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chasing waterfalls: a sunday drive in ontario’s highlands

Weekend Outdoor Adventures in Eastern Ontario

The problem of Luke and I feeling restless on a quiet weekend morning is usually remedied with that classic old routine of a Sunday drive. Often without a particular destination in mind, we roll along country roads outside Kingston while admiring the limestone farmhouses and casually grazing animals to the soundtrack of the CBC’s ‘Choral Concert.’

Are you shaking your head at us yet? There is such a thing as TOO much whimsy.

One of these drives a couple weeks ago continued past Wilton’s famous cheese factory until we cruised into a neighbouring community–the type of hamlet to which the ‘blink and you miss it’ adage usually applies. In the case of Yarker, a quick peripheral glance to one side reveals a cascading waterfall and incredible rock face.

This dot on the map, which is home to about 800 people, is hushed on the Sunday afternoon that we drive through it. There isn’t a soul in sight as we make our way up a sloping hill towards this pedestrian path, a section of the Cataraqui Trail, which overlooks the shallow river below. In either direction the trees lined the river, still boasting their bright green leaves, as though stubbornly holding out from the cooler temps (we did not hold out and were warmly wrapped in sweaters).

A leisurely two-minute walk down to the centre of the village brought us to the road we’d passed over on our arrival. Where a previous mill once existed, the meandering river picks up ever so slightly and tumbles down some jagged rocks and then continues its languid journey. It weaves in large but gentle curves, protected on either side by the craggy rock face, jutting out unevenly along the surface.

One of the aforementioned 800 residents gave us advice on how to scale down and get a better view, which lead us on a journey over and under fallen logs, holding branches for support as we made our way to the base.

Things I took away from this little journey:

  • Don’t be afraid to go off the beaten path.
  • Ask locals for advice–they always know the detours and hidden gems.
  • If you’re like me (aka easily hangry), keep a snack in your bag at all times–there’s nothing like hunger pangs to distract you from a serene walk in nature with the one you love.

visuals:

Weekend Outdoor Adventures in Eastern Ontario Weekend Outdoor Adventures in Eastern Ontario Weekend Outdoor Adventures in Eastern Ontario Weekend Outdoor Adventures in Eastern Ontario Weekend Outdoor Adventures in Eastern Ontario Weekend Outdoor Adventures in Eastern Ontario Weekend Outdoor Adventures in Eastern Ontario Weekend Outdoor Adventures in Eastern Ontario Weekend Outdoor Adventures in Eastern Ontario

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