When you’re traveling, one of the rewards at the end of a day is to head back to your hotel and talk about the day’s experiences over a relaxing meal. It’s no different on a hiking holiday, except you’ll want to unlace the hiking boots before dinner. There are many local options for a weekend getaway where you can stay overnight at a hotel or at a B&B right on the Bruce Trail. Some places also offer a bit of canoeing or kayaking thrown in for extra fun – all near the Bruce Trail and other established trails.
According to the Bruce Trail Conservancy, depending on your fitness level, you could complete the trail end-to-end in 30 days if you hiked eight hours a day – all 855 kms worth! What could you accomplish over two days? How about a two-day Bruce Trail waterfall walking tour? Grand Experiences offers a guided six-hour per day trip to experience some of the 120 waterfalls along the Hamilton/Halton/Iroquois section of the trail. Guides lead you on an adventure through some stunning scenery and waterfall views, and will also tell an historic tale or two of the area. They offer custom dates for groups of five people or more. The package includes two night’s accommodations in Brantford, a detailed itinerary, all meals at the area’s best restaurants, and transportation to and from the trailheads. Everything is in close proximity to the tour operator’s outfitting shop in pretty Paris.
Paris, you say? Another popular getaway is Grand Experiences’ Weekend in Paris Adventure. Spend two days and one night in one of Canada’s prettiest towns (cobblestone streets included). On this adventure, you’re not limited to your own two feet; you can grab a paddle to canoe down the Grand River or choose to go biking through this historic region that includes rare Carolinian forest. After some wildlife spotting and listening to your guides regale you with stories, the historic Arlington Hotel (circa 1851) awaits you. You’ll have plenty of time to stroll up and down main street Paris. All necessary equipment is supplied, as well as riverside lunches and breakfast, and dinner at your choice of four Paris restaurants, shuttle service, and the opportunity to be lead by experienced Paddle Canada Certified guides.
If a quiet B&B suits your trail tastes, the Bruce Manor in Niagara-on-the-Lake backs right onto the Niagara Region’s portion of the Bruce Trail. Go for a hike, head back to the manor and listen to the birds sing at dawn and watch the sun set against the backdrop of the trees. Each of the three suites have their own sitting area, a TV, bar fridge, coffee and tea service, ensuite bath to rest tired muscles, and a balcony made for reading a book or instituting happy hour. Of course, after you’ve explored the trail you might also want to make time for a wine tasting or two at the lengthy list of nearby wineries.
Speaking of Wineries – Vinifera, The Inn on Winery Row, could be the getaway that blends grapes into the mix. It’s approximately three kilometers from the Bruce Trail, and this astonishingly beautiful 1846 historic home features uniquely vintage-themed rooms and has been described as a “fun and fanciful” place by travellers. There are four distinctly different rooms: Rustic Tuscany, Vintage Garden, Allan Suite and the alluring Victorian Safari. Hosts Barb and Ron van Pelt will offer you a gourmet four-course breakfast to start your day.
This is just a small selection of the options available to you. So lace up those hiking boots and get out and enjoy the spectacular scenery along the Bruce Trail this fall!
By Becky Dumais
Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Co.
Arlington Hotel, Paris
Bruce Manor B&B, Niagara-on-the-lake
Vinifera Inn, Grimsby