Living in Toronto for so many years, I considered myself more of a city girl whose cardio included power-shopping trips down Queen street west. Now that I have moved back to Kingston I am making an effort take advantage of all the nature-filled activities it has to offer. So many active people live here, on any given morning I see runners, bikers, rollerbladers, etc and that’s inspiring me to get outside. Almost every morning around 7:30 AM on my drive in, I see an older couple (well into their 70s) power walking with their hands held tight – sporting fluorescent tees – enjoying the crisp morning air. It’s adorable. And motivating.
Anyways, I was constantly seeing photos on social media of a hiking spot called Rock Dunder – a trail just 40 minutes north of Kingston – and I was intrigued by the stunning vast view of Morton Bay and the idea of exercising while taking in fresh air. So I gathered two of my closest friends and we headed out to Rock Dunder early on a Saturday morning with smoothies in tow.
When we arrive around 10 am, a group of three hikers are leaving and the parking lot is basically empty. There is a legend at the beginning of the hike to indicate the routes – easy, difficult and moderate to difficult – with coordinating colours. We choose the longest route. The air is still crisp and the many trees block the morning sun, keeping it nice and cool as we get started. We stop at two lookouts to sip our waters, take in the breathtaking scenery and capture a few photos. Just as we start to vocalize how easy the trail is, **it gets real. We (or maybe just me?) are panting when we finally reach the official lookout at the very top -“So beautiful!” we all exclaim at once. The view is worth every bead of sweat I’ve accumulated. It’s been about an hour of hiking, we take in the scenery and a few more photos for about 20 minutes before heading back to the car. The walk back takes just under 45 minutes.
Whether you enjoy exercise or not, if you appreciate the outdoors and beautiful landscapes – it’s worth a try. I would recommend going as early as possible to avoid the rush. We didn’t see many people on our way up but saw quite a few families on our way back. Once we reached the parking lot at around 12:00 pm, it was packed. If you choose the difficult path, be prepared for a few rough spots.
I am excited to go back! I especially want to go back during the beginning of autumn when the leaves are changing.
Side note: After a hike like this, you deserve a treat. We headed into Westport and got ice cream at little spot called Vanilla Bean’s. Perfect way to end a Saturday afternoon.