Bob Wells - Roam & Discover
I was born and raised in: Toronto, Ontario
How I make a buck: Right now I'm a graduate student working on my doctoral thesis.
My favorite activities include: traveling; exploring fun and unique experiences that I can’t get at home; being outdoors; and discovering new things.
3 things I love about the Stratford Area:
It's very easy going, and there are a lot of off the beaten track places to explore; the countryside is beautiful and the city is bike friendly.
3 Favorite local hidden treasures you shouldn't miss:
Wildwood Conservation Area Outdoor adventure or quiet relaxation just minutes west of Stratford on highway #7. 1,215 hectares of conservation lands offering a lake excellent for swimming, boating, sailing & fishing; 20 km of hiking trails; summer recreation programs; and a large day use area.
St. Marys Quarry Billed as "Canada's largest outdoor swimming pool", this former limestone quarry was flooded in the 1930's, and in 1945 was adjoined to the Thames Quarry along with 50 acres of surrounding land for $2,200-it's a gorgeous and refreshing spot for a dip.
McCully's Hill Farm Every March I like to spend an afternoon at the Maple Syrup Festival taking in the traditional Sugar Shack experience - from the horse drawn sleigh rides to the guided tours of the sugar shack, it is all so Canadiana! Based on principles of environmental farm stewardship, fresh asparagus, squash and pumpkins are offered in season, as well as local honey, maple syrup and a host of preserved local foods.
My perfect day spent in the Stratford Area:
I would start my day driving out to Millbank, a 19th century heritage mill town of barns, woodsheds, and wholesome country foods. There I would browse the shops for quality hand-crafted furniture, unique quilts and crafts. While in Millbank, there are slso hidden treasures to visit, from the Bauman Apiaries to taste some of the sweetest liquid, creamed, and unpasteurized honey around; and of course, Anna Mae's Bakery and Restaurant featuring fresh country jams and pies, and of course their broasted chicken. Of important note: this bakery/eatery was recently featured on the Canadian Food Network's television show, You Gotta Eat Here for their incredible pies!
After departing Millbank I would continue driving through the rolling green country side, stopping at roadside vendors of berries or corn, and continue to the farm of Perth Pork Products. This specialty farm raises rare and heritage breed pigs with cuts available at their farmgate store - wild boar bacon it delectable! TThen I would head south to another 19th century heritage town, St. Marys. After exploring I would grab a bite to eat at Little Red's Pub & Eatery, then I would park at The Quarry, and laze away the rest of the afternoon in the cool waters there.
Back in Stratford I would browse the shops for interesting finds, or pending availability, even catch a show at the Stratford Festival. Afterwards I would check out bars like Bentley's and Molly Bloom's Irish Pub to see if there were any live performances. In addition, Balzac's Coffee Roasters has cork boards with listings of what's going on around town. With so much to see and do, I would probably just play it all by ear knowing that I could certainly come back to catch whatever I missed.