My wife and I have been looking for a short but fun get away this summer. We just came from Niagara-on-the-Lake last Thursday, rested at home for a day, and took a 3-hour road trip to Tobermory and Collingwood last weekend. This time we are hoping for a Fitness filled adventure!
Since we didn’t want to drive for four hours, we joined a bus tour under ShengNuo tours. The tour guide translated his script to both English and Chinese at the start but for the most part of the trip, everything was in Chinese. That was fine for us as long as we get in our destinations! He also gave us some flyers that we told us to review so we don’t miss out.
We went to ride the Glass Bottom Boat Cruise to Flowerpot Island on our first day after a long 3-hour ride. On the way to the island we spent around 15 minutes at a shipwreck. The boat had a small section where you can see the Lake floor through the bottom of the ship — don’t expect the whole boat to have a glass bottom!
We arrived at the Flowerpot island with just enough time to hike the trail (about 25 minutes one way to the lighthouse), take pictures, hangout and enjoy the scenery. The island was named after two limestone rock formations that is shaped like flower pots. Get your selfie sticks ready for the awesome view!
The trail at Flowerpot Island was fairly easy and it’s something the whole family can enjoy. Both kids and even the elderly can follow the trail up to the lighthouse. There are some areas which are very rocky and some requires climbing up a rock, but there are lots of friendlier shortcuts. If you’re planning to wade in the water make sure you bring a pair of swim shoes as the smooth rocks on the floor of the Lake can be very slippery. It was also breezy cold when we went (at around 23C) and we only saw a few people who dared to swim. Before approaching the lighthouse, there is a cave that can be climbed easily through steep wooden stairs. You’ll get rewarded by a majestic view of the green canopy over the island that merges with the fresh blue lake.
We spent a few hours in the island before taking the jet boat back to the port, so we went to our 3 other destinations the day after.
Inglis Falls at Owen Sounds
We first visited the Inglis Falls – we thought our tour guide made a mistake because we knew it was the Owen Sounds Falls, but he was right! It was named after the Inglis family who owned a factory in the area. There was not so much to see apart from the Falls and we spent only 15 minutes in that location. There is a 10km river trail available that we didn’t go through because it was not in our itinerary. Also there’s a lot of big mosquitoes in this area because of the stagnant river water near the dam so be prepared especially if you go there with kids.
The BuzzBarrier Insect and Mosquito Repellant Wristband is perfect for this occasion — no more hassle of applying lotions to your kids, they just have to wear the wristband and have fun! Get your Mosquito Repellant Wristband here.
Georgian Bay Trail
Next stop was the Georgian Bay trail. This is another spot that you might not want to miss at the Bruce Peninsula. It’s included in UNESCO’s list of nature reserves which means that you’ll see nature’s pure beauty and wonder. Get your cameras ready for this one!
There are a lot of trail options available but since we have one more destination (and we have a few seniors with us), we took the shortest route. It took an easy 40 minute hike to reach the Georgian Bay and a few more minutes with some rocky climbs, you’ll reach the Grotto. The Grotto is another rock formation shaped like a cave from years of erosion. Stretch your tired back, legs, and feet while you enjoy nature’s wonder. It is highly recommended to check this place out!
Scenic Caves Adventure Resort
Last stop, but definitely not the least! We went to Scenic Caves Adventure resort. It’s a big compound that encloses a nature trail and mountain hike featuring the Caves, a panoramic view of the bay from the longest suspension bridge, an adventure play area for kids, and a lot more! This was the longest and may be the hardest trail of our weekend. It involves a lot of steep climbs and a few slippery rocks. You’ll surely feel your Heart Rate go up a dozen notch! (Need a Heart Rate Monitor when you workout?) You’ll be rewarded with an awesome experience so get ready to hike!
All in all, my Fitbit Charge registered 16,905 steps. Scenic Caves is still designed to be enjoyed by the family and there are stairs and occasional rail handles. If you have any heart conditions this might not be for you as the steep climb could really boost your heart rate. Elderly people who have difficulty walking can stay in the Souvenir Shop or by the man-made lake.
After a two long days of hiking, we just felt like getting a massage to release those tightened trigger points in our sore muscles. And guess what, we found this gem from the Scenic Caves!
It’s the Relaxus Harmony Roller — an innovative tool for self myofascial release for your neck pain, tight shoulders, sore legs and back. It’s easier to use on smaller areas of your body like your neck and shoulders and is more portable than the foam roller.
Going to the Flowerpot Island, Georgian Bay, and Scenic Caves was absolutely worth it and a must try if you’re looking for a family friendly adventure!