We may not be able to travel right now, but you don’t need to go far to find some amazing places to explore.
I live north of Kingston in South Frontenac township, and while I’ve always known how amazing this area is, many people may not be aware the United Nations thinks it’s amazing too, which is why they have designated the Frontenac Arch a UNESCO designated biosphere.
In Ontario, we have three UNESCO designated biospheres, Long Point, Georgian Bay, and Frontenac Arch. You can read all about them and their amazing sites at visitamazingplaces.ca.
There are 686 UNESCO world biospheres in 122 countries. Biospheres are protected areas that are significant for their biological diversity and ecological systems and that exhibit a balanced relationship between people and nature through sustainable development.
The Frontenac Arch extends from Sydenham and Westport, down to Gananoque and over to Brockville. It is where the grandeur of the Canadian Shield meets the St. Lawrence River valley. It is home to windswept pines, shimmering waters, boreal forests, trails and fields and such diverse and at risk species like barn swallows, blanding and mapped turtles, bald eagles, and black rat snakes, all of which we’ve seen on our lake.
Here are some of my favourite places on the current “most amazing places” list*
Brockville Railway Tunnel: Dave, Clare and I visited the tunnel just a couple of weeks ago. Canada’s first railway tunnel, it opened in 1860 when the Brockville & Ottawa Railroad (B&O) was incorporated to link Ottawa with the Brockville waterfront. The tunnel has been outfitted with an impressive light show, making it a must-visit spot in Eastern Ontario.
Mine Loop Trail at Gould Lake: mica, a thin shiny silver mineral was mined in this area at the turn of the century. Mica was used by the electrical industry as an insulator in items such as toasters, and as windows in items such as lanterns. The mine at Gould Lake is exposed, but there’s an even more amazing one you can explore at Murphy’s Point Provincial Park (closed right now due to COVID).
Rock Dunder*: probably one of the most popular hikes in Eastern Ontario, this former scout camp property takes you past beautiful lakes to a summit with a breathtaking view of the Rideau canal.
Jones Falls: be sure to start this leisurely stroll at the top of the falls at the stonearch dam, an engineering marvel, then meander down past the locks and buildings that date back to the 1840’s.
This week’s #HappyAct is to explore an amazing place in your region.
More happyacts on some of the amazing places to explore in the Frontenac Arch
- Two journeys in one: Rock Dunder
- Happy trails: exploring the old railbeds in the Frontenac Arch
*Rock Dunder isn’t on the current list, but it’s made the list in the past