Category Archives: running

St Clair River Trail (Corunna, ON)

The St. Claire River Trail is part of the larger Great Lakes Waterfront trail.

Only portions of it run alongside the river.

There are sections of the trail that detour onto neighbouring streets.

My run  took me from the First Nation community, Aamjiwnaang, all the way to the small town of Corunna.

I went for a run in coRUNna today. See what I did there?

There are all sorts of interesting things to see along this route. This is the historical Stanley House.

It’s always nice to run alongside a waterfront. There is much more of it to explore as well. Have you can any portion of the St. Clair River Trail?

Want to explore more trails?

Photographic Tour Archive – over 50 great places to run or hike

Running Can be Terrible and Wonderful

The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances by The Oatmeal

When I saw this book, it called to me almost immediately. I love running and the title and art were quite compelling.

Now, first off, I have to admit that I am not a long distance runner. I run for less than 40 minutes at a time. Generally, I cover anywhere from 5 to 10 kilometers during one run. This is often referred to as “middle distance” running.

The author of this book runs much further than that. He opens the book with a story of running an ultra-marathon that took him 11 hours. I have always thought that long distance runners were slightly crazy. What would make someone push themselves to that extreme? Why not stop at a respectable distance or time-frame?

The Oatmeal, who is a person (I always thought that it was simply a satirical website), explains exactly why he runs. He does so with humour that made me laugh out loud a few times. The art and words are married together in a seamless way. Once you start reading it, you will have a hard time putting it down. I read it in two sittings but could have done it in one.

My wife saw how much I was enjoying the book and asked to read it too. That’s unusual because she has tried reading some of my graphic novels and really doesn’t like the medium. But she liked this book. I think you will too.

The author shares one of my philosophies when it comes to running – run outside and find a loop.

I regularly look for new places to run outside. I explore trails and have documented quite a few of the, here.

And I continue to write a book review for every title I read.

My List of 2017 Reads

The Dow Wetlands (Sarnia, ON)

The Dow Wetlands is located at the corner of LaSalle Road and Highway 40 in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. Today, I decided to go for a run around the trail there.

There are plenty of places to take in the natural beauty of the wetland and enjoy a picnic.

The trail runs alongside five ponds

and includes a few foot bridges.

The trail isn’t very long and it is almost completely flat. I had to run around the different loops a few times to get in my five kilometers today.

There are even a few placards like this one to describe the importance of wetland areas.

There are several wheelchair accessible observation docks as well. This pond is full of fish, bullfrogs, and wild birds.

Check out the Dow Wetlands brochure for more information about this wildlife preserve.

Want to find other places to run or hike? 

Photographic Tour Archive (dozens and dozens of great trails to explore)

Medway Forest Trail (London, ON)

Medway Trail

Medway Forest Trail is a great place to run in London, Ontario, Canada.

Medway Forest Hill

I started today’s run at Western University and ran for five kilometers.

Mewday Forest Trail

It’s quiet back here and the sounds of the city fade away as you get further into the woods.

Medway Creek

I always love being able to run alongside a river.

Stairs

There are a set of stairs you need to descend from this access point.

Medway Forest Boardwalk

This is the board walk at the bottom of those stairs.

Mewday Forest Footbridge

And here is a nice foot bridge.

Medway Valley Trail

This leads to a different access point for the trail. I ran this one a few years back and you can find that tour here.

Medway Trail from University

I enjoyed my trail run through Medway Forest today and I think you will enjoy exploring it as well. There are multiple entry points to reach the 5 kilometers of trails that run through the woods and alongside the river.

Want to Explore More Trails?

Photographic Tour Archive – dozens of great places to run or hike

Running Alongside the Ausable River Cut

ausable-river-cut

I love finding new places to run and explore.

trail-start

I had no idea what to expect when I started off on this run through Ausable River Cut Conservation Area.

auable-riverside-trail

It was quite beautiful  running alongside the river,

ausable-river-trail-rest-stop

with some nice places to stop and take it all in,

lookout-deck

including this look-out.

ausable-river-cut-plaque

I like when there are information plaques like this one to learn more about the unique area and wildlife features.

ausable-sand-trail

It’s hard to tell from this picture, but the trail got really sandy once I got further in.

sand-dune

I had to take it slow to traverse this sand dune.

sandy-trail

The trail was only two kilometers long. On my second pass through, I decided to run up it instead. That was a lot harder to do than it appeared.

tire-staircase

These tire stairs were fun to run up and down.

dock

I haven’t been in a canoe in a while, but had a yearning to explore this river from the view of a boat. Maybe I will one day.

Photographic Tours – over 50 great places to run

Laurier Creek Trail Run (Waterloo, ON)

Laurel Trail

I found myself in Waterloo yesterday and decided to run this trail. Even though I knew nothing about it, how long it was, or where it headed.

The sign gave me lots of information, however. I knew that the trail was two kilometers long and that this run would probably be around five kilometers total.

Laurer Trail Bearinger

I entered Laurier Trail off of Bearinger Road and it quickly became a dirt path.

University of Waterloo Laurer Trail

It headed towards the University of Waterloo and a sports park.

Laurier Creek

It was nice to see Laurier Creek. Quite a few people were fishing at different points along the waterfront.

The trail was completely flat and I had to run pretty much straight there and straight back. It wasn’t the best run I’ve ever had and I wouldn’t go out of my way to run this route. However, it does extend further the other way and might be worth exploring.

More Information

The Laurel Trail offers more than eight kilometres (five miles) of trail along the Laurel Creek.

It runs through uptown Waterloo – where you may want to stop for food, shopping or a visit to the Waterloo Public Square – and Waterloo Park, the jewel of the city.

This trail is suitable for walking, cycling and some rollerblading.

Location

The Laurel Trail runs from uptown Waterloo north through the University of Waterloo to Columbia Lake.

http://www.waterloo.ca/en/gettingactive/laureltrail.asp

Trilliums on the Trail Side

This is the time of year that the Trillium are in bloom.

I always love seeing Ontario’s Provincial Flower along the trail side when I go for my runs.

Trilliums on the Trail Side (1)

Here is collage I made and shared on Instagram.

The images above were taken during one of my trail runs through Komoka Provincial Park.

Meadowlily Woods Trilliums (4)

Today, I ran through Meadowlily Woods and spotted some Purple Trilliums.

Beautiful!

Kains Woods

This is from a few weeks back. I didn’t seen any Trillium flowers during my trek through Kains Woods.

They are kind of elusive these flowers. They aren’t in bloom for very long. So get out on the trails this weekend. and find some.

And remember to follow me on Instagram for more great pictures like these!

First Trail Run of the Year

Meadowlily Bridge

I decided to kick off the running season with a trail run through Meadowlily Woods.

Area Floods

It rained heavily for two days though, so when I got there, I decided that it might be best to stick to the paved trail.

This sign warned me that the area is subject to flooding. It still thought the paved trail would be better than the one through the bush.

Flooded Trail

As you can see, I was wrong. I have never seen the river this high. There was absolutely no way around it. This wasn’t a puddle. It was the river encompassing the entire trail.

Meadowlily Woods Trail

So I turned around, and went through the nature part of the trail. There were a few wet sections, but I was able to get a three kilometer run in quite nicely.

Wide and High River

It was an interesting start to my new season of running.

It’s going to be a little different this year. I no longer have data on my phone (I had to cut some expenses) so I won’t be able to track my runs as easily as I did last year. I really loved using that app too.

I do hope to find and document some new running spots for this blog though. So stay tuned for that.

If you need somewhere new to run, check out my photographic tours and visit one of 50 great trail run spots.

Happy Running!

Wawanosh Wetlands Nature Trail

Wawanosh Wetlands

Let’s remember the bright and warm days of Autumn, now that we are stuck in the throws of Winter.

Wawanosh Trail

Wawanosh Wetlands Conservation Area is in Sarnia and is a nice place to go for a run.

What is a Wetland

If you want to know more about Wetlands, click the picture to read the plaque that was along the trail side. I didn’t stop long enough to read it myself. Had to keep running!

Wawanosh Rest Station

If I did want to stop, this would have been the perfect place!

Wawanosh Info Plaque

I didn’t see any wildlife during my run, but there were a few other people enjoying the trail that might have scared them away.

Wawanosh Footbridge

The trail looped around the pond, but this bridge linked it up to the paved trail that runs for kilometers.

Wawanosh Adjoining Trail

I decided to explore it as well.

Wawanosh Biodiversity

There were a few more information plaques along the route,

Wawanosh Accesible Rest Station

and another rest area..

Wawanosh Running Route

You can see that I ran around the pond, and then I took the paved trail up to the main road, Modeland, and ran back down the paved trail on the other side of the river.

I enjoyed this run and hope you’ve enjoyed the photographic tour.

Want To See More? 

Photographic Tour Archive (Over 50 Great Trails)

Bridgeview Nature Trail

Bridgeview North Entrance

Bridgeview Park is located in Petrolia, Ontario and I thought it was the perfect place to go for a trail run this afternoon.

Bridgeview Trail

The trail is wide and winds for two kilometers.

Bridgeview Leash

There is also a leash free dog run here.

Bridgeview Plaque

This plaque gives us some information about the Samson posts and towers that were used to drill for oil.

Bridgeview Historic Oil Field

There is a working Historical Oil Field right on this site. It was closed though so I couldn’t explore it further.

Bridgeview River

I kept running along the trail that runs alongside Bear Creek,

Bridgeview Road

down this dirt road,

Bridgeview Covered Bridge

and under this covered bridge.

Bridgeview Pond

The trail continued up at the top of the hill and ran along side a farmer’s field before it rejoined the main trail.

Bridgeview Tower

As you can see, night was already starting to fall at this point. That’s why the first shot in this post is so dark. It’s crazy how quickly that happens these days. Trail run season is just about over.

Photographic Tour Archive – Over 50 great trails to explore

Springwater Trail Run

Springwater East Day Use Site

Springwater Forest is part of Catfish Creek Conservation Area and is located in St. Thomas, Ontario.

Springwater Run Along the Water

The trails through the forest are absolutely beautiful.

Springwater Boardwalk

This boardwalk leads over a lush bog.

Springwater Bridge

There are several foot bridges along the route as well.

Springwater Dock

I only stop at the observation docks long enough to snap a picture. They would be a great place to stop for  a picnic though.

Springwater Info Plaque

I appreciate the information plaques,

Springwater Rest Station

rest stations,

Springwater Swamp

and the natural beauty everywhere.

Springwater You are Here

The trails were clearly marked and easy to follow.

Springwater Run Route

Here’s a map showing the route I took today.

Springwater Boat Dock and Beach

There’s even a beach to cool off afterwards. What a beautiful run!

Photographic Tours – over 50 great places for a trail run

Archie Coulter Conservation Area Trail

Archie Coulter Conservation Area

Archie Coulter Conservation Area is in St. Thomas, Ontario. I stumbled across it by chance and just knew I had to go for a run and explore.

Archie Coulter Trail

I didn’t realize that there was a formal parking lot a little further down the road until the end of my run. But this entrance was nice too.

Archie Coulter Bridge

After a kilometer in, I came to this bridge.

Archie Coulter in Autumn

I stayed on the main trail and it looped up nicely.

Archie Coulter River Bank

Running alongside the river was really nice.

Archie Coulter Woods

I ran a couple different loops and covered 4.5 kilometers today. It was a very nice run!

Photographic Tours – Over 50 Great Places for a Trail Run

My 2015 Running Season

I had a lot of fun out on the trails this season.

It is the first time I actually have data about all of those runs, however.

It is nice to have an app on my phone that not only tracks the distance I run every time, but also records the time, my average pace, and keeps track of any personal best that I may have reached that particular day.

Running Season

Here are the official stats for My 2015 Running Season.

  • Total Kilometers – 300.7 km
  • Total Trail Runs – 61
  • Average Distance Covered – 4.92 km
  • Average Pace  – 05:42 per km
  • Farthest Run – 8.02 k,
  • Longest Run – 44:22 mins
  • Fastest Kilometer – 04:27
  • Fastest Mile – 07:22
  • Fastest 5 km – 25:09

Keep in mind that I usually run trails with a lot of hills and challenging footing. As such, my pace is a little slower than it would be on flat, even ground.

On average I find that on a flat surface I can cover a kilometer is just over four minutes. On the trail, it takes me about five and a half minutes to do so.

Here are the individual run statistics starting from the most recent trail run to the start of my 2015 season.

Running Season Page 1

Running Season Page 2

It was a late start to the running season this year. I did run a few times before I started using the app, however.

Starting running again after a winter off, is always a tough process. My first two weeks of getting back into it are rather slow and are for a much shorter distance. That’s why I didn’t track those runs using the app.

I like having this data to look back on. Now I can see how consistent I am from season to season.

All I know is that my personal best for a 5 km is 19:03. It seems, I am past my prime days. But I am proud of these numbers and can’t wait for it to get warm enough, for the trails to be run-worthy again, and to see if I can smash any of these records next year.

I still have a few new running spots that I haven’t blogged about yet. I will do so in the next couple of weeks to add to the vast collection of trails I already have.

See you on the trails soon!

Laurier Woods Trail

Laurier Woods Sign

This past weekend I was in North Bay and had the chance to get out for a trail run at Laurier Woods. It was absolutely beautiful. I wanted to share that with you.

Laurier Woods Trail

The trail had a lot of rocky sections and places where I needed to slow down or do some fancy footwork not to trip or slip.

Laurier Woods Boardwalk

But it was a gorgeous afternoon and the scenery was breath-taking.

Laurier Woods Trail Rocky Sections

There were a few hills as well, not many, mind you.

Laurier Trails Sign Posts

The trails were very well marked. I ran portions of them all; yellow, red, white, purple, and the new trail that was just added to the maps.

Laurier Woods Observation

This observation platform was at the top of a rock bluff.

Laurier Trail Waterside

There were lakes, swamps, and a little river along the route.

Laurier Woods Inukshuk

I came across one portion of the trail that had dozens of these rock figures. They are called inukshuks. There were two specific groupings of them here.

It was so blissfully quiet back in the woods that it was very calm and peaceful.

Laurier Woods Rock Markers

Portions of the trail ran across these large slates of rock. It was hard to tell exactly where the trail lead. Thankfully someone painted these arrows along the route.

Laurier Woods Route

Here is a map of my blind exploration. I didn’t know where I was running. I was just feeling my way around. You can see at the three kilometer point, I seemed to have come to an end of the yellow trail. It looked like it looped up on the map. Oh well, I turned around and pushed on.

It was a great run with some very beautiful sights to behold. Highly recommended for runners or walkers.

Photographic Tour Archive – Over 50 great trails to run, hike, and explore

 

Lions Lake Trail Run

Lions Lake Trail

I collect trails. I am always on the lookout for a new spot to explore. My latest adventure was at Lions Lake Trail in Floradale, Ontario.

Lions Lake Trail Shore

The parking lot brings you right to the shore

Woolwich Dam

and the Woolwich Dam.

Lioins Lake Wooded Trail

The trail is only a few hundred meters further down.

Maple Syrup Farm

It cuts through a Maple Syrup Farm. You can see the blue lines that are used to collect sap from the trees. You can even veer off of the trail and walk toward the farm building to buy some.

Trails End

I keep running until I came to the end of the trail. It wasn’t as long as I had expected, or hoped for. Either that or I just didn’t take the best route.

Floradale Park Sign

So when I came to the road and saw this sign, I thought it would be a good idea to run to the park and explore some more of the local area.

Path Back to the Trail

Along the way, there were two entrances back to the Lions  Trail that I had left to go find Floradale Park. I probably should have taken one of them and kept running on the trail.

Road

But I figured 2.5 kilometers down the road wasn’t that far. I had visions of a beautiful park ahead with more trails.

Woolwich Fire Department

I never found it. I ran on the road for way more than two and a half kilometers. I passed the firehouse and realized that I would have to run a fairly big loop on the road to get back to my starting point.

Woolwich Reservoir

I pretty much never run a route that doesn’t include a trail. That section today though was a little too short for me. I know I didn’t choose the best route and could probably run here again and have a different experience. Perhaps I will.

Woolwich Run Map

I love my phone app and all of the data it provides. As you can see, I ran 8.03 kilometers in 43 minutes with an average pace of 5:24 per kilometer. You can also see that there were several hills and changes in elevation along the route.

Want to see more of my trail collection? 

Check the Photographic Tour Archive (over 50 trails to explore with me)

Oh No, The Bridge is Out! (but not for long)

I have nothing but respect for people who maintain all of the nature trails that I go running on.

Bridge Down

Most of the trails I visit are kept up quite nicely, either by the Park Association or a dedicated group of volunteers.

Bridge Out

Earlier this summer, I came across a broken bridge. I was still able to navigate my way passed this section of the trail. I jumped from the edge and landed on the downed bridge.

fixed bridge

A few weeks later, I returned to this same spot and noticed that the bridge had been repaired. You can see that they had to move its location slightly, but I don’t think anyone will mind.

It’s nice to have a smooth running environment where I don’t have to stop for any hazards. So, to those lovely people that maintain Komoka Provincial Park, I would like to say, “Thank You!

Want to see some of My Virtual Running Tours?

Here is the link to my collection of trails (60 great spots to visit)

Kains Woods to Warbler Woods

I love running down a nature trail, not knowing exactly where it will take me, experiencing the quiet surroundings, and getting a workout at the same time. And I love sharing these journeys with you.

A few years back, I discovered Kains Woods and had a very nice run in the fall. The pictures are gorgeous.

Kaims Woods Back Entrance

Last week, I ran the trail again and ended up at this non-marked trail entrance.

Kains Woods Shore Rd Path

There was still some more trail to explore, but I was exhausted and figured I would save it for another day.

Kains Woods Shore Rd Entrance

But the very next day, I went back to see where this trail really did end.

Kains Woods right turn

It wasn’t far down the trail before I had to make this quick right turn, run down a small valley, and then back up the other side..

Kains Woods Trail

The trail then continued for one kilometer,

Kains Woods Oxford St

before it came to an end at Oxford Street in London, Ontario.

Oxford St Path

I ran across the street and headed in the opposite direction of the bridge.

Oxford Pond

I knew exactly where I was and thought it would be a good idea to run all the way to Warbler Woods. 

Underpass to Warbler Woods

The paved multi-use trail was really nice.

Warbler Wood Perimeter Path

I took it all the way to the end and then ran through Warbler Woods back to its parking lot.

Kains to Warbler 019

Then, I retraced my route and went back to the Shore Road entrance of Kains Woods.

Kains to Warbler Route

That run was about 4 kilometers, so I ran down the suburb streets a little bit to get my 5 kilometers in.

As you can see on my Nike+ App, I started at the green dot, ran 1 kilometer to the main street, ran another kilometer down the street, and then ran through Warbler Woods, before returning to where I had started, ran down those streets some more and finished up my route.

I have never run two different woods before in one continuous run. It was fun!

I hope you enjoyed it too!

Running Tours – 70 great routes and counting

Kains Woods Adventure

Kains Woods Entrance

I went back to run Kains Woods today. I was determined to run the trail in its entirety. But since it is a straight course along the river, I thought that I would just find the portion of it that I hadn’t run yet and do that section.

After driving around for twenty minutes, I couldn’t find the back entrance to the trail, so I just ran it from the start.

Kains Woods Bridge

I love running here. I usually have the trail all to myself. Today, was no exception.

Kains Woods Riverside

It stays close to the river even though the trail bends, dips, and has a few hills to it.

Kains Woods Uphill

I ran 5 kilometers down this trail and was expecting to come to the end of it sometime soon.

Kains Woods Wildlife Sign

I knew that I had to turn around and head back since this trail doesn’t loop around. And I normally only run 5 – 8 kilometers. I wasn’t too keen on running 10 or more, but I really wanted to find where the trail ended.

Kains Woods hidden trail entrance

The trail continued on, but there was an exit to the suburb neighbourhood, so I took it to see where I now was. Kaims Woods Back Entrance

And I was quite surprised to see that I had driven by here earlier. This doesn’t look like the entrance to the trail, and there certainly isn’t any markings or a sign to indicate it either.

It was right at the end of Shore Road, if you are ever looking for it.

Kains Woods Neighbourhood Trail

I wasn’t quite sure where I was in relation to where I had parked, but I decided to run along the streets instead of going back down the 5 kilometer trail. I thought it would be quicker and less distance to do so.

Kains Woods My Route

I was right. As you can see from the route I took, thanks to my Nike+ app, I figured out how to make it back to my car.

There was a little extra loop that I did of the neighbourhood streets. It’s hard to get your bearings back there. But I finally made it back to my car.

All in all it was a 7 kilometer run today.

As far as I can tell, there is only a kilometer or so left of the trail that I haven’t explored now. But I guarantee you, I will be going back there soon to find the true end point to his beautiful place.

Photographic Tour Archive – over 70 great places to run (and one bad one)

I’m Never Running Here Again

Perch Creek Habitat

I am always on the look out for a new trail to run. I love exploring nature and getting a work-out at the same time.

So far, I have documented 70 different trails in this series. I would have no problem running any of them again. This one is the only exception.

Grass Trail Entrance

I have ran a few grass trails like this before, and quite often they open up into a more varied trail experience.

Flooded Path

This one didn’t. The only thing it had in store was puddles and more puddles. Some sections were nearly impossible to traverse.

Overgrown Trail

And the parts that weren’t flooded were almost completely over-grown.

Little Hill

There was a little hill that was nice.

Pond

And this pond was a welcome sight too.

Birdhouse

I had to turn around at that point though because the trail disappeared in the overgrowth. I thought I figured out where it lead but it was a muddy, soupy mess. So I headed back the way I came.

Trapped Ticks

In the car, I noticed two ticks crawling around. It freaked me out. There have been plenty of news stories lately about ticks and how they carry lime disease.

I tried stomping them, but they just kept crawling around, so I trapped them in a Crispers bag I had been using for garbage.

I tore off most of my clothes and inspected myself for ticks. I couldn’t see any on me, so I thought I was safe.

My girlfriend checked me over too. I was clear.

I went back to the car and found another one crawling around near the door handle. I trapped him in the Crispers bag too.

Vacuum the Car

Then, I made sure to vacuum out the entire car. I didn’t want to take any chances. I even threw out my socks and my shoes.

I know that was me just be paranoid, but I got a new pair of kicks I had been putting off wearing.

new trail runners

There was no way I was letting this close call discourage me from running trails. I just won’t be going back to Perch Creek in Sarnia anytime soon (or ever)

Photographic Running Tour Archive (70 routes and counting)

Lorne C. Henderson Nature Trail

I collect nature trails. I’m always on the lookout for new places to run and document here on the blog. So far, I have collected 70 different trails.

Lorne C Henderson Trails

The latest edition to this series is Lorne C. Henderson Conservation Area.

LCH entrance

I drove all the way down the entrance road  to find the start of the back trails.

LCH lookout view

They loop around a few small lakes,

LCH Grass Trail

and offer a variety of terrain from dirt to grass,

LCH woods

to wooded areas.

LCH Lookout

There are even a few lookouts to stop and enjoy the natural beauty of the area.

LCH rest station

I only stopped long enough to snap a few pictures however.

LCH waterfront

The only problem with this trail system is that they aren’t marked well. I ended up looping back around to the same spot a few times. And I had to cut through the camping area and run back down the main road to my car. That being said, it was still a nice run and I enjoyed the peace and tranquility of the natural surroundings.

For more running tours, check out my Photographic Tours Archive!