Read: Adventures in Grey Bruce! By: Norma Grafe...
What do these things have in common?
1) A weather prognosticating albino groundhog;
2) An aerial park;
3) A golf and country club;
4) A speedway;
5) One of the top 10 beaches in the world;
6) Outstanding fishing!
You can find ALL of these things in South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario! Wiarton, also known as the Base Camp to the Bruce Peninsula, is the home of Wiarton Willie. Every year on Groundhog Day, February 2nd , media from around the world converge on Wiarton to hear Willie make his famous prediction: an early spring or 6 more weeks of winter. As the most famous groundhog in Canada and the only albino weather prognosticator in the world, Wiarton Willie’s prediction of the timing of spring is a must-attend event! The day starts at Bluewater Park (440 George Street, Wiarton) at 6:30 am with a free breakfast, and then the
prediction ceremony begins at 7 am. Then, from 9 am to 6 pm, the whole family can enjoy activities in Bluewater Park!
While we’re in Bluewater Park, we should check out the famous Bruce Trail. The trail is the oldest and longest marked hiking trail in Canada, with over 440 km of side trails, and it runs up the eastern side of the Bruce Peninsula!
If your tastes run more to summer and marine activities, sign up for a boat tour from Wiarton, running from May 1st to October 30th every summer! You can take a 13 km drive west of Wiarton for another boat tour! We’re heading for the Town of Oliphant. From here, we’re going to explore the islands off the west coast of the Bruce Peninsula, so get your “sea legs”! Known as ‘The Fishing Islands‘;, these 70+ dolomite islands are just a few km off shore in Lake Huron. We’ll sail past islands once home to a local still, a First Nations smokehouse and the first white settlement in Bruce County. We’ll see shipwrecks, learn about the geography, history, and the rare and endangered species that live in this spectacular part of the Bruce Peninsula.
One thing you’re sure to spot from on board your boat (you can’t miss it, really) is a beach! And one of the 10 top beaches in the world is right here! With seven km of pristine sandy beach, Sauble Beach is the second longest freshwater beach in the world! With that much beach, there’s lots of room to bring the family and spread out! Swim, surf, kiteboard, SUP, jet ski, build castles, play volleyball or visit the famous Piping Plovers. When you get hungry, there are many great eating spots within walking distance and lots of shops to pop in along the way. Sauble Beach is a vibrant beach community every day of the week. From local artists in quaint cafes to concerts on the beach, movie nights under the stars, street dances or a huge classic car show, your toughest decision will be what to do next! Signature events like Canada Day and Sauble Beach Sandfest; Classic Car Show draw thousands of visitors each year! The beach is amazing and what’s really cool is losing track of time and hanging out and connecting with friends and family. Who knows, maybe you’ll be having so much fun you’ll forget to check your phone every 5 minutes and will get lost in the summer days – just like grandma did when she was hot!
OK, we’ve hiked, we’ve sailed, we’ve swum, we’ve built sand castles. Know what we haven’t done yet? We haven’t climbed! We’re heading to 11 Lakeshore Boulevard North, Sauble Beach, to Ascent Aerial Park. The Park features 30 games over 3 levels of difficulty including: suspension bridges, cargo nets, lumberjack logs, ship masts, nets and many more! Tackle a 3 route climbing wall, or experience a 35 foot free-fall!
After working those muscles, how about spending some time honing those reflexes? Check out Giggles Arcade at 12 Second Avenue North! Giggles has over 50 of the latest arcade games and is the perfect entertainment destination. Giggles prides itself on being a clean, safe, family friendly arcade with games that will satisfy all ages from 3-103!
But wait! There’s more! Make sure that you have your golf clubs! You can check out the Sauble Golf and Country Club at 678 Bruce Road 8, Sauble Beach. Sauble Golf and Country Club is the only place to golf in Sauble Beach. With a laid back, friendly atmosphere, the course is a challenging yet forgiving 18 holes, and in great condition for serious players to beginners. The club house is the place to grab something great to eat and a cool drink. And if you think you might have a couple of drinks, be sure to let management know and you can catch their shuttle!
We haven’t forgotten about you motor-heads. A few minutes away is Sauble Speedway, at 1199 Bruce Road 14, Sauble Beach. Sauble Speedway is a popular, NASCAR-sanctioned, 1/4 mile asphalt race track. For most events, the grandstand opens at 5 pm and racing begins at 6 pm, but some events start a little earlier. Each year, Sauble Speedway plays host to exciting races in its very own weekly series, as well as special events including The Battle at the Beach, and other high-stakes invitational events.
Now, there’s no way you can fit all of these fun things to do into one day! May I suggest a few places where you can spend the night and continue your adventures tomorrow? Try the Sauble River Marina and Lodge Resort at 18 Marina Avenue, Sauble Beach. Or check out the Peninsula Motel in Wiarton, at 143 Highway 6. If bed and breakfast is your style, how about Sauble Falls Bed and Breakfast at 6 Rankin Bridge Road, Sauble Beach. And of course, one has to eat! While on the beach, you can find all kinds of fast food locations, such as Beach Burger, or Beachside Take Out, or Beavertails! Or you can enjoy family dining at Dockside Willie’s Bar & Grill, at 402 William St., Wiarton. Even if you don’t make it through all of these activities, there’s one thing that you must do, and that is to take a stroll along the beach at sunset. You will never be disappointed.