After spending part of January and February on the road in Texas and California for work, I was able to spend a few weeks at home before hitting the road again. I took the opportunity to reconnect with winter and go snowshoeing on some trails in Summerstown.
Summerstown is a small municipality located east of Cornwall in Eastern Ontario. The forest there has several kilometres of trails for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and fat biking (the trails are also accessible for hiking in the summer).
I had never heard of the Summerstown Trails before I found out about this place after doing some research on the internet. So I didn’t expect much (I like to think that I know all the best places to hike near my home), but I was finally quite surprised. The forest is pretty, the trails are well groomed, and the place is much bigger than I expected.
The Summerstown Forest has been used for recreational purposes since the 1970s, but it has really been in the last 15 years that it has been taken care of by an organization (Friends of the Summerstown Trails) that takes care of maintaining the trails and of promoting them. The organization even has a ski, snowshoe and fat bike rental service and offers introductory cross-country skiing lessons.
In all, the forest has 20 kilometres of cross-country ski trails and 12.5 kilometres of snowshoe and fat bike trails. The trails mainly pass through a forest sector and through some wetlands. There are interpretation signs on the flora and fauna of the forest, several maps on the trails (which is quite useful since the area is rather large and there are several trail options) and even a shelter.
When I went there, I followed trails 10, 14 and 15, which form an almost four-kilometre loop. I would have liked to hike more trails, but it was my first snowshoeing this winter and the few climbs and descents on the trail put my calves to the test. But that was enough to get me hooked. I really want to come back to explore the trails that go deeper into the forest.
And I admit that I find it rather ironic that I got to enjoy winter in a place called “Summerstown”. It makes me want to come back in the summer, and see if the place is still as lovely during this season!
Summerstown is located midway between Ottawa and Montréal (really close to Cornwall). There are no fees to access the trails. The rental service is opened on weekends.