Read: Adventures in Grey Bruce! By: Norma Grafe...
There must be something in the water…
What do these people have in common?
Tommy Burns – one time heavyweight world champion boxer;
Larry Mercey – Mercey Brothers, country band;
Carl Schaefer – painter, landscape artist;
Daryl Shane – provincial junior champion curler;
Patrick Switzer – world champion downhill skateboarder;
Jamie Warren – country singer;
Martin Wood – TV director, directed and produced, among many, many other things, the Stargate series.
All of these people are a product of a town in Ontario called Hanover.
Could it be something in the water? Or could it have something to do with all the wide-open spaces and fresh air of the Hanover countryside?
Let’s start south of Hanover, on Grey Road 28. We’re going to a conservation area, called Sulphur Spring Conservation Area. The whole family can have a ball walking these 5+ kilometers of trails, suitable for all ages and abilities! Maybe that’s how Tommy Burns and Patrick Switzer worked their leg muscles, in preparation for all that fancy footwork for boxing, and that strength needed for skateboarding! And to distract you from “feeling the burn”, just think that this is the site where a cold sulphur spring moves groundwater at a rate that can fill 27 bathtubs per minute!
Moving west and north, we’ll encounter Darroch Nature Reserve. The Saugeen River flows through the northern part of Hanover and to its west, on its way to Southampton. Darroch Nature Reserve, west of town can be reached via the Hanover Community Trail, and this is a popular point for canoeing and kayaking! Maybe Larry Mercey and Jamie Warren used these wide-open spaces to develop those vocal chords! Yodelay-hee-hoo……
Hanover itself, has numerous parks and maintains 85 acres of parklands and open space!
Hanover Park and Campground, Karl “Speck” Wilken Park, Centennial Pavilion, Rail Lands Leisure Park, Agricultural Park, Horseshoe Courts, Ball Diamonds, Soccer Fields, Rotary Dog Park, Tommy Burns Park (go, Tommy!), Kinsmen Ball Park, Kinette Totland Park, Tennis / pickleball courts, J. Binkley/T. Paterson Pavilion, R.A. Crawford Athletic Field, 11 km Community Trails System, Skateboard Park (go, Patrick!), Commemorative Grove
(I think that I can understand why, after sampling the baked delights of Schultz Bakery!)
Anybody hungry after all that fresh air? How about we make our way to 746 10th Street, to China8 Restaurant? All those vegetables that come with Chinese fare! Delicious! Or maybe Pita Pit, at 245 10th Street? Did somebody say more vegetables?
While we’re in the town proper, there are tons of shopping opportunities to help burn off that lunch! There’s the usual Walmart, Marks, Shoppers Drug Mart, etc. along with some treasures such as Sweet Pea Kids Clothing, Treasures and Delights Gift Shop, Becker Shoes, and Giddy Goblin Games and Goodies, all on 10th Street.
During the summer, Hanover transforms itself into a pedestrian mall for 3 days for Hanover’s Biggest Block Party during the Sights and Sounds Festival. Eat-Well Farmer’s Market provides everything from local produce and meat to baking! MacLean’s Ales features locally brewed English ales.
Also during the summer is the perfect time to indulge in that historic coming of age tradition. You guessed it! The Hanover Drive-In Theatre! The drive-in is one of about only 20 drive-ins left in Ontario. Give your family a sense of what it was like to enjoy a movie under the stars, before they’re gone forever. And, oh yeah, if you’ve sampled the locally brewed English ales, maybe the drive-in should be left off the list for now…
Of course, any time of the year, the family can go to the indoor Paramount Theatre to enjoy movies and relax with some popcorn! (Again, the English ales thing applies…)
The weekend before Thanksgiving is the time for us to explore the art of 30 local artists and 18 studios during the Autumn Leaves studio tour. Let’s see if the air or the water or whatever it is that produced the list of talent above also applies to all of the local artists! We know that Carl Schaefer certainly benefitted from something!
Another pleasant afternoon / evening diversion, at any time of the year, could be found at the Hanover Civic Theatre. Community theatre presentations and concerts at a facility where every seat in the house is a good one!
Let’s find a place to lay our heads tonight, before we suss out the available evening activities! We mentioned a few places to stay in our Brockton adventure. Another one might be the SPA B&B, at 540 10th Avenue. Let’s relax a bit and unpack and freshen up, then plan our night!
For dinner, let’s check out the Hanover Raceway Coach House, a great family restaurant! On Saturday nights, they offer a special roast beef buffet dinner or we could order from the full menu. Ready to dig in? Pass the salt, please…
Uh-oh. We have a conflict. After dinner, the kids want to see the latest superhero movie at the Paramount and the “big kids” want to try their luck at Hanover Casino. We have options! We can all go to the Paramount and watch the movie. Then we’ll drop the little ones back at the hotel with Cousin Grant. He brought his laptop with him and has been making home movies all day featuring the family members. He plans to edit his movies tonight while minding the little ones. (I hope that he edits out all the yodelling from the trails…) Then the “big kids” can visit the slots. No problem.
Or we could do the same thing, except go to the drive-in theatre instead of the Paramount, then drop off the kids and Cousin Grant.
After a busy day exploring and hiking and sampling and playing the slots, have a restful evening drifting off with the soothing sounds of yodelling echoing in your heads, and get ready for a day trip tomorrow!
Did I ask whether there was something in the water? Well we haven’t been around much water to find out, so rise and shine! Our day trip today is 3 of the 4 major waterfalls in and around Owen Sound. Let’s take County Road 10 north to Highway 21 and turn right into Owen Sound.
The first waterfall we’ll encounter is Jones Falls in Springmount. Jones Falls plunges 12 metres over the Niagara Escarpment just west of Owen Sound on the Pottawatomi River. It’s located within the 116-acre Pottawatomi Conservation Area. The half-kilometre trail from the Visitor Centre and Owen Sound Transportation Company parking lot will take you through various tree types and flora and fauna to the top of the falls, with a view of the surrounding lowlands.
In spring, you will find lots of trilliums, columbine and a powerful spring runoff cascading over the escarpment. The Pottawatomi Conservation Area features over 5 kilometres of hiking trails, making it suitable snowshoeing and cross-country skiing during the winter if you stay on the marked trails.
From downtown Owen Sound, head south on 2nd Avenue East and you’ll arrive at the second waterfall. Located in beautiful Harrison Park, Weavers Creek Falls is an intimate, hidden gem at the end of a short boardwalk through hardwood forest.
In summer, it’s a cool, shaded oasis along the spring-fed Weavers Creek. In fall, the autumn leaves of the surrounding woods are bursting with colour. You’ll find the waterfall at the south end of the park by the outdoor pool, where parking is available. The boardwalk is located on city property, but Weavers Creek Falls is on private property so please be respectful on your visit.
Weavers Creek flows from the falls through Harrison Park to meet up with the Sydenham River. From mid-September to Thanksgiving you’ll find Chinook Salmon swimming in the river, making their way upstream to spawn. Follow the self-guided Owen Sound Salmon Tour to learn more. In winter, you can snowshoe throughout Harrison Park and along the boardwalk to Weavers Creek Falls. If you’re feeling adventurous you can hike or snowshoe to Inglis Falls from here, a distance of about 2.5 kilometres on the Bruce Trail. This is a popular hike in all seasons!
Did you guess that the third waterfall is…Inglis Falls? Inglis Falls is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the region, an 18-metre high cascade on the Bruce Trail where the Sydenham River meets the Niagara Escarpment. Inglis is a must-see in every season with spectacular ice formations visible during the winter. Within the 200 hectares of the Inglis Falls Conservation Area you will find 7.42 kilometres of hiking trails, including access to the Bruce Trail, which links to Harrison Park and Weavers Creek Falls, plus the city’s Centennial Lookout Tower.
There are 20 species of ferns here, old growth forest (cedars over 600 years old), glacial “potholes,” the historic remains of a grist mill and a fantastic view of the valley into Owen Sound. Inglis Falls is the perfect spot for snowshoeing or cross country skiing during the winter months, and is a photographer’s dream.
So how was that for a weekend outdoors? Nice red apples in your cheeks from the fresh air. Loaded down with souvenirs from shopping. Perhaps up a few bucks from the evening playing slots? Nothing left to do except watch Cousin Grant’s movies. Speaking of which, where is Cousin Grant? I would have thought that he’d want to film the waterfalls!
Little Johnny: “Oh, he was editing and editing his movies, and then he went online to learn more about that TV director and producer Martin Wood. Last I saw of him, he was calling a Century 21 Realtor about seeing if Mr. Wood’s house was up for sale…”