Posts By Cody Pierce

Horseshoe Canyon Hike Near Drumheller, AB


The Horseshoe Canyon hike near Drumheller, Alberta can be done as an easy day trip from Calgary though the Drumheller area is full of interesting things to do and worthy of an overnight trip. The canyon is a stunning, one-of-a-kind hiking destination year-round, but it’s best explored when its not too hot or too cold. 

Horseshoe Canyon is a large u-shaped canyon and quite an unexpected sight when you’re driving on the prairies. One minute the landscape is either pancake-flat or full of gently rolling hills and then in the blink of an eye you’re in front of this canyon enjoying a MOMENT. The canyon boasts layers of rocks dating back to the time when dinosaurs roamed the land, about 70 million years ago. 

Two French Canadian explorers, Louis, and France de la Verendyre, called this landscape “mauvaise terre” or bad earth because of its unsuitability for agriculture. The badlands name has stuck. And while the immediate area may be a bad place to farm, it is a fascinating place for visitors to explore.

Within Horseshoe Canyon, you’ll encounter three unique eco-systems including the badlands, prairie and wooded coulee slopes. Within each eco-system are different plants and animals. You might be surprised at how alive the badlands really are.

Geologists or anyone interested in rocks will enjoy the Horseshoe Canyon hike. The layers of rock reveal both environmental and climatic events. Rock units very in colour from purple to tan to grey and even black indicating coal seams. The layers are composed of mudstone, sandstone, carbonaceous shales, and the afore mentioned coal.

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The Horseshoe Canyon hike has many different looks depending on what season you hike

Trailhead location

The Horseshoe Canyon trailhead is located 17.3 km west of downtown Drumheller. Simply take Highway 9 west until you see the signed turnoff to Horseshoe Canyon via Township Road 284. The parking lot is on your right.

                       
 

Parking and services at Horseshoe Canyon

In summer 2021 a pay parking pilot project was implemented by Kneehill County. Fees of $2 per day were collected to be used towards the conservation on the canyon. I don’t know what is in store for 2022, but I’m betting that the parking fee was a success. Have a toonie ready just in case.

At the parking area there are picnic tables, and some as you can see in the photo are even covered. You’ll also find some toilets. Across the street at the campground, you may be able to purchase snacks and drinks. 

Although pets are permitted in the canyon on a leash, I would avoid taking them on the Horseshoe Canyon hike in summer. It’s just too bloody hot.

There are picnic tables - including some with shade near the overlooks
There are picnic tables – including some with shade near the overlooks
Lots of signage in the parking lot
Lots of signage in the parking lot

Horseshoe Canyon Hike details

Distance: The official trail into Horseshoe Canyon is just 0.8 km long one way. But there is lots of exploring to do from the end of it. In fact, you could spend the better part of a day exploring the two arms of the canyon. Each arm is approximately 5 kilometres long.

Level of difficulty: Easy hiking on the official trail. Watch your footing when you are off trail. There are short, steep sections, drop-offs and lots of uneven terrain.

Elevation gain: Varies depending on where you hike. Count on about 30 – 40 metres of elevation loss and gain getting into and out of the canyon.

Surface: Gravel, dirt, and rock. Can be very slippery when wet.

Time needed: 30 minutes to a full day

Animals you might see: Coyotes, mule deer, white-tailed deer and rabbits

Look for these birds: Mountain bluebirds, prairie falcons and golden eagles

Looking out into Horseshoe Canyon from one of the viewing platforms
Looking out into Horseshoe Canyon from one of the viewing platforms

Entry into Horseshoe Canyon

There is a well-marked entrance to the right of the parking lot – if you’re facing the canyon, indicating the main route down to the start of the Horseshoe Canyon hike. Descend on sweeping stairs past a lookout to reach the level ground. I find the gravel section, to the right of the stairs is tough going on the descent – as it’s on ankle turning type of gravel but it’s fine to hike up on the return. There is a rope banister that you can grab for support.

Canyon country just steps ahead
Canyon country just steps ahead
Entrance into Horseshoe Canyon via stairs and gravel
Entrance into Horseshoe Canyon via stairs and gravel

Route description of the Horseshoe Canyon Trail

Before you even begin the Horseshoe Canyon hike, check out the views from a couple of the observation decks. They provide an excellent overview of the dramatic badlands landscape you’ll experience. 

Descend to the canyon floor via a set of wide stairs to end up on a gravel path. Follow it through an open area until it ends. From there, you can head off in any direction you choose. Use common sense in this unforgiving environment, paying close attention to landmarks on any canyon trails you take. It’s very easy to get turned around in the canyon. Note the warning sign.

As you’ll see, there is a warren of trails throughout Horseshoe Canyon to explore. I usually head left at the end of the gravel path and wander out for a kilometre or two. Although the trail is easy to follow, all it takes is one side trip up a small canyon and you might wonder if you’re turned around.

Hike out as far as it feels comfortable and simple retrace your steps to return.

There is an option at the western side of the canyon to leave the canyon on a well-defined trail that climbs steeply to the rim to end by the picnic tables. It used to be the main entrance and exit point before the stairs were built. You can see the trail, eight photos down. It’s a popular area too, so you’re likely to see a lot of people using it.

Looking down at people walking the short maintained trail in Horseshoe Canyon
Looking down at people walking the short maintained trail in Horseshoe Canyon
Heed the warning sign
Heed the warning sign near the end of the gravel trail
Fabulous texture and designs in the eroded rock
Fabulous texture and designs in the eroded rock
Even though the parking lot may be full of cars, note how few people really explore off the main trail!
Even though the parking lot may be full of cars, note that there are no people to be seen once you’re off the main trail
Sign marking the boundary of the land purchased by the Nature Conservancy
Sign marking the boundary of the land purchased by the Nature Conservancy
Walking on lands owned by the Nature Conservancy
Walking on lands owned by the Nature Conservancy
There are a few hardy plants that manage to thrive in Horseshoe Canyon
There are a few hardy plants that manage to thrive in Horseshoe Canyon
There is another route to the top of the canyon that is easy to access
There is another route to the top of the canyon that is easy to access

God to know for your Horseshoe Canyon hike

  • Download a hiking app or two before you head out IF you’re planning to spend the day in Horseshoe Canyon. You must be able to use it without a cell signal.
  • In summer, the canyon gets oppressively hot. Take more water (3+ litres) than you think you need.
  • A sun hat with a wide brim and sun screen are a necessity. 
  • Wear loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing in the sun. The canyon is no place for black.
  • Take good hiking shoes rather than an open toed sandal. There are some cacti around.
  • Don’t forget the snacks and some energy bars.
  • Leave no trace and pack out whatever you pack in.
  • Stick to the trails to prevent further erosion.
  • If you happen to find a fossil – consider yourself very lucky, but leave it in place, take a photo of it and notify Kneehill County.

Best time to hike

The best time to do the Horseshoe Canyon hike is in the spring, summer, and fall. In winter the trail is open, and the area would be very beautiful with a dusting of snow. But the footing could be treacherous, especially if you move off the designated trail.

My preferred time to do this hike is in the fall. I love the colours that appear – and the temperatures are ideal for a hike. If you plan to hike in summer, plan to go first thing in the morning or late in the day. The canyon is an unforgiving environment on a hot day. Temperature’s soar – and if you haven’t brought enough water, you could become dehydrated very quickly.

Where to stay near Horseshoe Canyon

Horseshoe Canyon is a short drive away from Drumheller so a stay in town is your best bet. The Canalta Jurassic rated very good is a solid choice.

The Heartwood Inn – with its wonderful dinosaurs on the property is a good choice.

The Enchanted River Cottage is rated superb.

You'll find dinosaurs in the garden
You’ll find dinosaurs in the garden at the Heartwood Inn & Spa

Camping and cabins near the Horseshoe Canyon hike

Just across the road from Horseshoe Canyon is Horseshoe Canyon Campground. It’s expanding for summer 2022 and will be offering more full-service RV sites, more cabins and premium tent sites. I stayed in a cabin – and while basic (no running water or toilet but both are nearby), it’s ideal for those of you who want to visit the canyon at sunrise or sunset.

The cabins are directly across the road from Horseshoe Canyon
The cabins are directly across the road from Horseshoe Canyon

Horsethief Canyon

There is another canyon to explore in the Drumheller area called Horsethief Canyon. It’s not nearly as developed for hiking. Look for it as you head north on the North Dinosaur Trail (Highway 838). It’s just a 10-minute drive from the Royal Tyrrell Museum – and there is some signage indicating its presence.

The beautiful Horsethief Canyon
The beautiful Horsethief Canyon

Further reading on things to do in this part of Alberta

Click on the photo to bookmark to your Pinterest boards.

The Horseshoe Canyon hike near Drumheller, Alberta

 



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14 Best Cheap Sex Toys 2022


COURTESY

Unfortunately, sex toys can be pretty expensive. And I’m not just talking about those super high-tech devices either; I mean your simple bullet or wand vibrators and suction toys. If you want a quality toy that won’t give out on you after just one use, you might find yourself shelling out upwards of $150 a pop. And honestly? That can quickly become a very costly habit when it doesn’t need to be.

While we all want the latest and flashiest thing on the market, there are a ton of great sex toys that are really affordable. The best cheap sex toys should be made with body-safe materials like platinum-grade silicone or borosilicate glass. Even though they’re affordable, they won’t lack the quality that you need to have a safe and pleasurable time.

To help make the shopping process a little easier for you, I found 14 top-tier sex toys all under $50. From a super sleek glass dildo to the ever-popular rose stimulator, below you’ll find amazing quality sex toys that won’t break the bank. Happy shopping!

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1

This top-rated vibrator

Vibe

If you’re in the market for a classic vibe that won’t give out on you after one use, this is it. It has three vibration settings and a soft flutter-tip for targeted stimulation.

2

This viral rose toy

Rose Clitoral Suction Stimulator

Even if you haven’t seen this beauty on TikTok, you’ve def heard about it. This flower-shaped suction toy is perfect for those who like more discrete toys. It has 10 different suction modes, so you can have fun finding which one is your favorite.

3

This User-Friendly Rabbit

Jessica Rabbit 10 Function Rabbit Vibrator

This is such a great vibe for beginners. It has an easy-to-read control panel so you can effortlessly go back and forth between its three speeds and seven patterns.

4

This Multi-Use Vibe

Endless Joy Couple’s Vibrator

This isn’t your typical vibrator. This toy can work for both genitals and has 14 different ways to use it. From nipple clamps to penetration, this toy will keep you on your toes all night long.

5

This Oral Sex Toy

Satisfyer Pro 2 Air-Pulse Clitoris Stimulator

If clitoris stimulation is more your thing, this should be your new toy. The Satisfyer Pro is one of the most talked-about sex toys on the market. This toy uses pressure-wave technology to create a suction-like feeling that mimics a very experienced mouth if you know what I mean.

6

This finger vibe

Better Than Your Ex Clitoral Vibrator

Ever feel like your ex couldn’t get the job done? Well, now you can with this lil finger vibe ring. With its 10 different settings, you can turn your typical masturbation session into a mind-blowing experience with this gem.

7

This Custom-Speed Wand

Lulu 7+ Personal Wand Massager & Vibrator

There is sooooo much to love about this pretty wand. Not only does it remember the last setting that was used, so you can jump right back to where you left off, but it also has 20 vibrating patterns and five different speed levels. So that’s 160 (!!) different vibration modes for you to discover your fave.

8

This super fun one

Eggplant Emojibator™

Alright, admit it. You’ve used the eggplant emoji at least once in your life. Now, you can use it IRL with this cute vibe. It has 10 different speeds and is waterproof, so you can hop from the shower to the bed with this lil guy.

9

This Cosmic Glass Dildo

Stellar

Not only is this intergalactic-looking glass dil super nice to look at, but it feels even better inside. Its curved edges allow for great internal stimulation, and since it’s glass, it’s the perfect opportunity to give temperature play a try by dropping it in hot or cold water.

10

This Mini Vibe

Ako Blue

This adorable mini vibe hails from luxury sex toy Lelo’s sister brand, Pico Bong. Intended to be the place to get your first vibrator or sex toy from, Pico Bong creates fun and pleasurable toys made with Lelo’s quality at a fraction of the price.

11

This Mini Wand

Whisper Wand

Wand toys are def exciting, but their size can be a little intimidating. This mini version fits in the palm of your hand and has three intensities for a small but powerful stimulation.

12

This USB-Powered Bullet

Zee Bullet Vibrator

You can skip those pesky tiny batteries with this blue gem. Yep, no AAA batteries required! Instead, it’s USB rechargeable, so you’ll never have to worry about it completely dying on you—you’re just one quick charge away from a great O.

13

This Beginner Friendly Plugs

Nudge The People’s Plug

Interested in trying anal play? Give this blue plug a try. It has a soft curved tip for easy and comfortable insertion. Plus, at only 4.25 inches long, it’s a great starter plug for first-timers.

14

These Kegel balls

Inner Goddess Silver Metal Pleasure Balls

If you’ve read the iconic Fifty Shades series, then you know what these silver balls are. Inspired by the book, these silver metal balls are a great option for someone who’s used Kegal balls in the past but wants a bit more of a challenge. Each ball is 3.75 inches in circumference and has a combined weight of 221 grams.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

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The best Airbnbs in Santa Catarina to enjoy the summer in Brazil


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Santa Catarina is a Summer Paradise!

The coast of Santa Catarina, Brazil, is a dream destination, no doubt about it! But finding the best Airbnbs in Santa Catarina can be quite challenging, especially in the summer. Without proper guidance, it’s easy to end up lost in a sea of options or overlook some of the most incredible finds.

With idyllic beaches, exuberant nature, beautiful and charismatic people, this south region is the perfect place to enjoy summer in Brazil. As a matter of fact, it’s also great in the winter, spring, autumn… Truth is that no matter the season, traveling to Santa Catarina is a wonder, and it gets even better with the right accommodation.

Whether you’re looking for a secluded cabin, an apartment in Itapema with a sea view, a big house to enjoy a trendy beach with friends, or if you don’t even know what you want yet… In this ultimate guide to the best Airbnbs in Santa Catarina, you are sure to find the perfect option for your Brazilian holiday.

Below you will find the best accommodation in Brazil for summer with links to Airbnb and also Booking.com. Some properties are available on both platforms, so you can compare the prices and book the one that suits you best.

Luxury Airbnbs in Santa Catarina, Brazil

Photo of a luxurious apartment for rent in Itapema. It's one of the best Airbnbs in Santa Catarina.
Can we stay here FOREVER?!

After staying home for so long, perhaps all you want on your next vacation is to treat yourself to some days in paradise. Disconnect and reconnect in an exquisite place, put your feet up and have a drink, while watching the ocean through the window, and having some deliciously fresh seafood. If this is your case, or if you are in a larger group, these elegant Airbnbs in Brazil will fit like a (fancy) glove!

Modern apartment with sea view 📍 Airbnb in Itapema, SC

💲 Book your stay from BRL 800/night, 2-night minimum.

Apartment with sea view in Itapema for rent. It's the perfect place to stay for the summer, one of our choices for the best Airbnbs in Santa Catarina.
With this view, it’s for sure one of the best Airbnbs in Santa Catarina!

Facing the lovely Praia Central you find this awesome apartment in Itapema – a city that has become a favorite destination of celebrities like Neymar. Fully equipped, with contemporary decor and lighting, it has 2 suites and space for up to 6 guests. Wonderful mixer showers, balcony with barbecue grill, Nespresso machine, retro video game, washer & dryer and water purifier are some of the extras.


Alvorada Mountain 📍 Airbnb in Praia Grande, SC

💲 Book your stay from BRL 575/night, 2-night minimum.

Despite its name (since praia translates to beach), Praia Grande is not located on the coast, but in the canyons of Santa Catarina. Still, this Airbnb can be a unique option to spend a romantic summer in the mountains near waterfalls. The super cute chalet is pet-friendly, has a jacuzzi and even a telescope. The hosts also offer balloon rides, quad bikes, hiking trails and horseback riding.


– Private beach – Duplex House 📍 Airbnbs in Governador Celso Ramos, SC

Private beach property 

– Unique exceptional private beach property 

💲 Book your stay from BRL 250 per night/guest, 2-night minimum.

In addition to a brilliant career (being CEO of Waterdiam), host Anthony owns three of Santa Catarina’s most coveted properties on Airbnb. With a privileged location in a natural park on the shores of a private beach, these houses certainly are an invitation to peaceful days in paradise. They accommodate 4 to 8 people.


– Feet in the sand!! 4 large suites 📍Airbnb in Mar Grosso, Laguna, SC

💲 Book your stay from BRL 1350/night, 2-night minimum.

Huge apartment (1 per floor!), with all the amenities, for up to 8 people. Located in a prime area of Laguna, it has superior finishing, balcony with barbecue and sea views.

Woman in a viewpoint in Florianópolis, Brazil. You can see the Lagoa da Conceição at the back. It's one of the best places to stay in Florianópolis.
Florianópolis is magical! 💚

The best Airbnbs in Florianópolis, Brazil

World famous “Floripa” doesn’t require big introductions. Santa Catarina capital city offers a unique mix of beach and urban vibes, harboring all attributes for an unforgettable trip. And of course there are several Airbnbs in Florianópolis that are spectacular, for all tastes and budgets.

If you traveling to Floripa, read our guide to an amazing day in Florianópolis.

– Cottage, 10-night minimum

– Floripa cabin, 10-night minimum

– Gaudi cabin, surrounded by nature, 7-night minimum

💲 Book your stay from BRL 60 per night/guest.

Artist Jaime’s cottage and cabins are architectural masterpieces. Fully integrated with nature, these accommodations overlook Praia Brava’s hill and the north of the Magic Island (how Florianópolis is also known). Both cabins are pet friendly.


– Couple Getaway Private Chalet 

Gothic House

💲 Book your stay from BRL 98/night, 2-night minimum.

Professional surfer Marco Polo rents these lovely chalets in Florianópolis amidst trees and natural vegetation. Comfort and peace at super affordable values. They are close to Praia Mole (a surfers’ favorite), Praia da Joaquina and Lagoa da Conceição.


– Wooden House in Vila Rosemary, best view!, 2-night minimum

– Rustic house in nature near the sea, 3-night minimum

💲 Book your stay from BRL 150/night (the rate increases up from the 3rd guest).

Vila Rosemary rustic houses are located in Barra da Lagoa. They have panoramic views of the beach and access to mountain trails. Inside, lovingly designed details complement the experience. Pets are allowed upon prior contact.


Stylish Loft with Stunning Lagoon/Sea View

💲 Book your stay from BRL 250/night, 3-night minimum.

An impressive loft surrounded by nature on the slope of Lagoa da Conceição. It’s in the Airbnb Plus program of accommodations recognized for their high quality. A haven decorated with a fabulous view to elevate any couple’s energy in the heart of the island.


– Pool-House at Casarão das Palmeiras 

– Enchanted Creek Forest Chalet

💲 Book your stay from BRL 400/night (rates increase up from the 3rd guest), 3-night minimum.

If you want to vacay very close to water, these accommodations from biologist Lérida can be a good idea. From the pool house to the chalet with jacuzzi, the properties are well located, in Canto dos Araçás and Lagoa da Conceição, surrounded by nature. Both allow pets.


– The BirdHouse in Mole 

💲 Book your stay from BRL 590/night.

This spacious and colorful home accommodates 4 people in a unique tropical paradise on the island. It has a deck for sunbathing and panoramic views. Considered by many guests a magical place, BirdHouse is located on a small hill in Lagoa da Conceição. It is a 5-minute walk from Praia Mole.

Photo of a tropical beach in Santa Catarina, Brazil. You can see the emerald green sea and the lush green vegetation by the beach.
Santa Catarina is a state full of natural wonders.

Airbnbs in Santa Catarina to go whale-watching

The southern coast of Santa Catarina has a roots vibe and is well known for its natural beauty – which includes the whale mothers that visit every year to enjoy this glorious nursery. Whale-watching takes place from July to November, but the charms of this region last all year. Naturally, there are lots of incredible Airbnbs to spend the summer there.

– Wonderful studio with air conditioning 📍 Airbnbs in Praia do Rosa, SC

– Beautiful and complete cabin with a/c

💲 Book your stay from BRL 150/night, 4-night minimum.

The ElCa couple has seven other B&Bs in Rosa, but this studio and cabin are especially cute and cozy. The cabin accommodates up to 4 guests, has a trampoline and a children’s playhouse on the property. The studio has an area with a barbecue and wood oven.


– Studio by the sea 📍 Airbnbs in Barra da Ibiraquera, Imbituba, SC

– Villa Sayuri 1 – Oceanfront

Casa Thai next to the beach

💲 Book your stay from BRL 200/night, 2-night minimum.

Mevlana Garden Inn studios and houses have the Responsible Tourism seal for cleaning practices. The selected options accommodate 2 to 8 people, with access to the beach and beautiful surroundings. In addition to being pet friendly, the Inn has a game room and offers kayaks/stand up, meditation, spa, bistro and pizzeria.


Ombak Bagus Surf Villa – Barra de Ibiraquera 📍 Airbnb in Imbituba, SC

💲 Book your stay from BRL 230/night (rate increases up from the 3rd guest), 2-night minimum.

Stylish bungalow comfortably equipped, with easy access to the beach. Mixer shower, electric fireplace, outdoor grill and hot tub complete the amenities. An overall feel good experience.


Cool House 📍 Airbnb in Imbituba, SC

💲 Book your stay from BRL 430/night (rate increases up from the 4th guest), 2-night minimum.

The name doesn’t do justice to this accommodation that is definitely one of the best Airbnbs in Santa Catarina for the summer. A sophisticated and creative architectural project, with breathtaking views. It is close to the Dunas da Ribanceira, the peaceful Ibiraquera and the popular Praia do Rosa. Accommodates up to 4 guests and allows animals. There is no TV, but from the window you can see whales!


– Studio Gea Front Sea – Barra da Ibiraquera 📍 Airbnb in Imbituba, SC

💲 Book your stay from BRL 500/night (rate increases up from the 3rd guest), 2-night minimum.

Glass windows with 360º view of the dunes, Ibiraquera’s lagoon and the sea (which you can see even from the bathtub!). Accommodates up to 3 guests and accepts pets. It has a private balcony and an outdoor patio with space for a fire pit and a path to the beach.


– Loft in a condominium with beautiful view of the Lagoon 📍 Airbnb in Garopaba, SC

💲 Book your stay from BRL 500/night, 2-night minimum.

A private loft in a gated community. It is located on the top of the mountain next to the Atlantic Forest, close to Praia da Silveira, Praia da Ferrugem and Garopaba. A tastefully equipped accommodation to live special moments with your loved one. The deck is perfect for watching the sunset.


– Glass house with beautiful view on Ferrugem Hill 📍 Airbnbs in Garopaba, SC

Pontal do Galo – House from above

💲 Book your stay from BRL 750/night, 2-night minimum.

The lawyer and photographer Heloísa rents two jaw-dropping properties in Praia da Ferrugem. With charming furniture, glass walls that let the natural light in, balconies with barbecue facilities and large decks with a cinematographic view of Lagoa da Encantada. The house upstairs also has a heated jacuzzi. Both accommodate 4 guests and allow animals.


Wonderful house facing the sea 📍 Airbnb in Garopaba, SC

💲 Book your stay from BRL 5500/night, 4-night minimum.

Accommodating up to 14 guests, Silveira Beach House is a mansion worthy of a magazine cover. It has an infinity pool, jacuzzi, gym, sauna, fireplace, wood stove, exclusive access to the beach and an organic garden. A high-level structure to live royal days in Brazil with friends and family.

Experience Santa Catarina, Brazil!

Photo of Itapema Beach, a hotspot for summer in Brazil. It's packed with hotels and good options for Airbnbs in Santa Catarina.
Itapema Beach is one of the famous spots for Summer in Brazil.

With so many amazing options to choose from, it’s hard to resist that voice telling you to pack your bags and throw yourself to Santa Catarina beaches, right? Now that you know the best Airbnbs in Santa Catarina for the summer (or any time of the year really), you may decide your destination based on the accommodation that shook your heart the most. ❤️😎🏖️

We hope we have helped you to transform your Brazilian travel dream into your next holiday. And when you make your reservation, don’t forget to say that you got there thanks to Love and Road tips. If you loved this post or have any questions, leave a comment below. Bon Voyage!

For more tips on how to find and book the perfect place to stay for your next trip, have a look at our Accommodation Guide here.

Love this guide to the best beaches and Airbnbs in Santa Catarina? Pin it for later!

The ultimate guide to the best Airbnbs in Santa Catarina, Brazil. We listed the most beautiful, luxurious, and unique accommodation on Airbnb on the best beaches in Santa Catarina. This Southern Brazilian state is famous for its nature, great food, and European heritage, an exciting destination still unknown from mass tourism.

Maria Carolina and Leonardo Gonçalves, authors of this article about the best Airbnbs in Santa Catarina for summer in Brazil.

Authors: Maria and Leo

Passionate about traveling, gastronomy, the universe and arts, when not dreaming of the next destination or binge-watching a show, Maria and Leo are multitasking between projects, among which Minuto da Terra stands out. They love to share their experiences and recommendations, as well as to meet people and new cultures. Born in Itajaí, the couple has lived and visited several cities in Santa Catarina, currently having Itapema as their home sweet home.



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5 Outstanding Fernie Winter Hikes


When you think of Fernie, BC in the winter, you likely think of all the great downhill skiing and boarding available at Fernie Alpine Resort. On every other winter visit to Fernie, John and I have made a beeline for the hill – always hoping for one of their epic powder days. However, when you have a few dogs with you, including one that can pick locks and get out of rooms, your focus changes. We decided to spend two nights and three days checking out five Fernie winter hikes. 

In mid-February, the weather in Fernie can be snowy, rainy, a combination of those too – or if you’re lucky like we were, you can catch a high-pressure system. We delighted in sunny, blue-sky days. Over the three days we knocked off five Fernie winter hikes, all of which would be good to do on snowshoes if it was snowier. As it was, we used microspikes on a couple of the trails – something I’d recommend carrying in your pack, no matter what.

The five Fernie winter hikes we did included the lovely Fairy Creek Falls, a hike on Montane Blue, one of the Montane area trails, a short, easy hike on the Ancient Cottonwood Trail, a steep hike up to Mt. Fernie Bench and a hike on the Gorby Trail in Mt. Fernie Provincial Park. 

Pretty hiking through open woods with a mountain backdrop on the Montane trails

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Fairy Creek Falls Winter Hike

The Fairy Creek Falls hike starts from the Fernie Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Information Centre at the east end of town right at the corner of Commerce Road and Highway 3. Inside, pick up a copy of the latest Fernie winter trail map.

In the parking lot, you’ll see a large sign indicating the Fairy Creek Falls. The trail is well marked and easy to follow all the way to the falls at the base of Mount Proctor. The first 10 minutes or so aren’t that pleasant because of highway noise. But the minute you turn right to follow the stream, the noise dissipates. 

There is the option to continue up to the First Bench and ultimately the Second Bench on Mount Proctor – but assess avalanche risk if you plan to continue.  

Total distance: 4.7 km return

Elevation gain: 105 metres

Time needed: 90 minutes – 2 hours

Other information: There is a small sign saying Avalanche Danger – just before the steep hill you must cross to get to Fairy Creek Falls. It’s a short distance, but use caution and assess the snowpack before you start out on this section. If you’re not familiar with avalanche travel, then do not proceed.

Map of trail to Fairy Creek Falls
Map of trail to Fairy Creek Falls
Pretty views as you head up Fairy Creek in Fernie
Pretty views as you head up Fairy Creek
Lots of signage with km markers too
Lots of signage with km markers too
Getting close to Fairy Creek Falls
Getting close to Fairy Creek Falls
There is a small avalanche zone you must cross just before reaching Fairy Creek Falls
There is a small avalanche zone you must cross just before reaching Fairy Creek Falls
Fairy Creek Falls flowing in February
Fairy Creek Falls flowing in February
John crossing the avalanche slope
John crossing the avalanche slope after visiting the falls
Pretty views of the Fernie area near the beginning of the trail
Pretty views of the Fernie area near the beginning of the trail

Montane Hut in Fernie

The Montane trails in Fernie were my favourite – primarily because the walking was exceptionally beautiful through open forest with plenty of mountain views. We parked on Coal Creek Road before the bridge. There is signage at the Coal Creek Trailhead and quite a network of trails that will take you to the Montane Hut or the summit of Castle Mountain if you’re after something longer. 

We ended up hiking on the Montane Blue Trail to the hut. It was easy and very scenic. Rather than complete the full loop on the way back to the trailhead, we took the easy Beaver Trail down (not signed anywhere as far as we could tell) ……to a neighbourhood, where we had to ask for directions. The signage just dies. The good news – people were helpful, and it was only a 10-minute walk back to the car via a mix of trails and roads. That’s where the Trailforks app would come in handy.

Total distance: 5.6 km minimum and up to 11 km if you follow the Montane Trail for its full length

Elevation gain: 115 metres minimum 

Time needed: 2 – 3 hours

Other information: There is the option to head up Castle Mountain via the Uprooted Trail. 

Trail signage: There’s loads of trail signage but much of it is confusing – and it’s often missing where you need it. Download the Trailforks app so you can figure out where you are. I found many places where it said don’t go unless you were a fat biker or on snowshoes, yet there was no other way to continue. And we weren’t damaging trails that were already hard-packed. Someone needs to walk these trails with a person new to the area to appreciate how confusing much of it is.

Map of the Montane trails in Fernie
Map of the Montane trails in Fernie
Heading off on Montane Blue on route to the hu
Heading off on Montane Blue on route to the hut
Open woods and lovely walking though sometimes confusing signage
Open woods and lovely walking though sometimes confusing signage
I have never seen so much moose poop as I did on this trail
I have never seen so much moose poop as I did on this trail
Exceptionally beautiful winter hiking in Fernie
Exceptionally beautiful winter hiking in Fernie
We hardly see a soul on a weekday afternoon
We hardly see a soul on a weekday afternoon
Dramatic skies on the way to the hut
Dramatic skies on the way to the hut 
Views over to Fernie Alpine Resort from the hut on the Montane Trail
Views over to Fernie Alpine Resort from the hut on the Montane Trail
Some of the trails are good for fat biking in the winter
Some of the trails are good for fat biking in the winter
Looks like there has been many a fire by the cabin
Looks like there has been many a fire by the Montane Hut
Returning to the parking lot via the Easy Beaver Trail though we never saw a sign for it
Returning to the parking lot via the Easy Beaver Trail though we never saw a sign for it

Ancient Cottonwood Interpretive Trail near Fernie

If you want a quick hike that will put in a state of awe, hike the Ancient Cottonwood Interpretive Trail  – located about 10 km west of the turn-off to the Fernie ski resort. It’s a minute’s drive off Highway 3 via Morrisey Road. Drive across the Elk River, and then the train tracks. There is a big open area after you cross the train tracks where you can park. The trailhead, marked by a sign is after the bridge, but before the train tracks.

The trail leaves the road and meanders parallel to the river to a grove of the oldest and biggest black cottonwood trees in the world. The trees are thought to be more than 400 years old. Some sported a 10-metre trunk circumference. This grove of cottonwoods was just discovered in 2003. They are now protected through the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

I find massive trees like these black cottonwoods to be magical. I can’t begin to imagine what they’ve seen in their lifetime. Craning my neck, I look up – perhaps 100 feet and wonder who calls these trees home. Apparently, the endangered western screech owl is just one of the bird species that nests in the trees. The other notable feature is their deeply furrowed bark. You can’t help but run your hands over it. 

This may be a short trail that won’t get your heart rate up, but it’s one that I highly recommend doing. 

Total distance: Approximately 2 km return

Elevation gain: Nil

Time needed: 30 minutes – 1 hour

Other information: You can hike this trail any day of the year but do not go near it on a windy day. The chances of being injuring by a falling tree limb would be high. The trail has several trees down, so you need to be able to climb over and under. Not a place for strollers  or wheelchairs!

A sign at the side of the road before you cross the train tracks is the trailhead
A sign at the side of the road before you cross the train tracks is the trailhead
The Ancient Cottonwood Trail starts at the Morrisey Bridge by the Elk River
The Ancient Cottonwood Trail starts at the Morrisey Bridge by the Elk River
Expect to go over or under quite a few downed logs on the trail
Expect to go over or under quite a few downed logs on the trail
Up to 400 year old black cottonwood trees
Up to 400 year old black cottonwood trees – some of the oldest in the world
Incredibly thick, textured bark on the ancient cottonwood tree
Incredibly thick, furrowed bark on the ancient black cottonwood tree
Some fencing to keep you on the trail
Some fencing to keep you on the trail
Looking way up
Looking way up
Warning sign about the danger of hiking the trail when its windy
Warning sign about the danger of hiking the trail when its windy
The parking is on the other side of the railway tracks
The parking is on the other side of the railway tracks

Mount Fernie Bench – one of the steeper Fernie winter hikes

The Mount Fernie Bench hike is a great one for a workout. From the parking lot, you head up to a road for about 75 m and then turn left into the woods beside a sign marked Fernie Mtn. Trail. The path was boot-beaten when we went up so it was easy to follow. After a fresh dump of snow, it would likely be more challenging. 

This is a trail the backcountry skiers love as well. They schlep their equipment up and then ski or board steeply down through the trees. 

Be prepared to climb most of the way. It is a steep grade on a narrow trail through the trees. About a third of the way up, you get some peek-a-boo views of Fernie but nothing else until you reach the bench. I would encourage you to bring icers of microspikes on this hike. The views from the Bench of Three Sisters and Mt. Batman are excellent.

Distance: A rough guess of 4 km return

Elevation: Approximately 550 metres

Time Needed: 2.0 – 3.0 hours

Other information: This hike is a popular workout hike for locals. Don’t go above the bench which is buried in snow in mid-winter. It’s also the first big opening you reach with a view and there is a sign pointing to Mt. Batman. If you go higher, you get into avalanche terrain.

When you see this sign you know you're on the right trail
When you see this sign you know you’re on the right trail
The start of the Mount Fernie Bench
Heading for the Mount Fernie Bench – the turnoff to the left is just up about 50 metres
Just before it gets really steep
Just before it gets really steep
Peek a boo views of Fernie
Peek a boo views of Fernie
The view from Mt Fernie Bench to Batman Mountain
The view from Mt Fernie Bench to Batman Mountain
This will give you an idea of how steep the trail is
This will give you an idea of how steep the trail is
Enjoying the view of Fernie as we head back towards the parking lot
Enjoying the view of Fernie as we head back towards the parking lot

Mt. Fernie Provincial Park hiking

If you have a look at the Fernie winter trails map, you’ll see a network of trails in Mt. Fernie Provincial Park, accessed off Mt. Fernie Park Road – the one that leads to Island Lake Lodge. There are three parking areas and all are easy to find once you are on the road.

We started at the Gorby Bridge trailhead with the intent to do a loop hike – which as it turns out is not marked on the Fernie winter map. We followed the Gorby Trail to a turnoff onto Verboten. The trail – and I use that word loosely – did nothing but climb – though there was never a marker to give any indication that we were on Verboten. Without snowshoe tracks to follow, you’d just feel like you were in the trees with no idea of where to go. We ended up turning back and retracing our steps back to the Gorby Trail. 

I’m so glad we did because the Gorby Trail ends up taking you into some wonderful sections of forest with majestic trees. The downside is that after all our hiking, we were running out of time to do the loop that would include Old Goat, Woody, Sherwoody and back to the trailhead. But from what we saw, this is a lovely trail, but you probably need 3 hours to do it justice.

Distance: Good question. I didn’t use Trail Forks and the signage never gave us distance but I’m guessing we did about 6 km return.

Elevation: If we’d just stuck to the Gorby Trail, I’d call it gentle – with perhaps 100 metres gained to the intersection with Old Goat.

Time needed: 2.5 – 4 hours

Fernie winter hikes in Mt. Fernie Provincial Park
Planning our hiking route
Starting off on the Gorbie Trail
Starting off on the Gorby Trail
Good signage on the main trails in Mt. Fernie Provincial Park
Good signage on the main trails
Truly delightful winter hiking in Fernie
Truly delightful winter hiking in Fernie

Where to stay in Fernie

As expected, you will find plenty of accommodation up at the ski hill. Snow Creek Lodge is one that offers ski in, ski out access. You can also book accommodation through Fernie Central Reservations.

In town, check out the Tiny Homes by Snow Valley Lodging

We ended up staying in a lovely B&B – Birch Meadows Lodge, run by a Swiss couple located about 10 minutes out of town. Views were spectacular and it was very peaceful. The downside is no WiFi in the cabins.

View from our cabin at Birch Meadows Lodge
View from our cabin at Birch Meadows Lodge

Support of Fernie’s winter trails

From an outsider looking in, I found the myriad of organizations looking after trails to be a tad confusing in Fernie. Were we supposed to pay or donate to use the trails? Apparently, most of the trails are run by volunteers and they always need infusions of cash. So yes, is the short answer. They have QR codes at various trailheads to take you to payment pages. Otherwise have a look at some of the following websites.

The Coal Creek Heritage Society looks after the cross-country and multi-use trails at the Montane Trail Network along with the Ridgemont Trail Network. 

The Fernie Nordic Society looks after the Elk Valley Nordic Centre and the Fernie Golf Course.

The Fernie Trails Alliance looks after trails that are on Crown land, in BC Parks, the City of Fernie, Island Lake Lodge and more.

A few things to take on your Fernie winter hikes

Always pack the 10 hiking essentials.

I would recommend packing a pair of microspikes in case you run into icy trails. I always have a pair in my pack, just in case.

Take some hand warmers – especially in Fernie’s climate which can be very damp in winter. 

A pair of gaiters would come in handy on a snowy day.

Some people might like the extra support offered by a pair of poles

Map showing approximate location of the Fernie winter hikes

                       

Further reading on things to do in the winter in the Kootenays

Click on the photo to bookmark to your Pinterest boards.

5 outstanding Fernie winter hikes



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Sex & Love Horoscope, Week of February 25, 2022, Cosmo Sexoscopes


What is happening: The Moon is in Capricorn till it enters airy Aquarius on Sunday, then zooms into dreamy Pisces on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the Sunshine one-way links up with Uranus, the world of surprises, and Mercury runs into Saturn, the earth of blockages. Ultimately, on Thursday, really like planets Venus and Mars bump into Pluto, the planet of electricity, regulate, and transformation.

What that means for you:

Aries

There is very little wrong with having factors sluggish! You don’t have to rush into each individual relationship—sometimes, it’s superior to consider your time and get to know the other human being to start with. Believe extended-time period this week. Whether you’re trying to get a initial day, DTR with your situationship, or transfer in with your lengthy-time boo, choose this week to definitely believe issues by means of. You’ll be equipped to gauge whether or not it’s genuinely the most effective selection for you—then you can act.

Taurus

I hate to say it, but your adore daily life is kinda in a rut ideal now. Whether you’re one and desperate to mingle, finding bored with your existing situationship, or experience like lifetime in the bedroom is obtaining uninteresting, this 7 days it’s up to you to spice points up! Obtain some relationship apps! Check with out another person who’s not your normal variety! Check out some thing new with your date! Get a small kinky with your spouse! You’ll be amazed at how refreshing it is to shake points up.

Gemini

It is been a true psychological time for you currently (thanks, Pisces season), and this week’s astro-weather conditions is truly no exception. You’re seeking out more meaningful, deep connections, and irrespective of your stereotypically superficial methods, you really do not want to settle for something less than the actual offer. Catching emotions for a date or a hookup is generally guaranteed, JSYK!

Cancer

Alright Cancer, you’re having the eco-friendly light—it’s time to dedicate. Your like daily life is achieving a essential place, and you are staying place in a place to make a big choice. Are you completely ready to DTR? Are you completely ready to ~pop the issue~? Or do you assume that the ideal factor for your like lifestyle would be to dedicate to breaking up? Just take some time to contemplate. By the close of the week, you’ll know precisely what to do.

Leo

At the begin of the 7 days, the Aquarius Moon at is activating your chart’s associations zone, generating this a great time to hook up, date, or just spend lots of good quality time with your boo. The relaxation of the week? Not so awesome, sad to say. Saturn, the planet of blockages, is lighting up your chart’s zone of relationships, and Wednesday’s astro-weather conditions reeks of rejection. You could possibly get ghosted—you may possibly even get dumped—but if your relationship’s powerful and secure, you have absolutely nothing to fear about!

Virgo

It’s a good weekend for flirting and acquiring your following fling! Hooking up is defs inspired by this astro-temperature. In simple fact, this 7 days is pretty for your adore lifestyle in general—as extensive as you are willing to depart your ease and comfort zone. Acquire initiative—you’re the one shooting your shot, you are the 1 who initiates a hookup, and you’re the one particular that is gotta consider charge.

Libra

If you’re one, the Aquarius Moon at the beginning of the 7 days will be stellar for your love lifestyle! You are sensation much more upbeat, charismatic, and ~hot~, so getting your up coming fling is a whole breeze. Love it! But really don’t expect any long lasting like to arrive from your hookup…Saturn, the earth of blockages, is suggesting that you’re gonna get ghosted. Sorry, bb!

Scorpio

Lifestyle at property is receiving a very little stressful—your relatives/roommates are receiving on your nerves, and you have to escape! The good thing is, this weekend is best for having out of the dwelling and residing it up! Acquire your buds out to the bar and go searching for your upcoming hookup. If you never get substantially action this weekend, don’t get worried. Wednesday’s astro-climate is suggesting that you are obtaining astonished with an unanticipated relationship with an individual tremendous sweet!

Sagittarius

I despise to be the bearer of bad news, but this weekend, your really like everyday living is p. much useless. Sorry, bb. If you’re solitary, the start off of the week is a great time to open up your dating apps and make some new connections, but you are not assured to get it on with any one. Shooting your shot feels exceptionally tough correct now—it’s just tough to come across the phrases to say. You want to unwind. Concentrate on your self. Next week’s astrology will be considerably nicer.

Capricorn

The weekend is not the most effective for your really like existence, Capricorn. But the 7 days alone is magnificent! Uranus, the world of surprises, is lights up your chart’s zone of romance, sexual intercourse, and enjoyable on Wednesday, producing it quite probable that you are going to bump into your subsequent likely crush. Shoot your shot on Thursday—the enjoy planets Venus and Mars are getting activated in your indicator, earning it an awesome day to improve your marriage status!

Aquarius

This week is not it. Though the Moon in your indication at the starting of the 7 days is terrific for connecting with other folks, it is nonetheless tricky to sense in touch with your companion. Saturn, the earth of blockages, is in your signal appropriate now, making it rough for you to enable your walls down. What are you fearful of? Remaining susceptible and open up is scary, but it’s necessary if you truly want to bond with your unique another person.

Pisces

Satisfied birthday!!! If you’re looking for a birthday boo, this weekend’s Capricorn Moon is astounding for going out with your crew, having a fantastic time, and it’s possible even likely property with another person attractive! If you have pleasurable, make positive you maintain that cutie’s number—Wednesday’s the perf time to shoot your shot and talk to them out for round two, or even a passionate day!

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