Anyone who has visited Ontario’s Southwest Coast during the summer months would agree that they were lucky to enjoy the breeze from the lake, the locally sourced dining experiences, the sandy beaches, and the abundance of available outdoor activities. Summer is nearing an end and it’s time to squeeze in every last bit of fun that Norfolk County has to offer. This is our list of 10 things to do in Norfolk County before the summer is over!
Head out to Lakeside Vista to take in the epic views over-looking Lake Erie and join in the 3 day Music & Arts Festival. This years Saturday headliner? THE TREWS! This is a family friendly event with lots of activities for the kids and 18 awesome concerts. Camping, beer tent and food vendors are all available on site. Start packing up the truck, this event is taking place this weekend, August 25-27, 2017! As an added bonus, founders of the festival and Lakeside Vista owners Ryan and Lisa VandenBussche announced that all proceeds from the event will be donated to Six ’N’ Pix!
Through to the last Wednesday in August, you can enjoy a mid-week “wine down” at Burning Kiln Winery. Wind-down on the picturesque patio with a glass of your favourite wine, live music, bonfire, lawn games, and David’s On Tour food truck specials. Burning Kiln hosts a relaxing atmosphere perched above the Long Point World Biosphere Reserve escarpment with views of the flourishing vineyards and surrounding countryside. The perfect setting to sip away the summer evenings.
Yoga in the serene lavender fields at Apple Hill Lavender Farm, Yoga (and berries and wine) in the blueberry patch at Blueberry Hill Estates, Yoga (and live music and beer) in the hops at Ramblin’ Road Brewery Farm! Paige Logan, AKA the Yoga Paige, has been hosting a number of yoga inspired events around Norfolk County and offering amazing opportunities to experience Norfolk in a more relaxing and mindful manner. If you’re ready to unwind outdoors and flow with Paige then follow her on Facebook to find her classes at The Yoga Paige.
A casual roadside bike ride is nice, but it can’t quite compare to the excitement of mountain biking through the Turkey Point trails. Thanks to the Turkey Point Mountain Bike Club, Turkey Point boasts over 50km of well maintained and clearly mapped trails. The trails can be tackled by riders of all skill levels. Take it from a beginner, the ride was exhilarating and a ton of fun. Of course, I mostly stuck to the beginner trails with the exception of bravely attempting two intermediate runs. For the experts riders, Turkey Point is known for offering some of the best trail riding in Ontario! If you’re just getting started, you can sign up for a guided tour with Long Point Eco-Tours. So, strap on your helmet and spin up some dirt this summer.
We recently discovered this hidden Norfolk Treasure while out for a Sunday drive. The live music on the packed patio undoubtedly caught our attention. We hadn’t visited the Normandale Century Inn before so naturally we were curious what was drawing the crowd. To describe our visit, pleasantly surprised would be understatement. The menu was packed with items created with local ingredients and the drink selections showcased local wineries and breweries. It was a fantastic tribute to Norfolk County and surrounding area. If you have yet to visit the serene hamlet of Normandale be sure to do so before September 3 on a Sunday afternoon when The Normandale Century Inn is featuring live music!
September long weekend is widely celebrated as the last long weekend of summer, before the leaves start to turn and the days get shorter. In Port Rowan, we celebrate Labour Day long weekend with an epic Annual Festival! Originally known as Tomato Fest, Bayfest takes place on the water front and in the streets of Port Rowan just a short drive North of Long Point Beach. There are many activities to take part in including the soap-box derby, casting competition, and midway rides. In true festival fashion you’ll find vendors, food, entertainment and of course a parade. The festival kicks off with Friday night’s Fire Up Festival and hosts a finale of fireworks on Sunday. Celebrate another summer in the books with the family at Long Point Country Bayfest September 1-3, 2017.
At Waterford Ponds or in Lake Erie off the Port Dover beach, South Coast Watersports hosts a ton of awesome paddle board activities! Who knew you could do so much on a paddle board? Sure, you can rent a board and go for a paddle. But if you’re feeling adventurous, you can paddle in to a game of SUP Polo, undergo some race training, or work on your balance with SUP yoga. Check out their rentals and events calendar and get paddling.
Get hoppin’ on September 30th in Powell Park with the Crepe House. Beerstock, sounds epic right? Sipping on samples of craft beer, and tasting wines and ciders from local wineries. All while listening to live music and joining in lawn games in the midst of the bustling tourist town of Port Dover. Of course, you’ll be able to try out some inspiring menu items from local food vendor as well. It doesn’t get too much better than this, or does it? Actually, you can purchase the VIP package and also enjoy breakfast at the Crepe House followed by a trip to the ropes course at Radical Lines Aerial Adventure Park escorted by Ride the Bine. Cheers!
The enchanting trails that wind through the Carolinian Backus Woods’ forest located just North of Port Rowan offer breathtaking hiking trails. The trails are accessible year round but they are fantastic to experience at summers end and in to the fall. We typically depart from the trail head on the 3rd concession surrounding ourselves in Norfolk’s wildlife and work our way North on the trails sheltered by the canopy of towering trees. The trails are maintained by the Nature Conservancy of Canada and there are a number of access points and routes to explore. Pick up a trail map and lace up your hiking shoes.
If you haven’t already heard then I guess it’s time someone filled you in, Ontario’s Southwest is becoming a sought after winery and craft brewery destination! Ride the Bine is in their first season and is providing guided tours to some of Norfolk’s wineries and breweries for both locals and tourists. They are inspired by their industry experience and passion for Norfolk County and that passion truly shows through their memorable tours. Gather a group and join the team at Ride the Bine for a cruise through Norfolk’s countryside.
With only a few weeks left and so much to do, how will you be spending the final weeks of summer in Norfolk County?