Rediscovering Home

Sarain Fox returns home for sledding and ice fishing in Ontario's Highlands.

No matter how far you stray from your home, the rest of your life it will always call to you. Cherished connections, with the land and the people alike, live on in memories of days past. The call may be strong, like a constant ache for simpler times. Perhaps it’s that little voice in the back of your head, or a flash of a childhood memory now and again. However it manifests itself within you, do you listen?

This winter, Indigenous activist and artist Sarain Fox followed that call back to Ontario’s Highlands, where she spent much of her childhood. Fueled by her love of snowmobiling and combined with memories of ice fishing at her cabin, her journey started with the familiar and extended to a discovery of coveted new spots in Ontario.

Home in the Ottawa Valley

The first stop on the road to rediscovery was the Ottawa Valley, where fond recollections of summers at her cabin came rushing back. The first order of business was recreating childhood memories she recalled with her uncle, by getting out on the lake at the crack of dawn to see which fish were eager to bite.

Sandy Beach Cottages on Lake Clear proved to be a beautiful, quiet location both for resting one’s head and eagerly awaiting a tug on the line from the depths below. Starting with a peaceful morning out on the lake, a change of pace had Sarain dashing through the trails near Barry’s Bay on a snowmobile with Valley Adventure Tours, in pursuit of the most breathtaking view of the valley below.

Finding Excitement in the Haliburton Highlands

With the past relived, and with a permanent smile affixed, it was time to forge on to create new memories. The journey continued west to the Haliburton Highlands, to a cozy fishing hut on Mountain Lake at Ogopogo Resort.

Fishing lines danced as pickerel took interest in the bait, eventually biting after a morning of teasing. Next up was a visit to the private snowmobile trails at Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Reserve, where cliffs rose high above frozen lakes as Sarain zipped across.

Ending on a High Note in Hastings County

There’s truth in the saying “all good things must come to an end,” so the final day of discovery was a special one spent in Hastings County. As with the previous days, the day started early when the fish are most active. Snow fell gently on Moira Lake in Madoc as Sarain hunkered down with a pair of locals to see what she could catch.

As the snow accumulated, the itch to hit the trails settled in, and it was time to bid new friends goodbye and head north to Coe Hill. The fresh snow created a playground on the trails, where animal tracks were spotted alongside opportunities to make snow angels in untouched snow.

Travel companions gathered as the trip’s completion loomed, smiling from cheek to rosy cheek, and hugs were exchanged to conclude an excursion spent reliving the past and gathering fresh memories.

When you take the time to listen to the call, you’ll never know what you might find. Whether it’s a familiar place or entirely new to you, if you’re eager to explore on snowmobile or see what fish you can catch, Ontario’s Highlands is the place to start.

About Staff Writer, What A Ride

What A Ride covers stories, events and perspectives from the worlds of motorcycling, snowmobiling, ATVing and boating. Motorized adventures, full-tilt, 24/7.

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