In parts of Canada, the May long weekend is traditionally known as May 2-4, in reference to cases of the amber-coloured beverage that fly off the shelves in preparation for the first unofficial weekend of the summer. Though I have nothing against enjoying a cold beverage, especially to ring in the summer, I believe it tastes much better when it follows an adventure that has you exploring the great outdoors. So here are 5 ideas for how to make that beer (or whatever drink you prefer) taste even sweeter this May long weekend. And if you don’t make it out to any of these this long weekend, be sure to check them off later this summer.
If you have your own bike, it's tuned and ready to ride, pick a trail appropriate to your level and to how far you want to travel, by visiting Ontario Bike Trails, or Conservation Halton. Maps are also available via these links.
If you don't own a bike, the Kelso Mountain Bike School at Kelso Conservation Area in Milton, Ontario can hook you up with not only a rental, but also private or group lessons, as well as guided trips. And it's less than an hour's drive from Toronto.
Also offering rentals and (private) lessons is Boler Mountain in London, Ontario.
Brush up on mountain biking injury prevention before you go with these tips.
Go trail running
Another favourite activity of mine to spice up the running routine is trail running. And Ontario has so many trails to choose from that even the most avid trail runner won’t be able to say they’ve hit the dirt on all of these trails. This is a super impressive list and this long weekend is a perfect time to get started on it (or to continue your quest to check more off this list). Be sure to first brush up on my trail running tips here.
Hike a provincial park
Skip the ever popular Wasaga Beach strip and make the effort to get to Awenda Provincial Park. Also located on Georgian Bay, about a 2 hour drive from Toronto, Awenda has several hiking trails to choose from, ranging from 1 kilometre to 13 kilometres. If you're brave enough, you can even try a dip in the lake post-hike- is there a better way to recharge this long weekend?
Forest bathing & yoga hikes in Kitchener, Ontario
A guided forest bathing experience is taking place in Kitchener this weekend (May 19, 9am). This is a free event but registration is required. Don’t know what forest bathing is all about? Check out the description in my mindfulness article.
If you’re lucky enough to also have Friday off, and live near Kitchener, @humansinnature also runs free Spring Yoga Hikes every Friday morning in May. If you’ve read my fresh air yoga post, you know how much I value practicing yoga outside. This combination of a hike interspersed with yoga poses sounds like the ultimate combo.
Try Via Ferrata in Quebec
This activity is super high on my summer adventure list for 2018. The May long weekend may be a bit early for via ferrata but I put it on the list to get your blood pumping (or your hands sweating) just thinking about it. Essentially, it involves climbing a mountain with the help of walkways, ladders and bridges which are already in place, while wearing a harness and being attached to safety via cables. Sounds like a blast! Quebec is the go-to place for via ferrata in Eastern Canada so it will require some advanced planning if you’re coming from Southern Ontario. Have you tried it already?
Mount Tremblant, Quebec
Montmorency Falls, Quebec
Who else is excited for the long weekend? What are your plans?