On a Saturday morning that was promising a beautiful autumn day there was practically no other choice but to go out for a hike. We decided to make a day of it so we headed off to Rondeau Provincial Park. The day fee is only $16.00 so
not a bad price to pay for endless trails and time on the beaches. You have the lake on one side of this Provincial Park and the bay on the other.
Our first stop was to the beach near the Visitor’s Centre to grab some maps and take a break from the same Veggie Tales song playing for the whole car trip there. The three year old kept bugging to go somewhere near the water first. He got upset when he saw us pass the bay outside his brother’s side of the car, even when we reassured him the lake was out his side of the car window. When we told him that we were going to the lake next his response was, “…and then we can throw sticks and rocks in to that water?” – Now his insistence made sense, can’t believe we missed that one.
The beach was a beautiful sight. The bright blue water met the horizon that had a matching blue sky and the beach kept going for as long as the eye could see. Some teens were having a get together and playing guitars and singing songs which added to the ambiance of it all. Our oldest boy was able to fulfill his every wish when it came to throwing stuff into water- it is like what he has been building up to since I started these trails. The youngest, having to be the exact opposite of his brother was in his glory playing in the sand. The husband was in his element looking for interesting rocks to try and show uninterested boys. I had a blast just playing around with my camera and capturing my little family discovering so many things.
When it looked like it was time for a volleyball match for the teens we used it as a great excuse on why we had to leave the beach and head to a trail. We decided to try a trail we haven’t been on yet at Rondeau called “South Point Trail”. It was a beautiful trail. It was a bumpy paved wide trail so lots of room for any type of stroller or wagon and great for bikes. I would suggest taking bikes if you are with kids as it will cut a lot of the time. The boys stayed in the wagon long enough to eat a granola bar then it was time to explore.
After a lesson on why we had to stay on the trail (poison ivy) we came across what looked like an avid hiker- or at least he was dressed like one, who offered to go into the woods and get a frog to show us. While I knew I was going to get the “He’s allowed to get off the path” look, how can anyone resist that offer? Sure enough a couple of minutes later he came back with a little frog. Sadly two minutes is long enough for the older one to lose interest so he was busy drawing happy faces in the trail, but the 1 year old loved the frog and giggled as it hopped away.
After a really long time of trying to keep the boys moving on the trail, which is so hard when all they understandably want to do is explore we were able to coax them back into the wagon with more granola bars. At that point hubby and myself walked as fast as possible knowing we were still a couple of kilometres away from the destination which looked like it might be near water (we weren’t really sure). It was a lovely quick walk where we were actually able to hold hands and chat, and hear the water getting louder with promises of our proximity getting closer.
The long trail (approximately 3.1km) was worth it! It ended on its own private little beach area. Waves were crashing, sailboats were way out on the lake and migrating birds kept flying overhead. The boys and the hubby went back to their previous beach roles as did I. We stayed there for around 30 minutes until our very cautious three year old suddenly decided to throw that caution into the win and ran right into the water. He got up to his waist and came right back out laughing his head off. With a little reminder about safety while holding back our own little smiles we prepared him that we had to go home now as I forgot to pack extra pants- ALWAYS PACK EXTRA PANTS!
We emptied out his boots (yes we are the cool parents that take their kids to the beach in rain boots, keep in mind it was cool outside!) and he got full range of the wagon and a blanket to cover him up.
The one year old was against being confined in a little red wagon so stayed on his Daddy’s shoulders. Doesn’t seem like a hard walk right? Keep in mind hubby was carrying 30 pounds and I was pulling about 45 pounds for 3.1km. It took everything in me to keep going. At one point we were holding hands again but less of a romantic ‘hold my hand because everything is perfect and I want to share this moment with you’ and more of a ‘please drag me to our van’ hand hold.
We made it to the van with a kid asleep in the wagon and one asleep as soon as he sat in the car. WIN! The trail was a beautiful walk, long, but beautiful. The private beach part was the prize at the end (middle?) of it. I think we were on that trail for approximately 3 hours, it is a sad fact but true. But the most important thing is we all had a blast and created tonnes of memories, so for that, I love this trail, and the park as a whole, and would do it again for sure (but I would remember to pack extra pants this time).