Keep That Summer Feelin’ Alive With The Great Lakes

Gr8nS16 Greatness Blog

Not ready for summer to end? The inescapable reality we all face leading into the final week before Labour Day hits and we hang up our caftans until Spring’s next arrival.

 

Sad Charlie Brown September Reality.

 

But seriously, don’t fret. We live in the Great Lakes basin with endless geography to uncover across this gorgeous landscape that so many of us call home—and much of it is free to explore! 

The best news? Our Great Lakes offer outdoor fun that extends beyond August, so before we trade in our tank tops for toques, check out this list and start planning Fall adventures that’ll keep you feeling like the vacation hasn’t ended.

 

CHASE WATERFALLS

Tews Falls, Hamilton. Photo by Worrawat Engchuan

 

All of your friends are moving to Hamilton anyway, so why not pay them a visit and also check out some waterfalls while you’re there? Trust me, your friends will love to give you the Hamilton Waterfalls Reality Tour (there are 100+), and you’ll be surrounded by such awe-inspiring beauty, you can’t go wrong (aka, you’ll get some great IG-worthy photographs). Also, plenty of the waterfalls have walking trails attached, so you can plan for some exercise as well. WARNING: Please dress appropriately for the terrain and follow the safety guidelines around the falls. No one wants a meme of themselves being rescued from the falls by the Hamilton Fire Rescue team, and even if you do—please don’t.

 

PADDLE SUPERIOR

Lake Superior Paddle. Photo Credit: Ontario Travel

 

Re-align your chi paddling across the still waters of Lake Superior, starting in Algoma Country. Septembers can be quite stressful to our system with the change in pace, the weather, and “get back to work” mode sets in. Why not plan to de-stress before the stress even hits? Plus, you’ll have an autumn-coloured-rainbow horizon to daydream about next time you get a case of the Mondays. During the Fall months, the lake will be much quieter, leaving space for you to get grounded in things that matter: spending quality time with your family, friends, or even a solo trip paddling at your own pace. With the infinite beauty surrounding Lake Superior, you’ll glide into the cold weather with a new appreciation of the great outdoors!

 

GO TAKE A HIKE!

Point Pelee. Photo Credit: canadabull

 

Hiking offers all of the simple pleasures in life, such as: wearing a lot of flannel; soul-satisfying breathing room with clean air, far away from the din of city life; bonding time with yourself and others; and of course, a chance to trek through a section of our geography from nature’s perspective. If you get a chance to hit the trails when the tree leaves are changing colour, you’re in for a creative explosion. We often don’t carve out time to behold the beauty that exists around us, and let it fuel inspiration. Not sure where to start? With plenty of self-guided trails surrounded by trees and view of Lake Erie, Point Pelee is a perfect destination to hike through Southwestern Ontario in any season. 

 

SURF THE GREAT LAKES

Surfing Kincardine. Photo Credit: Jean Philippe Dube

 

Get onboard with Great Lakes surfing on the shores of Lake Huron! The colder it gets, the better the wave. Station Beach in Kincardine is one of the best destinations for Great Lakes surfing. Surfers wait out the strong northwest winds that create awesome waves, known to reach above head high! With free parking and hot showers* on the beach to look forward to after a cold session of icy surfing, it’s no wonder surfers across the basin are choosing Kincardine. Time to pick out your red and white wetsuit, take a deep breath and hit the waves.

 

PITCH A TENT!

Lake Michigan Camping. Photo Credit: Awesome Mitten

 

Does it get any better than camping in the wilderness surrounded by endless layers of a Fall sky? I don’t think so. When you’re camping within the Great Lakes basin, you really can’t go wrong whichever direction you choose, but let’s call attention to the breathtaking autumn vistas in provincial parks within Lake Michigan, most notably, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. When the cold weather scares away the mosquitos, you’re left with ample peace to enjoy sprawling out with cozy blankets, under a twinkling sky, while drinking hot cocoa fireside. Start gathering stories (and marshmallows) and plan for some unforgettable Fall weekends!

 

Still have a little warm weather adventure left in you? Let’s face it, we can’t #roséallday forever, so get on board (literally!) for Fall adventures and we’ll see you out there!

Written By Laura Palumbo

 

*Note that public showers close December-April.

 

UP NEXT WEEK–Author Andrew Reeves discusses growing concerns around the effects of climate change to our Great Lakes basin.