Monday, August 14, 2017

Manitoulin Island - The Largest Fresh Water Island In The World With Heavenly Experience

History and Geography

View From Cup and Saucer Trail Top
Manitoulin Island is a Canadian lake island in Lake Huron, in the province of Ontario. It is the largest freshwater lake island in the world. The current name of the island is the English version, via French, of the historic Odawa name "Manidoowaaling", which means "cave of the spirit." It was named for an underwater cave where a powerful spirit was said to live. Manitoulin Island contains a number of lakes of its own. In order of size, its three most prominent lakes are Lake Manitou, Lake Kagawong and Lake Mindemoya. Each of these three lakes in turn have islands within them, the largest of these being Lake Mindemoya's 82-acre Treasure Island, located in the centre of Manitoulin.

The island has an area of 2,766 km2 (1,068 sq mi), making it the 172nd largest island in the world and Canada's 31st largest island. The island separates the larger part of Lake Huron to its south and west from Georgian Bay to its east and the North Channel to the north. Manitoulin Island itself has 108 freshwater lakes, some of which have their own islands; in turn several of these "islands within islands" have their own ponds. Lake Manitou, at 104 km2 (40 sq mi), is the largest lake in a freshwater island in the world, and Treasure Island in Lake Mindemoya is the largest island in a lake on an island in a lake in the world. Motors are prohibited on boats on Nameless Lake.

The island also has four major rivers: the KagawongManitou RiverBlue Jay Creek in Michael's Bay and Mindemoya rivers, which provide spawning grounds for salmon and trout.

The "Cup and Saucer Trail", which climbs the escarpment, provides a spectacular lookout over the island.

Manitoulin Island Map - Click To Expand

Amazing Trip Through The Most Scenic Route In Ontario

I was lucky to go visit this island last week through the most scenic route in Ontario. This scenic route is also the best during fall for enjoying fall colours. The following video captures a lot of information that may help you in planning your trip to this beautiful island. You can see the following in this video:

- Round trip route details from Toronto through the most scenic route
- Sunset views at Ms Chi-Cheemaun Ferry From Tobermory to South Baymouth
- Cup and Saucer Trail
- Bridal Veil Falls
- Little Current Swing Bridge
- Road biking at the best road bike trails in Ontario
- Many bays including South Bay, Providence Bay, and Green Bay
- Lots of bird watching

We enjoyed every moment on this island. I hope you will enjoy this video as well. Please subscribe and like this video if it helped you in learning or planning your next trip.



Tuesday, August 1, 2017

An Amazing Biking Trip To Etobicoke Creek Trail, Brampton Canada

Let's Have Fun

What a wonderful summer with nice temperature which allowed me to do 900 km of biking so far. Over 550 km were done just in Jul. More I bike (cycle) more I fall in love with it. For local friends, Etobicoke Creek Trail is the hidden beauty with connected trails away from traffic for almost 30 km of round trip route. You can run, bike, walk, enjoy cricket (what a beautiful pitch), tennis, soccer, baseball, lake and lot more on this lovely trail.

It runs parallel to the main street across Brampton. You can find all necessary details in this blog/video if you decide to enjoy nature while keeping you active. I heard about this trail and there was no easy way to find the details. I spent some time to put my learning together. I hope you will find it useful.

On a beautiful evening in Jul 2017, I started my ride at steels and main. Round trip journey was almost 30 km which I coved in 1 hour 15 minutes. Trail was amazingly beautiful and not crowded. You can see complete details of this trip in the following video.

History

This pathway is named after the Etobicoke Creek which runs parallel to the trail. the name etobicoke means, “where the black alders grow”. The Etobicoke Creek played its part in brampton’s development.

Loafers Lake @ Etobicoke Creek Trail
Due to its meandering form, buildings along Main Street North were constructed on unique angles to allow for the natural flow of the Etobicoke Creek. The creek once flowed through the downtown core, and its banks overflowed repeatedly through the first 150 years of Brampton’s history. Completed in 1952, the ambitious engineering project to divert Etobicoke Creek away from the downtown allowed Brampton to prosper.

The multi-use Etobicoke Creek Trail is suitable for walking, jogging, and cycling year-round. There are many wonderful spots on this trail to stop and enjoy the sounds of nature’s wonders. From the Peel Village Golf Course the trail passes under Steeles Avenue. As the Etobicoke Creek Trail meanders through the downtown, a wide variety of cultural and seasonal activities can be accessed by the trail. A farmer’s market is held every Saturday morning during spring, summer, and fall in the Rose Theatre Square. The nearby Gage Park is voted to be one of the top five parks within the Greater Toronto Area. The Peel Heritage Centre is open year-round, or alternatively, Downtown Heritage Walks allow for an up-close look at greenhouses, cemeteries, and historic buildings.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Jim Corbett National Park - The Best Of Nature and Indian Culture

During my short India trip, I was lucky to visit Jim Corbett National Park the last week. This park is a part of the larger Corbett Tiger Reserve, a Project Tiger Reserve lies in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand. The magical landscape of Corbett is well known and fabled for its tiger richness. Established in the year 1936 as Hailey National Park, Corbett has the glory of being India's oldest and most prestigious National Park. It is also being honored as the place where Project Tiger was first launched in 1973. This unique tiger territory is best known as the father who gave birth of the Project Tiger in India to protect the most endangered species and the Royal of India called Tigers. 

Apart from tiger reserve, there is a lot more to discover nearby. If you have time and desire to experience Indian culture in the middle of nature then Jim Corbett is the best place to visit. Here is a quick snapshot of my amazing trip which will give you an idea of nature, culture and adventure you could expect here. 




Rest of the article will be divided in the following sections along with lots of useful tips:

  1. Key attractions and tips about these attractions
  2. What to Expect in Jim Corbett and Golden Rules
  3. Where to stay to get closer to the local culture

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Let's Talk About Spring

Spring is one of the four conventional temperate seasons, following winter and preceding summer. There are various technical definitions of spring, but local usage of the term varies according to local climate, cultures and customs. When it is spring in the Northern Hemisphere, it will be autumn in the Southern Hemisphere and vice versa. At the spring equinox, days are approximately 12 hours long with day length increasing as the season progresses.

During early spring, the axis of the Earth is increasing its tilt relative to the Sun, and the length of daylight rapidly increases for the relevant hemisphere. The hemisphere begins to warm significantly, causing new plant growth to "spring forth," giving the season its name.

Snow begins to melt, swelling streams with runoff and frosts become less severe. In climates that have no snow, and rare frosts, air and ground temperatures increase more rapidly.

Alright, no more boring facts. Let's start with some of the cool facts about this amazing season:



Spring and "springtime" refer to the season, and also to ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection and regrowth. People start to "Spring Into Happiness". I visited Algonquin National Park and Muskoka during mid-jury and I was very pleased to see the variety and unadulterated beauty of the nature. It felt like life is coming back to earth after a very cold winter season. You can peek into my experience through the following video. I just loved it. Please subscribe to my channel if you like the videos. I will be sharing lot more to keep you entertained and informed.



Many flowering plants bloom at this time of year, in a long succession, sometimes beginning when snow is still on the ground and continuing into early summer. In normally snowless areas, "spring" may begin as early as February (Northern Hemisphere), heralded by the blooming of deciduous magnolias, cherries, and quince, or August (Southern Hemisphere) in the same way. Many temperate areas have a dry spring, and wet autumn (fall), which brings about flowering in this season, more consistent with the need for water, as well as warmth. Subarctic areas may not experience "spring" at all until May.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Best Places to See in Atlantic Canada

ATLANTIC / MARITIME CANADA is a historic region to visit with nature all around. This blog is from our short trip to New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, & Prince Edward Island that covers some of the most beautiful places in Canada. This was an amazing family trip and I highly recommend everyone to visit this part of Canada. You can also be part of our trip by watching the following video.


BIRD'S EYE VIEW OF THE TRIP


NEW BRUNSWICK

Lots of people prefer to drive from Toronto to New Brunswick, however it's a very long and dry journey. As it would have been a problem for parents to sit for long hours, we took a flight from Moncton. We choose Moncton over Halifax as flight tickets were significantly cheaper and we needed to go to Hopewell Rocks anyways which is very close to Moncton. We rented van and went to the Hopewell Rocks directly from the Airport. Here are the key attractions we covered in New Brunswick:

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Best Places To See in Banff and Jasper

Overview

There is beauty all around rockies and vista points are every few miles. You can review comprehensive itinerary here, however, if you have limited time, I recommend you to cover places listed in this blog. I have indicated time you approximately need to see these places. As most places have many trails, it's up-to-you how much time you would like to spend. My estimates will help you in planning but nature will ultimately decide it's own course as you go. You could see things beyond imagination. Just relax and enjoy what comes in your way. 




Scenic Highways 


Drives are very scenic on all these highways and wild life will keep appearing on the way. It is common to see people stopover on highway to capture scenic beauty and wild animals. Sometimes this could also cause jams. Drive safe and be ready for WOW moments.

1. Bow Valley Parkway a.k.a Hwy 1A
2. Icefileds Parkway a.k.a. Hwy 93
3. Parkway 93A (7 km From Jasper): An alternate route between Jasper town site and Athabasca Falls, following the old highway. Several scenic picnic areas with names like Otto’s Cache and Meeting of the Waters are found along the way. The Mt. Edith Cave ll road be gins at km 2.5 . Wabasso Campground is located at km 4.5. Access the Moab Lake fire road at km 10.

Recommended Itinerary for Banff and Jasper

Overview:

Starting on the fringe of the Great Plains and climbing through the incomparable mountain scenery of Banff and Jasper National Parks, this magnificent drive is one of the crown jewels of western Canada which combines exhilarating vistas of forest, crag, and glacier.

The route begins near Calgary, heads west 84 miles (135 kilometers) to the border of Banff, then goes 36 miles (58 kilometers) to the northwest through the heart of Banff to Lake Louise. For 144 miles (232 kilometers), the route follows the Icefields Parkway, one of the world's most stunning roadways, farther north to Jasper. Along the way, look for elk, bears, and other wild creatures; stop to take guided hikes, tour historic buildings, and attend a campfire chat.

One could spend entire life enjoying beauty in these rocky mountains. This blog is based on my own trip with family. i am sharing this to give you a flavour or what you could do during a week long trip. If you have even less time in Banff and Jasper then you can focus on the best spotsWith unpredictable mother nature, you will be bound to adjust as you go but if you are aware of your route than you can quickly adjust and get the most out of your trip. I hope you will find this blog useful. 

Be prepared to experience what I experienced when it was least expected. 


Here are answers to some of the common questions people ask me about planning their trip before reviewing detailed itinerary:

  • How long was this trip? 
1 week. I wished I had more time but I could spend months here. 1 week is reasonable amount of time for this trip.

  • I booked my flight but I can't find hotels esp in Jasper? Do I need to cancel my trip? 

Hopefully not. If you try to look for multiple days hotel in one search then chances are less likely that you will not see any hotel in search results. Jasper is too busy in summers. If you search for hotel 1 day at a time, you will have better luck finding hotels right in Banff and Jasper. You may have to switch hotels but that's probably not that bad as you will be able to get different views from your rooms. Also, many people do multiple bookings and do cancellations 2-3 weeks before their trip, hence, don't loose your heart and keep trying. It's more fun staying in Banff and Jasper itself.


  • How is weather in summers? Do I need jackets? 


Weather is very unpredictable, hence, be prepared for lots of rain which makes morning and evening bit cold (10-15 C). Also, if you plan to go to glaciers then you can expect freezing temperatures. You may need rain, spring and light winter jackets. You could manage with just one decent spring jacket and umbrella though. Plan more carefully if you have young kids though. Afternoons are pretty nice most of the days in summer.


  • Do I need to pack some food?


There are not many options for food when you are not in  the major attractions. Keeping some snacks esp if you have kids is highly suggested as you may not find any food joint for few hours. Trail mix from costco was very handy.

  • Any other thing to consider?
Expect lots of mosquitos so keep mosquito repellent handy. Also,  you could see bears and other wildlife multiple times. If you are with many people and cars around then probably there is less risk but if you are planing to explore in less visited areas then using bear spray may be a good idea. Please do some due diligence to get yourself prepared to deal with wild life. Respect wild life and don't underestimate their power. Visit here for more details. 

  • Do you have more questions?
Please post your comments in this blog or on my view on youtube. I will try my best to help you. I will keep refining this blog to make it even more useful, hence, your feedback is welcomed.

Day 1: Calgary to Banff 


Hwy 1 (alternatively take Hwy 1 a.k.a. Vow Valley Parkway) —> Lanke Minnewanka Scenic Drive
  • Cascade Ponds: Cascade Pond is a day use area that has fire pits, picnic tables and toilets. There is usually wood for a fire, but this is not always the case. You can walk around the pond and have a little picnic with your friends and family. There are 2 shelters in the event of rain, but they are first come, first serve.