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A view from down the road

A view from down the road for December 2, 2010

Time to ?Park It'

For its many fans it is always time to ?Park It'. We are talking about our recreational and inspirational gem the Presquile Provincial Park. Any time of any season the Park is a fascinating place to visit and now even more so. There are secrets of the past and present that are now divulged. Remember asking where do babies come from? The information that is now available is like that ?where did the park come from? No, we are not talking about the political decision to create a land preserve but the actual nuts and bolts, err, that should be sand, boulders and shale that evolved into that wondrous peninsula.

Let's take a step back; the Park has been our ?backyard', our playground since we moved into the area. We have spent hours walking the three kilometres of golden beach and not only in the summer. We have hiked nearly all of the 16 kilometres of trails in the four seasons delighting in the new growth of spring and the return of our feathered friends, the summer coolness of the forest, the brilliant fall foliage and the sculptured landscapes of winter. We have dined on delightful picnics, read our books, gazed out over the waters of Lake Ontario and yes, napped all hunched down in our folding chairs. We've talked to the dog owners, people strolling, nodded at joggers, looked on enviously at the cyclists and noted with satisfaction the growing multiracial mix of visitors to Presquile Park.

Is there one spot more favoured over the rest? Looking at the log book I keep on our visits the beach and the Marsh Boardwalk are both high rate destinations. The beach of late for its solitariness, ideal for quiet thought and memories and the Boardwalk for its immediacy when it is time to escape the computer's embrace. Ah, the Boardwalk.

I will rise up, grab my coat and am out the door for a needed change of scenery and to get the circulation flowing, both in body and mind. I'll head out at a brisk pace and do the track once, often twice, to return home a better person. Well that might be debatable for some. But lately I've taken longer as the new interpretative signage has been installed. The Trailhead sign was the first to catch our attention. It was so informative I thought that was it however as the metal stands were installed it was obvious there was more information to be displayed and what a story they tell.

Did you know the marsh breathes? The winds cause what is called the Seiche effect that varies in strength but is vital as it causes the water to move in and to move out of the marsh just we breathe in and out. We knew there are lots of critters that live in the marsh but the number and the diversity is amazing. You can find out about all of them from sign number nine ?World in a marsh'. There is a sign that explains the changing water levels, how much is seasonal and how much by man-made controls. One sign shows old British navy charts comparing depths of Presquile Bay to today's soundings is of particular interest to the sailing community. And anyone who has walked the trail will remember the trees that look like some fantasy creature. This location has to be the most photographed site in the park. So often we will come across people doing what we did the first time we took the grandkids into the park ? taking their picture riding on the ?Horse Trees'. Until now the trees were a curiosity, now the story about their uniqueness is impressive.

Presquile Provincial Park is open 365 days a year so you can park it anytime.

This article was reprinted with kind permission of Northumberland Today

Northumberland Today ? George Chandler ? 400chandler@gmail.com