Places around Waterloo Region to get you outdoors and relieve stress

Photo by Darien Funk

It’s not a far stretch to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has been a huge cause of stress for many people, in more ways than one. 

The problem is that it seems as though it’s harder and harder for people to find healthy ways to relieve stress. With the “red zone” rules, gyms are shut down, it’s recommended that we not visit friends and wait times for therapists and other essential services are super backed up.

While I don’t recommend that anyone forgo a therapist visit if that’s a service that you need (please take care of your mental well being), there are plenty of ways to 

If you’re looking for a way to relieve stress and stay active, here are a few places to do so while still being safe and mindful of the pandemic guidelines.

Sugarbush Park

After four years of living in the Waterloo Region, I’ve only recently heard of Sugarbush Park. 

Sugarbush Park is a loop trail, about 1.6 kilometers total. The park is about a five-minute drive from Laurier, which you can pretty much get to by going north on Albert Street until you get there. If you live by or near Columbia Street, the park is only about a 20-minute walk from there.

If you’re like me and were previously unfamiliar with this park, this may be a great place for you to get some fresh air while switching up your scenery.

Chicopee Ski Resort

I have to admit that I’ve never been to Chicopee for anything other than skiing, so if you’re actually not allowed to hike the hill and you get in trouble for trespassing, that’s not on me. But if you feel like spicing things up and visiting the hills anyway, have fun. 

Either way, I doubt too many people are visiting Chicopee just so they can walk up the hill, so you’ll probably have a fairly easy time being socially-distanced from others. 

Laurel Creek

Laurel Creek Conservation Area is a forested area with about 4.5 kilometers of hiking trails and a beach.

While you probably won’t get much use out of the beach now that it’s snowing, the Laurel Creek trails can be used for hiking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing or even bird watching. 

This area is a great place to explore a part of the region you’ve probably never been to before, but since it’s a conservation area, keep in mind that there is a price for admission into the park. 

Waterloo Park

Although I’m sure most Laurier students are aware of it by now, last but not least is Waterloo Park.

Waterloo Park is just a quick walk from campus and features a trail, a baseball diamond, a cricket pitch, a boardwalk by the water and of course, the Eby animal farm. This time of the year, the park is lit up with a ton of Christmas light displays. 

Although Waterloo Park is a fairly popular attraction, this is the easiest park to access from Laurier and is always fun to visit. It should be fairly easy to remain distanced from others if you visit Waterloo Park, while still feeling connected to the community.

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