Hit the road (or path) Jack!
We've been asked... ok, we've rented bikes, where should we go? The list is really endless and depends more on what you want to see and how long you want to go. Here are a couple of our favourite recommendations with help from the peeps at Tourism Windsor-Essex (and if you come up with any others we'd love to hear 'em).
North Shore Wine Trail
Lake Erie North Shore
EASY | TERRAIN: PAVED, GROOMED TRAIL
DEPARTING FROM THE GROVE HOTEL OR COLCHESTER (it's a loop so it really doesn't matter)
42 KM ROUNDTRIP | 2 HOURS, NON-STOP
Escape to the northshore for award-winning wineries, sight-seeing opportunities, attractive beaches, and unique gift shops.
Sip and savour world-class crisp whites and bold reds
Experience the Lake Erie coastline along Country Road 50
Partake in eclectic bites, brews and boutiques
Meander along County Road 50 and escape to the Essex Pelee Island Coast (EPIC) wine route to explore our wine region. Consisting of over eighteen wineries, our picturesque wine region rests alongside the Lake Erie North Shore and produces award-winning, world-class wines. Our prime location, along the most southern shore of Canada, provides a unique maritime climate, and 30 more days of sun, which contribute to a more tasteful and sweeter grape.
Each winery holds a unique story and history you can taste from the glass. From quaint, inviting, family-run estates to the opulent and grandiose, to the oldest estate winery in Canada, all of our wineries are defined by their warm, welcoming nature. Stop for a taste and stay for lunch. There’s always something to toast in EPIC Wine Country.
Along the wine route, there are several other unique stops to make. For a trip back in time, visit John R. Park Homestead and Conservation Area. Explore the Parks’ Classical Revival home, built in 1842, taste baking from the kitchen fireplace, see the workings of an 1885 steam engine-powered sawmill, and stop by the blacksmith shop to witness the making of small hardware at the coal-fired forge.
Why not try something a little different by making one last stop at Serenity Lavender Farm? Over 40 varieties of lavender greet its visitors with its evocative colours and fragrances. Stroll through the picturesque gardens or visit the gift shop and indulge in everything lavender from handmade bath products to culinary delights.
Point Pelee National Park & Area
EASY | TERRAIN: PAVED, GROOMED TRAIL
DEPARTING FROM THE GROVE HOTEL
25 KM TO THE GATES OF POINT PELEE NATIONAL PARK, plus 5 KM TO THE TIP - the southernmost point in mainland Canada...how can you not do that?
1 1/2 HOURS EACH WAY | NON-STOP
ADD A STOP AT HILLMAN MARSH CONSERVATION AREA AND YOU'LL BE 68 KM ROUNDTRIP (about 3 1/2 hours)
Explore one of Canada’s most ecologically diverse National Parks – Point Pelee in Leamington.
Trek to the tip of Point Pelee National Park
Experience Leamington’s diverse cuisine and waterfront entertainment
Kick off your day in Kingsville! Rich in Victorian heritage, Kingsville, “Canada’s Southernmost Town”, welcomes foodies and wine lovers alike, to peruse its unique and eclectic downtown core. Kingsville is also a playground for outdoor enthusiasts where stellar boating, fishing, and golf meet with miles of recreational trails and waterfront charm.
As you pedal towards Point Pelee National Park, grab a picnic lunch at a local artisan shop or a roadside fruit stand offering fresh local produce - we highly recommend Lee & Maria's to grab and go. Point Pelee is the southern extreme of mainland Canada, and is a tiny sanctuary supporting a mosaic of habitats. Bike the 5 km trail taking you deep into the forest, trek out to the beach at the southernmost tip, or walk the boardwalk out onto one of the largest freshwater marshes on the Great Lakes.
Continue on your journey to Hillman Marsh Conservation Area, located just minutes from Point Pelee. At Hillman Marsh, a birding trail borders 87 acres of unique shorebird habitat. The nature centre has educational displays about flora and fauna typical to the region and the marsh is a great place for hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, and swimming.
OFF THE BEATEN PATH
In the Essex Region, we are fortunate to have more than 80 km of connected, safe, off-road greenway trails. These include the Chrysler Canada Greenway, the Cypher Systems Group Greenway, and the Rotary (1918) Centennial Hub. These trails were designed for multiple uses, including hiking, cycling, nature observation and in some areas, for horseback riding.
Most of these trails are only a small trip from either of THE GROVE BIKE CO. pick-up locations. For more information on all of the amaz in our region, click here: Greenways & Etiquette Guidelines - Essex Region Conservation or CWATS or Parks Trails and Beaches - Town of Kingsville
So, we hope we've given you enough information to plan your next great adventure. Still not sure? Just hop on and go... you can't go wrong and some of the best days are the ones you don't plan.