We’ve been sitting on this blog for a while now, but now that the snow has finally arrived here in Lennox & Addington (and boy, has it ever!), we can’t wait to share some wintertime experiences available right here in L&A.
Last winter we arranged to have a photographer visit us as we put together an itinerary of fun outdoor winter experiences that are available just beyond our freshly-shoveled doorsteps. It was a whirlwind shoot, with short stops scheduled over two jam-packed days at various locations across L&A.
We hope that it will inspire you to explore some of our wonderful natural attractions. Here is a summary of our adventure.
Snowmobiling with the L&A Ridge Runners
This experience was a long time coming. Years ago we connected with volunteer Chris Hammer with the L&A Ridge Runners in hopes of getting a group together to photograph a ride. Poor conditions and bad luck prevented us from getting together in the past but this time, luckily, it all worked out perfectly. We were able to assemble a great mix of sleds for a fun 90 minutes on the Cataraqui Trail and around Varty Lake.
Hiking on the Cataraqui Trail in Yarker
After making a few calls, we were able to quickly assemble a fun group of Nordic Pole Walkers led by Lilly Normile. Avid hiker Peg Campbelton and a few of her friends also joined the crew and enjoyed a nice ‘staged’ morning hike in Yarker on the Cataraqui Trail. We also lucked out and were there while someone was out exploring on horseback!
The views from the old rail bridge over the Napanee River are truly beautiful all year long. That said, the entire trail from Strathcona through Yarker in L&A is a great destination.
Birding in Loyalist
Bird watching is a pretty big deal here in Lennox & Addington. We were able to connect Diane Irwin, with one of the best nature photographers around, to join us at Fairfield Park in Amherstview. The focus of our photos was on Diane, not necessarily the birds themselves. If you want to see some great bird photos (including some amazing owl pics taken by Diane on Amherst Island) be sure to follow her on Instagram.
Sledding at the Golf Course
This was a last-minute addition on our itinerary. We weren’t able to arrange for any tobogganers at the locally-famous Napanee Golf Course Hill, but as luck would have it there was a nice family enjoying the sledding conditions just as we were driving by on the way to our next location. We stopped and were able to get some photos of some rosy-cheeked faces as they made a few trips down the hill.
Skating on the Napanee River
One of the great things about living here in L&A is that if you have waterfront property (or if you befriend someone that does) there’s a natural skating rink right there waiting to be shoveled every winter. We reached out to local resident Heather Giffin and she was more than willing to have us stop by for some photos. When we arrived we were able to get some shots of Heather and her son playing shinny, and a couple figure skaters stopped by to show off their moves too.
Ice Fishing on the Napanee River
At our next stop, we met up with Jess & Jordan Sinclair to stage a little ice fishing activity on the Napanee River. Jess, being the true angler that she is, made sure to note that the particular location we were at wasn’t the ideal spot to land a 12 pound walleye. Once we explained that they didn’t need to catch anything for the camera, they eagerly drilled out a couple holes and we were able to get some great images.
Evening Fun on Beaver Lake
Speaking of waterfront property, resident Myron Keech has created a pretty fantastic winter oasis at his home on Beaver Lake. He has built a homemade luge path, and has a large area of the lake shoveled off that’s perfect for skating as well as throwing some of his homemade curling rocks. We arranged to have a few families visit for some nighttime fun out on the ice and for some hot chocolate around the campfire.
Note that this isn’t a public attraction, but goes a long way to show how great rural living can be right here in Lennox & Addington.
More Ice Fishing on Beaver Lake
After a good night’s sleep we headed back to Beaver Lake to take some more ice fishing images. The snow flakes kept us from getting the drone shots we had hoped to take, but we lucked out and found a group of anglers not too far from the shore on North Beaver. We snowshoed to their location and were able to get some great images, and shared some laughs at the same time.
Wrapping up the Tour at the L&A Forest Trails
Our final destination of the weekend was the L&A Forest Trails in Flinton. We had arranged a whole slew of fun activities in the forest. The ungroomed trails are perfect for cross-country skiing, hiking, snowshoeing and even fat biking.
Local resident Margaret Ford and her husband joined us to partake in some cross country skiing, along with Becky Yanch’s kids also getting in on the action.
We also entertained a fun group of hikers led by Cheryl Hartwick. You could tell that this was a tight-knit group of friends as they walked the Forest Trails, truly enjoying the scenery and the company. The trails are one of the regular year-round hiking destinations for this energetic group.
Later on in the afternoon we were joined by a group of outdoor enthusiasts led by Mike Sewell. Mike has been a huge part of the success of the L&A Forest Trails, building and maintaining more than 10km of trail with his own two hands. The group spent some time snowshoeing on the freshly-fallen snow and shared a few laughs in the process.
Our final visitor on the trails was Mike Tiffe. He was gracious enough to join us from the Belleville area, despite the fact that the dumping of snow we had received made his fat bike a bit difficult to maneuver. Even still, we managed to get some great shots of him on his bike. The Forest Trails are an amazing spot for year-round biking in all its forms.
And with that, our weekend of outdoor fun came to an end. We were very grateful to everyone that volunteered to be a part of the photography project. For more photos and additional wintertime activities available here in Lennox & Addington, check out our new “Take Back Winter” itinerary and plan a snowy adventure here in Naturally L&A.