Who knew that Norfolk County was a destination full of potential adventures so close to home? I certainly had no idea when I booked a quick trip to visit Long Point Eco Adventures this summer. In fact, I originally pictured a few fun activities and some relaxing at the beach. What we ended up with was so much more.
This summer, right before school went back, I decided to take my girls on a quick trip somewhere in Ontario. We looked at a few options and also checked Glamping Hub for ideas. (my guilty pleasure) Then we landed on Long Point Eco Adventures and decided we’d give glamping a try. Norfolk County looked quaint and to be honest it wasn’t an epic drive from London, at under 100 minutes door to door. So, Norfolk County and Long Point Eco Adventures won out.
We arrived early on a Thursday and checked in at Long Point Eco Adventures where we were staying in a very cool safari tent. Then we set out to have some fun and do all the things we didn’t have time for in the summer. Here’s what we found.
41 Amazing Things to Do in Norfolk County
It’s a cliche to say Norfolk County is a hidden gem. So suffice it to say Norfolk County wowed us at every turn and we loved our visit. In fact it was one of the most memorable and adventuresome vacations we have experienced together in a long time. There are a zillion reasons to visit this county. Here are 41 of the ones we discovered in under 3 days. We tried many of these and throughly enjoyed them.
Long Point Eco Adventures
AWESOME spot to stay. Highly recommend. Just a short drive to 2 or 3 beaches and the accommodations here are so much fun. Loved our safari style tent in the Wilderness Suites and couldn’t have asked for anything better honestly. This is not hardcore camping. It’s glamping and now we can say we stayed in a safari tent! There are also pods for 1-2 people. Super cute.
Zip lining at Long Point Eco Adventures
OH man this is a scream, literally. Lasts a bit more than two hours and you need to check height and weight of any kids traveling with you if you want to do this with children. In fact if they are under 12 you are probably out of luck because the zip line doesn’t work if you are too light or too short for it. WE loved this and doing a zip line course together is always memorable. The course was about 8 sections of zip lining and it lasted a bit over 2 hours.
It’s part of the zip line at the end. That was my first time and the highest point I have ever rappelled from. One of my girls has done this before at camp and was a pro. I was no pro but enjoyed it too.
This was also part of our zip lining adventure. If you do the zip lining then you will automatically also do the suspension bridges. I recall there were two.
Try Your Hand or Arm at Axe throwing
Right at Long Point Eco Adventures. LOVED trying this for the first time. Take a three hour lesson or do a session with a group. So fun.
Hike the Trails at Long Point Eco Adventures
There are several trails waiting to be explored at Long Point Eco Adventures. You will need heavy duty big spray here because the mosquitoes are hard core.
Cycle the Trails at Long Point Eco Adventures
Many many cyclists were taking advantage of the trail system here on the site itself when we visited.
Visit Turkey Point
The beach is decent and family friendly from where we were staying it was a five minute drive.
Camp at Turkey Point Provincial Park or Long Point Provincial Park.
Obviously family friendly and not so far from home if you live in Toronto, London, Kitchener, Windsor area.
The Sandbar at the Beach
This is the place to be at night. Be prepared to wait during busy season and you may want to sit inside. The beach is super buggy at night. We had a cheesy cappelletti dish that I was wishing we had ordered 2 or 3 of. Best cappelletti I have had actually. Dancing and also musicians. Looked like everyone in the area had the same idea the Friday night we visited.
Inflatable Water Trampoline
Have fun and be safe. At Turkey Point you can also use the inflatable water trampoline in the summer.
Go For a Paddle
We did a four hour kayaking tour of Big Creek with Big Creek Paddle. Leeann and Brian were excellent guides. They took the picture above of us kayaking. The kayaking tour was relaxing and really just a great way to spend a chunk of a day learning about he ecosystems in this area. Gorgeous scenery.
Bring your canoe with you or rent one at Turkey Point or Long Point. Both are lovely beaches. Long Point has very shallow entry. We spent a couple of hours there one day and waded out pretty far safely on foot. Turkey Point water seemed a tiny bit rougher the day we visited that beach. But there were a few canoes at Turkey Point when we were there.
Burning Kiln Winery
Enjoy the wine tasting or have dinner. Or both. We had a good meal here one night. Highly recommend the charcuterie appetizer.
Blueberry Hill Estate Winery and Bakery
Try the blueberry treats, visit their market style store with fresh produce and pies. OR simply purchase the Blueberry wine like I did. Almost every one of the winery locations we discovered had sample flights for $5. Try several of the wines they offer and then choose which one you wish to take home.
Take photos overlooking the marsh and the fields where the grapes are grown. The chairs outside the winery in back have one of the best views I have seen in Norfolk County
Port Rowan has an excellent harbour and marina area for this. Bring your fishing poles, buy some bait and sit for hours if you wish.
Visit Port Rowan
A very pretty little port town on Lake Erie adjacent to Long Point. It is maybe a 30 minute drive at most from Long Point Eco Adventures. Shopping, food and a Farmer’s Market all make it lovely. This area is apparently a growing retirement community and a birdhouse capital of Canada. It’s an area known for fishing, birding, and also boating. Wished we could have taken more time here actually. It’s a great spot for photos.
Visit the Farmer’s Market
The day we drove to Port Rowan they had a farmer’s market set up so naturally we had to check that out. There are a couple of others in the county too. Great fresh produce. Simcoe Farmer’s Market is open every Thursday at the Norfolk County Fair Grounds. Waterford and Port Dover also have markets.
Drive to Long Point World Biosphere. There are 20 places within Norfolk County itself designated as Amazing Places. You want to see many of these yourself. Long Point World Biosphere is the only spot I have ever driven in with my family where the road signs read Give Wildlife a Chance and Brake for Snakes. That definitely caught my eye.
Get Outdoors and Go for a Walk
You can do this pretty much anywhere in Norfolk County. It’s a beautiful spot with many trails and beaches.
Summer Sea-Doo Rentals – Turkey Point
Rent one in the summer months right at the beach.
There are many to choose from in Long Point or Turkey Point. There’s plenty of boating in Port Rowan too.
Stand up Paddle boarding
Bring your own or rent one at Turkey Point.
Norfolk County is currently vying for a dark sky designation. That process takes time so fingers crossed as they wait for this designation to hopefully happen in the next year or two. The constellations are clear as can be on a night without cloud cover. It was truly remarkable. I tried to take photos but was impossible to capture the sky. Suffice it to say it was one of the clearest most beautiful night sky views I have ever seen. My oldest girl pointed out about 5 constellations easily.
OR You Can do this….Observatory on site at Long Point Eco Adventures
Warning it is extremely popular and books up fast. This was fully booked when we visited. Just means we need to return another time to experience this too.
Of course always pay attention to whether camp fires are allowed or if there’s a fire ban obey it. But the nights we were at Long Point Eco Adventures a lovely camp fire started at dusk. Bring your own equipment to make S’mores and you might want to bring your own lawn chairs. The night we gathered by the campfire it was super popular.
Spy over 400 different species of birds in the Carolinian Forests here. The Long Point Birding Trail is a project of Long Point Bird Observatory. Birds start to arrive in March – tundra swans and the mid May time period holds the greatest diversity of birds in the area. So visit in mid-May for maximum birding.
Visit Long Point Bird Observatory
Here a group of mostly volunteers catch, identify, measure and weight birds before banding them and releasing them. Great educational activity for anyone.
You already know it as that spot where the bikers all gather on Friday the 13th annually. Also a lovely spot to visit.
Visit for the restaurants and stay for the shopping. About 30 minutes from Long Point Eco Adventures.
Book them right from Long Point Eco Adventures if you are so inclined. Long Point Bay is well now for sport fishing.
This right here would be my nightmare actually. But that doesn’t mean it won’t appeal to you. Book a tour via Long Point Eco Adventures and then put your bee-keeping suit on as you head to Vanessa’s to see bees up close. $45 per person currently. Honey tasting might be involved.
Toast the Coast Trail
This area in Norfolk County has unique growing conditions for grapes and is an emerging wine region. The Toast the Coast trail is a new self directed tour of wineries and breweries along Ontario’s South Coast. I made it into three of the wineries. I could easily see this being a great girlfriend’s getaway activity, or even a romantic weekend activity for any couple. Excellent and really unique wines in this region. Currently Norfolk County is vying for their VQA status.
Visit a Lavender Farm
Early in the season the lavender farm is a riot of purples and a wonderful sensory experience. In late August when we visited it was all done blooming. So my advice is to go earlier in the summer to see the lavender fields.
Pick your Own…
This is always fun especially if you are travelling with kids. Pick your own fresh berries or whatever else you find at the various pick your own farms in this gorgeous county. Doesn’t get fresher than that.
If that’s your particular hobby you will find many small antique shops all over the county.
FlyBoarding at Turkey Point
If you have never tried FlyBoarding this you should give it a whirl at least once. Book it here – Turkey Point Flyboard Rentals.
Mountain Biking and Mountain Biking Camps
The Turkey Point Mountain Bike Club offers 80 km plus of single track groomed trails. The county is also home to over 45 kms of rails now converted to trails. And also there’s the Backus Woods trail that’s good for winter sports as well such as snowshoeing and cross country skiing. There are 12 kms of trails in Backus Woods on 700 acres of property.
Backus Heritage Conservation Area
We didn’t get here because we ran out of time but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention it. This is an open air museum and grist mill. Camping, fishing, hiking and educational programs all take place here. There’s a nature centre too. Visit the Backhouse Grist Mill of 1798.
In Port Rowan at the end of the summer every year is Bayfest. Come play by the bay on Labor Day weekend. Midway rides, entertainment and fireworks. It was just starting when we were there and the rides were all set up. Family friendly and super fun for younger kids.
Adventure Awaits Close to Home
Norfolk County is an outdoor lover’s paradise. So happy we found this beautiful destination and will definitely return another year. We found it so peaceful and relaxing. Highly recommend for families with teens or tweens. Great idea for a corporate getaway or a romantic weekend too.
We were guests of Norfolk County Tourism while visiting the area and we received all accommodations and activities in exchange for honest coverage here. This post may also contain affiliate links as a service to readers.