As we head into this evening’s AGM and year-end social — and with Highlands Nordic reopening their orange trail for skiing this weekend (no, the club isn’t going) — one more post to reflect back on a fantastic (and long season).
This guest travel blog comes from John Webb, who took part in the Val David trip led by the Bruce Trail Club, along with a number of Trakkers members in March:
With promises of 20 cms of new snow at our destination, it was to be a long-weekend trip, so the departure from York Mills was rather early, but that allowed an extra afternoon of activity at the destination. The forecast was correct and new snow and newly tracked trails greeted us at our two interconnected destinations, Chalet Anne-Piche and Chalet Far Hills. Our accommodation was at the Auberge du Vieux Foyer which was located directly on the trail system.
During our next two and a half days on the trails, it was quickly obvious that the Quebec grading of Green, Blue and Black was one notch more challenging than similar grading in Ontario, for both ski and snow shoe trails. But with the new snow every night, it was quite manageable and exhilarating. Perhaps not surprisingly, snow shoeing was the preferred activity for the majority of the Bruce Trail club members, and they were guided through some interesting walks throughout the more than 30 kms of trails available.
The Auberge was perfectly equipped to meet the needs of hungry and exhausted guests. A hot tub or swim, followed by a four course meal restored the body, and yoga was available before breakfast every morning.
Many thanks to our executive for arranging this joint club event. For long-time Trakkers, it was a return to a regular destination from the 1980’s. Sadly, the Hotel Far Hills has closed, shortly to become a time-share condo. But the memories of spending those late afternoon sipping B-52’s in the bar while gazing through the picture window at the sun setting on the Laurentian hills remain.
As always, our weekend trip to Blue Spruce was a big success. Four cottages with fireplaces made for a cozy atmosphere in a winter wonderland. We kicked off the weekend late Friday afternoon with a welcome wine & cheese party. On Saturday night, intoxicated only by nature and the fresh air that surrounded us, we made space for our own dance floor!
Sitting beside the fire while looking out at Oxtongue Lake and the beautiful pine trees, we felt relaxed and totally lazy. With mountains of snow everywhere, the skiing in Algonquin Park was awesome as always. Those in the mood to shop could visit Algonquin Outfitters for deals on the best jackets, sweaters, gloves, boots, skis, canoes, and other outdoor gear. A fantastic weekend was had by all!
Henry Furlott, Weekend Trips
Photos: Henry Furlott & Hanna Balakier
The Trakkers weekend trip to Wooler Place was a great success and here’s why:
Roomy Yet Cozy
Wooler Place is just down the road from the Highlands Nordic ski chalet with direct access to ski and snowshoe trails. This is a new, very modern facility built to house large groups comfortably.
Big windows on both sides of the building look out over the quiet, snowy countryside.
“The place is so huge, it didn’t feel like we had 14 -15 people staying there” said Ursula. Uni enjoyed the bright airiness of the house. “It was very light with two kitchens, and comfortable seating downstairs, though one was drawn to the upstairs because of the wonderful wood-burning stove.”
Accommodations for Skiers
“I loved getting up in the morning and having a relaxed breakfast in a large, well-equipped kitchen, then stepping outside to go skiing… no driving!” said Manny.
Wooler Place has a very spacious entrance area, and there’s plenty of room for coats and extra gear. It even has ski racks.
More photos and a floor plan can be found here.
Trakkers is in the process of adding to the January 2017 Wooler booking with an additional weekend, possibly a 3-day trip. Watch for these opportunities next year and book early!