You can now visit the Ken Reid Conservation Area near Lindsay, Ont., after dark. But you won’t even need your flashlight for this outing, because the Illuminated Forest boasts a trail lined with thousands of lights.
“This is a project that Kawartha Conservation put on as a way to bring people out into the forest at a different time of day and, for a lot of people, a different time of year,” said Kristie Virgoe, director of stewardship and conservation lands at Kawartha Conservation.
“It is just celebrating the magic of the season and getting people out and excited about Christmas.”
And there is definitely something magical about it. Picture trees wrapped with white holiday lights, guiding you through the forest.
The lit trail runs about 200 m, and it takes about 20 minutes to walk the route. Virgoe said even a short walk in the woods can have a big impact, adding it is important to spend time outdoors in the winter months.
“We have fewer sunlight hours and there are lots of people that are affected by being a little bit more closed in, in the winter,” she said.
“So, getting out, interacting with the trees and getting those happy hormones going is important, especially this time of year.”
It was made possible due to an RTO8 regional tourism grant, money from the federal government, distributed through the province. There is no charge to get in, but a parking fee of $4 per vehicle.
Now Virgoe said the team at Kawartha Conservation is looking to continue the tradition in the future, due to an overwhelming response from the public.
“I am just overwhelmed by the positive comments our team has received and that just feeds our souls. We are just so thrilled to be able to offer this to the community,” she said.
The display runs each day from 5 to 9 p.m. until the end of December.