By Laura Keil

Planning a hike and realizing you can’t see the mountains can be a huge bummer. Plus the particulate matter in the air can make serious hikes or long-distance bikes unhealthy even for those without underlying health conditions. But if particulate matter is low to moderate (Under 50ppm, say, or an Air Quality Health Index rating of 1-6), it’s still nice to get out and do something where the payoff isn’t the view and doesn’t involve a lot of exercise.

Visit historic sites – there are number of historic sites in the area, and the museum can provide guidance on how to get there.
Visit some big trees – there are a number of great big cedars on the Swift Creek Loop trail. The whole loop takes about an hour to an hour and a half.
Visit some waterfalls near roadways (see last week’s column on waterfall hikes!)
Do the marsh trail and take some smoke-enhanced eerie photos
Go kayaking or paddleboarding on a mellow lake (cranberry/cedarside, or a sheltered area of kinbasket for example)
Visit the museum
Visit the library
Go berry picking (blueberries and Saskatoons are ripening)
Go geocaching (some are accessible to roads)
Get a pedicure or massage (those tread-tired feet and sore back deserve to be pampered and be ready for when the smoke clears!)