Get outside and Hike Haliburton
|By Justin van Lieshout - Contributing Writer | September 8, 2016|
Hike Haliburton hosted a number of prefestival hikes this summer in preparation for this fall’s big event. And, there is still one to go with a two-hour, three-kilometre Fabulous Falls hike on Sunday, Sept. 18 at 1 p.m.
The 14th annual Hike Haliburton festival – to be held Sept. 22-25 this year – boasts more than 80 guided hikes and events in the region for all ages, interests and abilities, with hikes ranging from easy, 1 km jaunts to challenging 20 km treks.
I did the Bear Mountain Adventure prefestival hike with my aunt and a group of about 10 other locals. Based just outside of Dorset on Livingstone Lake, we met Wayne and Vena MacGregor, who live on the lake.
Starting bright and early at 9 a.m., the group put in on the south west side of the lake where the historic Livingstone Lodge is still located and used.
The MacGregors live on Livingstone Lake and paddled up to meet us. They explained the history of the lake and took us to a large rock formation that shows the history of the region etched into the layers of stone cliffs along the shore.
After a short portage, we paddled up to Bear Mountain where the hike began.
The steep incline, though challenging, was worth it. Stretching out below us was not only the Haliburton Highlands but the vast expanse of the Algonquin Highlands, with the Algonquin Dome visible in the distance.
Above our heads flew a pair of falcons, nesting somewhere nearby. After descending Bear Mountain, Wayne took us to his favourite lunch spot above a waterfall in a marshy region.
The hike ended with a swim and the portage back into Livingstone Lake where everybody went their separate ways.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the trip was the people we met along the way. Wayne and Vena live in an old log hunting lodge that has been meticulously maintained and renovated. They own an impressive fleet of stunning canoes, including a custom-made birch canoe that is still in use.
Having gone on several month-long canoe trips in Quebec and up to Hudson Bay, it was delightfully surprising to find this hidden gem a little closer to home.
If you’re looking to do something this fall, why not Hike Haliburton? Registration is currently open. All hikes are free but donations are welcome.
People can register online at HikeHaliburton.com, by calling 705-286-1777 or 1-800-461-7677, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
They are also looking for sweeps to assist hike leaders. If interested sign up at fluidsurveys.com/surveys/yours-outdoors/hike-haliburton-2016-volunteer-registration/or contact Maria Paterson at 705-935-0850 or email@example.com For Sept. 24’s Betty and the Bobs dance/concert, they need people with Smart Serve.
If interested contact Sean Pennylegion at 705-457-1174 or firstname.lastname@example.org
JUSTIN VAN LIESHOUT is a contributing writer for The Highlander.