Ontario Will Give You The Butterflies!
Southern Ontario is a diverse region with countless activities on offer. Home to Point Pelee National Park and Ontario’s southernmost point, as well as numerous wineries, southern Ontario provides visitors with a wealth of opportunity and adventure for 2018 and beyond.
Visit Ontario’s southernmost National Park - further south than northern California, and found on the same latitude as Rome - Point Pelee National Park is a nature lover’s paradise. Every autumn the skies come alive with the fluttering of thousands of amber wings with the annual migration of the spectacular Monarch butterfly. The butterflies stop at the park to feed on Milkweed, which is abundant in Ontario, before making the long journey down to Mexico. Visitors to the area during this time should look up to the skies to witness this incredible natural phenomenon.
Point Pelee is also internationally renowned for bird watching, a place where ‘tweeters’ can spot more than 390 species in just one day. Bird watching is in fact the reason why Point Pelee was made a national park in 1918 and why it has since garnered worldwide recognition as an “Important Bird Area” and been UNESCO designated as a “Wetland of International Significance”. The diverse range of species include the Red-billed Grebe, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, Cattle Egret and Horned Grebe.
For those who wish to indulge in a traditional Canadian pastime, Point Pelee’s marshlands are a fantastic place to paddle with two-thirds of the park composed of freshwater marshes. Canoes can be rented through Friends of Point Pelee at the Marsh Boardwalk with prices from $20 an hour. Whilst paddling, visitors can spot many different turtle and frog species near the marsh as well as other aquatic wildlife. Paddlers can even canoe out to the tip of the park, which is the most southernmost part of Canada.
Point Pelee also offers a wealth of hiking and biking opportunities. Holidaymakers can explore some of the oldest forest in the park by walking through the Carolinian Forest, or embark on an interpretive hike such as the Marsh Boardwalk or the Woodland Nature Trail to learn about the area’s history including indigenous culture. For those who prefer to be on two wheels, the park offers the Centennial Bike Trail, which stretches over 4km from the Broad walk.
But, for the less adventurous, you can always sip and savour your way through Southern Ontario!
For those searching for off the beaten track wineries, visitors can travel to the lesser-known regions of Lake Erie’s north shore and Pelee Island. Lake Erie’s north shore, just four hours by car from Toronto, enjoys Ontario’s longest growing season and the combination of intense summer heat and moderate lake breezes makes it the perfect location for producing full-bodied wines. As one of Canada’s prime enotourism destinations, budding sommeliers can sample varieties from a number of different wineries including Colio Estate Winery, North 42 Degrees and Colchester Ridge Estate Winery. For a scenic experience out on the water, there’s also a ferry across to Pelee Island Winery. Visitors can now explore the area from the comfort of The Grove Hotel in Kingsville, which opened last year with 18 guest rooms. Complete with a craft brewery next door, this hotel offers a cool, hipster atmosphere.
For further information on Ontario, please visit www.ontariotravel.net/uk
Ontario Will Give You The Butterflies!, 27th February 2018, 16:40 PM