Saturday, October 31, 2015

How I Crush The Dreaded 'Winter Blues'

Well, the final couple days of October are upon us. For those in Canada (and many other places a good distance from the equator), any final hopes of that rogue warm and sunny day have passed us by.

I find the first frost of the season can be a depressing time, especially with the prospect of being stuck indoors for four months. Long gone are those sunny Sunday morning bike rides through the country, the warm evening runs with the sun still high in the sky, and of course basking the in rays by my backyard pool. While there is nothing I can do to enjoy my pool in November, there are many ways I keep both my fun and my cardio rolling from the first colours of fall, through the depths of the winter freeze, right until the flowers bloom next spring! Here are my favorites:

Winter Running / Cycling 
Running in near freezing (or even sub-zero) temperatures basically has two important rules. Layer as needed and avoid the ice. You can’t run in a winter jacket, but you will be surprised how warm an active hoodie over top of a long sleeve running shirt will keep your core. Throw on some running/cycling tights for your legs and cardio-friendly hand and ear protection and you will be surprised both how warm and agile you are on the road/path/trail. Equally as important is to ensure your route is free of ice patches. Cycling is dangerous below zero, but very doable in November with the right gear. Get out and explore your neighbour from the perspective of winter! 

You don't even need to leave your neighbourhood to seek outdoor fun this winter!
Snow Shoeing
The pastime I discovered last winter and one of my favorite outdoor actives. If you can hike a trail in the summer, you can snow-shoe it in the winter. I would argue that the experience is even better than hiking as the touristy crowds that plague many popular parks and trails over the summer months are long gone come the first snowfall. It is also much cheaper than other seasonal sports like snowboarding or skiing for beginners to get into. The winter scenery is beautiful and it is a fantastic workout. Check out a previous blog post all about my love for snow shoeing.

A brisk November right to the Toronto lakeshore
Indoor Workouts
If you are anything like me you understand that working out indoors during a beautiful summer’s day is a waste. Last winter I signed up for both an affordable boot camp and a spin class through my local rec center. The winter can be cold, dark & depressing and there is no better way to keep your fitness and spirits up than good ol’ physical activity. The structured classes make you less likely to bail and your spring self will thank you for the head start on the new season’s goals!

Wintery, winery snowshoeing
Caribbean Vacation
You can’t let winter go by without some serious relaxing. There is nothing comparable to boarding a plane in -15C and getting off it at 30C. Do yourself a favour a book an all-inclusive resort. For as little as $700 per-person you can be lounging seaside with all of the included food and drink you can handle. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic is one of my favorite spots for quality and overall value, but there are plenty to choose from in the DR as well as Cuba, Mexico, Jamaica, Aruba etc. Here are some tips on booking the perfect all-inclusive vacation.

What the DR is all about! 

Mike @ Palms & Pints

Sunday, September 13, 2015

8 Unforgettable Running Experiences

In an earlier blog post I spoke about the benefits to running while on vacation. As this is something I am quite passionate about I wanted to consolidate some of my best running destinations/experiences onto one list, in no particular order:

Barcelona, Spain

I had the opportunity to do my first (and to this day, only) guided running tour through the streets of old Barcelona. This was one of the most fun and informative travel experiences of my life. Major European cities are awesome to explore in general, with the combination of architecture, art & natural beauty. Seeing all of that during an early morning run as the city is just beginning to wake up is a unique experience I would recommend to anyone. Notable inclusions on the tour were Plaça Reial, El Raval, Las Ramblas, Parc de la Ciutadella & many more. 

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 

I began my morning runs in Punta Cana through the winding pedestrian roads of the mega-resort I was staying at. This was fun as the grounds are quite impressive with thick patches of manicured palms and beautiful swimming pools. However the best part came when I left the paved roads for the edge of the beach where the sea meets the sand. Beach running is a little hard on your ankles, but the feeling of the crisp ocean waves gently crashing into your legs as you run across the seemingly never-ending Bavaro Beach is a true Caribbean experience. Be sure to grab a a drink from a fresh young coconut to refuel on those electrolytes when you finish.

Niagara Falls, Ontario 

People from all over the world flock to this natural wonder of the world on the Canada/US border. While most will only spend time from the main viewing decks surrounding the American & Horseshore falls, runners (or hikers) have the chance to explore kilometers of beautiful rapids and river views. Starting near the Rainbow bridge I made my way past both of the mighty falls and along the riverside, eventually turning back and testing my mettle heading up the steep incline along kitchy Clifton Hill. The paths are very runner friendly, but if you are there in the summer or other peak times, you will likely have to dodge some serious crowds along the main drag.

Golden Bay, Malta

I can’t say enough good things about Malta, especially the rural northwest part of the island I stayed at. The Mediterranean sea is beautifully displayed in hidden coves viewed from the rugged cliffs above. I ran from my hotel and visited two different pristine beaches as well as an quaint 17th century watch tower. If you plan to run in Malta you better get those thighs working, getting up and down the cliffs from the the lookouts above to the beaches below is a nice challenge. 

Quebec City, Quebec 

Quebec City’s motto is “So Europe, So Close”, and you really feel like you are across the pond while running. From the Plains of Abraham to the majestic Chateau Frontenac, there is no shortage of beautiful and historically significant sights to take in on your jog. The city is so versatile for runners, offering large green expanses, top notch views of the St. Lawrence and demanding climbs between ‘upper town’ and ‘lower town’. There are several challenging staircases in the city to work those quads, without even running. Just be careful and watch out for the crowds! 

Miami Beach, Florida

As mentioned in an earlier blog post, running in South Beach is a strong tradition for both locals and tourists alike. The iconic beach destination has an impressive boardwalk that separates the businesses on Ocean Drive from the massively long and impressively wide beach. It is a great spot to people-watch as there are many other runners & cyclists throughout, regardless of the time of day or time of year. If you want to run and feel like a celebrity while you do so, this is the place.

London, England 

I imagine there are countless fantastic running spots in this major European capital. In my short stay I only had the opportunity to check out one of them; Regent’s Park, on a drizzly spring morning. This massive piece of parkland just north of the central part of the city offers runners kilometres of beautifully gardened trails to explore. Don’t miss the impressive entrance gates, the bridge over Boating Lake & Triton Fountain.  I ran for nearly 10km and didn’t even scratch the surface of what the park has to offer it’s active guests. If you have Strava or another app that tracks ‘segments’, but sure to take a spin around the Inner Circle, and see how you stack up against others.

Palm Springs, California

Running in the desert seems a bit crazy, but if you go at the right time of year (see: winter) it can be a very enjoyable experience. Towering palm trees line the downtown core while cute south-western villas with their colourful gardens dot the small suburban streets. There are mountains everywhere you turn and the divide between the trendy downtown core and the peaceful natural environment transitions seamlessly as you run.

Interested in reading more about my experiences in some of these locations? Check them out here:

Mike @ Palms & Pints

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Why I Love Running the South Beach Boardwalk

Earlier this summer I was in South Florida to attend the 2015 NHL Draft. Being the beach lover that I am, I spent a large chunk of my time at world famous South Beach.

For those who like to stay active while on vacation, the South Beach boardwalk is a fantastic place to work some cardio into your routine away from home.

A great shot of the wooden portion of the boardwalk - Source:

The path runs for miles, switching between pavement and a traditional wooden boardwalk. It weaves through the palm-studded parkland separating the SoBe businesses on Ocean Drive from the sand and surf. It passes all of the ritzy mega-resorts that most of us would not be able to afford to stay at (but hey, it’s nice to take a peek!). You will find the boardwalk is very runner (and cyclist) friendly as running is one of the most popular things to do for the health-conscious locals and visitors alike. With the sun shining and the ocean scent in the air, there is really no better setting for burning those extra mojito calories.

Coming home from a great day at the beach

With all that said - Florida is hot, especially in the summer. So make sure you listen to your body and do not push yourself too hard when the humidity is stifling. Running in the (relatively) cooler fall and winter months is safer, but if you can handle the heat you always have the beautiful and refreshing Atlantic ocean waiting to cool your sweat-soaked skin when you finish. My other favorite post-run tradition on the beach is to grab a fresh young coconut from a street vendor by the boardwalk and re-hydrate on those natural electrolytes.

Regardless of where you are, running is awesome when traveling – here’s why:

-A solid run shortly after arriving overseas can help you sleep well at night and thus more quickly beat the dreaded jetlag.  

-Running in a new city gives you an instant lay of the land and can help you identify areas you would like to explore later in your trip.

-Traveling typically involves a much less healthy diet than at home. There is no better way to counteract these extra calories and lessen the guilt at that night’s meal.

-Often the combination of a long flight/drive, changes in diet & new schedule can cause a bit of a “back up” if you know what I’m getting at. Running is a great way to help keep the system flowing.   

-For those who track runs with tools such as Strava, it’s fun to see how your time stacks up against others in famous locations such as New York’s Central Park or the Las Vegas Strip.

-If you are a regular runner, it’s great to come back home without feeling as if you've abandoned your training schedule and set yourself back. 

If this post interests you, check out my earlier article about a running tour I took in Barcelona, Spain.

Mike @ Palms & Pints

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Minimalist Trip Packing (Guest Post by John J. Serre)

Guest Blog by John J. Serre for Palms & Pints

Before you start packing your suitcase for you next trip, take a few seconds to read this:

Depending on how long you're staying at a place, you might not need to pack a suitcase at all. Here's my experience with being suitcase free:

A few friends of mine planned a recent trip to Miami. At the airport all of the guys were hauling these massive suitcases that had to be checked. As for me, I had a backpack. Not one of those epic round-the-world traveler's backpack, a small one you would use for school. I remember one of my buddies saying something along the lines of, "You just have a backpack? We're going for a week man..."

But did I have enough with just one backpack? Yeah... and I had enough room to bring back souvenirs for my family, too.

Mike asked me to uncover my "Secret" (Ha!) to minimalist travel for his blog. So here it is. Hopefully it inspires you on your next trip!

Myself & John (centre), plus two buddies in Miami Beach

1.  Make a checklist of all the things you'll need for the trip.

You can make a checklist here: But come on, just use the good ol' pen and pad. You don't really need technology for this part.

2.  Review your list, removing items that would not qualify as "bare necessities".

Not everything is necessary. You don't need 15 T-Shirts for a week long trip. You don't need to bring your tuxedo, unless you're going to some fancy event. Don't bring sunscreen, buy it at your destination. If you can, buy everything at your destination. Pretty much the only thing you can't buy at your destination is your passport!

3.  Collect all of your remaining items into one single location (like your bed).

From here you will be able to visualize the combined space needed to fit your "necessity" items and it may even encourage you to purge a few more off of the list.

4.  Pack each item in a way that will take up the least amount of room in a backpack.

Roll up your t-shirts.  Buy a clothes compress bag. If you can't fit a certain bulky item in your bag after trying it every which way (say like a 2nd or 3rd pair of shoes), leave it at home!  


Example of the type of backpack used for minimalist travel. 

Learn more about efficiently packing a backpack here:

Bonus, and somewhat relevant...  If you don't understand the concept of minimalism and it's benefits, you should learn more about it here:  (Basically all of the author's written material is insanely insightful. Get on it!)

Voila! Packing this way made it possible for me to have a single backpack for a week long vacation. To be honest, I think I could have traveled with much less.
Remember the benefits - You save both the cost (pricy airline fees) and time (waiting at a carousel) associated with checked baggage. Not to mention the freedom of exploring your new destination comfortably without dragging a suitcase through the Florida sun or across the bumpy Prague cobblestone. 

...And if you still doubt that a backpack isn't enough for a week, consider this story:

I was listening to a minimalist podcast, and they talked about someone that traveled in a very unique way...

This guy basically said "screw it" to, not only the suitcase, but the backpack too. Can you believe he traveled with a single shirt, shorts, underwear, pair of socks and shoes for the entirety of a week long trip? They said the material of his clothing was easy to wash and dry. So every night before bed, he just washed them in the sink and hung them to dry. Everyday he had fresh clothes to wear! When I heard this, it blew my mind! I'm going to have to try this someday...


In addition to being a minimalist traveler & P&P contributor, John is a musician/songwriter. Check him out on Twitter @johnjserre.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Five Tips When Visiting Malta

Last spring after returning from my 2014 Europe trip I mused about how Malta was a destination on my radar for future ‘Old World’ adventures. A year later I was able to visit the small island nation (much sooner than expected thanks to my wife being sent across the Atlantic for work).

In that earlier blog I suggested that Malta seemed to be the perfect combination of the history, culture and food Europe is known for, with an added splash of idyllic beach living normally reserved for more tropical locales.

Malta slotted into our trip for three days between Barcelona and London, two cities that demand extensive sight-seeing. We were more than happy to spend these days enjoying the beautiful weather, gorgeous landscapes and unique cuisine. Our expectations were high, but our experience surpassed even those lofty standards. This was the perfect middle portion to a whirl-wind 10-day Euro adventure, and it was arguably the best part of our trip!

Here are a few photos of this beautiful island, along with five tips I can offer up to future visitors:

Three days isn’t nearly enough

Malta may be small, but it has so much going for it. Beautiful beaches, historic old cities & legendary nightlife. If you are coming to experience everything it has to offer, make sure you come for at least a week. Also, if you have plans to visit the smaller islands of Gozo and Comino (which apparently you should) you may need even more time.

Mediterannen beach living at its finest
Never-ending pristine landscapes
Don’t miss Mdina

I say this because we did. We were staying on rural Golden Bay beach, as our main prerogative was some R&R. We set aside one of our three days to sight-see and choose to do it in the capital, Valletta. While it was an enjoyable day we found Valletta to be more of a relaxed shopping destination and thought it lacked a little in memorable sights. Our cab driver recommended Mdina and we should have listened as it is a beautiful ancient walled city with huge tourist appeal.

Main drag in Valletta
Utilize the efficient island bus system

For 1.50 Euro per day you can ride an extensive network of buses that travel all over the island of Malta. From Golden Bay we were able to grab a bus right outside of our resort and travel to Valletta (at nearly the opposite end of the island) in about an hour. Considering that a taxi from the Airport to our hotel was 30 euro and a shorter distance, it’s clear how amazing of a value the bus system is. The route map and time table are both extremely easy to read.

Great vantage point in the capital
Try local cuisine

This can be said for most places in the world, but it’s worth mentioning for Malta. Two items I particularly enjoyed were pastizzi (I will provide this link to avoid lengthy description) as well as rabbit in its various forms including stewed. If you are staying in the Golden Bay area I highly recommend Apple’s Eye restaurant. It is nothing fancy but offers great local comfort food at excellent prices.

Delicious pastizzi
Embrace the shoulder season

Malta welcomes the majority of its visitors during the summer season, June to August. We went in late-April and the weather was absolutely beautiful, the crowds relatively thin and the prices still not fully rebounded from their winter lows. The sea, while beautiful to look at, is a little too chilly for most to swim in at that time of year, but the pros far outweigh the cons in shoulder season.

Even in mid-April I was enjoying the sea
View from our room at the Radisson Blue Golden Sands

Checkout my TripAdvisor review of Radisson Blu Golden Sands here

Mike @ Palms & Pints

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Go! Running Tours Barcelona

After arranging my flight into Barcelona to join my wife who had earlier gone over on business, I knew I would have one solo morning to kill while she was still in company meetings. I was looking for something active that would help me beat the jet lag but at the same time give me a quick introduction to the sights Barcelona has to offer. Initially I was thinking about a bike tour, but I noticed that Go! Running Tours Barcelona was one of the top rated activities in the city according to TripAdvisor. As I am an avid runner at home, this seemed like a fantastic option for Day 2 (my first full day) in Europe.

Go! Running Tours Barcelona offers several different options which vary in length, route, private vs group etc. I chose the 10K Old Town private run. I initially found the cost a little steep at 60 euro, but when you consider that it is essentially a private tour guide as well as a private photographer the price-point ends up being very fair for the service offered. I booked my run for 8am which was a little early, but provided some open space as well as the exciting backdrop of a city just coming to life for the day. 

My guide Robin was awesome! We met at the convenient Plaça de Catalunya (they offer to meet at your hotel, but mine was a little too far out of the way for the tour so this central location was chosen). After a quick meet and greet we were off, with Robin allowing me to set the pace while he ran alongside with his pole-mounted GoPro camera in hand. For the next 2.5 hours we would explore much of Barcelona’s historic Old Town. Main stops included Plaça Reial, El Raval, Las Ramblas, Palau Güell, Parc de la Ciutadella, Santa Maria del Mar and many more. 

Our total time on the move was about half of the 2.5 hour excursion and the rest of the time was spent standing in/around the aforementioned sights while Robin provided both factual historic information as well as humorous personal commentary. Of particular interest to me was the history behind the Estelada flag that I saw all over the city. In all we ended up covering just under 12.5K, so even more than the 10K that was paid for. In my remaining days in Barcelona I was able to use this base knowledge of the city to further explore with my wife.

The day after the run Robin emailed me over 70 excellent photos as well as a map of our route. He also offered for me to further contact him by email at any time later in the trip or even down the road if I had any questions about Barcelona.

I would highly recommend Go! Running Tours Barcelona for both casual and serious runners who want to keep up their cardio abroad while receiving an excellent jumpstart on their city sightseeing. Robin is a real pro and a great ambassador for his city. Here are some of my favorite shots from the run:
Meeting up with Robin for the run!
El Raval Cat
Picking up speed through the old hospital
Las Ramblas in the morning, before the crowds
Heading for the docks
Santa Maria del Mar - The "People's Church"
Fountain in Parc de la Ciutadella
Pretending we are running the Barcelona Marathon through the Arch

Here is the Go! Running Tours Barcelona website.

Mike & Palms & Pints

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wine & Snow Shoes!

Before winter in southern Ontario met it's timely end about a week ago, my wife and I had the opportunity to try something unique. After a nice evening spent in Niagara Falls, we headed to rural wine country, Ontario for a snow shoeing adventure. 

I wouldn't call myself a wine connoisseur by any means, but to say I enjoy my wine would be a bit of an understatement. This winter also saw me uncover a new love for snow shoeing, something I picked-up out of necessity to fill the 3-month void where running is rather uncomfortable and inconvenient. After doing a bit of research looking for some winter trails in the Niagara region, I stumbled across the Thirty Bench vineyard snow shoe tour and wine tasting. Needless to say I booked us a spot without much hesitation. 

The tour was at a fairly gentle pace to suite the needs of the group of young and old, fit and... well, getting fit! Our guide was exceptionally knowledgeable about the wine as well as the vineyard's history. She also provided a quick but useful tutorial for anyone new to the sport. We sampled about 6 wines in total, mostly white. I'm a red drinker but I enjoyed the exposure to various whites and I think it may have somewhat converted me! 

After the tour through the various plots of the property, we were given the chance to explore on our own for a little bit. I used this time to test out my "snow shoe running" techniques, using the rows of vines like they were lanes in an Olympic event. This is not as easy as it looks... actually it does not look particularly easy.

The tour was concluded with a delicious bowl of Moroccan cauliflower soup whilst sitting around a little fire in the great snowy outdoors. 

I highly recommend the Thirty Bench snow shoe tour for anyone in southern Ontario wine region whom enjoys wine or the winter outdoors (preferably both!)

Here are some of the best moments I captured from the afternoon: 

The wife and I getting ready to roll. 
Sampling a delicious white wine (Riesling) amongst the beautiful winter vineyard setting
Chardonnay post marking
Enjoying the day
Time for a run!
Wood Post Riesling - my favourite wine of the day.

Mike @ Palms & Pints 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Winter Weekend at the Falls

Having spent my entire life in the Greater Toronto Area, I have been to Niagara Falls more times than I can count. When family and Friends from abroad came to visit they were always eager to see either the iconic Toronto focal point, the CN Tower, or the world’s most powerful waterfall located just about an hour down the Queen Elizabeth Way.

In my adult years trips down to Niagara have been fewer and further between. Maybe I took this wonder of the world for granted, or maybe it’s one of those things you can only see so many times. However Niagara Falls is so much more than the falls themselves. The city is home to two world-class casinos, there is a plethora of fantastic restaurants, a brand new outlet mall and even the kitschy tourist trap known as Clifton Hill.

My wife and I decided to spend a night at the falls during a recent winter's weekend as a chance to see the falls in their partially frozen state (something, in my years of visiting the falls during the warm summer months, I had yet to experience).

We started things off by taking a nice stroll across Niagara Parkway, admiring  the postcard-worthy views of both the Horseshoe and American Falls in their glorious part-frozen, snowy state.

The half-frozen American Falls, with the City of Niagara Falls, NY in the background 
The majestic Canadian Horseshoe Falls
From there we headed up Clifton Hill where you will find a colourful, kitschy display of pop culture. A wax museum, a ferris wheel, an arcade and even a giant Frankenstein on top of a Burger King. We didn’t spend much time on Clifton, as it is easily one of the largest collections over-priced establishments you will find anywhere, but the uphill walk was refreshing and provided a few great photo op’s.

The kitschy charm of Clifton Hill
No shortage of activities (bring your wallet)
Ripley's Museum - A Clifton Hill institution
At the top of Clifton Hill we settled in for dinner at Antica Pizzeria, a great pizza place we try to make it to anytime we are in Niagara. Then it was off to try our luck at Fallsview Casino.

First opened in 2004, Fallsview Casino is about as close as you are going to get to a Las Vegas super-Casino in Canada. It is massive, chic and loaded with Vegas-style extras like boutique shopping, several restaurants including the classic all-you-can-eat buffet, a performing stage and much more. On a Saturday night the casino was expectedly packed and many games were hard to come by. I initially tried to get my hands on some digital roulette (prefer that over the standard table roulette which requires some etiquette), however there were no terminals available, and plenty of people circling waiting to grab anything that did open up. We decided to switch our attention to the slots and digital blackjack where we lost a combined $40, an acceptable “cost of entertainment” for non-gamblers such as ourselves.

Fallsview Casino would not be out of place on the Vegas strip.
Using our Player’s Advantage Card (the Casino’s loyalty program) we were able to earn free parking at the casino’s underground parking structure. Since our hotel was only about a 7min walk from the casino, this saved us the $20 the hotel wanted to charge us to park for the weekend. 

Niagara Falls is rightfully one of the top tourist destinations in the world, and it doesn’t have to be expensive either if you do the right research. There are plenty of mid-week hotel deals available through sites like Groupon or WagJag, and sometimes they even include meal, attraction and/or gambling incentives. The falls are beautiful all year round, the dining options plentiful, and you can always find some action at the 24-7 casinos. There is a little something for everyone in Niagara Falls. 

Here is our review of the Radisson Fallsview Hotel. An affordable and conveniently located home base for your Falls trip.

View from partial fallsview room at the Radisson
In my next post I'll get to the 2nd portion of our winter getaway weekend. Touring a winery by snow shoe!

Mike @ Palms & Pints

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Snow Shoeing - Winter's Cardio

About 5 years ago I discovered the joy of running. At first it was all about fitness as I was terribly out of shape and looking to lose some weight. By the second or third year however it became more about my passion for the sport, the love of the outdoors and the desire to be in the sunshine on anything from a crisp April morning to a sweltering July afternoon.

Proud of my first medal at one of my first running events

While my running evolved over the first four years, one thing stayed the same. I did not run in the winter. Something about the temperatures dipping below 5C just turned me right off the sport and had me indoors until the following spring. This winter, however, I was able to put that behind me and run right into the depths of January and February. This new found love of cold weather activity sparked a new interest which made use of the snowy, slippery terrain; snow shoeing. 

It started by chance. Early in the winter a buddy had bugged me to try cross-country skiing with him. I did... and I hated it. I had trouble staying on my feet and even when I could I must have looked like a drunk flamingo. He saw my struggles and recommended we try something with a lesser learning curve for the rest of the afternoon, so we strapped on some snow shoes and headed for the trail.

First snow shoe adventure near Barrie, Ontario

Fast forward two months and I now own my own pair of snow shoes (Atlas 9-series), and have been out on many adventures both back-trail and urban. My first big run was High Falls trail in the southern tip of Algonquin Park's panhandle. Great views of a mostly frozen river/waterfall and beautiful forest scenery. Algonquin is one of my favourite places to visit, and the snowy winter setting puts a fresh spin on it.

Beautiful frozen scenery
High Falls Trail - Algonquin Park 
Moose sighting after leaving the High Falls trail

Not being able to 'get away' every weekend however has forced me to track down some great urban snow shoeing. I explored the parklands of my own neighbourhood here in Mississauga and while there were no wild life sightings, I had myself a great view of a passing GO Train. I feel as though you don't really know even your own neighbourhood unless it is explored outside of a car. In the summer this can be done on a bike or even on foot, but in the winter time snow shoeing is a fantastic option.

Loving my Atlas snow shoes

Many chilly Sunday mornings have been spent with my father-in-law in Brampton trekking across several city parks. We cruise through thick powdery snow that boots alone wouldn't dream of, passing by small half-frozen duck-filled ponds. These trips even include a bit of urban exploration checking out an abandoned highway overpass which had been decommissioned since the closing of a quarry many years earlier.

Urban exploration - a decommissioned highway overpass
Out exploring, even on the coldest of winter days

While snow shoeing doesn't offer the adrenaline of snowboarding or downhill skiing, it is a great (affordable!) winter sport for those looking to explore nature, see their own local park from a new perspective or even just keep up with that outdoor cardio in the harsh Canadian winter. Just remember to layer up!


Note - For those who like to track progress I highly recommend the Strava app/site. It is great for running, cycling and even has an option to track other types of movement like snow shoeing. 

Mike @ Palms & Pints