Discover Burlington Ontario

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Roadtrip Burlington: How to Experience (almost) Everything Outdoorsy & Awesome – Day 1

by Guest Writer

“Whoever said “there’s nothing fun to do out in Burlington” has no idea what a little roadtrip research and planning can do and the places you’ll discover.”

I have to admit, my first trip to Burlington was for a DiscoverON trip to explore the Chocolate Trail (another story for another day ;-). That one short but super fun ladies-night-out trip left quite an impression on me and so, I knew I had to go back to Burlington to explore more of it!

This time, I gave myself two full days to see what kinds of adventures, activities, and of course yummy treats, the city-not-far from Toronto has to offer!

DAY 1

After a less-than-40 minute drive from Toronto, I arrived at my first stop of the trip!

Roadtrip - Kelso Conservation

 Now I know Kelso Conservation Area is technically in Milton, they are a sports and recreation partner on the Burlington website. Since I’ve never been there AND, since I’m all about water sports…

Roadtrip - Kayaking at Kelso

 …I HAD to do this.

There’s no other way I prefer to start my day than by being out on the water for a refreshing morning paddle!

Although I brought all sorts of gear, I didn’t pack a kayak so I rented one from the friendly Conservation Halton staff and then headed out on the calm and peaceful Kelso Lake. Ahh…

After I got my paddling fix, it was time to satisfy the foodie in me! And not just with any food, but something local, fresh and yummy…

Raodtrip - Springridge Farm

So I headed over to Springridge Farm!

You can’t get more local, fresh or yummy, other than by eating goodies from a farm!

And thank goodness it was only a 10-minute drive away from Kelso Lake since it was lunch time!

Roadtrip - Springridge Farm

Before even entering the cute little barn, I could smell the delightful scent of bakery goodies inside. It was enough to make me pick up my pace and hurry in, as I could only imagine what warm, flaky pastries were coming out of the ovens.

Roadtrip - Springridge Farm Raodtrip - Springridge Farm Roadtrip - Springridge Farm

Once inside the barn, there were all sorts of cool trinkets and treasures to look at.

Roadtrip - Springridge Farm

 Not only did they have a wall full of jams…

Roadtrip - Springridge Farm Raodtrip - Springridge Farm

…but they had a glowing showcase full of pies and tarts…

Roadtrip - Springridge Raodtrip - Springridge

Just look at them! How could I resist?!

 Raodtrip - Springridge

So I bought six to go! Yay for no tax when you buy six!

While stuffing my face with them and raving about the taste, I find out that Springridge is known for their pies and tarts, all made from scratch with fresh fruit right from the farm.

Can you guess the flavours I got?

Mmmm… I still think about those tarts.

 Roadtrip - Springridge

 Their Fun Farm Yard was also bustling with activity!

Adults and kids all looked like they were having a good time whether they were lounging at the picnic tables or checking out the farm animals.

After the delicious lunch, it was time to bust out the mountain bike packed in my car!

So off to the next stop!

Raodtrip - Kelso Summit

Back to Kelso, but this time, I parked at the Summit Entrance.

Raodtrip - Kelso Sumiit Roadtrip - Kelso Summit

 After setting up my mountain bike…

 Roadtrip - Kelso Summit

…and taking a look at the trail map

Roadtrip - Kelso Summit

I was ready to explore Kelso by mountain bike! Woo!

I had heard a lot about Kelso being a great mountain biking destination and the popular Kelso MTB Race Series, so I was excited to finally check out these trails!

I was happy that there was a wide open double track for a nice warm up before getting on those single tracks. And, I was even happier to see…

Raodtrip - Kelso Summit Roadtrip - Kelso Summit

…scenic views like this!

This is a view of the Kelso Quarry Park from the escarpment. This is just minutes from the parking lot and easily accessible.

Roadtrip - Kelso Summit Roadtrip - Kelso Summit Roadtrip - Kelso Summit

After taking some of the easier, less technical trails (rated as green trails, like the ski/snowboard system)…

Roadtrip - Kelso Summit Roadtrip - Kelso Summit Roadtrip - Kelso Summit

…I checked out some of the slightly more challenging ones!

Ok, just kidding J I really enjoyed the single track shown on the left (rated green) which can lead you into the “X-treem Trail” (rated black diamond, shown in the other two photos). Perfect for those looking for more of a challenge!

The park has over 22 km of scenic marked trail to suit all levels!

And if you’re not really big on biking…

 Roadtrip - Kelso Summit

…you can still enjoy stunning lookouts like this by hiking in!

Most of the trails are for both biking and hiking which take you along the gorgeous Niagara Escarpment. The Bruce Trail also runs through the park and is definitely worth exploring.

Roadtrip - Kelso Summit

 And don’t worry…if you have to use the facilities, there actually is one you can use!

Now I can’t tell you how long I explored the trails in Kelso for, but I can tell you that when I left, I was SO looking forward to the fact that I had a yurt waiting for me vs. an empty campsite waiting to be set-up after a long day full of paddling and portaging (my usual thing as I always try to fit in interior camping as part of my summer adventures).

Since I’ve never been in a yurt before, I thought I’d take the opportunity to check out the ones in Bronte Creek (which are the closest yurts to Toronto offered through Ontario Parks).

Roadtrip - Bronte Creek PP

Now notice how the sign mentions “CAMPGROUND ONLY”? This is because Bronte Creek has a day-use side (where the historic barns and Maple Syrup Festival take place) and then there’s the side where campers go!

Roadtrip - Bronte Creek PP

My home sweet home for the night!

Raodtrip - Bronte Creek PP Roadtrip - Bronte Creek PP

The yurt had a nice little deck area with a picnic table…and yes, a BBQ (propane included)!

Roadtrip - Bronte Creek PP

Again, after cycling a good chunk of the afternoon, I was SO happy to see this bed! There were two sets of bunk beds for six people to comfortably “camp” without roughing it. The bathrooms were very close too, and clean

It was luxury for me to just be able to throw down my sleeping bag and say DONE.

 Roadtrip - Bronte Creek PP

Oh, and the view from my bedroom…ahhh.

Soon after I arrived, my friends arrived from Toronto and joined me just as the campfire hotdogs were ready!

Roadtrip - Bronte Creek PP

Mmmm…

Roadtrip - Bronte Creek PP

I love a good campfire

And well, that concludes the first day of my Burlington trip (If Day 1 was this packed full of adventure, you can only count on Day 2 to be just as packed full of fun)!

I remember going to bed that night feeling so happy and relaxed and at the same time excited for the morning to come because as I mentioned earlier how there’s nothing like starting the day with a little on-water activity

Stay tuned for Day 2’s adventure!

– D!ana

Diana Lee Diana Lee Diana Lee

Diana Lee enjoys outdoor adventure, activities, exploring and food (lots of all the above please!) She is also an Oakley Womens Ambassador, a race reporter for Get Out There Magazine and a librarian (yes, a librarian). Find out what she’s up to on Twitter & Instagram – @only1phoenixx

* Editor’s Note: All locations visited by Diana are Tourism Burlington partners located either in Burlington/Halton

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