A Short Mental Health Hike to McCrae Lake

Right from the get-go here, I need to be honest and admit something.

We haven’t had much motivation over the past month or so to get outside and do much of anything when it comes to hiking or any other adventure. The motivation to do anything seems to have gone out the window. Even finding the motivation to blog has been a challenge in and of itself.

Since Katie was diagnosed with bladder cancer(Transitional Cell Carcinoma), our focus has been on her and giving her the best possible remaining time with us that she has.

Having said that, one can go a bit wacky stuck in the house most of the time. Waking up yesterday morning, we had received 3 or 4 centimetres of wet snow overnight, turning the landscape into a white covered blanket or peacefulness and tranquillity.

Around lunchtime, we decided to head out with Katie and the camera equipment to see what might unfold for the afternoon. One of our go-to jaunts has always been Big Chute Road heading north from the Village of Coldwater and passing the Big Chute Marine Railway to exit out at Highway 400.

So, off we went.

An abandoned and rough-looking farm shed in a field along Big Chute Road.


At one point, I wondered if the road to access McCrae Lake located just north of here might be plowed thinking we could take Katie along the short portage trail from the parking lot to the canoe access location. It is only about 100 metres long, but just the perfect length for Katie to walk and for Lynn to snap some photos of the day.

A quick trip up Highway 400 and we where at the access road and parking area for McCrae Lake. The access road to the parking area is quite steep, but it was plowed and well sanded. There were two other cars in the parking lot, but footprints in the snow suggested they had headed trail north to the McCrae Lake rapids.

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The line in red is the trail from the parking lot to the canoe put-in location.

A few pictures from our short time there.

The trail from the parking north heading north to the lake and the canoe access location.


A couple of maple leaves refusing to drop to the forest floor.


Katie and I following along after Lynn.


Some views from the canoe access point at the end of the trail.




Katie looking back and dreaming of those warmer days spent here along the trails. At this point, she had started to shiver a fair bit, so I picked her up trying to get her warm as we headed back to the car.


Frozen in time.


A snowy Muskoka forest.



We spent around 30 minutes heading up and back down the trail. When we’re outdoors with Katie on a hike, heaven for her is to sniff, pee, sniff and pee to let all in the canine world know that “Katie was here.” This was no different.

As her days seem to be numbered, we’re working to let her enjoy the things she enjoys the most. Short adventures spent on some trail, utilizing the “sniff,/pee, sniff/pee” style are always a welcome item on her agenda.

For us, it was a welcome and well needed time out. If even for a few hours, we could forget all of life’s tribulations and issues and just simply enjoy some well-needed time outside with Katie breathing in the fresh air and walking in newly fallen snow.

Thanks, McCrae Lake – well done!

4 thoughts on “A Short Mental Health Hike to McCrae Lake

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