MOUNTAIN LIFE - Blue Mountains | Fall 2019

74 “As soon as I got face to face with someone they were like, ‘Yeah, that’s a good idea,’” says Edwards. “They let us do a bit of glading in the fall of 2018 and it became quite popular last winter. They don’t really understand it, but that’s part of the relationship and they’re happy to see us out there.” The Limberlost Forest and Wildlife Reserve began as Limberlost Lodge in the 1920s. Offering one of the first mechanized lifts in the country, it was an early version of eco- tourism where folks from the city could visit the wilderness in summer or winter months. They ran a t-bar and a rope tow early on, but the ski resort business folded some time in the 1970s. These days, the staff and volunteers at Limberlost act as stewards of the 10,000-acre property. They’re inviting people to share the wilderness experience, hoping to increase the desire to protect it. Hiking trails are free to use. Cross-country ski trails are groomed and free to use. And now, the forest is Ontario’s first official backcountry destination. And it’s free to use. With plans to do a bit more glading this fall, the winter of 2019/2020 should be a good one at Limberlost. “Limberlost is so good because you can drive up to it and you’re right at the bottom of the hill,” says Edwards. “And it’s an old ski hill, so it’s already laid out.” With a vertical drop of about 300 feet and a couple zones cleared to ski, Limberlost may just be the powder haven you’re looking for. limberlostforest.com Limberlost Forest is Ontario’s first official backcountry destination. And it’s free to use. Knee deep!

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