discoveryroutes.ca – Discovery Routes Trails Organization - Discovery Routes is a not-for-profit trails organization that market and promotes recreational trails across the Near North region of Ontario.

Trail Resources for Families

Checklist  –  Kids Activities  –   Trail Etiquette  –  Environmental Tips  –  Healthy Living Tips

before you leave Checklist

  • Backpack
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Hat for sun protection
  • Sunscreen
  • Whistle
  • First aid kit
  • Pocket knife
  • Comfortable and appropriate shoes
  • Extra clothing
  • Matches
  • Trail map(s)
  • Compass
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries

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Trail Activities for Kids

There are some tremendous resources that have been developed by some fantastic organizations designed to engage kids while experiencing the outdoors.  Discovery Routes even tried our hand at developing a few.

Try this winter scavenger hunt at Laurier Woods or the Cranberry Trail.

Try this Hike and Go Seek on the Kate Pace Way.

This Treasure Hunt by the Nature Conservancy and Nature Rocks can be done on any of our local trails.

Environment Canada has developed biokits that suggest activities that can be done along the Trans Canada Trail.

 

 

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Trail Etiquette

  • Stay on the main trails. Some areas surrounding trails are very fragile and sensitive to disturbances, and therefore can be easily destroyed. Animals live near trails and do not like to be disturbed.
  • Some trails are only open in certain seasons. Please obey the signs that are posted along trails – they are there for your safety!
  • Please stay on the right to allow other users to pass. If you plan to take a rest, please move to the side.
  • Make sure to check with local trail groups or conservation authorities as to whether the trails you plan to visit require a user fee. These fees help to keep the trails maintained.
  • Leave the trails as you found them. Pick up your garbage and do not gather plants from the trails. This will ensure that the trails and the surrounding environments remain intact for years to come.
  • Respect neighboring land owners. Some trails are located on private property, and the owners of such property have been generous enough to allow the public access to the trails. Remember, land owners have the right to allow or forbid people on their land at any time. Respect for the owners will ensure that the trails can be accessible in the future.

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Environmental Tips

  • The quieter you are on a trail, the better your chance of seeing wildlife in their natural environment. Please remember not to feed the wildlife.
  • On your next trail outing, plan on using a camp stove to cook your lunch and save the forest from being ravaged by wood gatherers and forest fires.
  • Walk, bike, or blade on your next outing instead of driving. The exhaust from your car contributes to acid rain and poor air quality.
  • Please stay on the trails to avoid damaging sensitive ground vegetation.
  • If you smoke on the trails, please remember to BUTT IT OUT
  • Take only photographs, leave only footprints.
  • Remember to take all litter with you, and help to keep our trails by picking up litter left by others.
  • Be aware of your activities on the trail and remember that some ecosystems are more sensitive than others.
  • Avoid paddling near waterfowl nesting sites as you may disturb their fragile environment.
  • Keep pets on leashes and remember to STOOP and SCOOP.
  • Don’t pick or try to remove Purple Loosestrife while on the trails because it can easily spread faster if not removed correctly.
  • Bring reusable picnic containers to reduce the amount of garbage we are sending to landfill sites.

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Healthy Living Tips

  • Thirty to sixty minutes of physical activity a day will keep you happy and healthy.
  • Wear required safety gear approved by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) whenever appropriate (i.e. helmet for cycling and in-line skating).
  • When going outdoors, dress for the weather and remember to dress in layers – they provide better insulation.
  • When hiking, wear comfortable shoes that provide cushioning and support.
  • Make a personal or family commitment to try a new activity each season: snowshoe, hike, bike, ski, swim, in-line skate, walk or run. Remember, all of these activities can be done on the trails.
  • To protect yourself from the sun – SLIP on a shirt, SLAP on a hat, and SLOP on some sun screen!
  • Breathe in the fresh air on the trails and remember to breathe regularly when doing exercise – don’t hold your breath.
  • Remember to drink plenty of water when exercising.
  • If you are short on time, go for a shorter walk, it will lift your spirits.
  • Before and after your hike, do some stretches to reduce aches and pains.
  • To get active at work, have a “walking” meeting – grab your colleague and discuss business while taking a walk.
  • Take your bike to work or walk – you’ll save on gas and you’ll be protecting the environment.

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Upcoming Trail Events

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