The woods are lovely, dark and deep

When you wake up on a Sunday morning to find at least 15 centimetres of fresh, white snow outside, and the sun is shining, and you have energy to burn, you just have to go snowshoeing.

Winter has not been consistent this year – or the past two for that matter – in little Saint John, so when the conditions are just right, we jump on it.

So this past Sunday we bundled up and drove to Elmhurst Outdoors on the Kingston Peninsula, one of our favourite winter destinations. The last two winters we travelled to Elmhurst to cross-country ski, so this time, we decided to try out snowshoeing. I rented a pair for $5.30 plus tax, and the day pass was another $5.30. Very economical day out!Image

We ventured out to take a long winter hike up a hill that would lead us to a scenic lookout of the St. John River. The path twisted and turned, and the hill warmed the body – which was essential because it was well below -10 C. I don’t own snowpants and thought I could get away with wearing running tights, but was freezing my buns off.

Snowshoeing is a great way to enjoy the subtle beauty of the forest in winter. The trees were heavy with snow, and we could hear the sweet chirps of winter birds. Surprisingly, we didn’t see another soul on the roughly two-hour hike. It was peaceful and the cold, fresh air felt good for the lungs. The snowshoes were light and easy to wear. The grips help you climb up and scramble down hills with ease.


When we finished, we took a few minutes to warm up in the cabin and have a bowl of homemade soup.

We always say we’ll go back to Elmhurst again (I just love their groomed ski trails), but a steady, snowy stretch never seems to last long enough. Spring is already just a month away.

Elmhurst’s activities don’t end when the snow melts. When the sap stars to run through the maple trees, they have educational tours for families, and, best of all, fresh maple syrup is on the menu at the cabin. I think we might manage another trip yet.


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April C

Writer, editor and mom in Saint John, NB.

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