Whether you are in the mood for a haunted winter walk or would prefer something a little more light-hearted like watching a movie at a drive-in, Wellington County has you covered. With its rich history, diverse geography, and many cultural attractions all you have to do is bundle up and pick an activity from this list that appeals to you.
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1. The Mole Hill at Centennial Park is a popular tobogganing destination. While youngsters slide down the hill, the adults can walk the trails or take the dog to meet some new furry friends at the onsite leash-free park.
2. North of Guelph, the Ignatius Jesuit Centre’sOld-Growth Forest Project is a 5km network of hiking and cross-country skiing trails in a diverse natural area along the Speed River; passing through the old Jesuit settlement ruins.
3. Located in front of City Hall, the Market Square Skating Rinkis open all winter long. The skating time currently is limited to 45 minutes to ensure everyone gets time on the ice.
4. Guelph, also known as the Royal City has a colourful and eerie past. Listen to the legendary ghost stories on aGhost Walk of Guelph as you visit the many historic destinations like the Albion Hotel, the Wellington County Court House, and the Guelph Armory, just to name a few.
5. The Wellington County Museum, also known as the Poor House is considered to be one of the most haunted places in Wellington County. This former homeless shelter may just be spooky enough to see from the outside, but if you dare, step inside the museum to learn more about the history of Wellington County.
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6. Take a self-guided tour through the University of Guelph. Although the university itself was founded in 1964, many of its buildings go back to the beginning of the 20th century. For example Macdonald Hall is the University’s oldest residence building, dating back to 1903.
7. Love skiing? The Guelph Nordic Ski Club maintains some of the finest ski trails in the area. Enjoy over 10 km of groomed trails for classic and skate skiing.
8. The outdoor Guelph Farmers’ Marketis open every Saturday. Almost two centuries old, it is considered one of the most active and vibrant markets in Southern Ontario and offers a gorgeous view of Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate.
9. Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate is an iconic Gothic Revival church in the heart of Guelph. Resembling the famous Notre Dame in Paris, the church’s construction began in 1847 and was completed in. Centrally located, the church can be seen from multiple vantage points. Get up close to see the splendor for yourself or visit the Church’svirtual tour.
10. Love outdoor scavenger hunts? Try Geocaching. Hundreds of geocaches are hidden all around Guelph and in the surrounding areas. Hidden places, interesting facts, and souvenirs along the way are waiting to be discovered with this free app.
11. Stretching between Woodlawn Rd E and Speedvale Ave E,Riverside Park is the most popular park in Guelph. During the winter months, the natural skating rink is open weather permitting. The leash-free dog area and the trail running along the Speedvale River are popular amongst pet owners.
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12. Another top-ranked park according to local residents, is theEramosa River Park. In the winter, you’ll see the ducks waddling on the ice sheets along the Eramosa River Trailand if you are up for a longer adventure this trail connects to the Guelph Radial Trail.
13. TheEramosa River Trail passes through many landmarks in the city of Guelph. One of these landmarks is the latticecovered bridge. Constructed in 1992, it’s one of only 2 remaining covered bridges in Ontario.
14. Guelph Off-Road Bicycling Association is a group devoted to preserving, maintaining, and even increasing the trail network in the Guelph area. Join the Club by visiting their website to participate in club rides and get updates on trail conditions.
15. Silvercreek Trailthat runs through Guelph has paths for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing.
16. Rockwood Conservation Area is maintained by Grand River Conservation Authority year-round. Visitors can hike and snowshoe the trails that traverses caves and ruins.
17. In the winter months Guelph Lake Conservation Area is open for hiking. Grand River Conservation Authority season pass will grant you access or you can pay at the honorary box located at the gate.
18. Located in the town of Minto, the 12km White Junction Trail is maintained in the winter and has hiking trails for all skills levels.
19. If winter hiking is your passion join the Guelph Hiking Trail Club. Join other hiking enthusiasts for a variety of organized hikes and get updates on hiking trail closures.
20. The University of Guelph Arboretum covers 400 acres next to the main campus. The area is devoted to the preservation of woody plants and has many walking trails, woodlands, wetlands, and meadows.
21. Another symbol of local railway heritage is the Palmerston Railway Pedestrian Bridge. It was originally built to allow school children a safe passage over the tracks to get to school. Now it’s a scenic lookout.
22. Fletcher Creek Ecological Reserveis an abandoned quarry that is now a wetland and home to foxes, groundhogs and other animals. During the winter you can see and hear many birds as you hike the trails of this reserve.
24. If you are feeling adventurous, you can scale a sheet of ice at the Elora Gorge. VisitOne Axe Pursuitsto book a private or a group lesson.