During my life as a graduate student, I had the pleasure and the privilege of being able to hike quite frequently. It helped that my thesis research involved hiking and trails in urban and rural environments; both landscapes that provide excellent backdrops for the movement of the body through time and space. When I’m hiking with a naturalist, my mind is also engaged in the identification of various species growing, moving, and existing around me.
Greenway Park in London, Ontario, was one of these oft-recalled and fondly-cherished hikes. I was on a guided hike at the time with the Thames Valley Trail Association (TVTA), and I got to enjoy a variety of vistas (forest, bridges, waterways, historic architecture) while walking with this diverse and interesting crowd of people. The trail hiked was multi-use, so there were people riding bicycles, flying along on roller blades, and pushing strollers everywhere en route. The trail was, at heart, a joy to the senses.
I have always appreciated that the TVTA schedules some of their group hikes for shorter, local, Saturday morning gatherings. This differs greatly from the grueling, two-day back-country treks that some people might imagine hiking to be all about. Consequently, more people from different walks of life attend these hikes and – frankly – enjoy them a heck of a lot.
I include the map to Greenway Park, below, along with some of my photos. However, I would also encourage you to participate in the TVTA group hikes at some point, should you live in or around the London area.