Nature or Bust! How to Get Out of Town & Enjoy Nature With No Car
This blog is written by guest blogger, Laura Strachan.
Urban living without a car does not mean you are stuck in the concrete jungle. Sometimes you need to get out of town to ground yourself, get fresh air and enjoy the peace of the natural world. As Canadians we are fortunately never very far from a country hike or an impromptu camping trip. But how do you get there and back? With your gear?
Luckily there are ways to get out of the hustle and bustle that don’t require a personal vehicle. For day trips or longer excursions there are options for everyone.
Parkbus: A non-profit Ontario shuttle service that will take you from Ottawa or Toronto to popular outdoor destinations and parks such as Elora or Algonquin. Day trips start around $25, park admission included!
Greyhound: There are many stops along Greyhound routes that are not major destinations and pass through remote communities. These stops might be along “milk run” routes or just a stop on a highway. But these stops can be close to Provincial Parks or conservation areas and with a little legwork you can explore the area.
The Trans Canada Trail: This trail will literally take you across the country. So far over 18,000 kms have been developed and are available for recreational use. Different areas are suited for a variety of uses such as biking, snowmobiling, horseback riding or X-country skiing and run through many communities.
Ride Boards, Meetups and Nature Groups: Join a local hiking or naturalist group that meets regularly and inquire about ride sharing. Check out the message board at your local MEC or outfitter. Chances are a group of outdoor enthusiasts would be happy to carpool!
Take the Train: Via Rail has a schedule of routes that are specially equipped with bike racks on a baggage car. For $25 your assembled bike is loaded into the car by baggage handlers and retrieved upon arrival. Make arrangements beforehand to ensure there is space for your ride!
Public Transit: Check out you local transit system and see just how far you can get on it. Some services may allow you to bring your bike on board. Pack a lunch and see where you end up!
Don’t let the upcoming winter weather keep you snowed in either. There are many winter shuttle services that will take you to local ski hills to enjoy the slopes, snowshoeing or tubing. Now go take a hike!