Steve Young - Cycling Enthusiast
I was born and raised in: Detroit, Michigan
How I make a buck: I own and operate a sporting goods store.
My favorite activities include: biking; reading; discovering new places
3 things I love about the Stratford Area:
Lush green space, open fields, old towns, and wooded trails-there's a lot of undiscovered country for a biker. There are plenty of interesting, off-the-beaten-track places to check out-from farms to breweries-along the way. Very friendly.
3 Favorite local hidden treasures you shouldn't miss:
I always bring my bike along and never tire of touring Stratford and the county lanes and roads using the map of the 6 Perth County Cycling Routes. Wildwood Conservation Area has over 20km of hiking trails through beautiful backwoods and lake scenery.
St. Marys is an old 19th century heritage town with beautiful limestone buildings made from the quarries, bridges, and hills-a perfect bike route from Stratford, and a great way to see the countryside.
Millbank, is another 19th century heritage town. The route meanders through the rolling farms and fields, and leads you to a mill town of barns, woodsheds, and wholesome country foods. While there you can indulge in fresh pies and broasted chicken at Anna Mae's Bakery and Restaurant. If you are planning a visit, look up Amish Tours to access the unique experience of touring some of the surrounding farms.
My perfect day spent in the Stratford Area:
With my packed lunch of hearty sandwiches from Canadian Grub Restaurant I would head out to St. Marys. It's not a far ride, but once there you discover green hills, old bridges, stone houses and mills, and a huge and refreshing quarry. A little further on is Wildwood Conservation Area, where after choosing a good trail to trek, I would find a scenic spot to break for lunch. Afterwards I would head back to Stratford, and keep going north to Millbank. It's a gorgeous ride through country fields of hay, straw, and cows. At times you might think this tour de Perth is somewhere in Europe, but its really only 90 minutes or so from Toronto. Once in the Millbank area you've entered a village of mills, barns, furniture and craft shops and organic farm-gate markets.
Upon returning to Stratford I would head to Pazzo Taverna & Pizzeria for a drink at their bar—probably a pint from one of our local breweries, and some of the best thin crust pizza I've ever eaten. This is a really popular place for locals and many of the theatre festival actors to gather, so there are always interesting people to meet and chat up. At the end of my night I would gladly stay at a cozy B&B in town—there are quite a few pretty homes and cottages to choose from, and they all seem friendly and eager to provide you with the charm and comfort of their country hospitality.