Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing in Ontario
As a cross-country skier I can well appreciate the usefulness of an informative and practical guidebook. Unfortunately when I started to cross-country ski there were very few guidebooks of this nature available.
Thanks to Tracey Arial’s softbound book, published by Ulysses Travel Guides, entitled Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing in Ontario we now have access to a guidebook packed with hundreds of little gems that aptly describe more than 200 of Ontario’s most interesting cross-country skiing and snow shoeing locations.
What is interesting about the book is that every described location contains most or all of the following information: number of trails, total distance, level of difficulty, if trail is groomed, interesting features such as the fauna or flora, entrance fees, other activities such as birding, parking, toilets, telephones, warm up lodge, snack bar, travel directions to the site, where one can obtain further information, phone number of the site and, where applicable, a website address.
The travel directions to the sites are very clear and precise and often indicate exactly where to park your car. An added feature that is not found in too many guide books of a similar nature is that there is included mention if the site has lighting for night skiing. Insofar as interesting features are concerned within the sites, the author, where applicable makes mention of interesting wildlife, rock formations, waterfalls and other tidbits.
Another excellent feature is that the author tries to give us a verbal picture of the locality such as, for example, the Gordon Glaves Memorial Pathway that is located in Brantford, Ontario. We are told that the site includes five distinct sections that connect to one another directly or via footbridges across the Brant River. Other descriptions contain such information as the existence of different animals within the locality, or if the site would have a good snow cover as a result of its unique location.
The table of contents breaks down Ontario into eight different areas: Greater Toronto, Niagara Peninsula, Southern Ontario, Central Ontario, Eastern Ontario, North-eastern Ontario, North-western Ontario, and Multi-Region Trails. The reader can easily locate the area he or she wishes to cross-country ski or snowshoe without having to wade through too many pages.
Other practical features are the list of maps and symbols used throughout the book such as the difficulty of the trails, the author’s favourite location, fax and telephone numbers.
The introduction of the book contains the usual tips pertaining to cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing such as techniques, trail etiquette and safety, possible medical problems, tuning up equipment, etc.