Autumn is upon us and summer vacation is becoming a distant memory. But with warm weather and a fall's golden hues it's the perfect time to head to Grey County for a fall colour tour.
Only two hours north from Toronto, Grey County is often overlooked by the many who flock to Prince Edward County to get their fall colour fix.
With fewer crowds and plenty to do Grey County Tourism has launched the Fall Colours campaign and sweetened the deal with a new contest and opportunities to win a number of great experiences including accommodation at a number of hotels, dinner at Michael Stadtländer's Eigensinn Farm and making your own cider at Beaver Valley Cidery.
Contest or not, there are plenty of reasons to visit Grey County this fall, here's a bit of inspiration:
1. Salmon Jumping
Each autumn salmon migrate upstream from the Sydenham River in Owen Sound. Accessible for all ages, you can walk, paddle or drive the route which finishes in Inglis Falls.
2. Apple Pie in a Wine Glass
Georgian Hills Vineyard not only produces great cool climate wines, but also cider and sweet wines like its sweet wine Baked Apple Frozen to the Core, which has a surprisingly tart finish.
3. Kick it With Alpacas
Alpaca wool is soft, warmer than sheep and hypoallergenic. Many Canadians have recently started raising these shy animals for wool or simply as pets.
Even if you don't have the space for one of these curious creatures you can head over to Kickin' Back Alpaca Ranch where owners Carolyn and Doug offer tours for $20 but be warned you may end up spending the entire afternoon with these loveable animals.
4. Luxe Bed and Breakfasts
Originally from Owen Sound, Jamie Heimbecker moved to Toronto only to return to restore this 100 year old home with Matthew MacLean. MacLean Estate has the quaint charm of a country B&B with all the modern amenities including more channels on a television than you should watch, a charging centre and iPhone alarm. If sharing a bathroom isn't your cup of tea book the Dr. J.A. Hershey King Turret Room, which has a private ensuite bath.
5. Farm Fresh Food
Great food isn't isolated to Toronto, restaurants here work alongside neighboring farms to get the freshest produce in season. Don't miss out on Bruce Wine Bar and Mill Cafe in Thornbury, The Falls Inn at Walter's Falls or newly opened Milk Maid Fine Cheese and Gourmet Food in Owen Sound, which started as a cheese boutique but locals support seems to be fueling a busy cafe along with it.
6. The Apple Pie Trail
What is autumn without a fall u-pick, caramel apples and cider? Head over to the Farmer's Pantry and try your hand at picking apples, when you grow tired stroll the animal farm and other activities that are orchestrated for children but fun for everyone.
7. Reindeer Games
Resting on the Niagara Escarpment, Pretty River Valley Country Inn is the perfect getaway for those wanting to reconnect with nature. Not only a European-style inn, but also an organic farm, you can wander the grounds to see reindeer, Icelandic, minis and Percheron horses and a number of other animals. It's also possible to organize treks with the Icelandic horses.
8. Liquid Gold
But the region isn't limited to cider, Coffin Ridge opened the doors for many wineries and now a number of microbreweries ranging from Kilannan Brewing Co. in Owen Sound to Northwinds Brew House & Eatery in Collingwood are worth a drive north.
What have I missed? What else would you recommend in Grey County?
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