Best Trails for Autumn Views
Take in the vibrant hues of fall
If you’ve hit the trails for a hike, run or ride recently, you may have noticed a smattering of dry, brown leaves under your feet or bike tires or a pop of yellow and orange fly by in the otherwise lush and green trailside scenery.
Although seeing the beginnings of fall is somewhat depressing (I’m not ready for summer to end!), it also means that we’ll be treated to the stunning colours of the season during our upcoming activities and explorations in the great outdoors.
Here are four of Canada’s best parks, trails and roadways on the east coast for taking in the vibrant reds, golden yellows and bright oranges of fall.
Killarney Provincial Park
You know a park must have stunning scenery if it’s landscapes were often featured in paintings by the iconic Canadian landscape painters Group of Seven. Killarney Provincial Park in Ontario features close to a hundred kilometres of hiking trails for fall foliage viewing, including the 80 km looped La Cloche-Silhouette Trail. For a shorter scenic hike, take the 3 km Chikanishing Trail that winds along the park’s southern boundary and crosses a series of small ridges before ending at a wave-washed point on the wild coast of the Georgian Bay.
Algonquin Provincial Park
Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario attract thousands of visitors from around the world from mid-September to mid-October each year thanks to the vibrant yellow, orange and red leaves of the Sugar and Red Maples, which are abundant throughout this 7,653 square kilometre park. Although there are numerous hiking and biking trails to choose from, probably the best way to admire the fall scenery is by going for a leisurely cycle along the 16 kilometre Old Railway Bike Trail, which runs from the Rock Lake Campground to Cache Lake.
The Charlevoix region, just east of Quebec City on the St. Lawrence River, offers tons of hiking and biking trails with incredible views of the changing colours on the Laurentian Mountains. For an epic day or multi-day hiking trip, take some of the shorter hiking trails along the Traversée de Charlevoix, 105-kiloemtre cross-country ski trail that features numerous summits for fall foliage viewing.
Cape Breton Highlands National Park
Although you don’t even have to get out of your car to admire the beautiful fall colours along the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island, there are 26 hiking trails ranging from easy 20-minute strolls to challenging climbs that offer panoramic views of canyons, the highlands and seacoasts, as well as the changing colours of the sugar maples, red oaks and yellow birch trees in the fall.
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Best Core Workouts
A strong core helps you move and perform better in all aspects of life, from carrying groceries to going on a multi-day hike. Here are the best workouts to help keep your core strong
Your core is the foundation for all physical movement and stabilization in your body, helping you move and perform better in all aspects of life—from carrying groceries, doing chores and playing with your kids to running, swimming and hiking—so it’s important to keep it strong.
Your core, which is made up of all the muscles in your torso such as your obliques, abdominals, erector spinae and glutes, only moves in four variations or combinations of the following basic movement patterns: flexion (curling your torso in), extension (bending your torso back), rotation (twisting your torso) and lateral flexion (contracting the side of your torso). Here are some of the best core workouts you can do that incorporate each of these planes of movements to help keep you moving and performing at your best.
Jackknife (single plane, trunk flexion) – Lie on your back on a yoga mat with your arms and legs extended. Engage your core by pulling your belly button in to your spine and raising your legs up off the mat while bringing your arms over head and reaching out in front towards your toes. Hold for a count of three before lowering back down to the mat before repeating the move 8 to 12 times.
Bird Dog (single plane, trunk extension) – Get on all fours on your mat with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Keeping your head down and aligned with your spine, reach your right arm up out in front of you while simultaneously extending your left leg back behind you, using your core to stabilize your body and ensuring your hips and shoulders are parallel to the floor. Hold for three seconds before lowering your limbs back down and extending your arm and leg on the opposite side, alternating for 8 to 12 reps.
Russian Twist (single plane, trunk rotation) – Grab a light dumbbell or medicine ball and sit on your mat with your legs
out in front of you, knees bent and your feet placed on the mat. Engage your core and lean back slightly, either keeping your feet on the mat or raising them off the mat slightly for a more challenging exercise. Hold the dumbbell out in front of you, and twist slowly from side to side, alternating for 8 to 12 reps.
Side Plank (static/isometric, trunk lateral flexion) – Lying on one side on your mat, engage your core as you place one elbow or hand directly under your shoulder while stacking your feet so you’re propped up on your side, keeping your spine in a straight line from your head to your feet. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds before switching sides.