When I moved up here a year ago, one of the first things I did during fall was to go for a walk on the Hub Trail, through to the 100 meter bridge.
I realized that although we had “fall colours” where I grew up on the west side of the Southern Ontario Green Belt, nothing would prepare me for what I would see up here.
4200 km’s back and forth through some of the prettiest countryside, slowly moving my stuff and my family up from Centre Wellington, I now know that was just a tease of what is offered by mother nature when it comes to this time of the year.
Although we have a lot of issues in Sault Ste. Marie, being able to get in “touch” with nature when you want to can temporarily make those issues fade away.
If you are lacking transportation, a walk on any of the city’s trails brings you closer to nature. If you are lucky enough to have wheels, travel just a little outside the city limits and you are presented with glorious vista’s of every colour of the rainbow out your front windshield.
In an effort to make up for extra time spent behind the pixelated words you read each week, my puppers along with my awesome better half and I took off Wednesday afternoon for a look at the painted fall tapestry one can find north of the city.
Where did we go?
In the time I’ve been here, I had never made it to Searchmont and if I had followed my directions to Ranger Lake the first time, I still could say that’s true.
A missed turn on our adventure took us through the small town where we discovered the Searchmont Ski Resort before backtracking the 47 km’s which make up the distance to Ranger Lake.
What we didn’t realize is just how long that trip is, how the winding roads hug the natural features, and how the whole damned thing is gravel, well maintained gravel in most parts, but still gravel.
Being a down south country boy, learning how to drive on these roads surrounded by the beauty of the landscape with the two most important things in my life riding shotgun, it was an amazing way to get away, if only for a few hours.
Things to note if you decide to make the trip to Ranger Lake on Ranger Lake Road.
- The green signs on the side of the road with different numbers on them, pay attention, they are how far away from a paved road you are.
- Cell reception is nil, however the road is well travelled and if you pull over with your 4-ways on, someone is bound to come by and will stop to make sure you are ok.
- You are in bear country, although we never saw one, we did hear (we think) bears at two of our stops. You’re just a visitor in their world.
The majestic Moose on the water shot everyone dreams of capturing is harder to get than you think, believe it or not, moose aren’t at the edge of every lake 24/7 like us southerners are led to believe.
- Finally, leave yourself enough time. If you are inexperienced with those types of roads and the area, it takes time to get places. If you want to stop and fly a drone or take pictures of amazing views, it takes even longer. It’s a long way to Ranger Lake!
If you are coming to Sault Ste. Marie for a visit at this time of year, make sure you cut some time out of your schedule to take a drive or visit the many places where the colours of fall surround you, no-matter which way you look.
It’s refreshing to reconnect with nature, if only for a few hours, just outside of a place to call home.