, and you’ll even run into a few horseback riders whenever you visit. Stop off at the end with a drink and treat at the Victorian Train Station, complete with a museum and washrooms. Dundas Valley is a great spot to hike to experience the ever-changing fall colours.
Head on down Plains Road, pay for parking and enjoy a hike around the Grindstone River on footpaths and the boardwalk. Be sure to bring some seeds for the chickadees and chipmunks because it’s a local hot spot for feeding the wildlife. A visit to Cherry Hill is ideal for the whole family, and it’s a favourite for parents with small kids who are looking for a quick hour or two out of the house. The swans usually have a nest in the river and we’ve even seen the beavers on occasion!
Mountsberg has so much to offer, including Christmas Town in the winter and Maple Town in the spring. But we love to visit on the days in between to hike the different trails, visit the kids play barn and, of course, the farm animals. Time your visit precisely so you’re sure to catch the birds of prey presentation, then wander down the way and look for the majestic horses and wild Buffalo. A day a Mountsberg is ideal if you’re looking for a day of variety.
Sharon Loaring has been through the mortgage process herself as a first-time home buyer, an experienced homeowner, and as a landlord, giving her a unique understanding of home finance through different stages of life. This understanding, coupled with sharp professional skills and decades of experience, have made Sharon an invaluable asset to home buyers.