Just west of Kitchener, you’ll find the savoury delights of Perth County and the towns of Stratford, Perth, St. Mary’s and Listowel. In addition to tubing and trails, you’ll find a delicious Chocolate Trail. Yes, it’s time to explore this fantastic combination!
1. Stroll through Stratford
As the snowflakes fall, Stratford offers a beautiful setting for an exploration of its T.J. Dolan Trail on foot or on cross-country skis. Nearby, discover the Avon River Trail as you traipse around Lake Victoria and the Festival Theatre. Follow the walking bridge to Tom Patterson Island before finding a place to dine.
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2. Ride a magic carpet
River Valley Winter Tube Slide has eight lanes coming down and the magic carpet lift going up, so you can pack the most fun into experience. The hill also has its own snow-making equipment to keep the hills full and ready to ride. A two-hour pass costs $28 per person. Warm up at the chalet afterwards.
4725 1 Line, St. Marys
3. Walk along the Thames River
The West Perth Thames Nature Trail takes you through 10 kilometres of terrain of varying difficulty, from stroller-friendly pavement to rugged paths in the south portion. Along the way, you will see Centennial and Kinsmen parks. Bring your camera to take home images of the beautiful birds you see.
4. Taste the Chocolate Trail
Treat yourself to a self-guided tour of Stratford’s greatest chocolate destinations. Collect one amazing delicacy at Rheo Thompson Candies, Black Swan Brewing Co. and Rocky Mountain Chocolate and other stops along the route.
5. Skate in Stratford
The Stratford Perth Museum welcomes families to its seven-acre site to learn about history, walk the trails and enjoy the outdoor rink on its front lawn.
6. Go wild on these trails
Hike, Ski, Snowshoe or Fatbike to enjoy the beauty of Wildwood Conservation Area. Wildwood Conservation Area invites skiers, hikers, snowshoers and fatbikers on its network of trails that range from 1,200 metres to 25 kilometres along the Lake Trail. You can also rent equipment if needed.
7. See the G2G
The Perth Harvest Pathway is part of the Guelph to Goderich (G2G) Rail Trail, cutting through the Village of Monkton. It links you to 127 kilometres of a straight multi-use green trail that shows you the natural, historical and culturally significant assets of the area as you explore.
8. Play pickup in the afternoon
The Atwood Lions Outdoor Rink has boards, hockey nets, and a covered spectator area. It is used for skating only in the morning, but the sticks hit the ice in afternoon and evening for fun games.
9. Lions Loop Trail
This stretch of the West Perth Thames Nature Trail meanders along the west side of the millpond in Mitchell and takes you through the park Lions Park. If you cross the dam, you can carry on the rest of the longer trail.
10. Walk in the woodlot
Discover 34 different species of trees as you explore the Sawyer Preservation Woodlot. You can hike on its 2.4-kilometre walking loop any time of the day.
11. Snowshoeing at River Valley
Rent a pair of snowshoes or bring your own and enjoy the trails at this park. Take a break and watch the action on the tubing hill. Fees are $19 to $28 for a one-day pass.
12. Take a short hike
Fullarton Conservation Trail offers two trails – one for 600 metres and one for 900 metres. Or you can cover them both for a 1.5-kilometre hike. Bring your dog and your binoculars so you can watch the birds. Park at the Fullarton baseball diamonds and walk in.
13. Hike with your hound
The Listowel to Atwood Rail Trail runs for almost 18 kilometres back and forth between the two towns amid a gorgeous forest setting. The level trail welcomes dogs, but they must remain on a leash.
14. Get out on your sled
Perth County has a wide variety of Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Club trails worth exploring. Fees cost $45 for a weekend and $270 for the full season.
15. Meander around Memorial Park
The Rotary Walkway in Listowel Memorial Park completes a loop around the Maitland River. It is easy to navigate and can be toured day or night, thanks to the lights in the park.
16. Go on an Art Walk
Stratford is known for its art and culture. Go on a winter walk and discover more than fifteen artworks from Shakespeare statues to Caucasian Totems.
17. Walk the Loop
Enjoy the scenic town of St. Mary’s on a winter walk. This 13 km signed circuit takes you through the historic Grand Trunk rail trestle, historic architecture and quaint cafes and boutiques.