We’re getting to that point in time, when I say to Lynn, “let’s head to Parry Sound”, that once we get in our car, it can pretty much drive itself from the “old homestead”; across Highway 12 and then north on Highway 400.
That’s kind of reflects how many times we’ve been to Parry Sound this year alone. Forget about going back a couple of years.
So, with vacation going full-bore, what better time than that to sit back and let the car take us north to Parry Sound and the NorthShore Rugged Trail.
With the NorthShore Rugged Trail as the destination, and on the first Saturday of our vacation, we left the “old homestead” for the quick journey up Highway 400 to Parry Sound.
We parked at the trailhead, which is located at the bottom of Salt Dock Road at the far end of Smelter Wharf.
Now, having said that, one of the great things about the trail system in Parry Sound is that everything seems to connect to everything.
You could, for example, park at Waubuno Beach and hike along the “Waterfront Fitness Trail” and simply continue on to the NorthShore Trail at the Salt Docks. It would make your hike slightly longer, but that is rewarded with great views out and across the water.
Another option might be to park further down towards The Stockey Centre making your hike even longer. But, again you would be rewarded with the magnificent views out over the horizon.
Thinking about it for a moment, this could very well be the best alternative out there. When you got back to your car, you are right there to slip on over to the restaurants located along the waterfront. Or simply continue hiking along the trail, cross the river and stop at The Trestle Brewing Company for a pint and a bite to eat.
If hiking or trail walking is not your thing, then simply pick someplace that gives an outstanding view; get out to the patio and enjoy yourself.
Seeing as we like to hike, we deferred any of the above options to another time and started out on our adventure from the trailhead at the Salt Docks.
There is a reason they include “rugged” in the trail’s name. It follows the natural topography of the shore, so there are some ups and downs; mostly rocky terrain; and some places that are in the bush.
However, for the most part, the trail follows the shoreline which is a good thing to keep in mind.
There are not a lot of markings on trees or rocks to suggest you are on the trail. In fact, we didn’t see any markings at all. Not to suggest they aren’t there, but we simply didn’t see any.
Nevertheless, there is an obvious trail that follows the shoreline.
The trail from the Salt Docks goes out about 2.5 kilometres to the Parry Sound/McDougall municipal boundary, resulting in about a 5-kilometre round trip.
Over the past week or so, temperatures in our area of the province have been high, to say the least. In addition, to imply the bug situation has been intolerable in many locations would be an understatement – a huge understatement.
So, recapping – temperature hot; bugs(especially mosquitoes and black flies) bad.
Why mention this?
It has generally been our experience hiking along the waterfront in Parry Sound, that there is a breeze of some description blowing. Sometimes strong, often just enough to gently caress your face.
Today, it blew enough to moderate the temperature and to blow the bugs away to some place that we really don’t care where it was.
Here are a few more pictures from our afternoon.
If anyone is looking for the engine casing for their riding lawn mower; we know where it is.
“NorthShore Rugged Trail” – YES or NO?
A most definite – yes.
It is rugged and a bit of challenge for sure, but that is off-set by the gorgeous views out across the water.
In fact, if you were to go down and only hike out a few hundred metres at dusk, the sunset I imagine would be spectacular.
One thing to mention, the trail is considered to be off-leash for dogs, so don’t be surprised if a doggy comes bounding down the trail.
The thing that became readily obvious was, you didn’t need to drive kilometres out in the hinterland to experience a setting like this. It is right in town. That doesn’t often happen.
So, this summer or anytime for that matter, get on over, up or down to Parry Sound and carve out some time to tackle the NorthShore Rugged Trail. It’s one of those gems, that is right there waiting for you to tighten up those boot laces; fill up your water bottle and come on for a visit.
Don’t forget that after you’re finished to check out a spot or two to re-energize your body with “a bite to eat and a pint to wet your whistle.”
A couple of links to give you a bit more info on Parry Sound and what you can do once you get there.
A great Saturday spent in Parry Sound. We’ll be back for sure!
— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —