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By Jenn Watt
Published June 27, 2017
When I was a kid, I liked to watch the Polka Dot Door. On that program, the hosts had a glass jar that was filled with mysterious slips of paper. When someone said they were bored and had nothing to do, the hosts would break into song that there were “So many things to do!” Some of those things had to do with cleaning your room, so I wasn’t entirely sure about that jar, but overall the concept was exciting.
(They key is to be the person writing the “things to do” that go into the jar in the first place.)
Creating a fun to-do list is a great way to start off the summer. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Go Geocaching: Wilberforce is the Geocaching Capital of Canada and is home to dozens of creative caches. If you haven’t heard of it, geocaching is like a real-life treasure hunt. You find trinkets by using GPS on your cellphone or on a GPS device. You can rent GPS units for $5 a day from the visitors’ centre in Wilberforce. A perfect way to explore Highlands East at your own pace.
Find Quiet: Even during the busiest of long weekends, there are always places of cool stillness in the area. While some local beaches are busy, others have fewer visitors. The Minden Wild Water Preserve offers plenty of space to sit and watch the water rush by. Frequently, kayakers can be found trying out tricks or training. If you’re up for a walk, Snowdon Park off Gelert Road is well used, but seldom crowded and has good facilities. Many locations along the Rail Trail are also scenic and easy to access. (Check out the Friends of the Rail Trail website for more on that.)
Learn: There are so many places to go with this one, it’s hard to narrow down. Keep in mind that the libraries, museums and cultural centres all have programming, displays and resources to be used throughout the summer. Abbey Gardens is a place filled with learning potential and it’s always growing. It’s got organic gardens and heritage ponies, there’s food for sale, a kids’ enchanted forest and runs tours throughout the week. Likewise, Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Reserve has great programming throughout the summer and is geared to educate with the wolf centre, astronomy sessions and regular tours and workshops.
Get Active: Trails abound in the Highlands and are particularly well developed in Algonquin Highlands. Check out the township’s website for maps of the extensive trail system, which is free to use and well maintained. Sir Sam’s Ski and Ride has excellent facilities for biking and has an inexpensive hiking path that leads to the top of the hill overlooking Eagle Lake. AdventureHaliburton.com is a good resource for connecting with businesses and people involved with getting out in nature, whether it’s stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, ATV riding, canopy tours or waterskiing.
What’s on your list of things to do?
It’s time to get started.