PLAN BEFORE YOU GO
Menzel is a non-operating Provincial Park so it does not have some of the usual visitor facilities that you may expect from Ontario Parks. Come prepared: there are no brown-painted park stores, bathroom facilities, parking lots or fees. When you arrive there is a closed park gate, so you will park along the side of Roblin Road.
On your way there, make a quick pit stop at Forest Mills Falls. The falls are raging right now from the warm weather we’ve had, but when the cold weather returns they will boast some great ice formations.
THE ADVENTURE AHEAD
Oivi’s Nature Trail is a 3.5 km, relatively flat, out-and-back trail that is very well marked – no getting lost here! The hike takes on average one hour to complete. Walking with little ones might take closer to two hours. When we arrived at the park, we were welcomed by some squeaking Blue Jays and saw many deer prints along the trail. As you follow the trail, you will encounter many habitats and highlights marked by posts, like The Wetlands Edge, The Flowering Fields and The Shrub Fen. These signs are great spots to stop and observe how the landscape has changed around you.
My favourite part of this hike was the approach to Mud Lake. Surrounded by cedars, you arrive at a small clearing overlooking this pristine lake, with a picnic table on the water’s edge. The frozen lake had a layer of water on top of it reflecting many shades of blue. This is the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic or a hot tea before turning around and heading back to your car.
WARM BACK UP
After your hike, refuel at The Soup Can in Downtown Greater Napanee. With 15 flavours of fresh, hearty homemade soup, this mom-and-pop shop is the perfect way to warm your body and soul after an outdoor winter adventure! We had the Coconut Curry and Potato Leek and Bacon, with a pretzel on the side.