You are all going to get a laugh out of this story. The title says it all, but before I get to that anecdote I will talk about this trail a wee bit. The Bois-Des-Esprit is a lovely trail nestled in a urban forest. I had the pleasure of walking this trail earlier this year with members of Save our Seine as a field trip for one of my University of Manitoba classes. This trail is a great example of ecosystem management. To preserve habitat like this in an urban setting is great, not only for the animals and plants, but for the residents of the area. This small green way boosted the property value of the surrounding homes. I will be returning.
The main path is gravel, which is nice for bikes and pedestrians, not so great for skateboards and roller-blades. However, the gravel keeps this trail feeling like a forest trail you would find in a provincial park, so I would not recommend changing it. The process of making the path paved would also disrupt the wildlife and the surrounding vegetation. The only complaint I had about this trail was that some parts had muddy/wet spots. This was probably due to the high volumes of rain we had. I enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere of this path, which is good for a nice afternoon walk. I also appreciated the shade because my pale skin is sensitive to sunburns.
There are many little wonders of this trail. Wood carvings, a foot bridge, lovely benches, and varying natural components are just a few. In such a small area you can view so many different ecosystem types. I also discovered a tree which a couple has claimed as a testimony to their love. See picture to the left. There may or may not be a gem around here.
So now to the story you all have been waiting for. Yes, I got lost. Here is how it happened. I was walking about trying to find cool places for hiding gems. Looking at my map, I thought I had a good idea of where I was. I noticed that I had passed a small path marked on the map as “other trails” and this particular one I believed to be the way to Woody, the large wood carving that I hoped to place a gem near. So, veering off the gravel trail, I made my way down the mud path. Before I know it I come to a turn that is definitely not marked and the path extends for a long while. Now I am confused and definitely not on my way to see Woody. I turn back around and I come to a fork in the little mud paths that I didn’t see on my way in. Crud. I must have miss-read my location to begin with and now I do not know which little mud path I am on. Here I will note that the map we have on our website does not list all the little trails people have made for themselves and I am not sure if I am on an actual “other path” or a unmarked trail. So I decide to light the flares I have in my backpack and hunker down to be found. Just kidding. I made my way down these trails until I found the familiar gravel path of the main trail and make my way out of the forest. By this point I was sweaty and tired and had been walking for an hour or so and wanted to go home. So long Woody, we will meet again one day.
Written by: Samantha Worden (Sam)
Sam is a Trails Analyst summer student with The Winnipeg Trails Association. She is working towards a degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Manitoba with a focus in Natural Resource Management. Her hobbies include reading, bike riding, camping, watching and posting on YouTube, and various forms of paper-crafting and planning.