We’ve been hosting Thanksgiving dinners at our home since we moved in, but this year, my parents were travelling and we will be fortunate enough to have an aunt from overseas visiting next weekend. So, we pushed out our big family gathering until next weekend and instead decided to take advantage of the additional day off of work to squeeze in a roadtrip.
With an invite in hand from Attractions Ontario, we jumped in our car as soon as we could on Friday and started towards our destination: Long Point Eco-Adventures. It would be a place where the family could enjoy being immersed in the outdoors, but enjoy the luxuries of indoors. In other words? Glamping! Yeah, baby!
I’d only glamped once before (back in 2010 at Zoo sauvage de St-Felicien), and I was more than happy to try it again. So, what does glamping look like?
Here’s how Long Point spoils its overnight guests in its Wilderness Suites …
While at Long Point, you can kick back in your wilderness suite and simply relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings or you can choose to take part in some of their activities.
On our first evening, the rainy’s days skies somehow cleared by the time we arrived just before 8pm. This allowed us to join the Star Gazing Tour. Right on site, Long Point has an 16” Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope that is capable of revealing celestial objects 10,000 times fainter than the faintest objects visible to the naked eye!
Our guide, Cara, shared her clearly genuine fascination with astronomy as she walked us through a hands-on viewing of distant planets, nebulas and galaxies. It truly felt magical to be on Long Point’s three-story observation deck and to see the sky in a “dark zone.” All up, it was about two hours in length.
Afterwards, we were all very ready to hit the hay in our comfy beds (with heated blankets!) and get some rest for the next day’s adventures. Everyone in the family felt toasty warm all night and enjoyed a great sleep.
In the morning, all guests are invited to a complimentary breakfast in a larger tent where you can help yourself to cold breakfast fixings or be served up with something hot … French toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, and a savory veggie mix. And, of course, there was coffee too
My son Max had been counting down the days to this point …. when he would get to go ZIPLINING! He was beyond excited as we started our Zipline & Canopy Tour. As we started to get our gear on, I could already tell our fellow ziplining mates were going to be great company and we were all cracking jokes and looking forward to the adventure.
Better yet, our guides, Kristin and Bobby, were terrific too! They were serious enough that you felt very safe, and good-humoured enough that everyone was grinning and in stitches half the time.
Again, we really lucked out with some wonderful weather. It was a sunny, exquisite autumn day — a perfect time to be hanging out in the forest.
After ziplining, we took a short drive into Turkey Point and enjoyed a casual pub-style meal at the Sandbar restaurant. It was family friendly and might delicious! The sandy beach and water for as far as the eye could see really made you feel like you were somewhere outside of Canada. But, alas, it was simply the greatness of the great lake Lake Erie!
From there, we explored by car the other way to see what Long Point itself was like. Like Turkey Point, it was a gem of a spot with a long, sandy beach as far as the eye could see. Many lucky cottage owners had property facing right out onto the beach and to the water.
We then drove back to our luxury landing pad over at Long Point Eco-Adventures because hubby wanted to take in some Mountain Biking. While the kids and I mellowed out and meandered around, he keenly jumped on a 50km track that starts right at our wilderness suite. He found it interesting to compare his experience biking around Ottawa, where there is a lot of exposed rock from the Canadian shield, to the marshy, more mellow and meandering trails of Long Point.
Meanwhile, the kids and I enjoyed one of the trails on the property that included a large boardwalk with a view out to the Long Point Penninsula, the longest freshwater sandspit in the world. In the foreground we took in the sight of massive stretches of marshes, much of which is privately owned by hunting organizations. (With almost 400 different bird species, the area is very popular in spring and fall for hunting.)
We lingered on the trail as long as we could before the sun began to set. We simply did not want this day to end.
All in all, it was a weekend to remember. On our drive home, unprompted, Max said, “This was an amazing trip. Amazing.” That sums it up nicely.
P.S. I’ve spent my last few posts sharing gorgeous sights from across Ontario. If you want to do some of your own exploring, Attractions Ontario can help. Currently they’re holding their annual Local Haunts Halloween Content with more than $2,500 in prizes from around the province! Enter now at www.attractions.ontario.ca/halloween. The winners will be selected October 23rd, 2015.