Guess who’s back? Shady’s back. Whoops, I was just jamming to some Eminem. Marina’s back, or should I say… Miss Teenage Southwestern Ontario 2017! I am back with some advice too – advice on my favourite place to visit in my hometown, Mississauga, Ontario.

Now I can be girly and tell you the mall is my favourite place, but you know me… the tomboy in a dress! My favourite place to visit on my spare time is known as The Riverwood Conservancy.


What is Riverwood? 

A place to wander where there is no wifi. A place where cell phones, tablets, laptops, and televisions no longer become a distraction. A place where technology is on pause and face-to-face communication comes to life again. A place where your number of likes is irrelevant and message notifications can wait. A place where your mind and body can be free.


Riverwood is a beautiful nature trail. It is a place I like to go to clear my mind and escape the busy city life. I find peace watching the river flow and comfort climbing up top to enjoy the scenery from a bird’s perspective. Despite my urge to go off trail and explore deep between the trees, I strongly suggest following the man-made path for your own personal safety *sarcastic tone*.


I find cute and interesting creatures at Riverwood such as squirrels, chipmunks, owls, ospreys, hawks, turkey vultures, white-tailed deer, red foxes, and salamanders. I also enjoy some unique and captivating plants, as the scenery is unlike any other.


Riverwood is known as the “lungs” of Mississauga, since it is purely filled with trees and living species. If you ever run out of oxygen, Riverwood is the place to refill (best advice ever, I know).


How did I find Riverwood?

Growing up, I would annually be a part of the cross country team and one of the most common race locations was Erindale Park. If you walk far enough at Riverwood, it turns into Erindale Park. While exploring Erindale, I discovered that there was a much more peaceful park nearby. Ever since then, my bike route has turned into a Riverwood self-reflection time.


What can you do at Riverwood?

Make it a date! Set up a picnic on the open field and eat some fruit with your partner whilst enjoying the scenery.

Bond with your family! Go for a walk along the trail. If you have a fishing permit, fish with your parents or siblings.

Take some Instagram bangers! Invite your friends and bring a good quality camera to have a photoshoot with the colourful autumn leaves or fresh spring vibes.

Steer away from the gym! Rather than working out indoors on sweaty machines, go for a run under the sun or bike through the bushes to burn off that bowl of pasta you just ate (and I did too…).

Explore with Fluffy the dog! Bring your pet when you visit Riverwood and explore nature together. Your dog will love to dig in the dirt and play fetch with the sticks you find.

At Riverwood, you will always create memories and have fun!


What do I like to do at Riverwood?

I usually bike down to Riverwood and find a comfy rock to have a seat on. I turn off my music and listen to the aesthetic sound of birds chirping and water flowing down the stream.

My advice is to either sit back and enjoy the view or go for a hike to explore hidden trails.

Don’t forget to check in with me here for updates on events leading up to the nationals!

Sparkle and Shine,

Marina, Miss Teenage Southwestern Ontario 2017


Written by: Marina

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