February 25, 2016
Unleash Your Inner Winter Child at Scenic Caves Nature Adventures
Winter is all about the magic of snow falling, new adventures and the quiet beauty and silence of being outdoors. As an adult, I have learned to dread the drives in the snow and icy conditions, the layers of clothing on my kids and getting the snowsuits on just to have to pull it all off again because someone forgot to use the bathroom. It can be easy to forget the pure and simple beauty of winter! It is important to reconnect with that love and to share it with your children. This past weekend, we headed out to the trails at Scenic Caves Nature Adventures Nordic Centre and reconnected with our inner child to regain those lost memories and to just unwind and have fun with our boys.
We visited the Scenic Caves Nature Adventures trails during the early fall and fell in love with the natural environment and history. There was just so much to do, see, learn and touch. We kept trying to picture the Nordic Centre but could not quite get the image in our head. What we experienced was far beyond expectations.
Scenic Caves Nature Adventures is literally transformed into a winter wonderland with the hills to one side and a breath-taking view of the lake on the other side (the lake was a beautiful blue on Sunday that just drew our attention to it). The main lodge was transformed into a chalet style building with comfy couches, fireplaces and tables to relax, warm up and enjoy a snack before heading back out. Families (and individuals) can participate in either snowshoeing or skiing. The Nordic Centre provides rental equipment, that you can purchase as part of a package with your admission.
We participated in both snow shoeing and cross-country skiing. My personal favourite was definitely the snowshoeing, mainly because my balance is awful and even more pronounced on skis! No matter how hard I tried, I kept overcompensating by leaning back, which of course led to my feet up in the air and me on my behind.
The snowshoe trails make up about ten kilometres of trails throughout the area and include a walk down to the Suspension Bridge. Walking across the bridge and the views it offers in winter is incredible (not to mention that much more nerve-wracking!). Our youngest was definitely the bravest and headed out across the bridge first. Along the way we took a lot of opportunities for snow ball fights, breaks on the side of the trails – which is quite peaceful to stop in the middle of the trails, sit down on the side and just embrace the quiet, the trees and the nature around you.
The cross-country ski trails are divided into easy to moderate to more advanced. We stuck to the easy peasy trails (the real name!) and our incredible instructor, Marianne led the way. If you are going to head out cross-country skiing and it has been a little while since your last time on skis, I highly recommend spending the extra time with an instructor. She taught us much more than just how to navigate the trails but the grip of the bottom of the skis, how to tilt your knees and ankles and not to mention how to just laugh and have fun. I honestly think our youngest kept falling so she would come over to pick him and talk to him! He laughed the whole hour and a half we were out on the trail (which we were so proud of him for completing!). I was so proud of how fearless they were and how quickly they picked up what she was teaching them. Nothing stopped them on those trails (except for maybe me falling every time I stopped paying attention to my legs and arms and how they were moving!).
Make sure you leave yourself at least three hours to truly appreciate the whole experience and to ensure you have enough time on the trails to take in the nature and sights. The Nordic Centre has two warm up centres for you to take a break in, grab a coffee and quick rest before heading back out. The main centre has an outdoor fire pit (I love the smell of logs burning!) which gave us a chance to recover, drink some water but keep warm too.
While you are out on the trails, keep your eyes open for little critters (we so badly wanted to spot a porcupine!) but we did find these little prints near the front lodge:
Make sure you follow Scenic Caves Nature Adventures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with trail openings and important information.
Disclosure: We received admission to Scenic Caves Natures Adventures to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.