August 22, 2020

By: Emilie Lapointe

Tell me, what could be better than birds chirping, the sun shining and the smell of fresh produce wafting through the crisp air? I found that this combination was hard to beat as I spent an entire day in Oakville’s natural spaces surrounded by wildlife, amazing views and a lot of food!

Oakville boasts an impressive amount of green space and there is no better way to spend your remaining days of summer than packing some bags with your favourite treats and a good pair of walking shoes for a solo day trip at Lions Valley Park.

Start your day by collecting some supplies to create a mouth-watering setup. My French soul needed a charcuterie board, so I headed over to Farmhouse Artisan Cheese to select a cheese – there are so many options it’s nearly overwhelming! My next stop was Florence Meats because their South African biltong feels like a special international treat.

Some other must-haves: Fresh fruit, crackers, cornbread (I’m obsessed and I can’t stop baking it) and lemonade! I love lemonade so much that I believe any flavour combination can work. Pickles? Sure, I’ll down it. I made my own lemonade at home a few days ahead of time (recipe below) and the self-restraint it required to not drink the whole thing before my trip was astounding.

Parking at the park is free and the parking lot is a very short walk from the picnic pavilion. This was a blessing, as I was lugging around about 30 pounds of meats, cheeses and other picnic essentials.

Once I was all set up, I was immediately greeted by two blue jays having what seemed like a very intense conversation amongst themselves. Rather than eavesdropping on the bird drama, I ate my food and listened to some podcasts.

Here are some of my Podcast recommendations:

  1. Gilmore Guys – For all the Gilmore Girls fanatics like me
  2. The Nod – For some diverse stories and some social justice knowledge
  3. Stuff You Should Know – It’s a no brainer. The hosts teach you about bizarre topics so you can impress at any general knowledge trivia night
  4. 2 Dope Queens – For some real deep guttural laughs from two funny ladies
  5. Unf*ck Your Brain –For some self-care and no-nonsense talk

After being lazy for more time than I’m willing to disclose, it was time for an outfit and shoe change! Pick any trail, you really can’t go wrong, and enjoy the views!

If you’re new to these trails, I have a few quick tips to stay safe and not get lost:

  1. Google Maps is your friend – Pin the location of your car so you always have a point of reference and use the GPS function to keep track of your direction
  2. Take note of any bizarre-looking trees, stumps, bends in the creek or painted rocks along the way. Anything recognizable will help you find your way back
  3. Lions Valley trails are pretty simple to navigate. You may reach a fork in the path from time to time that takes you into the inner or outer trail, but they all eventually lead back to one another

As the park is so large, there is plenty of space to very safely social distance. Make sure to bring a mask in case there are moments you need to cross paths with other park-goers. You may even want it to head into a local ice cream shop for a post-hike cone!

I made sure to always keep my distance and came prepared with my mask as well as a garbage bag to collect any food waste or trash I accumulated to keep our parks clean and safe!

Emilie’s Lavender Lemonade Recipe: