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A Sunday afternoon snowshoeing on an Ontario trail

My hometown of Guelph is a get-outside kind of city. With trail systems at all points of the compass, there are a lot of places to celebrate a huge, fresh snowfall.   So last Sunday, we chose the GORBA (Guelph Off-Road Bicycle Association) Trail in the north-end of town to celebrate Groundhog Day, strap on the snowshoes and play in the natural winter wonderland.

GORBA trail marker
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A little tap with a pole gets lots of laughs when the snow falls off the branches. Emma thought it was hilarious to do this over and over and over.... Remind me not to show her these little tricks in the future.

Tapping a snow branch with a ski pole

As branches meet overhead with their cloak of fresh snow, this trail becomes an enchanting dreamscape in the winter. 


The forest doesn't sleep when there is snow.  We saw tracks of all sizes as we snowshoed along the path. And above, the hearty Canadian geese made their way to the Speed River to join the ducks in a chilly swim. 

Canadian Geese coming in for a landing in winter



Ducks swimming on the Speed River in winter

We took a break from snowshoeing to have some fun on a very inviting hill....


And then made our way back through the forest. The canopy of branches and snow created a cathedral of nature above our heads. Quiet and inviting on a Sunday afternoon.  

Snowshoeing through the forest

As if playing in the snow wasn't reward enough, our afternoon ended with an introduction to some Chickadees.  A first-time experience for Emma, feeding our new little friends brought smiles that could have melted the snow and created memories that will last a lifetime.

Chickadee eating seeds from hands in winter

You should go!  Here's what you need to know:

The GORBA Guelph Lake Trails are located in the north-end of Guelph.  It's an extensive system where you can spend hours hiking, biking, skiing or snowshoeing.
There are trail markers and maps posted throughout the property.  However I recommend you take a map with you.
These trails are very popular, so they can be busy at times.
Parking for the trails is available on Victoria Road North, where the shoulders have been widened specifically to accommodate trail users.  The GORBA trail head is on the east side of Victoria Road.
There is no fee to use these trails.
Chickadees are plentiful and playful on these trails. Take a little bag of seed with you. If you can hear them, and you are very still while holding your seed, they will come to you.  Be patient!
For more information about GORBA and to download a map, check out the website here: http://gorba.ca

3 comments:

  1. Fabulous Gayle! I love the pictures. And Alex is great with the timing, eh?

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  2. hey, I really like your post as I've always wanted to go snowshoeing! Do you have to bring your own snowshoes or do they have rentals at the park?

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    Replies
    1. Hi! Sorry for the delay in replying - I've been having some tech issues with this. The trails featured here do not have snowshoe rentals. But there are a many conservation areas and Provincial Parks that do have rentals.

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