Hiking the Trail - July 30 2019
At the Railway City Tourism Office, we often give out a lot of information to visitors about Kettle Creek Conservation Area, and more specifically, the Dalewood Reservoir Hiking Trail, located just outside the city of St. Thomas. Being located so close to the city, Dalewood Conservation Area suggests that hiking the trail is easily incorporated into a day trip, or a weekly exercise routine, so we decided to test that theory out ourselves!
My name is Chloe, and I will be your virtual tour guide today, taking you along the 10km Dalewood Reservoir hiking trail from the comfort of your own home!
There are many access points along the Dalewood Reservoir Trail for you to choose from, making the length of your hike variable, but we decided to begin at the very start in order to get the full experience and check out the new bridge that was just finished! This new bridge brings a number of benefits including a sidewalk for safer pedestrian and cyclist access. After admiring the new bridge, we entered the trail and began our journey!
There are numerous walking bridges throughout the trail that provide some ease to your hike as you continue along the Dalewood Reservoir. The trail is also very easy to navigate, as there are trail markers and the walking bridges are numbered to keep you going in the right direction.
Once we hit the old bridge near Dalewood Road, it was definitely time for a snack break! This is a great rest stop as it provides some shade and great views. At this point, you’re over half way around the Dalewood Reservoir.
Nearing the end of the trail, we were refreshed and ready to conquer some kayaking! Canoes and kayaks are available to rent hourly, or for a half or full day at the gatehouse in the campground. Using this watercraft is a great way to experience the reservoir you just admired from afar. We suggest bringing a camera (at your own risk) to capture this memorable experience, lots of water to keep yourself hydrated, and a kayaking partner who will do most of the paddling for you!
When kayaking the reservoir, it was very enjoyable and relaxing. Everything was so still and the nature surrounding the reservoir was so peaceful. It is a great way to clear your mind and become one with nature.
We saw a lot of wildlife, including various species of birds, beavers, and fish jumping out of the water. Be sure to not only keep your eyes on the water, but also up in the trees because as we continued we spotted a beautiful bald eagle perched high up in a pine tree! We admired its beauty for about 5 minutes until it showed off it’s impressive wingspan and continued across the reservoir. For the bird enthusiasts out there, be sure to bring binoculars to get a better look at some of the cool species that call the Dalewood Reservoir home!
Overall, I was impressed with this hike, and I got to experience firsthand everything the Dalewood Reservoir Trail has to offer. After today, I feel extremely accomplished and I will definitely incorporate this hiking trail into a weekly exercise routine, so I can take advantage of the nature that is so close to home!
This guest post was contributed by local photographer Janine Jones.
There are many places I like to take photos in St. Thomas. Reasons being that there is some great architecture and nature spots in the area.
1. The Courthouse District
I love the vibe in this area. The old houses mixed in with different types of churches, and other great buildings. Old tall trees which carry years of stories. I love being in this area.
Again, with the architecture. City Hall, and the CASO Station are the most prominent features of the downtown area. Buildings that look good in all seasons. CASO in particular is one of my all-time favourite buildings. Once a transportation hub, now a home for local businesses and events. I buy coffee there, I insure my car there, I have spent many hours at psychic fairs held in the hall, and I have even spent many work lunch breaks sitting outside the building. A real gem in the heart of the city.
3. Jumbo & Area
How could you not like Jumbo? A giant elephant, lit up with by coloured lights. An attraction for all to see and enjoy, despite the tragic story of this elephant. There are also cute houses, and other buildings in the area which I really like. The Old St. Thomas church looks amazing lit up in blue hour!
4. Lake Margaret
Based at the south side of Pinafore Park, is Lake Margaret -- home to many birds and other wildlife. It's nice to have a lake in the city to relax at and enjoy nature.
5. Pinafore Park
Last but not least, my favourite chill spot in the city. Whether it's meditating in the forest, walking my dog along the paths, or doing fun photoshoots with friends on the bridge, there is no shortage of things to do here. No matter the season.
Janine Jones is a local photographer. She has been taking photos for 25+ years, but decided to get serious about her passion by studying digital photography at a post-secondary level in 2011. She received formal qualification from Open College Dublin in January of 2012.