Quiet. Disconnect. No schedule.
These are the counter-weekend warrior symptoms that I frequently wish to experience. When working on a tight schedule, running between meetings, eating lunches with only my computer for company, it’s easy to see why I crave down time to help me disconnect and unwind. #putdownthephone
So how do you get that quiet experience without having to schedule something in? One word: nature.
Landscapes don’t go away but they’re ever changing. And I love the opportunities people have to explore the outdoors, wander without worry, and feel rejuvenated by fresh air in Lanark County.
And why not? Lanark County has dozens of lakes and waterways and 11, 000 acres of forested land to be discovered. So here are three ways to discover Lanark County’s rural landscape where you’ll have the opportunity to wander at your own pace, and to take time to just breathe without the weight of having to be somewhere hanging over you. No schedule necessary.
If you want an accessible way to discover the rural landscape, then you’ve got to check out the Beckwith Trail. On the Beckwith Trail, you’ll walk into a quiet atmosphere brimming with beauty. With tall trees lining the trail entrance, you’ll become enchanted with the surroundings, no matter the season. The Beckwith Trail is situated in Beckwith Township between the 9th and 10th Line, and it’s a wide, gravelled walking path. Visitors love it because you experience Mother Nature in so many ways. The trail begins in a lovely forest, passes through a wetland, over a stream and through farmers’ fields. The best part is that because it’s maintained, it makes it easier for anyone who enjoys exploring trails (ideal for toddlers and Grammas!). It’s a snowmobile trail in the winter, meaning it’s well-groomed and makes it easy for walking in heavy snow. The Beckwith Trail is a four-season escape plan from the every day. You can download the Beckwith Trail map.
If you’re looking for a way to discover the waterway, then you’ve got to head to Perth Outfitters. These guys house the largest rental fleet of canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards in Eastern Ontario, and they’re right on the shores of the Tay River in Perth. Once you rent your item, you’ll dip your paddle into the water, take a breath, and soak in the solitude surrounding you. You can set out toward the Tay Basin for an in-town experience, but I’d recommend discovering a spectacular natural scenery by making your way toward the Tay Marsh. You can go all the way to Beveridge’s Locks and stop for a picnic lunch, or make your way back to Perth for a bite to eat. If you really want to make a day of it, then extend your Perth Outfitters’ stay and challenge someone to a game of mini-putt. Are you a winter warrior? Then pop by Perth Outfitters to lace up your skates for their 400-metre skating trail.
If you’re living the city life in Ottawa, then Almonte is a perfect way to discover nature in a small-town setting. How? Because water acts as their backdrop. They’ve got hypnotizing waterfalls (not literally) where you can take a moment to simply be as you watch and listen to the waterfalls. Veteran canoeist Cliff Bennett says if you want to take a paddle, then you’d launch from the beach in Metcalfe Park in downtown Almonte and explore the waterfalls before making your way along the shorelines of the Mississippi downriver to Blakeney. On your travels, you’ll feel surprised by the woolen mill tucked away along the river, or you’ll enjoy hearing the babbling of the shallow rapids. You could pack a picnic for the trip, or pop into a local pub for a cold one while watching the waterfalls (again, those waterfalls!) from the patio.
Ahhh…don’t you feel more relaxed already? I love that each place offers a different way to disconnect with different people. I’d take the kiddos to the Beckwith Trail to discover the natural elements. I’ve done a couple of girls’ experiences stand-up paddle boarding at Perth Outfitters. And the Waterfalls trek would be a great date day with my better half.