Today was a work day. I knew I wouldn’t feel like hitting a trail afterwards so I did the one thing I could think of to ensure that I would be going to a trail. I told my three year old that we would go for a hike when I was done work. My plan worked as I can’t resist this kid asking if we could go for a hike “now?….well how about now?…can we go now?…is it time to go for our hike now?” My only downfall in this plan was not putting into consideration the time of day I went (around 7pm). He was out fast asleep in the car before we got to the trail. I know I have some explaining to do when he wakes up tomorrow.  Luckily my mom was with me so she offered to stay in the car with the boys, one asleep and one awake, while I took a quick look at the trail.

      For tonight’s adventure I travelled to Wallaceburg’s MacDonald Park Trail. To be honest, I drove past it, I didn’t think the giant sign labelled “MacDonald Park Trail” could possibly mean the trail I was looking for. The place that held the sign was a place I somewhat remembered going to as a child. It was not big enough for a trail! However, I eventually turned around and parked at the right spot near that sign and chuckled while telling my mom I surely wouldn’t be long.

     I got out and went to the edge of the Snye River. I took a deep breath then suddenly everything small I was thinking about this place disappeared. The sun setting over the river was stunning.  Birds were chirping as they gathered up last minute things for the night. The river was calm and reflecting back everything near it, and the sun peaked through the trees. As I continued my walk around the river, it entered into a lagoon.  The lagoon was full of nature where I could spot ducks, a muskrat swimming, and fish swimming in the shallow waters.  Being in this area brought back a flood of memories of fishing with one of my older brothers and my parents.  I remembered myself fishing in the very shallow water so I could aim my line directly at fish that I could see, the excitement of catching that fish and pulling it out of the water,  getting brave enough to touch it then freaking out that it moved and begging my dad to help me get it off the line, then asking that while he was at it he could hook my worm so I could do it all over again.   Needless to say, I never made it in the fishing world.  
       There isn’t an actual ‘track’ to follow on the trail, but reflecting back, I found it as a nice change. It was as if I wasn’t on a tour of nature, but was actually part of it. There were also a few plaques around that explained about the Baldoon Settlement as well as the Black Goose story (I didn’t read it as the very mature and grown up side of me just freaks out about any type of ghost story) that have happened in this area.  Make sure you read it though when you visit the trail as it is pretty neat.  After walking  this part of the trail,  I watched a swan swim by then I checked back at the car and drove around to the other side where you can park and where there is a boat launch also (you can also walk, I just didn’t realize it at the time).
     Once again I thought there didn’t seem to be much there and I told my mom I would only be a second. Once again, I was wrong. To the left of me was a large wetland.  There were SIX Great Blue Heron in there! This blew my mind, I didn’t realize they liked being around each other. The trail goes farther back and it all interconnects to many different sides of wetlands, marshes, and the river. You get a great taste of a variety of nature settings.  Unfortunately I couldn’t explore all of it as the one year old was not asleep and being more vocal about it and I was starting to feel  bad that my mom was stuck in the car with my boys while I was out running around being amazed. 

      The MacDonald Park Trail is definitely worth a look at. It is peaceful, it is a lot bigger than it seems, and there are not only so many places to wander around, but also many places to stay still and just soak in the nature surrounding you. I was very sad my kiddies were too pooped out from a fun day at Nana and Grandad’s to see what I saw on this trail. It is a perfect spot for running around and exploring and seeing so many neat things. I plan on coming back with them very soon when they are very awake. Maybe I will even let my mom out of the car to also explore with us next time too!

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