Inside Sarnia: Centennial, Canatara, & Blackwell Trails

Happy Sunday & Easter! 

Nature is never too far from our front doorsteps. I'm sure you're like me, where you imagine hiking and enjoying nature should be travelling up North, hitting up the Bruce or going out West to the mountains to be "true outdoorsiness" but nature is everywhere! From appreciating the morning dew to the Spring daffodils to all the beautiful bird song, we are truly lucky to be able to experience it every day. I invite every one to step away from their keyboards today and just sit outside. That's all. Just sit and listen.

Today I want to focus on the local walkabouts - that may literally be out your front door as I recently lived in Bayview Towers beside Centennial Park :). Never too far but always great for a nice stroll...through the park.

Centennial Park & the Point Lands

From salt lands to park Centennial is our great riverfront walk starting at Ferry Dock hill off of Davis and Front all the way down to Sarnia Bay Marina (about 2kms). Aptly named for it's dedication during Canada's 100th year.

I've pounded a lot of pavement here and usually where you will find me almost every day walking my dog Arty. A great spot in any season to sit on a bench or the grass and soak up the views and sunsets. A little farther down you'll find the Point Lands, always teeming with many species of birds. Today I saw a pair of (what I think was) American coots! I heard and saw about a dozen other birds from robins to chickadees to red-winged black birds. The call of the red-winged black bird is the surest sign Spring is here.

Canatara Park

Easily the most well known park in Sarnia and for good reason - it hosts our kilometer long Blue Flag beach, Lake Chipican (a well used pond for hockey in winter), the Children's Animal Farm, and a few kilometers of hiking trails on pavement or through Tarzanland and woodchipped areas. To think this park may never have existed without the preservation of one Sarnian Maud Hanna. Can you imagine it went from an amusement park in the late 1800s to a cattle quarantine to what it is today! You can read more about it here. Canatara is also where we hosted our annual Earth Day cleanup - stay tuned for the plan this year (hint: it'll be a choose your own adventure ;) ).

 

My favourite time to come to Canatara beach is in the winter. It's so quiet and serene when no one is around. It is a complete 180 from the summer time beach days. 

Blackwell Trails & Logan Pond

Did you know Blackwell Trails used to be a landfill? This 3-km trail has been transformed with the help of the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority who planted 10,000 trees to help return the landscape. The park is located on Blackwell Road between Modeland and Michigan roads and also connects to Howard Watson at six different exit/entry points. You can also find Logan's Pond here, owned by the City of Sarnia, which is a stop over for migratory birds. It was preserved in the early 2000s to stop encroaching land owners that were disturbing the naturalized area.

I usually come for the adjacent dog park so don't have too many photos but we did the full loop last weekend and I took a picture of a tree. Very apt.

Seems to be a theme for these three wonderful Sarnia spots don't ya think?

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It's not.” - The Lorax

Happy hiking!

Always remember to:

  • Pack out what you pack in
  • Walk single file when passing
  • Yield to hikers coming uphill
  • Respect wildlife
  • Stay on the trail