Read: Adventures in Grey Bruce! By: Norma Grafe...
Ever been in a scavenger hunt? We used to have a ball doing these when I was in high school in a small town! Teams would race each other all over town looking for some pretty peculiar items on our lists, as quickly as possible, and not being able to buy any of the items on the list. Things like a take-out menu from a restaurant, a change of address card from a post office, a bank deposit slip, a business card from a lawyer, a tie-dye t-shirt, a volleyball, a grocery receipt dated for a specific date…the list goes on and on. And we had to bring the actual physical object back to school to be logged in for our team! No photos!
There are a couple of scavenger hunts, of sorts, going on in Huron-Kinloss in the summer. One of them, called Explore the Bruce Adventure Passport, has a list of around a dozen stops scattered all over Bruce County. Participants stop at each stop and get their passports punched, in so doing, having a wonderful opportunity to see what each municipality has to offer! And, in keeping with our times, there are about 8 additional bonus digital stops. Find the Adventure Passport photo frame, get your smiling face(s) in there and snap a picture! Upload it to Facebook or Instagram for a chance to win prizes!
Stop # 8 of this list can be found right here in Ripley! It’s called the Apple Rail Trail and takes about 15 – 30 minutes. Clue: Choo-choo-choose to stroll among the apple trees, until you find this box.
5 years ago, the township of Huron-Kinloss redeveloped the Ripley Rail Trail, and after discovering that a great many varieties of apple trees lined the trail, they renamed this path the Ripley Apple Rail Trail. This walking trail begins in the heritage flower garden and then splits, and explorers can decide which path to take! Follow the path east for 1.8 kilometres and end up at the 10th side road. You can also choose to follow the trail west for 1.1 kilometres to end at the Ripley Huron Community Centre.
While you’re in the area check out the Ripley Mini-Tour! Find the additional four boxes in this artisan community. Don’t forget to stop in at the local shops! You never know what treasures you’ll find! Head north into Ontario’s Scottish Destination, and see what Kincardine has to offer. With a pipe band every Saturday night at 8pm – rain or shine, it’s the perfect spot to find the Scottish in you, aye?
Also in the spring to fall months, check out the Bruce Botanical Food Gardens at 62 Park Street in Ripley, at the south end of town, opposite the soccer fields. The Gardens are open to the public Thursday to Sunday, with the early part of the week reserved for work in the Gardens. The Gardens are staffed mainly by volunteers, so sometimes they’re busy working the Gardens and may not always be available. Don’t despair! Self-guided tour brochures are available at the Gate House; guided tours are available by appointment Thursday to Sunday at a cost of $5.00 per person. You are welcome to explore the Gardens, ask questions and take home any fruits or vegetables that are ready for picking! Simply make a donation according to your ability to pay. Check Facebook and the sign at the Gate House to know what is in season. (No pets please, for obvious reasons. A dog walk area is available across the street, which links to the Apple Rail Trail or you can walk them along the Lewis Trail, adjacent to the Gardens, that leads to the historic Lewis Cemetery where you both will enjoy the quiet peacefulness).
After learning about the local produce and maybe even sampling some fresh-picked fruit and vegetables, head on over to Highway 21 ten minutes away, to Pine River Cheese. Pick up some local cheese to complement that fresh produce!
Then head over to Family Funland, also on Highway 21! Grab some food at the snack bar (don’t forget your fresh produce and cheese!). Then enjoy the driving range, playground, go-karts and mini-golf! Something for the whole family!
You know what? There’s nothing like relaxing on the water after walking trails, go-karting, mini-golfing and tumbling around on the playground! Let’s head west to Point Clark! We’re going to Lighthouse Road on the shore of Lake Huron! At 531 Lighthouse Road, there’s a small sandy beach, where you can relax and swim and watch the waves. But wait – I don’t think it’s been an hour since lunch, so let’s take a look at the lighthouse first, before we think of swimming. The Point Clark Lighthouse is a National Historic site, and is one of the few remaining lighthouses made from stone. NOW we can have our swim and enjoy the lake!
Whew! Tomorrow’s day-trip is going to take us back to the Ripley and Lucknow area, so let’s go a wee bit outside of Huron-Kinloss and find some nice accommodations up the shoreline in Kincardine, aye? Either the Inn at the Harbour on 255 Harbour Street (with its lake views), or the Holiday Inn Express at 2 Millenium Way (with its free breakfast and a pool!) are good choices.
Or, wait! We’re on the shores of Lake Huron, right? What could be better than the Erie Belle Restaurant – House of Fish’n’Chips? Serving up a variety of fish caught in Lake Huron, the restaurant was named after the Great Lakes steamship, Erie Belle, that exploded along the eastern shore of Lake Huron in 1883. The rusting remains of the ship’s boiler lie on Boiler Beach, south of Kincardine.
So wind down after your adventures, then enjoy a good night’s sleep, in preparation for tomorrow.
TOMORROW: Remember me asking you about scavenger hunts at the beginning of this story? Did you remember that I mentioned 2 scavenger hunts, of sorts, going on in Huron-Kinloss? We’ve explored one, which was the Explore the Bruce Passport Adventure.
Today we’re going to explore the other and, yes, there’s food involved! The other scavenger hunt is called the Huron-Kinloss Ice Cream Trail. Yummy! If you’re looking for a full day’s entertainment, take a daytrip on the The Huron-Kinloss Ice Cream Trail. The Ice Cream Trail is a FUN-FILLED photo scavenger hunt for the whole family! It takes participants to ice cream stops along the trail, past beaches, golf courses, parks, a pool and a splash pad. Many adventures await as you follow the Ice Cream Trail throughout Huron-Kinloss! Do it all in a one-day trip or spread your adventure out over the summer. Stop for lunch or a break at one of the restaurants in Point Clark, Ripley and Lucknow. Try the Fig Studio Kitchen at 87 County Road 7 in Ripley. Or check out the Village Pizzeria at 625 Campbell Street in Lucknow. Or perhaps the Lighthouse Pizza & Ice Cream Shop at 700 Victoria Road in Ripley. Or pack a picnic and enjoy the beautiful beaches and parks. Top it all off with an ice cream for dessert and don’t forget your bathing suit!
Oh! There’s one last thing on that Scavenger Hunt list! How about a business card from one of the Realtors at Century 21 In-Studio Realty Inc.?