Tag Archives: Desjardins Recreation Trail

Walking on Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice arrived in Canada on Friday, December 21 at 6:10 a.m EST this year. Snow was in the forecast, but when I woke up this morning, the ground was only slightly wet from last night’s rain. I had planned for a walk before the poor weather set in.  It was a cool morning and still dark when I headed out.  When I arrived at Princess Point of Cootes Paradise in Hamilton, the first winter sun was beginning to rise.

SolsticeSun1

SolsticeSun2

I had not walked on this trail for a while and one thing that I distinctly noticed was a much bigger beaver dam. This was a feature I noticed earlier in the year on the Desjardins Recreation Trail. It was evident that the beaver and its family were not only around, but were making their home bigger with the unfortunate result of damaging the vegetation on the trail.

SolsticeDam

As I continued on, I was surprised to see the ducks still out. Like me, they were probably taking advantage of the weather to have another workout before winter set in. I guess on my next walk, the water will be frozen.

SolsticeDucks

My walk this morning took me to Hamilton Yacht Club, and this was where I turned around.

SolsticePier

I have felt refreshed after my walk and both body and mind are ready to enjoy Christmas with its festivities and socialization. I often feel hopeful on the day of Winter Solstice. Tonight will be the longest night. After tonight, the day will begin to get shorter and this is certainly worth looking forward to.

Walking the Blue-Green Walk

The day after the much needed rain for my front and back yards in the past 36 hours, the question for me was: Where should I walk? The unpaved trails would likely be too muddy and even slippery. So I decided to walk on the paved surface of two of my favourite trails in Hamilton.

Desjardins Recreation Trail begins at Princess Point, Cootes Paradise, which is under the auspicious of the Royal Botanical Garden.

This trail is lit at night, cleared of snow in the winter, and there are three portable toilets strategically placed along the trail.

 

This is a very popular trail, but if you go out early in the morning,  you are in the company of  birds,  water fowls, squirrels, rabbits and chipmunks.

On this particular morning, the air was clean after the rain, and the vegetation looked greener as well. The water level had risen.

Some keen fishing folks were out as early as I.

I encountered a family of Canada geese. I generally do not mind sharing the path with Canada geese, but why do they deposit all these landmines on the trail?

I was very happy to see the beaver’s home that I saw last winter still there.

After about 5K, the trail joined the Hamilton Waterfront Trail.

There was a docking place for canoes.

There was a man-made beach.

The trail led all the way to Pier 4 in the West Harbour area, where I decided to turn around.

(In case you decide to start from the West Harbour and walk out to Princess Point and back, you can give yourself a treat at the William’s Coffee Cafe after this 8K walk.)

Throughout this walk, I was in surrounded by greenery and the water was by my side. This was a blue-green walk. According to  a couple of research reviews, this walking environment would led to a better sense of well-being, compared to an exercising environment that was only outdoor but without the water, and to exercising indoor. (Ref: see below.) Well, I have not put on my scientist hat to review the primary sources. I just let nature nurture me and it was the perfect start to my day.

Ref.:  Jo Barton, & Jules Pretty, What is the Best Dose of Nature and Green Exercise for improving Mental Health? A Multi-Stiudy Analysis. Environ. Sci. Technol., 2010, 44(10), pp. 3947-3955

J. Thompson Coon, K. Boddy, K. Stein, R.Whear, J. Barton, and M. H. Depledge, Does Participating in Physical ‘Activity in Outdoor Natural Environments Have a Greater Effect on Physical and Mental Wellbeing than Physical Activity Indoors? A Systematic Review.  Environ. Sci. Technol., 2011, 45 (5), pp. 1761-1772.