After taking a look at all of the hikes that we’ve done over the past year, we realized that we’ve been neglecting many great opportunities to the east of the city. Yes, we confess that we live on the western edge of a city and just naturally tend to drift even more to the west when heading out for a nice afternoon outdoors. So, on Ontario ’s first official Family Day, we decided to check out the famous Oak Ridges Moraine inOshawa .wa .
About a ten minute drive from the Oshawa Zoo, you’ll find Long Sault Conservation Area. There is no visitors centre or grand gates to pass through, but there are vault toilets and an interpretive map to make your visit a pleasant one. We highly recommend printing off the map available on the
area’s website to have on-hand just in case you decide to take a loop or two. Though, the trails are very well-marked and we only got turned around once at the very end of our hike. Despite it being a holiday, ours was one of three cars parked in the lot upon arrival but we found it to be much busier by the end of our hike (despite the fact that it was already after
Taking a look at the big map of the area, we decided on the Barred Owl “Advanced-Level” Trail. All of the five trails, which range in length from 2.6 to 3.7 KM, have been ranked according to difficulty: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. Three of the five trails are advanced, which may factor into your decision to visit Long Sault or not. Of course, if we can do it, then you certainly can too! In all honesty, we feel that the trail we were on merits its advanced status in wintertime because you need to trudge in shin-deep snow the whole length of the trail, up and down gradual (yet sometimes arduous) slopes that are typical of the Oak Ridges area. The trails definitely make for some great winter cardio!!
If you are up for a day trip, the Barred Owl Trail, the Wild Turkey Trail and the White-Tailed Deer Trail all connect with the Oak Ridges Trail. Maintained by the Oak Ridges Trail Association , the trail stretches 250 km across the Oak Ridges Moraine. The association also hosts guided hikes on a regular basis. For the more extreme types, there is a “Moraine For Life Adventure Relay” to enter! Teams of up to 15 people can enter to hike, run, paddle and race across the 160 km stretch of the trail from King City to Rice Lake. All proceeds from the relays support the efforts of the Oak Ridges Trail Association.