“An absolute new prospect is a great happiness.” Thoreau, Walking
Discovering the trails at Gould Lake Conservation Area last Friday was, as Thoreau wrote, ”a great happiness”.
Well, except for the fall on the edge of an embankment.
No damage done though, other than muddy knees and palms, and a few bruises that didn’t materialize until the next morning. The good news is I didn’t land in the lake!
Gould Lake Conservation Area, part of the Frontenac Arch Biosphere, is located near Sydenham, north of Kingston, Ontario. With 20 kilometres of hiking trails that cross rugged, rolling terrain, through woods and wetlands with stunning waterfront views, it is a gorgeous spot to hike. On the unseasonably warm and sunny October day I went, the conditions were ideal and the trails in surprisingly good shape considering the amount of rain from the days previous.
I chose to hike the Tom Dixon Trail, which runs along the edge of the lake, even though it was a bit treacherous with steep embankments and lots of tree roots and rocks. The views of the lake, however, made it worth the effort.
That’s what I was admiring when a misstep sent me flying, throwing my backpack forward so that my thermos of coffee went shooting from the pack’s side pocket like a javelin! Though the fall was jarring, I actually felt incredibly lucky and laughed out loud once I realized I was fine. But my pace definitely slowed after that! About an hour into the hike, I found a peaceful spot for lunch on an outcrop of flat rock close to where the Tom Dixon trail connects to the Mica Loop trail.
That’s where I met Stephanie, and her dog, Anderson, who are regular hikers at Gould Lake. The trail markings aren’t abundantly clear and when I asked about the Mica Loop that I wanted to explore, Stephanie invited me to hike that trail along with them.
It was so nice to have company and especially someone who knew the paths and could show me all the best lookouts. We hiked a little farther on the Tom Dixon trail, then did the Mica Loop which returned to the Tom Dixon. Then we veered on to the easier Wagon Trail back to the parking lot. What a great afternoon!
My next blog will be my recommended reading list of walking and hiking books. I’ve read some great ones over the past year!
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