Overcast, chilly, grey days are often the best times to be outdoors and rambling through the woods. There is atmosphere in the leaden sky, and the brisk wind sharpens your senses.
On just such a day, I took a very long hike through the Ignatius Jesuit Centre – a short 2 km north of Guelph, Ontario. This property is a place of strengthening beauty, offering spiritual rejuvenation and the internationally–acclaimed Loyola House Retreat Centre, the Ignatius Farm & CSA, the Ignatius Old-Growth Forest, the 500-year project, and Orchard Park Office Centre.
It’s hard to describe the sense of peace which descended on me while I was on this hike. There were interpretive signs all over the property, which provided insight into the history of the place and landscape. Unlike my typical understanding of a ‘trail’, there was openness to my selection of direction and approach. I ended up wandering by the old hermitage, which was fascinating to see. I also wandered down the Old Auk Trail – this led me deep into a cedar forest with artistic interpretations of nature scattered around.
I would recommend taking a walk through both the property immediately surrounding the main buildings off the Highway 6 – there are interpretive signs representing the creation of the universe, which you can meditate upon, as well as a peace pole. The trails across the property are quite extensive and diverse – you will be visually stimulated, but able to look inward and reflect. An incredible experience!