Break out the scarves, a toasty drink and hit the road this Fall for an outdoor adventure!
South Eastern Ontario bursts with Fall colour at this time of year – but there’s much more to this area than just the changing leaves. As the season changes, this region caters to so many fun experiences. For this blog, I travelled to the Bay of Quinte, where there’s a ton of rural offerings to enjoy during a small getaway – the only thing that was missing was the change of colours which has now started. Here is a list of several things to do this Fall throughout this charming area.
Go For A Ride
Explore Quinte West’s beautiful natural scenery while riding a horse! Start your day with a guided trail ride on the back of a Paso Fino horse at Fina Vista Farm in Quinte West. Owner, Camilla, is a CHA Certified Master Instructor who offers group trail rides and private lessons on their 100-acre farm. The trails covering this farm go through a mix of winding forested pathways and rolling fields.
If you’re a nervous rider (like myself), you don’t need to worry about galloping around like a cowboy/girl, the gorgeous herd of Paso Fino horses are known for their calm demeanor & smooth, and gentle gait. As I rode with my horse Pinta, I felt like I was in my element tromping through the enchanting forest. All that was missing was the change of colours and the crunch of leaves as we made our way around the forest. I would suggest adding a ride on their e-bikes to your day at Fina Vista Farm and booking a spa service at their on-site day spa.
Visit This Chic Little Farm
Brighten up your home with some Fall flower arrangements! Dahlia May Flower Farm offers romantic, fragrant flowers just 20 minutes away from Fina Vista Farm. The owner, Melanie, is a Bay of Quinte native and grows all sorts of seasonal flowers – including Dahlias of course. Inside their farm stand, you can find a collection of house plants to turn your home into a tropical oasis. If you’re not able to visit their location, you can find Dahlia flower bouquets at various farmers’ markets and specialty shops throughout the area. I took home a couple of bouquets of Dahlias and Zinnias which came in an assortment of colours and looked like a burst of fireworks.
Fina Vista Farm and Dahlia May Flower Farm are both within two hours of Toronto, making them a perfect destination for a day trip! However, you should stay longer and add a day in Belleville to your getaway.
For the night, I stayed at the Little Belleville Blue, a quirky house decorated in vintage appeal and mid-century furnishing. Everything was in its place and easy to find thanks to the owner, Aiden, and their experience as a traveller visiting other Airbnb properties. It also happens to be right in the action of Belleville, making it a perfect place to stay if you wanted to stroll through the downtown streets where there are photo-worthy opportunities around every corner.
Grab A Sweater And Go For A Walk
Fall is also one of the most magical times to explore pretty neighbourhoods! If you’re an old home aficionado, you will fall hard for Belleville’s East Hill neighbourhood. These charming houses are some of the most gorgeous, homes I’ve ever seen. All the older houses have been lovingly cared for, with some dating back more than 150 years. You will be in awe of the architecture!
Buy Local From the Farmers’ Market
One of my favourite things about Fall is that it’s harvest season! Stop in at The Brake Room for a warm bevy before making your way over to the Belleville Farmers Market located in Market Square behind City Hall. The Belleville Farmers Market has been running for nearly two centuries and is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays year-round. Find everything from seasonal produce and roasted coffee to products from various artisans and makers.
Even though ice cream is more of a warm-weather treat, a visit to Reid’s Dairy is something you should do year-round! Reid’s Dairy is proudly made in the Bay of Quinte, operating and serving the community since 1910. They’re famous for their loonie shakes and fresh waffle cones that are made on-site. Just look for the castle!
As the temperature starts to dip, this is the time where you can enjoy a darker and flavourful craft beer that may have been too heavy for the summer season. If you fancy a pint, visit Signal Brewery in Corbyville. Their historic building was once home to a former whiskey distillery dating back to 1859. Their patio overlooks the Moira River that is stunningly beautiful in the Fall.
Visit This Adorable Spot For Apple Picking & More
We are lucky here in South Eastern Ontario to have many pick your own apple orchards – Bay of Quinte has nearly 10!. The orchard that I have gone to nearly every year since I moved out this way 8 years ago, is Wynn Farms, 25 minutes west of Kingston and 15 minutes south of Napanee. Wynn Farms is a family-run orchard that was planted over 35 years ago by the family. The farm offers pick-your-own apples, so you can pick as many apples as your little heart desires! There are also pre-picked apples, pears, and a pumpkin patch. The legendary corn maze which has a different theme each year can’t be missed during a visit! We had lots of fun getting lost in the safari-themed maze which was filled with trivia and safari-themed recipes kids would enjoy. Afterward, we rewarded ourselves with caramel apples and cider to take home. If you’re heading East, the drive along the Loyalist Parkway is a lovely lakeshore drive to take when you’re heading home.
The Fall season is the perfect time for you and your friends to explore what the Bay of Quinte has to offer. If you’re looking for more ‘fall-tastic’ ideas, take a look at their Bucket List.