We all know these uncertain times have imposed restrictions on us not being able to cope with this change in our daily lives. With less time spent with friends, managing work from home, the loss of loved ones, and enduring this new reality has repercussions on our well-being. Alternatively, there are many ways to adjust to life during this crisis to help mitigate the stressors you are feeling.
Scheduling a time at least once daily to relieve your stress in nature is essential especially during this pandemic. Going outdoors is not only beneficial for staying fit but it also improves your emotional well-being, reduces blood pressure, and the increase of stress hormones.
I have come up with 3 great nature trails in Richmond Hill to help destress and make this pandemic more enjoyable.
#1 Jefferson Forest Trail
Address: Stouffville Rd, Richmond Hill, ON L4E 5B4
Take a walk in this secluded forest. Its essence of the sky-high red spruce trees offer a spectacular view, enhancing the atmosphere of mother nature. From the highland hills perfect for mountain bike riding through the forest. There is accessible free parking along the side streets of the trail where many gather to enjoy the forest. People typically spend three to four hours in this park considering the vast forest area it covers. This trail connects to the Swan Lake Outdoor Education Centre where the view of the lake gives off an aura of tranquility that many take the three hour hike to reach this destination.
#2 Elgin Mills Greenway Walk
Address: 68 Canyon Hill Ave, Richmond Hill, ON L4C 0E1
This hardwood forest located conveniently beside the Elgin West Community Centre and St. Theresa of Lisieux Catholic High School. This trail connects to Twickenham Park, a recreation area with a pond and playscape. Along this walkway there are two ponds with many ducks and birds to view in their natural habitat. The sounds of these animals bring a calming effect on your well-being during this pandemic. There are many lookouts throughout the trail that offer spectacular views of the forest where you can enjoy the wonders of mother nature. Many spend around one hour at this trail during the early mornings or evenings. This is a family friendly area for all ages with many uses such as biking and walking. There is free parking located along the side streets beside the entrance of the trail.
#3 Saigeon Trail
Address: Richmond Hill, ON L4E 4C2
This trail has many amenities located within the recreational area including an off leash dog area and a small plaza with a Starbucks, Sobeys, Canadian Tire, and Dollarama. This extensive trail branches off into many areas throughout the forest where you can choose multiple routes to take. The majority of this area has many hills that can be exhausting. I recommend taking a bike to help you go farther distances on this long trail to help mitigate the tiring effects of this journey and make the trip enjoyable. There are less trees and more open areas where the sun is more prevalent throughout the open areas. Wearing a hat and sunscreen would be beneficial when going on this trail. Most people typically spend one to two hours on this trail during the early mornings and evenings. There is free parking available along the side streets close to the entrances of the trail.
I know this pandemic has caused many of us to feel overwhelmed with uncertainty with all the current news of the coronavirus. Although it may feel like this anxiety has taken over our lives, there are many ways to help relieve your stressors by learning to cope outdoors in nature. With all the benefits of spending time with mother nature, I encourage you to schedule in at least ten minutes daily to decompress during these difficult times. This is your opportunity to discover the many trails available in Richmond Hill. I hope you take advantage of this time to find the right trail that suits your preferences, allowing you to find peace in nature.