Embrace Colourful New Adventures this Fall
Durham and Northumberland
Sweater weather has arrived and with it, plenty of excuses to enjoy a breath of fresh air. Whether you’re looking for something that’s refreshingly laid back or want to get your adrenaline pumping, our local communities deliver lots of Instagrammably unforgettable experiences.
I know there’s plenty to discover right in our own backyard during the most colourful time of the year. Here are some ideas:
TAKE A HIKE
Discover the burnt oranges, crimson reds and bright yellows of fall – no filter needed. Bowmanville Westside Marshes Conservation Area on West Beach Road has a 1.5km-looping trail between two wetlands and is the ideal length for little ones and is generally stroller and wheelchair friendly. Want more of a workout? Hop onto the picturesque Waterfront Trail.
Enniskillen Conservation Area offers 5.5km of trails. Discover diverse habitats, including ponds, a swamp, the Bowmanville Creek, meadows and woodlands. It has two entrances on Holt Road in Clarington.
Long Sault Conservation Area nestled in the heart of the Oak Ridges Moraine, offers more than 18km of marked trails with a range of difficulty levels. It’s located on Woodley Road in Bowmanville. Stephen’s Gulch Conservation Area located north of Bowmanville on Stephens Mill Road, is home to 3km of trails and protects a large area of deciduous forest and coniferous forest/swamp.
Ganaraska Forest in Port Hope is 11,000 acres of protected land and boasts hundreds of kilometres of trails. It offers year-round opportunities for activities, including mountain biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Motorized activities such as off-road motorcycle riding, ATVing and snowmobiling are permitted in the West Forest and East Forest. Treetop Trekking is located in the Central Forest and was named Ontario’s Top Attraction for 2020 – the grand prize in Attraction Ontario’s People’s Choice Awards.
HIT THE ROAD
There are plenty of good reasons for a scenic road trip through our rural farming community this fall. Follow A Country Path and meet the farmers and the makers at places like Geissberger Farmhouse Cider, Gallery on the Farm, 3Beez.Buzz and Tyrone Mills, one of Canada’s oldest water-powered grist mills. Discover why so many families visit Knox Pumpkin Farm, a fourth-generation family farm, year after year, including pumpkin picking, a mini corn maze and tractor rides. It’s offering prepaid ticketing this fall to help with social distancing.
Archibalds Orchards & Estate Winery in Bowmanville is open for apple picking and also offers outdoor wine tasting on weekends. Pick up giftware, local preserves, honey and maple syrup from its farm market. Weekend specials include delicious treats like apple pies, crisp and caramel apple dumplings. Its wines and ciders are harvested, fermented and bottled right on the farm. That’s local!
STOCK UP AT A FARMERS’ MARKET
Visit the Port Hope Farmers’ Market, located behind Town Hall at 56 Queen St., for an amazing selection of local produce, goods and more. It’s open every Saturday in October from 8am to 1pm. While there, take a stroll through downtown Port Hope, which was transformed into fictional Derry, Maine for the chilling adaptation of Stephen King’s IT for IT CHAPTER ONE, released in 2017, and IT CHAPTER TWO.
The Ganaraska River that runs through Port Hope is yet another draw. Thousands of chinook and coho salmon swim from Lake Ontario through the river on their way to their home spawning grounds from mid-August to early October and thousands of trout make the same journey from late March until early May or through October until mid-December.
SNUGGLE A GOAT, HOP ON A TRAIN
Yep! You can enjoy ‘goat shmurgle’ an ‘alpaca knuffle shuffle’ or a ‘Friday night alpaca walk’ at Haute Goat. One of Port Hope’s premiere agricultural-entrepreneur attractions, it’s also the home of Haute Goat Yoga and more. Enjoy a meal at the Screaming Goat Cafe, which serves up handmade meals and snacks. Make it a whole day and take a hike through 200 acres of farmland, forest and trails.
Climb aboard the York-Durham Heritage Railway train for a breathtaking journey through the scenic Oak Ridges Moraine from nearby Uxbridge to Stouffville and back. October events include a Fall High Tea, a Thanksgiving Harvest Dinner Train, Fall Celebration and a Day Out with Thomas™. In November, enjoy a Wizards Festival.
You’ll find a diverse range of experiences across Durham Region this fall, including Haunted Ghost Walks in Greenwood and Pickering Fairy Tours, also in Greenwood. Check out Clarington Tourism – Clarington, Durham Tourism and/or Port Hope Tourism.
Trip Advisor is an excellent resource. See their page “Things To Do in Port Hope“
There is also the Port Hope Tourism page on Facebook.
Northumberlandtourism.com has a number of useful resources such as information on places to stay, getaways and brochures available covering various outdoor adventures, trails, cycling, paddling, boating, fishing, golfing, even birding! And if that’s not enough, they have information on snowmobiling, beaches, hunting, places to eat and drink, arts and entertainment, shopping and wellness and spas!
Please remember that many experiences require advance bookings or have restrictions in place due to COVID 19.