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Read: Adventures in Grey Bruce! By: Norma Grafe...
Business card for Century 21 In-Studio Realty realtor
Kilt…what? You mean kite? Well, OK
Jacobite shirt…Huh? Is that like a Tommy shirt? A bit fussy, are we?
Kilt belt and buckle…Will my rodeo buckle do?
Sporran…Uhhh, is that something I can get at a hardware store?
Kilt pin…Are we going to pin something on our kite?
Kilt hose…you don’t need a hose to get a kite afloat. String usually works just fine…
Flashes…uh, the camera is digital – flashes are built in
Pants optional…what the….?
All right! We’re heading to Kincardine, otherwise known as Ontario’s Scottish Destination!
“Ah, now I get it – not kite. And I already cleared space in the car for it….”
There’s so much to do and to see, this adventure might very easily spill into 2 days instead of 1! And all of the things to do and to see are relatively close by, so if you prefer to spend time on the beach instead of in the rock garden, they’re easily interchangeable!
So let’s start with beaches! Kincardine has 2 beautiful beaches:
Station Beach is just south of town on the shores of Lake Huron. This is ideal for the whole family! The shallow water and gradual slope make it perfect for the bairns, while the “big ones” can venture out further and catch a wave! Station Beach is one of Ontario’s best locations for Lake Surfing, and in Canada’s top 9 lake surfing destinations! For a change of pace from the Lake, take a short walk to admire the Kincardine Lighthouse at 236 Harbour Street! The auld keeper’s quarters ha’ been transformed into a museum and gift shop, aye?
Inverhuron Beach is just 15 minutes north via County Road 23. Also shallow, with a gradual slope, this beach beckons with its white sand! Bring your sunscreen and your hat, though! There isn’t much shade on this beach! (And naturally I’m sure that I dinna need ta be tellin’ ye to bring yer swim suit, aye?…)
Close to Inverhuron Beach is Inverhuron Bike Park, at the end of Richards Drive. Generally the bike park is open from around May to October and during daylight hours only. Helmets are a must!! The Bike Park features 10 trails of varying difficulties, over 20 acres. There’s definitely something for everybody here!
“Looking forward to catching some air! Wish I hadn’t left the kite at home…”
Let’s take a peek at what’s around town, aye?
Kincardine has many buildings designated as historic sites, and a lot of them can be seen simply by walking down these 3 streets:
Durham Market Square – includes many houses built in the 1880’s, as well as a house from the Victorian era and another from the Second Empire era;
Queen Street – buildings built in the 1880’s;
Harbour Street – very possibly the most historic street in Kincardine, Harbour Street gets its name from the harbour located to one side. The town’s old lighthouse and museum are located on it, as well as The Erie Belle Restaurant and the Harbour Street Brasserie. Perhaps the most famous landmark on Harbour Street is the Walker House, the oldest building in Kincardine and the oldest standing hotel in Bruce County, now a museum.
Lovers of art will enjoy a visit to the Victoria Park Gallery and Gift Shop at 707 Queen Street in Kincardine. It’s a non-profit incorporation established in 2001 by a small group of enthusiastic artists. Located in Kincardine’s historic former Town Hall (you probably walked past it on your walk down Queen Street) it houses many member artists and artisans creating work from a wide variety of mediums, including – oils, watercolour, acrylic, wood, glass, silk, photography, jewellery and clay.
“Rocks would have made my kite fall out of the sky…if I hadn’t left it at home…”
The summer of 2019 will mark the 20th Anniversary of the Kincardine Scottish Festival and Highland Games. For 3 days in July, this award-winning festival will welcome thousands of visitors from all over North America to celebrate all things Scottish. The festival aims to preserve, enhance, and celebrate Kincardine’s Scottish roots. Enjoy three days and nights of lively music, exciting competitions, cultural workshops, and friendly small town hospitality. Cheer on your favourite Highland athletes and dancers, trace out your ancestry, march with the historic Kincardine Scottish Pipe Band down Queen Street, and enjoy the sights and sounds of over 30 Scottish pipe bands from across Canada and the United States. Located in Victoria Park and surrounding area, the festival honours the traditions and contributions of Scottish culture within the Canadian multicultural mosaic.
“Ah, so that’s what all the kite stuff is about…”
Then, in August, the Marine Heritage Festival challenges all comers to build their best boat out of cardboard and compete in the Cardboard Boat Regatta. Using only cardboard, glue, a smattering of tape and a lot of imagination, teams will spend the summer building and then race their creative crafts to prove their speed and seaworthiness. It’s all a FUNdraiser for the Kincardine Community Fund, and will be held at Station Beach. So you have your choice of watching cardboard vessels float on the waves, or lake surfers float on the waves. Take your pick…
It would be extremely remiss of me to have you so close to Tiverton and not tell you about the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station in Tiverton. It would be a day trip all on its own to visit the Bruce Power Visitors’ Centre at 3394 Bruce County Rd. 20. Admission is free! Using fun interactive tools, everyone can learn about Ontario’s most important energy provider. The Exhibit Hall features a variety of interactive exhibits and displays. Visitors can take a simulated tour inside a reactor or try their skills as a nuclear fuel operator on replica control room panels. Another exhibit lets guests take control of a console to select different generation sources – wind, solar, biomass, coal, natural gas, and nuclear – to power an imaginary city. Great for bairns and aulder folk, too!
And, if nothing else, just spending the day fishing, canoeing or kayaking on the Saugeen River is well worth the trip all on its own!
If thousands of visitors from all over North America are descending on Kincardine for the Scottish Festival, it’s best if you have several choices for a place to rest your weary heads, aye?:
Holiday Inn Express at 2 Millenium Way, Kincardine;
Best Western Plus Governor’s Inn at 791 Durham Street, Kincardine (kids under 12 stay free in existing beds);
Swimming, surfing, hiking and mountain biking (and kite-flying) all have a way to make your stomach, well, empty.
Here are some places to refuel and get re-energized:
Wow! Kincardine sounds like such a fun destination in the summer! That’s what makes what follows so puzzling to me. You would think that somebody growing up around here would be a superstar at swimming, canoeing / kayaking, building things (from all that time building sand castles), surfing, lighthouse keeping. But have a look at this list of people who came from around here:
How the heck did that happen?
“And how many of those fly kites?”