Distance Training in Ontario Provincial Parks and Conservation Areas

Over the past few weeks, in preparation for my travels to Japan and the Kumano Kodo trek I am planning for, I’ve been hiking every weekend.  My goal is to push myself to 25km however with friends joining me, I’ve ended up only achieving a little over 20km — usually because while I am training for distance, some friends are still getting accustomed to hiking.
Some days we got a little too friendly with the mosquitoes (or maybe it was the other way around), and fortunately on other days there was a solid breeze and the pests just seemed to vanish.

A nice view of a lake in Forks of the Credit Provincial Park
A nice view of a lake in Forks of the Credit Provincial Park

Some of the best moments while hiking is where we have the opportunity to sit down and simply take in nature while enjoying lunch (whatever it may be).  Typically, I just pack a peanut butter and banana sandwich with an apple on the side.  Other folks prefer a more gourmet meal 🙂

Enjoying lunch and the view in Mono Cliffs Provincial Park
Enjoying lunch and the view in Mono Cliffs Provincial Park

Every park I’ve visited is quite fascinating in the sense of how it is used, where it is located, and the social atmosphere that you step into.  The people are often so interesting and the stories so diverse.  I had the pleasure to meet some folks while sitting down for lunch near what some friends of mine and I refer to as “Bootcamp Hill”.  We often see folks leading bootcamp training sessions running up and down numerous times.  Some people passing by noticed I was sitting in the shade enjoying lunch on my own and decided to join me.  We ended up having a great conversation.

The view from the top of “Bootcamp Hill” in Rouge Park

During these training hikes, I found myself in a contemplative mode — thinking about my upcoming trip and just letting my mind wander from one thought to another.  I also kept passing by fellow hikers over and over again because I would hike from one end of the park to the other and since parks rarely had day hiking trails that made up the length of 25km, I just kept repeating every trail.  It was a different style of hiking that I typically don’t use but for the sake of preparing myself physically, it was beneficial and actually fun to some extent.

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