Between the white quartzite ridges surrounding Georgian Bay, lush greenery and wildlife strive in the hot summer sun while canoes cut through clear turquoise waters that highlight the surrounding Jack Pine hills. This is Ontario’s Killarney Provincial Park.
With COVID restrictions in place, my boyfriend and I had to get creative with our travel options. Our limited choices gave us the opportunity to explore our native lands and to appreciate the paradise in our own backyard.
After a three-hour drive, we set up camp with anticipation of spending the next few days disconnected from our mundane city life and exploring the ecological treasures that only time spent in nature could provide.
After setting up, we pleased our appetite with a delicious calamari steak, quickly cooked on our mini portable burner. This gave us the energy we needed to head off and explore a few small trails within walking distance of our campsite.
The jagged faces of the surrounding rich quartz hills made it easy for us to climb for an aerial view of the park where we can appreciate its impressive features.
We spent the next few days rising with the sun to venture out through hikes or canoes, giving us time to also enjoy our evenings making dinner and relaxing over the campfire with drinks and music until it was time for bed.
We cherished every minute of daylight trekking out on various lengthy hikes and canoe rides, all of which offered breathtaking views and opportunities to bond with the wilderness.
To avoid misery, a mosquito net was used on our treks as the bugs were vicious up here.
We did the most gruelling hike on our last day, a trail called “The Crack.” This three-hour steep incline climb takes you up through the quarts, where a gorgeous view of Georgian Bay greets you at the top.
We also found time to relax on the lake, pretending it was the exotic beach we originally planned for the summer.
One of the many perks of staying in Canada’s National Parks is their commitment to wildlife preservation, so our trip wouldn’t be complete without some friendly encounters. This little guy came for a visit when he smelled our mouth-watering food.
Our meals included, instant noodles, vegetables, shrimp, sausages, and various salty snacks – all made over the firepit or on our portable burner.
Although COVID suspended our travel plans, we were grateful to be quarantined in a country with so much beauty and wildlife to explore.