Chasing Down An Urban Legend: The Minden Shoe Tree

I have just spent a glorious week in cottage country.  Well, it was almost a glorious week.  The one bump in the road; Mother Nature did not feel the need to bless us with sunshine and balmy days but instead saw fit to throw some rain and fall like temperatures for almost half the week.  What does one do in cottage country when the weather is less than ideal and your stuck inside a lake house with two teens and a toddler?  You chase down an urban legend of course! 

Consultation with TripAdvisor led us to believe that somewhere in the general area was a “Shoe Tree”.  A large tree that was started by locals and added to by tourists on their summer journeys through this beautiful part of the country.  The urban legend tells us this tree holds hundreds, perhaps thousands of pairs of shoes, hung, nailed and placed with care through it’s massive branches.  This was something I had to see for myself. 

On a rainy afternoon we left our cottage and headed into town in search of the elusive Minden Shoe Tree.  Conversations with the Minden locals at the bowling alley, the grocery store and even the gas station turned up dead ends.  The local folk had never heard of any “Shoe Tree”, some people we questioned looked at me like I might be the craziest tourist they had ever seen, but finally, a hit.  One local did know of a Shoe Tree, but it was in Kinmount and had been cut down for safety reasons.  Disappointment!

Unwilling to give up, we followed one last desperate lead.  Following South Lake Road “out of town”, searching for the elusive “Shoe Tree”.  We were rewarded with sweet, sweet victory.  We found the Minden Shoe Tree!   

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It does exist, and it is more than a little cool!

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Shoes up that tree and in it’s branches.  Too many shoes to count.  What is the story of this wacky tree?  It has been said that the Minden Shoe Tree was started by locals seeking good luck.  It’s rumoured that if you hang a pair of shoes on one of the local Shoe Tree’s it would bring you good luck.  Who couldn’t use a little good luck?  I could!  My family decided we just had to add to this unique local attraction. 

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I was a little bit proud of our rain soaked crew for tracking down this urban legend.  We all took turns tacking up our shoes and snapping a few pictures.  Here’s hoping our good luck soon follows!

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If you go:  Be sure to take your lucky shoes, some nails and hammer, and of course your camera.

Where to find it:  Yes!  I am going to reveal the location of the Minden Shoe Tree!  This particular tree is located about a 9 minute drive outside of Minden on South Lake Road.  The closest street address is 2354 South Lake Road, Minden. 

Happy Hunting!



Comments

  1. Darlene Schuller says:

    Oh how awesome girl!! When I was a little girl we use to go hunting for shoe trees…. where we lived there were a few…

    Sorry the weather was sucky…. !!

  2. Debbie Bashford says:

    very cool, I will have to keep my eyes open to try and spot one

  3. What fun for everyone I’m glad you stuck to it & what an amazing sight

  4. Oh my! Can’t believe I have not heard about this before … this is so neat!

  5. How cool! I’ve never heard of shoe trees! Glad you found it.

  6. Chandra Christine O'Connor says:

    I think its an interesting idea but a smelly one too.

  7. Josephine says:

    We had a summer home in this area for close to 10 years and I have never heard of the Minden “Shoe Tree”. For sure next time we are in the area I will be looking for it…shoe, hammer and nails in hand! Thanks for finding it and for sharing!

  8. that’s an awesome tree

  9. SO COOL! 😀 What a cool hidden gem.. I love the idea behind it. 🙂

  10. Ahhh, thats so cool. Shoe tree, neat

  11. Amy Heffernan says:

    This is SO neat and i have never heard of it before. What an amazing sight!

  12. Judy Cowan says:

    Neat idea! Sorry to hear that Mother Nature didn’t cooperate with you week but it sounds like you still had lots of fun!

  13. Anne Taylor says:

    I love love love this tree! Oh, the stories it could tell!

  14. That is so awesome and amazing!

  15. Wow that is really cool!

  16. Lynda Cook says:

    Awesome shoe tree and so glad you found it, thanks for sharing the pictures and the address!!

  17. Sorry the weather did not cooperate with you all. But, nice find with the shoe tree–that is funny that more of the locals in town did not know about it.

  18. Victoria Ess says:

    So neat!! It’s awesome that you found it!

  19. Hey!! We have a shoe tree here too (in South Western Ontario)!! I didn’t know the story behind it but it’s cool, maybe next time I’ll leave a shoe there for good luck 🙂

  20. I want to see this! Thanks for telling us exactly where it is!!

  21. Hmm some of those look pretty old and VERY high… I wonder how long this tradition has been going.

  22. Haha, I was wondering how people got them so high up!

  23. I meant to come back to this post earlier. I had this idea today that with all the boys growing out of their sneakers? maybe my next move is to create one off these trees?

  24. I love it….that is the coolest looking tree. I hope your luck comes through!

  25. Jodi Mitrovic says:

    Very cool! I’d never heard of this before!

  26. What a weird but fun idea!