Loren Christie on unique cycling adventures in Canada
As Summer turns to Fall, we have a few precious weeks left to enjoy our great outdoors before the snow flies. I recently went to St. Andrews, New Brunswick and was treated to an extremely unique bike tour courtesy of Kurt Gumushel of Off Kilter Bike tours. If you plan to spend any October weekends in the area, I would highly recommend it.
Not only did I bike the length of the town, including a zigzag through the Kingsbrae Gardens and a cycle along the ocean floor, but I did it wearing a kilt. A biking kilt to be exact. Kurt’s father, who for years owned a kilt store in town, fashions the specialized kilts, which look somewhat like the one Brittany Spears wore when she first hit the music scene.
It was great fun and Kurt is an amazing tour guide. Finishing off the day with a bowl of seafood chowder and a beer at the Niger Reef Tea House was a nice touch! He offers trips on weekends through the Fall and full-time during the summer months. A typical tour is two hours, but he will tailor trips to your needs and skill level. You can treat it like sightseeing tour or do some serious mountain biking.
If you prefer something that doesn’t require pedaling on your own steam, how about a motorcycle tour ofAlberta’s Icefields Parkway? Jasper Motorcycle Tours is the only place in North America where you can take a side- car tour. It’s perfect if you are either travelling without a car or just want to see what it’s like to drive a bike. They offer one, two and three hour tours of the area around Jasper. I did the five hour tour of the entire Parkway last summer. It was awesome.
If you want an overnight experience, head to Quebec's Eastern Townships to enjoy a three and a half-hour train ride with a gourmet meal to top off the day. Stay for one night at Auberge aux 4 Saison Orford, a charming modern country inn close to Mont Orford national park.
This is the season for Fall colours, so check out Ontario Yours To Discover's website for live updates on the Fall Colour report. Download the app when you head out on your journey and browse the site for a wide variety of Fall packages including a Mennonite Horse and Buggy package.
Don’t forget the abundance of harvest and wine festivals at this time of year. If you're a wine lover and foodie, the Nova Scotia Fall Wine Festival has a full slate of events running until October 14.
In British Columbia they are celebrating the 32nd annual Fall Okanagan Wine Festival. More than one hundred and fifty wine, food, educational and arts-focused events are set to fill the roster from September 28 through to October 7, as crowds gather to pair cheese with favoured pours, sample menus courtesy of young Okanagan chefs and challenge their tastebuds during a host of blind taste tests. Additional highlights include a House of Rose Grape Stomping Party, a chance to gaze at the stars while you sip at Rollingdale Winery and various orchard-to-table events, including the Fall Epicurean Wine Dinner at Mission Hill Family Estate.