STOP #1: CANOEING
Note: This canoeing trip was made possible as part of a contest I won from the Outdoor Adventure Show.
Canoe, kayak and paddleboard rentals are available to discover the mesmerizing turquoise Lightning Lake. Prices are linked and definitely reasonable for such a stunning location. Canoeing was definitely quite challenging, especially since I was steering and due to external wind conditions (attempting to steer and row simultaneously are not easy okay), but definitely a good arms workout and a fun way to explore the vicinity.
STOP #2: CASCADE LOOKOUT (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)
In the summer, this is a paved yet winding road up to Cascade Lookout, opposite Manning Park Resort. It is 7.5km and 500m up to the Cascade Lookout with great 360 degree views.
Gazing out at the unlimited horizon as the mountain range stretches on as far as the eye can see allowed me the experience of awe. It reminded me of this quote "Awe is the sense of wonder and amazement that occurs when someone is inspired by great knowledge, beauty, sublimity or might. It's the experience of confronting something greater than yourself." It was truly a breathtaking and panoramic cascading mountain range (completely befitting of the name).
STOP #3: DRY RIDGE TRAIL (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)
Estimated Time: 1 hour, Expected Length: 4km, Difficulty Level: Moderate
Dry Ridge Trail is located in Manning Park, and the trailhead is on your left and begins a slight distance up a gravel road. First, park at the cascade lookout. Your first resting point is about 30 minutes up. It is certainly of a higher elevation than expected, but venture up further as the payoff is high - soon you will be able to drink in picturesque seemingly endless mountain views on the other side of the ridge. I promise you, it is as calming, therapeutic and enthralling as Middle Earth.
On the winding car drive down, I read this quote which I felt was apt to describe the experience of being present and in awe in such naturally stunning surroundings. "The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mysterious. It is the power of all true art and science." - Albert Einstein
This is basically (my idea of) an all-inclusive one-day itinerary to maximize your enjoyment at wonderful Manning Park. As always, I would love to hear about your experiences.