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Little Cat

Little Cataraqui Conservation Area
I am loathe to say that it’s been nearly a week since I last posted. That sounds like a confession of sorts, but needless to say I’ve been enjoying the contributions from our two new team members. With everybody else picking up the slack, I’ve been keeping myself busy by developing some new ideas that will hopefully be ready for Kingstonist’s first birthday (March 1st). In between the brainstorming and the constant shoveling yesterday, Danielle and I managed to make our way out to the Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area (aka Little Cat) for a mix of exercise, and relaxation.

To be honest, it’s been well over a decade since I last visited Little Cat, but the prospect of spending another cozy Sunday at home did not seem appealing for some reason. What better way to stay safe and warm, than go out into the wilderness during a snow storm? As soon as we pulled into the parking lot, we knew that we weren’t that weird, as the place was jam packed with people who obviously had the same idea as us. By ski, snowshoe and toboggan, everyone and their dog was making the best of all that powdery goodness.

We set off along the trails at 3pm, making our way around Tranquility Lane, then heading all the way up to the Sugar Shack and back. From start to finish, our trailblazing adventure lasted about 2 hours with numerous stops for water, snacks and photos (check out our Flickr). Again, there were loads of people out skiing and hiking, but it was pretty easy to go a good 20 minutes before seeing any sign of human life. It was just the right mix of solitude and random encounters, while the latter served as welcome reminders that we weren’t entirely alone in the wild.

For those of you who’ve never been to Little Cat, it’s really something I highly recommend. This 970-acre sanctuary is a 2 minute drive past the 401 along Division Street. Admission is a measly $4.50 per adult, $2 per child, carloads are never charged more than $11, and annual passes are also available. Once you’re there you can rent cross-country ski equipment and snowshoes, take a private or group lesson, and head out to enjoy 13km of groomed trails. Little Cat even has a rink and rents ice skates. During your stay, you can escape the elements in the various warming huts, as well as the main outdoor centre.

I’m so glad I got off my butt for an afternoon to get “out of the city” and rediscover one of Kingston’s best kept secrets. I will be returning soon and often. Check out our pics and (terribly shaky) videos for more reasons why you should give Little Cat a try.

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Harvey Kirkpatrick

Harvey Kirkpatrick is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. His features curiously explore urban planning, what if scenarios, the local food scene and notable Kingstonians. Loves playing tourist and listening to rap music. Learn more about Harvey...

3 thoughts on “Little Cat

  • January 19, 2009 at 12:10 pm
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    As much as I profess to hate winter, there’s really not a lot more beautiful than fresh snow. Great pics! Makes me want to out and shovel. Then again…..

  • January 21, 2009 at 10:59 am
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    It’s a wonderful place, to be sure. From kilometres of trails to the rink. I need to get out there again. :-)

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