Storyteller Scroll | Shake off Winter Sluggishness

  • Published on Feb 03 2011 |
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Our volunteer storyteller, Jessica Baile, writes about her snowy morning in Forêt La Blanche.

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Last Sunday (January 30) CPAWS organized a snowshoe hike at Forêt La Blanche Ecological Reserve. Located in Mayo Quebec, it was a 45 minute drive from Ottawa into the Quebec country side. As we drew closer to the reserve we found ourselves in a sleepy cottage village with all of the chimneys going, and the stress of city life began to melt away.

Photo by Jessica Baile (click above image to view the rest of the photos from the hike)

A small but enthusiastic group of us met up at the interpretation centre. Once all of the snowshoes were strapped on, we were off to explore this lesser known reserve.

The hike was lead byCPAWS-OV executive director John McDonnell, who also works for Forêt La Blanche. Throughout the hike he provided a history of the park. He explained that it was originally used for forestry training, and was saved from clear cutting by a group of dedicated nature lovers called the friends of Foret La Blanche! He also provided information on animal tracks, the old growth forest, and the surrounding wilderness. Reminding us how valuable ecological reserves are, and why groups like CPAWS are so important. Most of these talks took place at scenic look out points which allowed us to appreciate views of the snow covered lake. As we hiked the sun dug it's way out from behind dark clouds complementing the winter beauty we were surrounded by.

Photo by Jessica Baile (click above image to view the rest of the photos from the hike)

Forêt La Blanche is less well known than Gatineau park and therefor much less busy. We avoided crowds and pretty much had the reserve to ourselves, allowing us to appreciate the pristine quite beauty of winter. We hiked up and down large hills and over bridges around the lake. There wasn't too much snow but this allowed snowshoeing novices, like myself, to try out the sport without too much hindrance.

At the end of our hike we returned to the city reinvigorated. This activity was a great way to shake off winter sluggishness, and to remember all the fun winter has to offer if we make an effort to get out and enjoy it.