Parry Sound – NorthShore Rugged Trail

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.

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We parked at the trailhead, which is located at the bottom of Salt Dock Road at the far end of Smelter Wharf.

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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.

Parry Sound Tourism

Town of Parry Sound – Visit Us!

A great Saturday spent in Parry Sound. We’ll be back for sure!




—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —






Road Tripping – Owen Sound and Meaford

Although we love to visit communities of all sizes when we’re out on an adventure, we don’t often make the community the adventure so to speak.

What I mean by that is, we might be hiking or adventuring close by and may stop in an adjacent community for a bite to eat or to put a bit of fuel in the car.

The one thing we rarely do but have done from time to time in the past is “urban hiking.”

One definition of urban hiking I happened to stumble across is this, “Urban hiking might  be defined as, an active walk taken in an urban environment that goes through parks, uses stairwells, crosses intersections, and meanders through the city’s obstacles of life.”

In addition, Lynn likes to shoot every so often, pictures that aren’t normally nature or hiking related. To keep the creative and technical things sharp, she likes to shoot areas or subjects she might not normally spend much time photographing.

Such was the confluence of these two elements in the past few days. An urban hike to photograph something different.

Having a purpose in mind, we simply needed a place.

And what better place, than Owen Sound and Meaford for the day. Just a relatively short hop from the “old homestead” and both being just down the road from the other.

This looks like it was going to work.

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Of the many things we adore about Owen Sound, is its architecture in and around the downtown.

Some shots from here.











An outstanding feature of the many things that make Meaford a great spot, is the waterfront and harbour area.






The spookiest tree we’ve ever seen. It was across the road from the harbour and waterfront.



Urban hiking/walking – is it worth it?

Absolutely it is.

If this type of hike is something that you don’t normally undertake, especially if your exploring time is normally spent out on a trail, having an open mind to what you might discover in my opinion is the best first step. Often larger municipalities have urban walking routes with maps that you might be able to get a local tourist information site.

There are plenty of outdoors types who would never be caught hiking through an urban environment, and I get that. As much as being in nature is to “get away from the noise and busyness of built-up areas”, discovering and seeing new and exciting sights is also part of the mix as well.

So, having an open mind to what might fall across your path, I think, sets a good course for the day. Urban hiking has it’s drawbacks and issues as well. Nevertheless, the same approaches one would apply on a wilderness trail can be applied here. Be aware of your surroundings; don’t head into spots if you’re unsure of. You get the idea.

One of the best aspects of this is, you just might be able to head out in your own backyard for an enjoyable day spent exploring the city you live in. We often live in communities, but never get out and explore what is simply around “the corner.”

Thanks for visiting and hope that you can take an opportunity and explore “the nooks and crannies” in our neighbourhood.



—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —




Short Outings – They Work!

Every once and while, the smell and sights of spring are in the air. Not necessarily the smell floating from a farmer’s field in the spring, but the “smell” of sunshine and warm temperatures. It’s on those days that our “subconscious outdoor antenna” tells us not to waste those precious hours. Get outside!

This past Tuesday in my area was one of those days. The previous two days had been snowy and miserable to say the least. I sent Lynn a text in the morning while at work telling her “be ready when I get home and we’ll throw the dog in the car and head over to the top of Blue Mountain to see what adventure we can find.”

By the time I got home at 1:00pm from work and we drove to Blue Mountain, it was pushing 2:30 or so. A short trip yes – but in hindsight, a well needed dose of “Vitamin N.”

When we where snowshoeing and such out west in the Rockies two years ago, the wind on one particular mountain top was a strong as I had ever felt. It actually blew a toque off my head – strong!

The wind at the top of Blue Mountain last Tuesday felt as strong as it was out west.

Picture doesn’t capture the velocity of the wind!

We had our dog with us, so we didn’t hike much along the top of Blue Mountain. Funny though, as we both where getting back in the car, we said almost at the same time, “that was the best – we need to come back on a windy day again.”

We drove back down through Blue Mountain Village, remarking that we should head over for dinner sometime and then wonder through the village as it’s all light up at night. The last time we where at Blue Mountain Village was last June and we had a GREAT time. Super place to visit. Take a minute and check out all about it village here!

After coming off Blue Mountain, we drove down Highway 26 towards Craigleith Provincial Park and turned down a side street that ended on Georgian Bay. By this time the sun decided to go home and a much more troublesome sky took over.




If pictures say a thousand words, Georgian Bay was telling us she was a bit moody last Tuesday.

Our afternoon lasted only a few short hours. But, it was one of those times where a small dose of outdoors medicine provided enough relief until the next time.

Every outing and adventure doesn’t have to be National Geographic worthy, it just has to be an outing.

Remember, do what they say and take Vitamin “N”(Vitamin Nature) everyday!

Thanks for reading!