August 02, 2007

Great Hikes! In, um, pretty much Canada.

So in an earlier post, Crabby asked her smart readers for their hiking (and camping) recommendations, and readers came through! Crabby will just mention a bit about each hike; further details can be found at the "Great Hikes" page in Crabby's somewhat creepy Google Page Annex.

However, here's the funny thing: Crabby was all excited to tell you about one of the best hikes she can remember in recent years. It was a little far afield for her: it started at Lake O'Hara in Yoho Park in Canada. (The photo from the previous post, like this photo, were both from the same hike. The air was crisp; the peaks were snow-capped and the larches were golden. The whole hike was stunning. (These last photos were not ours, however; different time of year). Anyway, it was a fairly easy day hike; not a hardcore back-packy hike. However, there was a bus ride involved and reservations were required.

But... perhaps Crabby should have sent you to some of her other favorites instead: to coastal California perhaps, where you can hike gorgeous bluff trails, or to Yosemite or Glacier National Park, or Bryce or Zion or Yellowstone. Somewhere that's not in Canada? Because the majority of the other suggestions were also for hikes in Canada!

Crabby figures either: Canadian readers are more into hiking and camping than Americans (confirming her grouchy fears about US folks abandoning their parks) or: all the best hiking is in Canada and we should all move there right now.

Crabby loves the hiking at Banff and Jasper and Lake Louise and other well-trafficked locations, but readers were more clever and adventurous and sent in less obvious choices. And again, Crabby is only going to mention them briefly here; highlights and other details that readers sent in are here. Or, you could go to their blogs and beg them to tell you more.

First up, Geosomin of I Am Woman Hear Me Run and The Supposed Golden Path recommends Prince Albert National Park. Besides Lake Waskesui, there are four main day hikes. She also mentions the back country camping routes and canoe camping packages which are "amazing." And along those lines, she also recommends the Otter Lake/ Lake Missinipe area, where the The Churchill River Canoe Company has some great vacation packages. And further south is Cypress Hills Provincial Park, with forests, cliffs, and "an area of the forest where all the trees grow crooked and strangely." Cool!

And, in a demonstration that Crabby still does not know the first thing about uploading photos to her blog, here is Geosomin's picture of Waskesui Lake which looks to be in miniature (at least in Preview Mode) even though Crabby told blogger "large":

Next up are Leah's suggestions, Leah of The Goat's Lunch Pail and Prozac Palace.

She recommends Siffleur Falls along Highway 11 east of the Banff Park boundary. The trail includes rivers and waterfalls and suspension bridges and lovely cool trees. The walk is fairly easy, very popular, and kid-friendly. And: siffleur is the French word for marmot!

She also recommends the Coral Creek hike, a horse trail featuring a stream and an evergreen forest, mountain peaks, and if one perseveres further than Leah did, embedded marine life.

And here's a picture of the area courtesy of Leah:

And finally, to the United States, where Christina at Do or Diet recommends the Noligchucky Gorge Campground in the Appalachians. The "Noli" is a river starting in NC ending up in TN. The campground is set right on the river with great views of the mountains. Nearby is the Appalachain Trail and a train right-of-way hike that is a "genuine pleasure." The river is visible for most of the hike. Other highlights include a Sunday night pot-luck and jam. She also recommends the Virgina Creeper Trail which runs from Damascus to Abingdon. It's mild and very scenic trail and perfect for biking.

So Crabby thanks her helpful readers, and sorry she doesn't know how to do photos yet. And please let her know if she has made any transcription mistakes your submissions.

So have we exhausted this subject of camping and hiking and the joys/annoyances thereof? Or can we muster up anything else to say about it? Comments, about anything at all, are always welcome!


  1. I love seeing photos of gorgeous places to hike. As for the hiking part, well, let's just say that I love seeing photos of gorgeous places to hike. :-)

  2. Those pictures are great!

    Sorry, I pooped out on my submission. No other excuse other than laziness. I know of several great hikes, but they're all really close to me and I just assume no one's going to be in my neck of the woods.

    People around us are really outdoorsy but I wonder, if we lived in a more suburban or city-ish place if we'd be less likely to make the effort to find and go on those great hikes.

    (two more things. I wish we could've seen photos of the submitters in their pictures!, and Marijke, I totally laughed at your comment!)

  3. Okay, so while the rest of you are out hiking, I'll be hanging out with Marijke and the sangria.

    I, too, love to LOOK at gorgeous places to hike.


  4. Thanks, Crabby.
    I've been curious about Prince Albert National Park.
    It's good to learn about other places and other hikes. Makes me want to go check them out for myself.
    It really is a gorgeous world we've got.
    And thanks so much for linking to both blogs. Very thoughtful of you.

  5. Marijke, that's too funny. I no longer do the hike-your-ass-off all day hikes, but the best thing about a good hike is coming back and feasting burgers and s'mores 'cause I "deserve" them after a hike!

    This was one of those "seemed like a good idea at the time" kinds of posts. Of course there are just too many places one might want to hike, so the effort involved for readers to gather up all that info when chances are few people are going to be in that area to enjoy it? I'm really grateful to those who did, but, well, it perhaps wasn't the brightest idea of mine. (It worked out great for me though, because we love to take Fran the Van into Canada, and now we have some new ideas).

    And I know for mine I was very tempted to include a picture of the Crab but will have think through the anonymity thing... once revealed it may be hard to crawl back into the shell.

    Terrie, you and Marijke can get the drinks ready and the barbecue going, and we'll all come back from our hike and join you around the campfire!

    And hi Leah!
    Thanks so much for sharing your hikes and pictures! Fran and the Lobster will appreciate it as well next time we're in the area.

  6. And readers:

    Leah has a really nice peaceful nature picture today over at Goat's Pail --no hiking required!

  7. My favorite hike is to Target or Kohl's. (Sorry no pictures.)

  8. Wish we had more places in the midwest to hike...I've got subdivisions and ummm corn fields.

  9. My favorite place to hike is Central Park. But that's because it's the only place I can get to right now.

    I totally loved the pictures, especially the lake. How thrilling! Even little bitty they're impressive.

    I'm continuing my program of being good to myself:

    I added more yoga this morning.
    I cleaned up a little before I left so I wouldn't be grossed out when I got home.
    I deleted my DailyKos and Crooks & Liars bookmarks so I wouldn't be tempted to look at them. I was bad about that yesterday.

    The new medicine makes me feel like a zombie but I'm really enjoying not having my muscles all tensed up and spazzed. It's supposed to adjust after a while.

    Man, I do feel better, though.

    Love to all.

  10. Or, maybe Canadians work better to unannounced deadlines? You must be stricter with your readers. Ha ha! I'm still sending you a list by tomorrow...whether you like it, care, or not...None of them will be in Canada. Which is definitely not to say I don't love Canada.

  11. Why Crabby, how kind and thoughtful of you to send your readers my way. Thank you so much!

  12. We did The Catwalk National Scenic Trail near Silver City New Mexico and really liked it. It follows an old mining trail along a river through steep narrow mountain passes. I'm not sure how far it goes, but we spent a few hours out and back and it went a lot farther than we needed that day!

  13. Holly,
    Ah come on, we'd love to see you in your hiking gear making your way up and down the aisles!

    I'm a really reluctant and terrible shopper, so I'd actually prefer to ascend steep mountains most days than face large retail establishments. So you're braver than I am!

    Good point! Crabs, being coastal dwellers, tend to forget that hiking destinations are not so easily accessible from all parts of the country!

    Central park is wonderful! Actually, I'm assuming the one in NY, but I don't know if that's where your from. But if so, isn't it weird to find such beauty surrounded by big buildings? Plus, there's something so cheerful about seeing all different kinds of people out enjoying themselves. And it sounds like you're doing a lot of really smart things to take care of yourself! Sorry about the zombification, but hopefully that will get a bit better.

    Sorry Norabarnacle!
    And now I think I remember, you warned me you had something on the way. I should have announced a deadline!

    Actually, I discovered that my Evil Scheme to save myself some work on the backs of my poor readers sort of backfired. My administrative skills are so bad it actually ended up being more complicated to put a bunch of reader suggestions together than to write a post from scratch.

    I may, however, in the not-to-distant future be attempting to get interested folks to submit guest posts, where they do pretty much ALL the work. Don't know if I'll have much luck with this next Slacker Scheme--more on that later.

    Leah, you're welcome. Very nice picture.

    And hi Dr. J!
    That sounds like a great hike! Although the word "cat walk" sounds a bit scary. We'll definitely have to put that on our list next time we're heading through New Mexico!

  14. Recently I've started to daydream about maybe a week-long trip to the States and Canada to say hi to all the lovely people I'm meeting. Now, I can see I'll have to go for months to do all these wonderful walks as well!.

    And Marijke, you take the cupcake today!

  15. Those are great pictures! There's a ton of great places to hike here in Colorado but I don't really know them by name, I just know where to find them when I want to go.

  16. Yes I did mean in NYC, Crabby (I guess there must be other Central Parks somewhere...). The thing about the Park that I didn't realize before coming here is HOW BIG IT IS. You can totally lose sight of the fact that you're in a city at all. And if you get into The Ramble it gets pretty wild. (Then just when you think you're lost you come out onto water and a beautiful statue.)

  17. Well, i don't know about you but moving to Canada seems like a great idea for other important reasons and all that beautiful wildlife is just another plus in the matter.

    I doubt I've gone on a hike since my Girl Scout days, honestly. But I do think it would be great fun if I had one of my closest friends and also that it would be very romantic to go on a hike with a MSO, if only I had one.

    If it means anything, while I don't have much hiking experience I still very much enjoy nature. If only I could find more people who would like to enjoy nature with me. Living in suburbia a hike would sort of be like the time I locked myself out of my house and had to walk all the way across town (on a busy road) to a church where my neighbor is the pastor at. That's a hike in my little world.

    Those pictures do look so, so pretty. I might have to give the real hiking thing a try some time.

  18. Dawn,
    Yes, you must come! And months sound good--not necessarily for hiking, but just 'cause there are too many of us who would want to see you & we're spread out all over the place.

    They just had a women's blogging convention in Chicago and I think a more general one in Vegas--I have to say it's a tempting thought to go to one of those one day and meet "for real" some of the great blogging folks out there! And yeah, we have to get Marijke some more Sangria 'cause she's been on a roll in the funny comment department lately!

    Hi Vanilla!
    Colorado has so much awesome hiking! And yeah, you're so surrounded by it, you probably don't need to know names of places. (Also seems like a really good state when it comes to bike paths and trails and such, even in little out of the way towns, so that more people can actually take advantage of the beautiful scenery).

    Thanks Melissa--I don't know of any other "Central Parks" either, but I didn't want to be presumptuous.

    Hi Meg,
    If it weren't for being spoiled by California weather, the Lobster and I might have already tried to figure out how to move to Canada. Love it up there--the people as well as the natural resources. And hiking: yeah, even a short stroll in a nearby park can be good for the soul!

  19. Yes - Everyone move to Canada and come to PA National park.
    I'll bring cake.
    Anyone?? :)

    Now I have other hikes to try. Excellent.

  20. Geosomin,
    I'm so there! Canada rocks. And wouldn't a Cranky Fitness Camp-Out be a blast?

  21. As a Canadian, I whole heartedly agree with the "Canada Rocks" comment.

  22. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  23. Marijke, you're Canadian too? Don't know why I didn't realize that. It will make our Cranky Fitness Canada CampOut all the more convenient!


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