Having lived in downtown Toronto for the better part of this past year, I now understand the weekend warriors’ need to get out of the city come spring time. There are so many things to do in our area once the warmer weather starts to hit and they’re calling for you to get out there! We’ve got a list of the best things to do in our local area when spring hits for any adventure.
1. Hike the Bruce Trail
I know, the Bruce Trail is a fantastic escape any time of the year, but the spring time is of course a highlight! Spring is the time to trade in those skis and snowshoes for your hiking boots to enjoy the trails in the warmer weather. It is the perfect time to explore the trails and see some gems like the Ontario trilliums, leeks and local ferns. These treasures coupled with the amazing views and scenery make the Bruce Trail a definite spring highlight. Old Baldy is one of my personal favourites.
2. Visit Local Farmers Market
The month of May marks the beginning of Farmers Market season. Grey and Bruce counties are filled with wonderful local products and produce and your local farmers market is the hub of where to get it! Flesherton, Clarksburg, Meaford and Collingwood all have great weekly farmer’s markets starting this spring. Some independently owned markets in the area include the Farmer’s Pantry outside of Clarksburg and the Barn Co-op in Meaford. I definitely recommend checking these out for some great local fruits and veggies (and maybe a little something for your sweet tooth too).
3. Canoe or Kayak on the Beaver River
If there is something that Grey and Bruce does right, it’s canoeing and kayaking and the spring is the time to get out there. The Beaver River offers great views and lots of wildlife to peak at while you paddle through the valley. There are three entrance points in Kimberley, Epping and Heathcote giving lots of ways for you to access the river.
4. Have Lunch on Local Restaurants’ Patios
Grey and Bruce counties are home to some of the greatest restaurants around. Whether you’re looking for a casual outing for the family or fine-dining for date night, there’s lots to choose from. An added bonus of these great restaurants is that tons of them have outdoor patios which are great to enjoy in the spring. Some of my favourite local patios include Fire & Ice in Markdale, the Corner Cafe & Grill in Thornbury, The Mill Cafe in Thornbury and Sails in Meaford.
5. Go Fishing!
Fishing season officially opened in April and there are lots of places to take advantage of it in Grey and Bruce. Inland lakes including Lake Eugenia and Irish Lake are great for fishing. The Beaver River is also a great stop. The list goes on and on! You can get your fishing license online or at local Hardware stores then get out there and get fishing!
6. Checkout local Waterfalls
There are some great waterfalls in our area which are a wonder to behold anytime of the year there is no doubt about that, but the spring has got to be the best. The snow is melting away into our lakes, rivers and of course waterfalls. Now is when our local waterfalls are rushing with the most water making them their most plentiful and most picture perfect. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Eugenia Falls as full as last spring’s flood! What a spectacle! Another favourite of mine is Hogg’s Falls.
7. Peruse Local Shops
Once the warm weather hits lots of local shops start opening their doors up for street sales. The spring is a great time to get the family together and take on the town. Peek Thru My Window, Fancy That, and the County Line are a staple in Markdale that are great to stop into. Thornbury is FULL of great little shops to browse through; some of my favourites are Gaia, Furbelows and Evolution. There’s lots in Meaford too, definitely worth a day trip. It’s great to get out on the town and support local businesses while doing it!
8. Cycling the Scenic Routes
Grey and Bruce are famous for their great cycling routes. One of the best routes around is on Grey Rd 13 through the Beaver Valley. This route has amazing views of the valley and some great terrain that makes for a nice workout but is great for beginners too. You definitely do not have to be an expert to get out and enjoy cycling out here. A bike ride is a fantastic way to enjoy the spring fresh air while getting some exercise too!
9. Checkout Blue Mountain Resort
Okay, now I know what you’re thinking: “I just spent a bunch of time at Blue out on the slopes all winter. What am I going to do at Blue Mountain once the snow melts?” But Blue Mountain has tons to do during the spring too! Take the family on a ride on the Ridge Runner roller-coaster: drive yourself through a 1km course down the hill at up to 42 km/hr. Then take the kids to the Plunge! for a dip in the pool and finish the day with some giant chess or checkers in the heart of the village. Looking for something a little more relaxing? IWA Spa is a getaway to paradise in the Blue Mountain Village. The spa is also a great place to get those toes done and ready for sandal season that is right around the corner!