How do you follow a sucessful day bear spotting? With a visit to Algonquin Park to hike in the beautiful autumn colours. A simple idea one would think…. if the signage was conducive to actually finding the trails. We found a hippy retreat, a retreat for troubled teens, a sign saying not to pick up hitchhikers, a knife making place, some lumberjacks, a closed canoeing place… all the makings of a perfect horror film. Eventually we got directions from the closed canoe place telling us the trail was on an unmarked road with a sign at the top?! Of course.
We hiked up a trail to an old fire tower watch point. Unfortunately the tower was no longer there, but the view and the colours were pretty nonetheless. The trail itself was a nice meandering 4km upwards earning us our picnic at the top.
We stopped for drinks and drove south to the Screaming Heads in Burks Falls area. This was a place that has been on my list to visit for some time. I wasnt sure what to expect, but it was totally worth going. The site is filled with over 100 ‘screaming heads’ – concrete structures designed to look like a screaming face, often with hands either side. The artist, a high school teacher, who created them also built his own castle – Midlothian Castle. I read that he has a studio in the castle, but it looked quite derelict, so perhaps this is no longer. I have always loved the eerie and the grey, creepy and spooky places, so this was fantasically interesting to me. I read that the artist, Peter Camani, built the faces to raise awareness of environmental degradation – I loved the place, but I have to say I have absolutely no idea how it raises awareness of anything to do with the environment.
Our final stop was on the way home, Wonderland. We visited the Halloween Haunt that they run throughout October. There were people dressed up to scare us around the park and a number of fun haunted houses to visit. It was a nice random end to a nice couple of days out of real life.