Peterborough, Ontario, Canada

If you had asked me on January 1st 2020 what I would be doing a year from now, I wouldn’t have told you “writing a blog post about Peterborough, you know, the one in Ontario”. I had been hoping to be spending six weeks in New Zealand over the holidays before embarking on the final stretch of my six month backpacking trip into South East Asia. Alas, global travel plans were pushed back yet travel still happened. I’m hugely grateful to live in Canada and yes, I have been known to talk of the west coast as “BC – the Best of Canada” yet it’s been really enjoyable to venture near and explore the surrounding areas in which I live, in Ontario.

Last week, I ventured ninety minutes near to the small city of Peterborough. I found a ridiculously cute Airbnb in that, if the weather was really terrible, I wouldn’t be too disappointed to spend the trip indoors. Thankfully, the weather was dry but still bitterly cold. I spent my mornings out walking trails and parks, taking photos before retreating back inside to make hot tea and snuggle up in blankets for the afternoon.

On my first day, I woke up early in attempt to beat the “crowds” and forecasted snow to the Trent University Nature Area. There are several loop trails of varying distance on either side of the road to choose from. When I set foot on my first loop, the sun was sleepily rising over the landscape.

The trail led up and down through trees, across fields and along the banks of the Otonabee River. The soft colourful trees and blanket of snow made for beautiful scenery.

Approaching the river, I could see some brave footsteps across the frozen water in the snow. The peacefulness was magical.

On day two, I headed downtown to check out the famous Lock 21 on the Trent-Seven Waterway which passes through the city. I had read before my trip that it could lift boats 65 feet, which made it at one point, the highest hydraulic boat lift in the world.

On the opposite side of the downtown area, I found Jackson Park – a stunning woodland area along Jackson Creek. That day I visited, the area was in a sheet of ice, being eager to see the creek, I carefully climbed down the steep bank to it, half frozen and snow covered.

For my last day in the area, I stopped in at the Robert Johnson EcoTrails about 20 minutes west of the city. Again, given the cold weather, I found myself in solitude as the only person parked in the lot and taking on the snowy trails. Out of three options, I took the “Wildlife Trail” thinking I might catch a glimpse of a deer or owl. Instead, I found this guy, munching away loudly, keeping one eye on me and the other on his snack.

I found Peterborough to be a great little city and with me being outdoorsy, I loved the abundance of nature areas and trails. It was the perfect winter escape amongst the monotony of life under lockdown. Although a city in itself, it provided a great balance of “escaping the city” and being thrust into the wilderness – without actually being somewhere so remote, I might had found myself stranded in a bank of snow.

Do you have an example of a place that pleasantly surprised you? Or one, you never would have experienced if it weren’t for the current circumstances?

P.S Here’s another nearby hike I wrote about in my Fleetwood Creek blog post.

3 thoughts on “Peterborough, Ontario, Canada

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