The beginner’s hike: Mckell trail

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Pictured here is the range of Saskatchewan weather in October. Toomas Tartes via Unsplash

Everyone loves a good baby step

In this weather, you can’t beat a great hike – even if you aren’t into the outdoors.

September has brought beautiful weather. Rather than rain and snow hitting as soon as the first leaf drops, we have truly had a dreamy fall. Beautifully coloured trees, and many of the geese not yet heading south for the colder months.

I am sure we have all heard this before: “get outside and get active!” To some extent it’s a fine point, as there are benefits to going outside and getting active. However, if you are anything like me, you absolutely dread hiking.

It’s one of those activities that sound good on the surface. You get active, you get to see some beautiful scenery, and you have a sense of accomplishment once you finish. For myself, I could not have been any less interested in hiking. First, it was much too slow. I always found myself wanting something with more adrenaline, like cycling. Second, it’s hot. I hate the heat, and every experience I have had hiking I have come back with heat exhaustion. Third, I was uninspired to even begin hiking in the first place.

These many roadblocks have been challenged this fall as I have been determined to find an additional way to exercise. I am not ready to renter the gym with the fourth wave of COVID on the horizon, and I needed something to do as my bicycle is hours away with my parents.

Cracking the code, I took a quick look into the hiking trails around Regina, where I found the Mckell Wascana Conservation Park. It’s a short loop of only 2.6 kilometers that is good for beginner hikers. It is also close to the University, with only a 15-minute drive to get to the trail taking the Assiniboine Avenue exit and making a right turn on Prince of Wales Drive.

The first step to finding enjoyment in something is making sure that it does not feel like a job; don’t overdo it. Try just going once every few weeks to see if you enjoy it.

I began hiking around Mckell a few times a week for a slow rest day. It isn’t difficult terrain, so you can just let yourself go on autopilot as you complete the distance. It is a very flat hike, which might sound boring, but actually makes it quite peaceful.

Despite being located on the outskirts of Regina, there is still a fair amount of wildlife surrounding the area. There are a variety of birds surrounding the area as Wascana creek trickles through the centre of the trail. A dock that looks out onto a small pond makes for a great break to watch the ducks float across the water.

Mckell is a beautiful sanctuary within Regina that is a good beginner hike, but also an excellent place to begin your journey to doing larger hikes in areas like Wascana Trails, just outside of Regina. Despite not being a hiker myself, I have really begun to enjoy the different shorter hikes around the Regina area after starting out on Mckell trails. Slowly, I have begun trying different trails within Regina such as the Wascana path around the Legislature building. I would not have even began to hike greater distances if it were not for the novice path around Mckell.

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