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Year in review: Our picks for this year's Bold feature

From skating on clear ice to learning in the outdoors, we take you back to our favourite adventures

SooToday, with the generous support of our community partners at the Group Health Centre, has been able to take readers on new outdoor adventures every week throughout the year, this year. We thought you might enjoy a look back at a few of our favourite stories about the great outdoors, adventure sports and eco-tourism this year.

In our second year of the pandemic, it seemed like people became more adept at finding things to do outdoors that would allow them to safely physically distance while finding stress relief, exercise and fresh air. We endured bicycle, kayak and other outdoor sporting equipment shortages as the pandemic also wreaked havoc with supply chains but many of us found a way to play outside and lift our spirits.

One area we explored in Bold for the first time this year was that of outdoor education. We featured a couple of stories about area schools that take students outside for most of their curriculum, not just for field trips and these were very involved stories for our Bold reporter, Violet Aubertin, to cover involving several trips to the schools for extended periods of time and many photos for her to curate and edit.

Learning to connect children with nature (31 photos) is one such story and Camp on the Land shares Anishinaabe teachings (33 photos) is another. 

Violet also took us outside to unravel a few mysteries, not the least of which was the big blue chairs that seemed to pop up overnight in the city in the spring. Seek out the city's new big blue chairs (6 photos) is her story about those.

Hogan's helps make life sweeter one tapped tree at a time (14 photos) is one of a few stories we featured about local businesses offering eco-tourism and safe opportunities for visitors to the business to play outside while learning more about the business, its products and its services.

In addition to the adventures readers might expect, like biking on the Hub Trail, walking, biking or skiing the trails in the Hiawatha Highlands and skiing at Searchmont, Violet sometimes took us out to discover less well-known trails and recreation areas managed by the Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority. Find the Owl Trail, Ryders Loop here (13 photos) is one of those stories.

Probably one of the most outstanding stories of the year for us in the Bold section was provided by Mother Nature. For the first time in area residents' memory, the gorgeous Goulais Bay froze over with clear ice. The phenomenon lasted only a short time but plenty of brave folks took advantage of it. We featured a video about it in this story, Goulais Bay freezes crystal clear for the first time in recent memory, and a story and photos from Violet here, You have to be bold to skate on this ice (18 photos).

We look forward to another year being bold with the support of The Group Health Centre and welcome reader suggestions on stories we can cover. Please email your ideas to [email protected] and play safely outside.


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