“Tired of winter and can’t wait to get out and smell the fresh earth and hear the first sounds of spring? There couldn’t be a better way to experience spring’s emergence than a walk in the woods.”
So say the good folks at the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust, who have invited me to do a walk and talk — well, a talk and then a walk — at their High Lonesome Nature Reserve, a 200-acre property in the Pakenham Hills, west of Ottawa. The land was donated to the MMLT by the family of the late Barry Spicer in April 2012. A network of trails through the forests, over the hills and streams, by the ponds and through the meadows has been developed and cared for by the donor’s brother, Ken Spicer.
Registration for this event is at 9:30 a.m. on April 24, rain or shine, with my presentation starting at 10 a.m. Following my talk about the latest research into the physical, emotional and spiritual benefits of walking, we’ll set off on the trails — and it’s probably wise to wear waterproof footwear this time of year, advises the MMLT, who are asking for a $10 donation as an admission fee. There will also be copies of Born to Walk for sale. Bring a picnic and stick around for lunch — there’s a barn on the property in case it’s raining.
To reach High Lonesome, take County Road 29 to Pakenham Village and turn onto Waba Road. Continue west for 2.9 km, turn left on Barr Side Road and travel for 1.6 km. Take the first left at Carbine Road and drive 4 km to 867 Carbine Road and you have arrived.