July 13 and 14, 2019:
All thanks to the Municipality of Port Hope for organizing yet another splendid, fun-filled, and memorable weekend! All activities in the itinerary were arranged and sponsored by their Marketing & Tourism board.
We started the weekend bright and early at the Ganaraska location of Treetop Trekking (10585 Cold Springs Camp Rd, Campbellcroft, ON). It was a beautiful sunny day and the perfect place to conquer your fear of heights by scaling 40 feet high trees with zip lines, different games, and obstacles.
This was my third time at this location, and it was exciting to see my improvement in arm strength. I think my recent near-daily yoga sessions have strengthened up my core! ;p It made scaling through some of the obstacles a lot easier than in the past.
After our morning workout, we changed out of our sweaty clothes and into ones befitting for photos at the Laveanne Lavender fields (8667 Gilmour Rd, Campbellcroft, ON).
We were lucky to be here during mid-July for the full blooms. Plenty of visitors were on site in the field and the labyrinth.
The gift shop is definitely worth a visit too! They have lots of lavender soaps, lotions, mugs, pastries, sweets, and more! It’s perfect to relish in more of the lavender scent for yourself later at home or as a gift to someone who also enjoys the lavender blooms.
For lunch, we picked up a pre-assembled picnic basket and blanket from the General Hill General Store (3825 Ganaraska Rd, Campbellcroft, ON).
We drove just a minute to the Garden Hill Conservation Area (Ganaraska Road 9, Port Hope, ON) across the street which had a pretty pond to enjoy our local goods by the water. This was a very thoughtful gesture and was so nice to enjoy the great outdoors while sampling the best local cheeses, salami, sourdough bread, gourmet chocolates and sugar cookies, and teas too!
In the beautiful picnic basket befitted with plates, utensils, and napkins for us, we enjoyed Sourdough Bread from South Ponds Farm, purchased at Suntree Natural Foods Marketplace, Genoa Salami, Le 1608 de Charlevoix cheese, Applewood Smooth & Creamy Smoke Flavoured Cheddar Cheese from Herma’s Fine Foods, adorable decorated Sugar Cookies from Frosted Flour Co., and assorted Artisan Chocolates from Mercury Chocolates (Sea Salt Caramel, Raspberry Luna, Amalfi Limoncello and Almond Torroncino). I especially enjoyed both of the soft cheeses.
After our picnic, we had a guided hike at 2 p.m. through the Ganaraska Forest (10585 Cold Springs Camp Rd, Campbellcroft, ON) with the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority led by Linda Givelas. We were able to explore the 4 km path of Southern Ontario’s largest forest in this leisurely stroll. It’s a great forest to visit for an easy flat route with lots of different types of foliage to see and learn about.
Despite it being Linda’s first role as a guided tour through the forest, she did an amazing job of educating us about its history, invasive species, and species to watch out for. I never knew there is a plant where if you touch it and get exposed to the sun, it will turn into third-degree burns!
Just before dinner, we checked into our bed and breakfast at Moonlight & Pines B&B. This was a wonderful home well maintained by the Soutters where we stayed in the lower level of the house. There was an adjoining living space with a TV, fireplace, pool table, chess, board games, and a library. The cozy king size bedroom opened out onto their yard and gardens. There was a microwave, mini fridge, coffee maker, kettle, large walk-in closet, towels, and toiletries.
We went to Local No 90 (90 Mill St N, Port Hope, ON) for dinner where we enjoyed their local beer on tap, gooey pizzas (get the Corner pizza), feature mussels, feature pasta, and their vegan selections. The food was delicious, generous in portion, and worth every lick of the fork. It’s a great social gathering space in Port Hope to eat and enjoy a meal.
Toe Beans Cat Cafe (119 Peter St, Port Hope, ON ) opened in September 2018 after months of planning and coordinating with the local rules and regulations of operating a cat cafe. In this cute space, you can order a drink and a snack (vegan or gluten free) as a $4 admission to play with the cats. They have five cats as permanent residents and many others available for adoption. It’s the best cat cafe I’ve ever gone to! It’s so well made for the cats and yet has so many tables and chairs for the humans visitors to stay and enjoy the “catmosphere”. 😉
After our cat cafe visit, the sun had already gone down. We returned back to Moonlight & Pines B&B (115 Line Rd 10, Campbellcroft, ON) for the night without getting a chance to visit the famed East and West Beaches of Port Hope. We will have to come back another time for that.
The next morning, our B&B hostess Helen prepared us a beautiful and healthy homemade breakfast of freshly squeezed orange juice, Bircher Muesli, toast (homemade bread), freshly baked muffins (with raspberry, strawberry jam, and butter), bacon, Crustless Dill and Spinach Quiche with Cheese, and a Sweet Potato Hash with Bacon. The main breakfast was chosen ahead of time from a menu.
Every dish was hearty and so tasty. We enjoyed our breakfast with the best view overlooking their large yard and garden. Here, I saw my first couple of hummingbirds and a Blue Jay too! They have hummingbird and bird feeders.
We took a stroll in their spacious backyard and rested on the hammock before we said our goodbyes and returned back home.
Thank you so much for inviting me on this FAM tour trip!! It was very well organized and planned with no mishaps at all. Port Hope is the best place to unwind, enjoy good food, and enjoy unique activities. This small town is only an hour’s drive from Toronto too!
(Upcoming blog posts about the specific businesses soon.)
FTC Disclaimer: Although the Municipality of Port Hope reached out and invited me to a complimentary visit to promote the businesses in Port Hope, the opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of the Municipality or businesses.