As the month of November arrives, we collectively look to and commemorate the memory of those whose combined courage, service and sacrifice secured the freedom and way of life that we enjoy today. [Read more…]
*Because I Knew Nothing About It.
Bay of Quinte: This region is pretty much in my own backyard but I knew very little about it. I’m glad that changed!
Day 5: July 8, 2017
We started our fifth day of this adventure by heading to the National Air Force Museum of Canada. Nev, our guide, told us personal anecdotes about his experience flying planes for the Air Force. The craziest and most exciting part of the museum for me was the Handley Page Halifax. This plane was shot down over a Norwegian lake and was located by sonar detectors in 1981. It took 14 years to raise the plane from the lake and another year to transport it to Canada. Then 10 more years and many volunteer hours later, the Halifax was unveiled. To further appreciate the Handley Page Halifax, know that the museum was built around this incredible plane that is fully functional. Don’t expect to see her in the sky though, there’s no way of getting her out of the museum! After our interesting and informative tour we said goodbye to Nev and we were off to Port Bistro Pub in Trenton.
The Port Bistro Pub is located by the water, and has a beautiful patio to enjoy the view. We were served an amazing charcuterie of La Cultura Saluma cured meats and various house cheeses and pickles. Then it was time to sample some authentic pub fare. Scott ordered “The Phil Burger”. This wonderful creation is custom made for you; you tell the chef your allergies and he makes a burger! Crazy, right? Crazy awesome. Scott had a deep fried patty, which I had never seen or heard of before. Pretty neat and oh so good. I had the Crispy Chicken Sandwich; that had apple, brie, red onion, red pepper and was a refreshing change from a typical Crispy Chicken Sandwich. The crew had the Tower of Nachos and the title perfectly describes what it was: literally, a tower of nachos.
After eating, we headed to Trenchtown Wake Park, which is a cable wakeboarding destination. Let me tell you something crazy, I don’t swim. And I can’t swim. I’m basically a doggy paddle champ. Before joining this trip, I had actually signed up for adult swim lessons in Kingston, because I thought it would be an important life skill to have. If only I was psychic and knew to sign up for these sooner! Needless to say, I was a bit worried about heading to Trenchtown. I was convinced I would be horrible at wakeboarding and drown. Luckily for me, I wasn’t horrible and I didn’t drown! I consider this a win.
On our arrival, we were greeted by Will, who along with Kaelen is one of the owners of Trenchtown. This fun place is located at the mouth of the Trent-Servern Waterway. It has a two system 2.0 cable system, a 350 foot beginner cable, and a 600 foot advanced cable.To top it off, it’s locally owned, family friendly and affordable. Will was by far was the best instructor/teacher I’ve ever had. He was super motivating, very kind and was really helpful with making sure I didn’t drown (just kidding). It was a blast to be on the water and so satisfying to be able to do a lap without falling. I liked it so much, that I’m heading there soon with some friends to do it again! Take it from me, you need to stop by Trenton to check this out.
To keep the adrenaline pumping, we met with Twiggy of Cruising Canoes and kayaked around the Moira. Pro-tip: If you don’t have the strongest upper body strength (like me), don’t do wakeboarding and kayaking on the same day. Needless to say, I got pretty tired, pretty quickly. Although as a former rower, it was great to be gliding on water again, it’s such a satisfying feeling. At the end of our adventure, Twiggy found us a new friend. Our new friend almost jumped on my face… that would’ve been baaaaaaaad.
To end of the day (and to celebrate that I made it through alive) we were off to try some beer at Signal Brewing Company. It was a neat experience to meet the owner and taste some of their beer. Their branding is on point; their beer names relate to signals/radios and they use local artwork on their chubby bottles. The brewery is located on a piece of land that has a lot of history and the building was built by the owner of Signal Brewing Company. Their soft opening date is set for July 23rd and I highly recommend checking out this awesome beer and beautiful space!
Day 6: July 9, 2017
Day 6 was a fairly relaxed and slower paced day. We left the hotel around 6 AM and headed to the marina to meet Ozzy, who took us on a boat ride around the Bay of Quinte. I’m not much of a morning riser, but the view could not be beat. It was stunning and so fun to listen to Ozzy’s experiences and life story.
After taking a break, we headed to Burger Revolution. According to their description, Burger Revolution is a “flavour revolution between two buns”… and this is highly accurate. We tried a few different burgers and my personal favourite was The Chevre Guevara. This yummy burger was topped with goat cheese, roasted red peppers, bacon, and smoked tomato jam. (Drooling, yet?)
Coffee is the fuel for this trip, so we headed to The Brake Room to grab some. The Brake Room is hands down one of best places we went to in Belleville. Not only do they serve some delicious Pilot coffee, they also serve amazing local food. The cafe is also complemented by a bike shop (hence The Brake Room, get it?!). The owner was incredibly friendly, and the shop in general had a really awesome atmosphere.
We were more awake and energized after drinking coffee, which was perfect because we were going to try yet another activity I’ve never done before – golfing. We arrived at Black Bear Ridge Golf Course, which was much bigger and far more beautiful than I would’ve imagined. Located in Corbyville, this golf club was rated in ScoreGolf’s Top 100 Canadian Courses. Unfortunately Mother Nature was uncooperative so we were only able to go to the driving range. Let’s just say I won’t become a golf pro anytime soon…
The day ended on a beautiful patio on the water, The Boathouse in Belleville. They had the best caesar I’ve ever had, with the most perfect looking shrimp on top. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed their meals and the dessert was to die for. Braden and I split a delicious cheesecake slice, which I would highly recommend.
And there ends the Bay of Quinte portion of our trip. I had never taken the time to explore this area before and boy was I missing out. I learned of the many things that this region has to offer and I’ll definitely be heading back to check out more of them.
P.S. If you’d like to follow along “live”, make sure you follow @greatwaterway on Instagram. I’ve taken over the instagram stories and will be posting at every location and destination. You can also follow myself @melissaeapen and @scottcavalheiro– Scott posts some pretty funny content about our trip.
BAY OF QUINTE BLOG BLOOPER CONTENT
So… my first time getting up while wakeboarding wasn’t the most successful. I may have fallen… hard. Check it out below, it’s even in slo-mo.
Love it or hate it, winter isn’t going anywhere soon.
While some people tend to hunker down and hibernate the cold months away – others embrace the crisp winds of winter and take full advantage of the broad selection of things to do throughout South Eastern Ontario. Getting outdoors during the winter with friends and family is not only healthy, but a great opportunity to make an otherwise dark and dreary season into a collection of positive memories you’ll keep for life. [Read more…]
If you asked most cheese connoisseurs where to find the Cheese Capital of Canada a couple of years ago, they likely wouldn’t have been able to tell you—let alone even know we have a cheese capital. Today, however, that’s changing as cheese lovers emphatically answer “Hastings County,” where there are four cheese factories and a water buffalo farm selling its own cheese.
This transformation is partly due to the Cheddar & Trail, a guide to six cheese producers and five beer or cider houses in Hastings and Prince Edward counties. Anne Munro, Bay of Quinte Tourism’s Executive Director, came up with the idea to publish the guide last year after spending some time thinking about the agricultural heritage of the Bay of Quinte region. In the 1940s, there were over one hundred cheese factories in this area.
“Farming has been such a large part of our economic and social past,” says Munro, “and is still such a part of our present. [Six cheese producers] is a huge number for any region, and I think knowledge that we were a cheese powerhouse had just been forgotten or overlooked. People just needed to be reminded.”
But it’s not just the number of cheese makers drawing people here—it’s also the quality of cheddars they’re producing. At last spring’s Canadian Cheese Grand Prix, seven of the fifteen finalists in the cheddar category were from this region. “That is when we knew how special the region and its cheese was,” says Munro, “and knew we had to share that story with others.”
As for including breweries and cider houses with the guide, it just seemed like a natural fit, says Munro. “Let’s face it, you can only eat so much cheese without wanting some ale or cider to go with it—they are the perfect accompaniments.”
A year after launching the Cheddar & Trail, it seems to be working. Ontario Water Buffalo Company owners Lori Smith and Martin Littkemann told County Weekly News in October that visitors show up “quite regularly” because of the guide. “It’s well worth it, and we’re actually honoured to be part of it,” said Littkemann. “[It] takes a load off. It’s not the two of us trying to flog it. It’s everybody advocating and helping.”
Visitors are taking to the guide as well. When Bay of Quinte Tourism launched it at The Great Canadian Cheese Festival last June in Picton, they included over four thousand guides in grab bags. They’ve since printed an additional ten thousand and have visitor centres asking for more.
“People are surprised, but very pleasantly surprised, to know what a great cheddar region this is,” says Munro. “And it comes at a good time because people are really craving locally-produced, small batch food. It also doesn’t hurt that visiting these places takes you down the most beautiful country roads.”
Click here for a pdf version of the Cheddar & Ale Trail.
If you’re visiting Belleville, Ontario, you may want to park the car and bring your bike and some good walking shoes so you can enjoy the Bay of Quinte’s beautiful waterfront pathways and parklands.
We traveled from Ottawa, Ontario and stayed at the waterfront Travelodge at 11 Bay Bridge Road for a few days of shows at the historic Empire Theatre, restaurants, and cycling the waterfront trails in Belleville.
Zwick’s Park Trails are right next door to the hotel. They are excellent for cycling, walking, and jogging. The hotel and the waterfront trails are dog friendly too.
The trail rewards with lots of lookouts, park benches, picnic tables, and beautiful pavilions, giving you a choice of places to stop, relax, enjoy the views, picnic, or grab shelter from the sun or rain.
Zwick’s Park Lions Pavilion is located on the west side of Zwick’s Park. It’s a beautiful waterfront venue! It has an open-air design and sound system for outdoor concerts and other events. A large stage is located at the north end of the building which has ample space for seating and dancing. The Pavilion gives you a break from the hot summer sun, and lets the show go on even if it rains.
If you want more waterfront pathway to cycle or walk, you’re in luck in Belleville.
There are two more trails nearby you can catch: The Bayshore Trails (2.5 kilometres of pathway) at Jane Forrester Park further east at 1 South Front Street, next to Meyer’s Pier Marina, or the Moira Riverfront Trail northeast of Zwick’s Park.
To help guide you along the way, you’ll see Waterfront Trail signs and maps as these well-developed pathways are part of a much larger network of trails and cycling routes.
Ontario’s Waterfront Trail stretches some 900 km from Niagara-on-the-Lake to the Quebec border. It follows the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, so you can choose the sections of path that suit you best for day cycles or multi-day bicycle touring.
The Waterfront Trail varies from city to city. Thirty percent of the Trail is off-road dedicated path and 70% follows residential streets or shoulders of major roads.
In Belleville, we were happy to hop from trail to trail. From the Zwick’s Park Trail loop we cut over to Mary Street and headed up to Dundas Street, making a right towards Front Street near Victoria Park to catch the 4.4 kilometre long Moira Riverfront Trail. It was lunch time, and this is where you’ll find restaurants and shops in the downtown section of the route.
Belleville, Ontario is a small waterfront city on Lake Ontario’s Bay of Quinte with a population of about 50,000. The Moira River runs through the heart of town. Belleville offers modern amenities, historic charm, lots of waterfront parks, events, a wide choice of lodging and restaurants, and a year-round Farmer’s Market.
Belleville is easily accessible from Hwy 401 and only a few hours drive from:
- Ottawa, Ontario 270 kilometres/160 miles (3 hours)
- Toronto, Ontario 180 kilometres/107 miles (2 hours)
- Montreal, Quebec 379 kilometres/224 miles (4-hours)
- Syracuse, New York 286 kilometres/170 miles
- Buffalo, New York 360 kilometres/213 miles
And, of course, you can get there by boat! Meyer’s Pier Marina is operated by the City of Belleville. Dockage by day/month/season, transient slips, water and power available, washrooms, showers, pump out, gas diesel, laundry, chandlery and sail repair nearby.
For more information:
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Publisher of the BaffinPaddler www.baffinpaddler.blogspot.ca
The Bay of Quinte is home to some of the best walleye fishing in the world, and the best part about it is that you can drop your line year round. In January, the World Fishing Network mentioned the eighty-five kilometre long waterway in its list of top ice fishing destinations — no surprise to those here who’ve managed to reel in some nice catches well over 10 pounds this month
Zigzagging from Carrying Place in the west to the eastern tip of Prince Edward County in the east, the Bay is made up of hundreds of small inlets, tucked away honey holes and tributaries that are perfect for snagging walleye, as well as largemouth and smallmouth bass, salmon, pike and panfish. Although the first recorded people to fish these waters were likely Quebec missionaries in the mid-1600s, the bay had sustained the Iroquois people long before that.
While you’re here, check out some of this history and culture — just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean the region hibernates. Warm up and fill up in some of the best restaurants in the province, and when it’s time to get some rest for the next day’s early start, there are accommodation options to suite almost every need and budget.
Read on for more info on how to satisfy that angler urge this winter.
Four areas along the Bay of Quinte you’re sure to get some bites:
Fish: largemouth bass, pike, panfish, walleye
The City of Trenton sits where the Trent River meets the Bay of Quinte, and it’s just offshore here, in Trenton Bay, and further west near the Murray Canal where you’ll find some of the best walleye fishing in the region.
Fish: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, pike, panfish, walleye
Further east, where the Moira meets the Bay of Quinte is Belleville Bay, another great location for walleye, as well as largemouth and perch. The islands and inlets around the bay make for some excellent fishing spots.
Fish: largemouth, smallmouth, pike, panfish, walleye
Continuing east, past the Bay Bridge in Belleville to Deseronto, is this long, narrow area known by locals for its large populations of smallmouth and walleye.
Fish: largemouth, pike, panfish, walleye
About ten kilometres south of Deseronto is Hay Bay. The eastern end is shallow and weedy, which makes it great for largemouth fishing, but in the western end it gets deeper, making it perfect for walleye trollers.
If you’re new to the area or new to ice fishing altogether, no worries. These guides will set you up with equipment, transportation and tips on how to catch that ten pounder.
“Merland Park Cottages on the Bay is open year round. Whether you are looking to spend some quite time relaxing or up for exploring the outdoors, Merland Park has what you are looking for. Spring through autumn, the fishing is widely acclaimed!”
Phone: 613-476-6894; 1-866-660-0003 (U.S. only)
Email: none provided
Fish Finder Charters
Your guide will be Captain Dave Chatterton, a professional fisherman and guide for over thirty years who’s been recommended by the North American Fisherman Club, and been featured on the Rod & Reel Streamside and The Ultimate Fishing television shows.
Email: none provided
Muddy Waters Outfitters
Organized by Daniel Stone, Muddy Waters Outfitters provides wooden and clam ice shack rentals (with propane tank), flasher unit rentals, and lunch with a full day of guiding.
Phone: 613-961-5506; 613-920-3374 (cell)
Email: none provided
Make sure you review Ontario’s fishing regulations before embarking on your ice fishing adventure. Click on the following links for more specific information.