I must admit that, in many ways, I am and have always been, terrible at sticking to the trail. As a child, when my family went cross-country skiing during the long Manitoba winters, I constantly created pile-ups of skiers. Every time I saw animal tracks, scat or anything interesting (and I find the natural world to be full of amazing sights), I would stop or veer off the trail. Whoever was behind me would often end up on my skis or falling.
I still stop constantly. The sound of a grouse drumming, the wonderfully earthy sweet smell of woods in the autumn, the meandering path of a periwinkle, a cluster of bouncing snow fleas in the hoofprint of a moose, the sparkle of waves: every time I go outside, I experience something wondrous.
In Exploring Our Trails, writers share their personal stories about how trail use has influenced their lives. We use the term ‘trail use’ to refer to the non-motorized use of wild areas. This includes fat biking in Fundy National Park, strolling along an isolated beach, a weeklong backpacking trip, and even bushwhacking–finding your own path.