Trail running around Hardy Lake, Muskoka

Tough weekend for C. A work related commitment forced her to brave the distance and the cold to represent the project she's working on during the Cranberries festival, in Bala, On.

Bala, as we would discover, is a nice city at the border of the Muskoka district.


Google Map of Bala, Ontario

It's a 3-hour drive north from Toronto. That is, when there is no traffic. When you leave on a Friday evening, it's an other story... We eventually arrived at Orillia around 8pm.

That's why I #bike

A photo posted by Xavier Briand (@xavierbriand) on

As usual when I go somewhere I don't know, I open Google Map, switch to "bike path" view, and look for some interesting things to do. My training scheduled called for a 1 hour run on Saturday and as it happens, there is a provincial park a couple of km away from Bala: Hardy Lake.


We left our hotel Saturday morning and surprise surprise the car was covered with 1mm of ice. Of course, the car being a rental, there was no tool available to scrap the ice off. I tried with my driving license, not working at all.
So, back to the hotel to get the much needed tool and be on our way. 0°C out, morning snow falls in Collingwood, forecast flurries in the region, a car covered in snow: it's indeed fall, winter is lurking around.

Well, after I dropped C in Bala, I drove to the Hardy Lake Provincial Park. A red sign marks the small parking lot and the trail head. It was 9:30am and there was one other car. It would be a quiet run.
I quickly changed to my running clothes: running shorts, long sleeves T plus a wind proof layer and a buff. Not much but that's all I had. And once more, this combination of layers did the job.

The trail starts with what looks to be a former asphalt path then quickly switches to a single track sprinkled with some roots and stones. Some sections use wooden bridges to cross over swamp and water.


The trail alternates between lake shores and woods. Never really flat, sometimes technical. It's a really good trail for both running and hiking.







Xavier Briand

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Toronto, ON
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