Fowl Play

The Mighty Peace Region is home to hundreds of different species of birds just waiting to be discovered by avian enthusiasts. The rivers and lakes in our area provide welcome berths for waterfowl, and the boreal and temperate deciduous forests that are ubiquitous throughout our region are home to all kinds of woodland and nesting birds. Take a weekend to explore some of our loveliest natural parks, with a bit of local history and colour thrown in for fun.
If you prefer to spend the weekend in just-like-home comfort, be sure to rent the Last Lake Guest House for your entire stay. If you’d prefer to bring the RV or tent and camp for the weekend, consider setting up headquarters at Leddy Lake instead.

Day 1

Stay: Last Lake Guest House

Approximately 32 km east of Grimshaw is a birder’s perfect overnight haven—the Last Lake Guest House, a quaint farmhouse vaguely reminiscent of European post-and-beam construction, set on the eponymous lake. Renting the property gives you access to the barn (perfect for outdoor functions) and a rustic log cabin about half a mile south of the main house. And, of course, the lake! Geese, ducks, and many other waterfowl are regular visitors in the waters of Last Lake. Houseguests can use the canoes or paddleboat to get up close and personal with the lake’s residents. You’ll find plenty to do here for the afternoon or evening after you arrive. Just be sure to bring your own meals—the only food that’s included is farm-fresh eggs.

Get there: Use the search term “Last Lake Guest House” in your map app, or head west from Grimshaw on Highway 685. Follow the signs. About 32 km, or 27 minutes of driving.

Day 2

Learn: Lac Cardinal Pioneer Village Museum

Pack up the bug spray and binoculars and head back toward Grimshaw on Highway 685. Take a sharp left toward Queen Elizabeth Provincial Park at Lac Cardinal and you’ll discover the Lac Cardinal Regional Pioneer Village Museum next to the park.

Walk down the quaint Main Street that represents life in the 1920s to 1940s, with four furnished houses, a bakery, church, blacksmith, community hall, library, and more. If you’re there on the second Saturday in August, join in on the fun of Pioneer Day. Otherwise, take a drop-in self-guided tour from Thursday to Monday between 11 and 5 all summer long.

While you’re there, enjoy the walking trails by the lake, rent a stand up paddleboard and get out on the water, or simply relax and enjoy nature—and watch for birds, of course!

Get there: Use the search term “Queen Elizabeth Provincial Park” in your map app (the museum is adjacent to it). It is about 30 km/25 minutes from Last Lake Guest House, or 7 km/8 minutes from Grimshaw.

Lunch and Shop: Dixonville General Store

Grimshaw offers many wonderful lunch options, but if you want to get off the beaten path (and see some beautiful countryside along the way), head to Dixonville General Store for a homemade cinnamon bun and other home-cooked items—served with a smile, of course! Pick up a bottle of wine to enjoy back at the house later, and a gift or souvenir from the shop’s selection of locally made products. (The all-natural bath and beauty products by the Green Goddess are a must-try.) Grab some food to go to take with you to the next stop—no one wants to birdwatch on an empty stomach.

After lunch, take a stroll on the Dixonville Walking Trails. With a name like Chickadee Alley, birdhouses to make our feathered friends right at home, and interpretive signs about bird species, this place was made for bird-lovers to enjoy!

Get there: Use the search term “Dixonville General Store” or head north from Grimshaw on Highway 35 until you see the sign for Dixonville, turn left, and take your first right. Approximately 42 km/31 minutes from the Pioneer Village Museum, and only slightly shorter from Grimshaw.

Birds and Boats: Leddy Lake Campground

After lunch, take another drive to gorgeous Leddy Lake. The peaceful recreational area offers an interpretive walking trail through the boreal forest, group shelters, a boat launch (if you bring your own), a park for the kids, and plenty of opportunities to spy bird species. The campground also boasts powered campsites with plenty of firewood, so those who’d prefer to camp can enjoy the beautiful sunsets and then sit under the stars next to the fire listening to the song of the crickets and frogs. You might even be lucky enough to see a pelican!

Get there: Use the search term “Leddy Lake, Northern Lights No. 22”, or head south from Dixonville, turn east on Highway 986 to Highway 743, turn north, then follow the signs to Leddy Lake. Approximately 44 km/33 minutes if you follow the map route or 50 km/37 minutes if you follow these directions.

Day 3

Hike: Wilderness Park

Before you head home, you can find a nice change of view and some gentle walking trails through the woods at Wilderness Park. The park is set up in a loop, so while the many trail options may seem confusing at first, you’ll always find your way back eventually. Bring the fishing gear and catch lunch in one of the two fishing ponds, then cook and eat it in the day use areas. And be prepared to spy some flying friends. They’re everywhere!

For a sweet way to end your weekend getaway, be sure to stop at the Junction Candy, Creamery, and Coffee House in Grimshaw for a scoop or three of something delicious. It’s the perfect way to cool off after your hike!

Get there: Use the search term “Wilderness Park.” From Leddy Lake, head south on Highway 743 and then west on Highway 2. Follow the signs to Wilderness Park. Approximately 38 km/30 minutes. From Grimshaw, head east on Railway Avenue/Roma Drive, turn north on Range Road 233, and follow the signs. Approximately 6 km/7 minutes. (Approximately 38 km/34 minutes from Last Lake Guest House.)