Grand Beach Provincial Park is located about an hour from the north perimeter just off Highway 59. The main parking lot for the cross-country trails is located just north of the East Gate, taking the first road going east. Lots of parking available, but be aware of early spring/wet conditions. It seems like the road can get a little bit sketchy under those situations.
The trails are a mix of cross-country ski trails and single track, with predominantly sandy soil. It’s easy to just go out and run, exploring as you go. Some fairly decent up and down rolling hills. On Sunday, we mostly ran Squirrel interspersed with single track. We also ran the Ancient Beach Trail Loop.
The trail system itself is well marked, with warm-up huts and outhouses interspersed throughout. As always, carry your own TP just in case.
If you want hills, some light technical single track, and just a whole lot of fun, this is the place for you. For mud, swamp, and adventure, take the Beaver Trail, but beware, to do the loop will require a swamp crossing.
Current Conditions – April 2, 2017
Considering it’s early April, conditions are excellent with much of the trail clear of snow. There are still a number of sections of the cross-country trails that have packed snow and ice, but another week or so, and it should be clear as well. I also ran Blueberry trail which was the worst we ran in regard to snow pack.
Items of Note
- Don’t forget that this is a Provincial Park, which means you’ll need a park pass.
- This is a Lyme Disease Risk area, and you’re also encouraged to be bear smart. I suspect in a couple months, poison ivy will also be an issue. All things to keep in mind.
Coconut Curry Lentil Soup (Serves 4)
1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil or Olive Oil
1 Large Onion
2 Cloves Garlic (or more….;)
2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
2 Tbsp. Curry Powder
Hot Red Pepper Flakes (as required)
4 c. Vegetable Broth
1 400 ml can Coconut Milk
1 400 g. can Diced Tomatoes
1 1/2 c. Dry Red Lentils
Salt & Pepper to taste.
Garnish with chopped cilantro.
Instructions (I never really follow the recipe, so these are more suggestions, feel free to do what you want to make this dish awesome.)
1. In a stockpot, heat the oil and fry the onion, garlic & ginger until the onion is translucent.
2. Add the tomato paste, curry powder, and red pepper flakes and cook a bit longer.
3. Add the vegetable broth, coconut milk, diced tomatoes and lentils. Cover and bring to a boil, then simmer on low heat for 20-30 minutes, until lentils are tender. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Serve with cilantro!