Top Five Friday: My five favourite Ontario Parks I visited with Keira #FridayFive

Top Five Friday: My five favourite Ontario Parks I visited with Keira

This week's Friday Five is a special memorial edition. I'd like to pay a tribute to my beloved Keira who I lost earlier this week. Writing about her and reminiscing about our life together is helping me work through this devastating loss. Keira and I went on many adventures in our eight years together. She had an adventurous spirit and loved nature. She was a remarkable creature. One of our favourite things to do was hike the many provincial parks in the Ottawa Valley. These are the top five Ontario Parks that hold the most precious memories of my girl Keira. They were her favourite places to be, and I hope you will visit with your dogs.

5. Foy Provincial Park

Foy Park is a non-operating provincial park on Round Lake. The park is located across from Bonnechere Provincial Park. Foy Park has a big, unmaintained beach that Keira loved. She loved running and swimming on the beach. It was the perfect beach for chasing her ball. She really enjoyed exploring the abandoned Park Ranger Camp and all of the many smells. We got lost on some of the back trails because they aren't very well maintained, but I felt safe because I had Keira.

4. Baron Canyon Trail in Algonquin Provincial Park (Achray)

Algonquin Park is my personal favourite, although it doesn't top my list of parks I visited with Keira because the trails are a little long for her. Algonquin is a huge park so I've broken it into two spots Keira loved. Baron Canyon is a beautiful spot in Algonquin Achray. The trail to the canyon has lots of hills, which were Keira's favourite. She was a mountain dog through and through. She loved running up and down the hills. She was so graceful and sure-footed. The high canyon had a gorgeous view and she was so brave.

3. High Falls Trail in Algonquin Provincial Park (Achray) 

 Algonquin Achray is located in the Ottawa Valley. It was a long hike to get there with lots to explore. The destination was beautiful, flowing water- the perfect swim spot. She loved swimming at High Falls. She loved swimming at High Falls and chasing her ball along the trails. She always met lots of other dogs at the waterfall. There were lots of rocks to climb on, and I think she felt on top of the world.

2. Bonnechere Provincial Park

Bonnechere Park is such a special place for me. It was the first place Keira ever went camping. It was where she went on her first canoe ride. She loved all the wildlife she could chase. She had a great time chasing chipmunks, watching the geese and spotting turtles while we canoed the Bonnechere River. I remember we were in the canoe and passed another canoe with a husky in it, and she thought that was pretty cool. We visited the park shortly after we got Hazel, but didn't bring Hazel because she was too young. It was a special trip just for Keira.

1. Petawawa Terrace Provincial Park

Petawawa Terrace is a park that was close to home. We visited it often with Keira. It was her favourite by a long shot. The upper deck has a thick red pine forest she loved to run through. In the winter she would bounce in the snow between the trees. She loved running down the hill to the lower deck where she could swim in the old fish hatchery. We had picnics, explored the swamp and went off-trail often. We lost a leash and a water bottle out there, and once we came across an exploded bird!

I'll miss exploring these places with Keira. Hitting the trail will never be the same. I'm so grateful she inspired me to enjoy the outdoors, create these special memories and find these beautiful places. She changed my life.

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