What would you be up to on a Saturday morning with a clear sky, and a bright, beckoning sun? I’m telling you, my feet got itchy the next second I opened up the blinds. Quick decision, Emily Provincial Park was my choice. I have passed by few times this park in the past years, but never had the time to stop. Now it was the perfect time!
Located at the south end of Pigeon Lake (1.5 hrs from Toronto), within the city of Kawartha Lakes, Emily Provincial Park has a large opening over Pigeon River, which makes it a very popular destination in the summer months. With a frozen river and a knee-high layer of snow, the park is used in the winter months for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or winter hiking. All facilities are closed during the winter, so you are on your own!
They say the parking is limited, so I quickly got the address, and in no time, I was at the entrance of the park. But surprise: I couldn’t see any map of the park, nor any sign where I can find a trail or a path. Opened since 1957, the park is quite big with its 83 hectares of land. Although there were few cars in the parking lot, I couldn’t see anyone. The great whiteness can be quite confusing, but I decided to go to the right, in a counter-clockwise loop, following some traces in the snow. But there were a lot of traces! Soon I found the park store, but of course everything was closed. And still no map. Determined to walk around no matter what, I noticed on the further right a small beach, facing the Pigeon River.
And here I am, exploring by myself the whole park! Continuing to walk along the shore, I got eventually to an actual trail. Hurray, I’m on the right direction!!
Shortly I got to the second beach of the park, the bigger one. Plenty of traces everywhere.. have you come for a swim? Oh no, thank you, I’m not going for a swim today, maybe next time!
With no sign or any map, I stuck to my plan, keeping to the right side, along the shore.
A great decision, as soon I’ve heard some birds. Well hidden in the trees, I could hear many birds, but I only recognized some chickadees. They always like to come out on a sunny day, and do their own show in the bush; such a peaceful moment!
On and off to an actual trail, I continued my hiking on the right side of a junction I found at some point, until I got around to see more camping sites.
Eventually I got to the main path of the park, not before to get few more photos of this peaceful place, a great one for a hike in the Covid-19 era.
But hey, what I see here? Signs for an early spring?
That’s a sign for sure!!
Tip(s) of the day:
- Wear winter/high boots if you visit the park in the winter, as most areas are not maintained, and the snow can be quite high in some places;
- I couldn’t see any map along my walk, so check an online one before you go.
~ visited in February 2021