The Beautiful Bald Spot with Jonna Z
Despite the cold, winter hiking is one of my new favorite pastimes. There’s something about walking through the bush on a beautiful day with the sun reflecting off the snow. Nipigon Bald Spot Trail is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for the full view of Nipigon, in a short amount of time. For someone who has grown up here, I have had the opportunity to hike to the bald spot about a million times (no joke). The Bald Spot is a Singletrack Society Trails Association Trail, maintained by local trail builder Michael Elliott. This trail is a 2.8-kilometre multi-use, non-motorized recreation trail. The trailhead is located at the end of Greenmantle Drive where the pavement meets the dirt road.
As I leave my front porch, accompanied by my dog Jake and my dad, and walk down Greenmantle towards the trailhead, a thought comes to mind – I wonder how many people have actually been up here? Sometimes I think we forget all of the beautiful places we have here in Nipigon. There are a few different routes get to the top of the Bald Spot. One involves a bit of climbing, and the other is more of a walk. We chose to take the walking trail to the top, which took us about 15 minutes. If you choose to turn around and walk back the same way you came, it is actually a fantastic, family-friendly hike is a little more challenging than a walk around the block. Plus, the kids have a great time exploring the forest while getting their exercise.
Blue sky as far as I could see, with a perfect view of our lovely little town. Sitting back and looking over the place that raised me, I got to thinking. I could see the entire town. The entire town right in front of me, all at once. Looking to the left I see McKirdy St, followed by the seven beeline streets leading to the center of the town. Looking straight I see the Nipigon arena, where I spent most of my childhood, the “hustle and bustle” of busy downtown Nipigon (it’s 5: 00 P.M on a Wednesday) and the newly constructed Nipigon bridge. To the right I see the scenic Nipigon marina located at the end of Brennen Dr. Listening closely, I can hear the screams and roars of children playing in the snow, dogs barking, and families enjoying their Wednesday evening.
After we took a few pictures, we continued with our hike. Instead of heading back down the way we came we decided to take the long way down, which comes out at the end of Wadsworth, near the Service Ontario building. It was nice to see that someone had already been through this way with snowshoes, so it was freshly packed. We ran into two locals also hiking the trail while we were on our way down. After walking for another half hour, we got to the end of the trail.
This place is breathtaking. This view, this town, it’s truly something special. Sure, we might be just another small town at first glance, but there is so much heart and liveliness within our streets.
I highly recommend a trip to the bald spot to visitors, and for those who live here who still haven’t experienced it. Who knows, maybe you will descend from the cliffs with what I did – a greater appreciation for our little town.
until next time, exploring the edge.
- Jonna. Z