Autumn is a great season to spend time outdoors. I love the cooler weather, the changing colors, and the fresh air. I always feel inspired to discover fun ways to be active around the county.
Fall is a spectacular time to get outside and enjoy some family fun. This past weekend, I was hiking, biking and getting my fill of Norfolk County’s bountiful harvest. Here are a few tips to get you inspired to get outside this season!
As a mother of two, I often find it challenging to get the kids motivated to get out on hikes. Bringing some yummy snacks and empowering them to bring their own gear helps to spark their interest. My kids love to carry their own small backpack, some containers (to keep their treasured finds) and their snacks\water. It makes them feel like they are part of the adventure. Getting them involved in the planning is also helpful. Checking out the maps together and including them when deciding on routes seem to be good motivators.
Wearing sturdy hiking boots is a must especially in the fall and spring when the terrain tend to be more slippery. Make sure that along with the right footwear you dress in layers including a waterproof one just in case.
On Saturday we started at Hay Creek Conservation Area. The weather was amazing, a perfect day to be in the forest together. At this time of year, you can find some amazing mushrooms all over the forest. We encouraged the kids to keep looking and discover unique ones. They enjoyed taking pictures of the different species and that kept them eager to keep walking. This conservation area is a good place to walk your dog and has a few parking spots at the trail head on Port Ryerse Road. Great place to explore and it’s only a few minutes outside of Port Dover which is a bonus.
Later that afternoon, the weather was so amazing that we decided it would be a good time for a bike ride in the Turkey Point Mountain Bike Club’s trails. The sandy soil makes for sensational fall biking in Norfolk County. As the leaves start to change color, the ground remains in excellent condition. There is very little mud especially on the trails close to the Turkey Point Provincial Park.
For a change, we decided to explore the trails that surround Long Point Eco Adventures. A number of trail heads can be found on their property. “West Ridge” trail travels along Front Rd and has breathtaking views. Travelling for a few minutes on Turkey Point Rd will allow you to access Planet of the Apes, one of my favorite trails in the network. Both of these trails are relatively flat and make for a fun leisurely ride. Head back on the road or through a network of beginner’s trails (or ride the same trails in the opposite direction) to make your way back. Don’t miss “One for the Vine” trail. This one allows you to ride around Burning Kiln Winery. What a beautiful autumn scene! Enjoy vines, cornfield and forest. This is one of the easiest trails in the system but totally worth checking out.
After a hike and a ride, it’s definitely time for a treat!
I love making a stop at The Cider Keg Farm Market on Hwy 24th for some fresh apple cider. This is a great place to pick up what’s in season. I filled my basket with up some apples, strawberries and other local goodies including some popcorn and some peanuts from Kernal Peanuts.
Great way to finish up an awesome outdoor day in Norfolk!
About the blogger
Amélie Chanda is a Norfolk County based wellness coach with a passion for active living. She works with individuals and groups who want to make a commitment to a healthy life. She provides support, tools and motivation to help her clients reach their health goals. Fitness ~ Mindfulness ~ Yoga. In 2017 she launched the #GoNorfolk community initiative to empower people to get off the couch and to explore Norfolk. As the Active Living Ambassador for Norfolk County, she writes a regular blog about how to be active in in the region. Check out her live videos with local partners on social media.