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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hit the road and discover Ontario

   One-Tank Trip published on August 13/14 2011

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Ontario is “yours to discover” and there’s still lots of summer left to explore further.
   Here are some culinary, parks and fishing outings suggested by Ontario Tourism.
Escape to an Ontario park such as Algonquin to paddle a voyageur canoe in the wilderness. (Jim Fox photo)
   Yummy adventures on the culinary trails
   “Pick a region or trail, designate a driver or hop on a tour or a bike and let vintners uncork the secrets of delicious wines,” said publicist Kattrin Sieber.
   “Indulge in the pleasures of a perfect pairing over lunch or dinner, brimming with local flavours and the freshest seasonal ingredients.”
Nicole Foulford and family from London, Ont. sample apples at Blue Mountains

   - Blue Mountains’ Apple Pie Trail: Wind through this picturesque area to some of the area’s finest cafes, bakeries, restaurants, markets and farms that serve delicious apple pies and apple-inspired creations. Visit www.applepietrail.ca
    - Essex County’s A Trolley Named Desire: Take a ride on a heritage-themed trolley and enjoy favourite vintages from winery to winery. Discover the wide range of food and wine available from local producers. www.wetrolley.com
   - Giant Tastes of Thunder Bay: Tour and taste the flavours found in the land of the Sleeping Giant. There is delicious Gouda cheese, fluffy Finn pancakes, fresh fish and berries, superb chefs and a ‘superior’ landscape making this a treat for all the senses. www.visitthunderbay.com
   - Niagara Wine Country: Award-winning wines, fresh produce and tantalizing culinary experiences are in Niagara. Sample new releases during tours at various wineries and during the Niagara Wine Festival, Sept. 16 to 25. www.niagarawinefestival.com
   - Prince Edward County’s Taste Trail: Nestled around the communities of Picton, Bloomfield and Wellington, food lovers can nibble their way along the Taste Trail. There are culinary treats produced by local farmers, butchers, market gardeners, restaurants, wineries, a cidery and craft brewed beer. www.tastetrail.ca
   - Savour Muskoka: Choose from a wide variety of culinary events, trails and experiences throughout Muskoka and Parry Sound. Enjoy shore-line picnics, alfresco dining by the water, devouring delicious wild blueberries, discovering honey producers or searching out the best butter tart. www.savourmuskoka.com
   - Savour Ottawa: Ottawa’s Byward Market, one of Canada's oldest and largest public markets, is a colourful mosaic of farmer's market stalls, flower sellers, cheese mongers, butchers, shops and cafes. Sample berries, artisanal cheeses, breads and enjoy the city's famed pastry -- a sugary beaver tail. www.ottawatourism.ca
   - Savour Stratford: Continuing through October, enjoy an outing devoted to the culinary lifestyle. Discover the art of chocolate making, spend some time with a tea sommelier and sample artisanal bread and cheese. www.welcometostratford.com/savour-stratford.php
 Serge Fiorino of Royal Majesty Espresso Bar Bakery shows off tasty treats on the Apple Pie Trail
    For more tips on trips: www.ontariotravel.net/getaways

   Park it and enjoy
   “Imagine sleeping under the stars, hiking a scenic nature trail or photographing a white-tailed deer.”
   Take in beautiful scenery with cascading waterfalls, sand dunes and boreal forests as well as family activities such as musical performances, art shows and guided hikes.
   Most parks offer boat launches, canoe rentals, picnic shelters and barbecues.
Canoeing in Algonquin (Jim Fox photo)
   Start with a day trip to Wasaga Beach, sandcastle heaven on the longest freshwater beach in the world, stretching 14 kilometres on Georgian Bay.
   Murphys Point on the Rideau Canal has tours of the historic Silver Queen Mine while Springwater, north of Barrie, is a pleasant setting for family picnics or walks through the woods.
   Instead of “roughing it,” there’s comfy camping with a variety of roofed dwellings.
   Balsam Lake park in the Kawarthas has a furnished three-bedroom home that sleeps six while Bonnechere, west of Pembroke, has cabins for rent.
   Maple Rest Heritage House in Sandbanks offers a four-bedroom Victorian home furnished with antiques.
   Something to think about next summer is a “Learn to Camp” program that quickly filled up when first offered this year.
   It included overnight getaways to Bronte Creek, Sibbald Point and Darlington parks to “help first-time campers learn the basics.”
   There were also community group sessions in the Greater Toronto Area for the camping primer.
   For more about parks and camping: www.OntarioParks.com

   Go fish!
   Whether at an Ontario park or a stream, creek or lake nearby, the perfect catch awaits.
   Ontario has 15 per cent of the world’s fresh water with more than 400,000 lakes, rivers and streams, making this one of the best sport fishing spots anywhere.
   Ontario Tourism has suggestions for a fishing vacation at a lodge, fly-in by bush plane, on a charter boat or fly fishing at www.ontariotravel.net/gofish
   To find out what you can catch and what you can keep at some 13,000 lakes, go to www.ontario.ca/fishing
   There is also information about planning a fishing getaway, the tackle needed and how to obtain or renew a fishing licence.


Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com

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