Milo the AwesomeDog and I enjoyed some pleasant hiking at Inverhuron Provincial Park last week.
We stayed at the Holmes Bay Campground and it took us about 25 minutes to walk along Chain Trail to the Dog Exercise Area. Once there, Milo enjoyed a swim in Lake Huron, and we turned around and walked home.
The trail is flat, well-maintained, and dry, all of which makes for an easy stroll. Our walk snaked between the lake shore and the campgrounds, offering both shade and lake views. Those views tempted Milo the AwesomeDog to give a few mighty yanks on his leash. I tried explaining to him that we were in fact on our way to a spot where he could swim, but delaying gratification has never been his strong suit.
Encountering an emergency alert siren for the Bruce Nuclear Power Station, which is less than three miles away, freaked me out. I’m glad there is an alert system, but the juxtaposition of the siren tower with the sound of the waves and the wind in the cedars was disconcerting.
River Trail is a sort of bait and switch. The pamphlet describes it as moderate to difficult with large hills and rough surfaces. But, it starts out as a wide gravel path leading over an arched bridge of worn wood that would be right at home in The Shire. Up until that point, a person could manage in flip flops. But, believe the pamphlet and wear good shoes. Some of the hills were very steep and ran alongside the eroding riverbank—not a great place for kids or strollers. It was useful to have Milo on a harness for part of that hike. He knows that “hup, hup” means lean into the harness, and I appreciated the help on some of those uphill scrambles. Also, this poops him out, which is good for both of us when we get home for our afternoon nap.
Pay attention during your hike because some of the trail markers are faded and difficult to spot.
River Trail skirts along the riverbank and winds through groves of cedar trees. Milo and I finished this pretty loop in about an hour.
Boardwalks arc across the ecologically delicate sand dunes that separate the sandy beach from the parking lot, protecting the dunes from foot traffic erosion. Milo and I only got as far as those boardwalks because dogs aren’t allowed on people beaches in Ontario – I suspect this has something to do with not wanting kids making castles with urine-soaked sand. Whatever the reason, Milo and I didn’t actually go to the beach. I only mention it here to let you know that even though the water level in Lake Huron is high this year, there is still a good-sized strip of soft-looking sand along the water’s edge.
If you would like to know about Holmes Bay campground at Inverhuron click here.
Love reading about your camping and hiking travels with Milo, Carla! Adding many of these parks to our own bucket list of places to visit with our dogs. Thanks for the great information – just love your blog! Linda
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Thank you. I like your dog too. Your take on the DCM / taurine business has been very helpful. It is surprising to me that folks are so resistant to taking this connection seriously.
How did you teach Milo to lean into the harness going uphill?
I hate to admit this, but I am not sure. I think it is just that he likes to pull, and that is a time when he can. I started saying Hup hup and encouraging him to lean in and he made the connection. Now that I think about it, it is pretty interesting. When he’s ‘helping’ me up a hill, he does it in a way that is just right–he could pull harder or faster, but does this Goldilocks thing, that is just enough to be helpful to me, without dragging me. Good Boy…
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