Bessie Sullivan: Hello, I’m Bessie Sullivan from the Haliburton County Public Library and this is Library Moments. Once a week some of us from the library will come and talk about books, upcoming events, or the services we offer at the library.
Sherrill and I were each lucky enough to take a bit of vacation this summer. We both went camping and canoeing and we both went to places in Ontario north of here. We didn’t plan to take similar vacations, but the fact that we did led us to think about what a beautiful province we live in and how great it is to be able explore it when we are able.
Today on Library Moments Sherrill Sherwood and I will talk about a book that features Ontario’s natural beauty in some way or another.
Sherrill Sherwood, Collections Development Coordinator: 100 Nature Hot Spots in Ontario: The Best Parks, Conservation Areas and Wild Places by Chris Earley and Tracy Read, published in 2016, is a reader-friendly guidebook that explores the remarkable splendor and diversity of the province that is named after the Iroquois word for “beautiful water.” True to form, many of the hot spots in this colorful book feature water. The book details 100 sites in six regions across Ontario, with pages for each site featuring full color photographs and written descriptions. Chris Earley says some sites were obvious choices – such as Algonquin Park – while other sites were less well known but still deserving. Some spots, for example, were chosen because they are home to an endangered species, other sites were emphasized for different reasons. The Dorset Lookout Tower is included, with its hot spot qualifications being a tower to climb so you can gaze at over 800 square kilometres of beauty, plus a 2.3 kilometre trail in the surrounding forest. This summer Dave and I, and Hank the dog of course, took a camping and canoeing trip north of Elliot Lake. While I can’t find mention in the book of that peace of heaven on earth, I do see a site mentioned on Manitoulin Island – we passed the cut off to the island on our drive north. Manitoulin’s Gordon’s Park Dark Sky Preserve is described as having nearly perfectly dark skies and with wildflowers, birds and forests it is a natural wonderland. Also, interestingly, it hosts the coolest star parties in Canada! Some of the locations in the book are surprisingly close to towns and cities; some are hidden city treasures; and many are ideal for a day trip. These family-friendly destinations will appeal to naturalists, budding botanists and biologists, photographers, hikers, campers and paddlers.
Bessie Sullivan, County Librarian: My vacation was a five day canoe trip through Killarney Provincial Park. I haven’t been on a canoe trip for over thirty years and it was fantastic. Sherrill found the book I’m going to talk about in our collection and it includes a route from Killarney Park. Top 50 Canoe Routes of Ontario by Kevin Callan features some routes that are well known, and others that are hidden secrets. Ranging from day paddles to more than a week-long expeditions, Callan gives all the information paddlers need to complete each route. There are detailed descriptions and maps of all access points as well as accurate portage lengths and important river features. He also gives general advice on everything from running rapids to what you should pack depending on the length of your trip. In addition, he suggests the level of skills required for each route so you can gauge whether you want to do a day paddle with children or get away from it all for an extended period of time.
For me, swimming the turquoise waters of Killarney with no phone or attention to personal hygiene was rejuvenating. Not surprisingly, even in the middle of the park there was a library connection. I had loaded my e-reader with several titles from the library’s e-book collection and popped the reader in a ziplock bag. The battery started running out on the last night, but apparently you can avoid that problem too with sun driven chargers. Imagine if I had tried to portage that many books?
Not only can the library help you plan your trip, it can also supply your entertainment while you are away. Hopefully you too will get an opportunity to see something in our beautiful province that you haven’t seen before, even if it is right here in the County. That’s it for this week’s episode of Library Moments, thanks for listening here on 100.9 CanoeFM and happy wandering.
*Originally aired on 100.9 CANOE FM, August 14th – 20th, 2016.