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Thursday, June 13, 2019

Hit the beach, hiking and bike trails and leave the car behind

   One-Tank Trip for June 8/19

   By Jim Fox

   Trains, planes and buses are offering adventurous new ways of hitting the beach, parks, hiking and biking trails this summer.
   Leave the car behind and save that tank of gas with the Bend Bus, Parkbus, Erie Fun Tours, Porter Airlines, GO Transit and VIA Rail trains.
   “I’m pumped about getting people to the beach and making solid summer memories,” said Matthew Thomas, founder and chief beach bum of Bend Bus.
All aboard the Bend Bus, making trips to the beach throughout the summer.
    The London-based transportation service is expanding to offer weekend and holiday Monday round-trips to Grand Bend and Port Stanley beaches from London and Kitchener starting June 22.
   Thomas launched the service last summer with 12 trips to and from Grand Bend from London.
Grand Bend beach (Ontario's Southwest)
   “I wanted a fun, easy way to get to the beach, experience the Great Lakes and explore the incredible beachside towns,” Thomas said.
   Bend Bus offers morning and afternoon trips from London and morning trips from Kitchener and St. Thomas every Saturday, Sunday and Holiday Mondays.

   Morning routes leave the city at 10 a.m. and the beach at 4 p.m., while afternoon routes leave town at 2:30 p.m. and the beach at 9:30 p.m.
Bend Bus fun
    “We’re so close to these phenomenal freshwater lakes but without the necessary transportation, so many people miss out,” Thomas said. Tickets are $15 to $35. bendbus.ca

   Beep, beep get on the bus
   - New this summer are Erie Fun Tours shuttles to Port Stanley from London and St. Thomas starting June 15.
   The four weeks of Saturday shuttles will be expanded based on demand.
   Both routes arrive in Port Stanley at 1 p.m. with time to catch a performance at the Festival Theatre and leave the beach at 7 p.m.

Sarah Machin Gale, Terry Barna and Sharon McFarlane in Lunenburg at the Festival Theatre.
   There’s a policy to reschedule any rained-out Saturday trips to the next day.
   Round-trip fares are $20 from London and $17 from St. Thomas, plus tax and booking fee.
   - Parkbus has been immersing city slickers in the great outdoors since 2010 for day-trips, family camping weekends and wilderness expeditions.
   “The service connects city dwellers with nature through accessible transportation options,” said
Boris Issaev, co-founder and ceo.
Ride the Parkbus to popular outdoor adventures
    This includes campgrounds, canoe access points, lodges and hiking trails with bus services to national and provincial parks from major cities across Canada.
   The current Parkbus routes from Toronto to cottage country include Algonquin, Killbear, Awenda and Arrowhead (winter only) provincial parks.
   Other routes are Bruce Peninsula National Park and Tobermory, with pickups in Toronto and Brampton, and Georgian Bay Islands National Park and Honey Harbour. parkbus.ca; 1-800-928-7101

   Up and away
   Shuttles and an incentive package are offered by Explorers’ Edge for passengers on Porter Airlines’ flights to Muskoka.
   Porter’s 10-week service begins June 27 from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport Mondays and Thursdays once daily (except Tuesdays when Monday is a holiday).
Take Porter Airlines to the Muskoka airport
    Explorers’ Edge tourism organization offers the Fly & Explore Package with $100 in spending vouchers for passengers booking a minimum two-night stay by June 21.
   There’s also the Explorers’ Edge Shuttle Service at the Muskoka Airport with stops throughout the region for $10 one way. https://explorersedge.ca; (705) 646-0490
   - Get on and GO with Niagara seasonal train service weekends through Thanksgiving for adventures at the falls.
GO Transit’s bike car to Niagara packs them in.
    Trains leave Toronto’s Union Station and stop at Exhibition, Port Credit, Oakville, Burlington, St. Catharines and Niagara Falls.
   It’s met by the WEGO bus for two days of shuttle service including Niagara-on-the-Lake. gotransit.com/en/travelling-with-us/promotions-and-events/Niagara; 1-888-438-6646
   - VIA Rail is reminding adventurers that you can take a bicycle on board, and a canoe in some cases, on trains equipped with baggage cars and bike racks. viarail.ca/en/bike


Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca

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