Country Walking Magazine (UK)

Niagara Falls on your doorstep

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Mary Nikisher, 64, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

I never grow tired of the thunder of the falls! There’s a beautiful area near the Horseshoe Falls called Dufferin Islands. It’s a cluster of small man-made islands surrounded by beautiful scenery and wildlife.

In winter most animals are still in hibernatio­n. I might see coyotes and white-tail deer but in summer the forest comes alive with squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits and raccoons. Native birds include yellow warblers, terns, egrets, sandpipers, gulls, and great blue herons.

Previously, during winter months, I’ve experience­d seasonal affective disorder. With the pandemic travel restrictio­ns I was deeply concerned as to how I would cope with a long

Canadian winter. But this challenge has been a game changer. I’m inspired to get out each day and love tracking my progress. Having a set goal is very motivating. For the first time ever I actually loved winter.

I’m proud to be part of this challenge! Everyone has been so inspiring and welcoming. Each day I record my distance and check my location on the app. I then Google the destinatio­n I’ve arrived at. I’m blown away by the gorgeous towns, seasides and landscapes I’ve discovered. Hopefully, one day I can visit the UK and enjoy walking in these places.

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