When we think of outdoor activities like hiking, camping, fishing, paddling, and cycling our minds usually tend to wander to remote vistas and wilderness solitude. You know the old saying, "Perception is reality!" Well, the reality is that you often don't have to go very far to find the perception of wilderness solitude. In fact the City of Brantford is one such hidden Southern Ontario gem.
I always thought of Brantford as the home of Alexander Graham Bell, Joseph Brant, and of course Wayne Gretzky, but I was thrilled to discover another side to Brantford. Nestled along the banks of the Grand River Brantford is a treasure trove of activity for outdoor enthusiasts. Some of the highlights include: the Grand Valley Trail, Brant Conservation Area, and the Grand River Exceptional Waters Region. Fishing in this area is second to none with an abundance of species from small mouth bass, pike, and channel cats, to walleye and rainbow trout. There are many access points and the river can be fished from shore in many locations, or wade and cast the shallows. If you're looking for something a bit more leisurely you can drift the lazy current in a canoe or kayak.
Whether you hike, fish, or paddle, the perception of wilderness solitude is very real, especially on and around the Exceptional Waters region that runs from Brantford to Paris. Even though you are surrounded by everything from towns and cities to farmland and major highways, you'll likely never know it. All you will experience is that tranquil feeling that only comes from a wilderness experience, but with all the advantages of being close to a major urban area.
Depending on your interests and pocket book, accommodations range from 4 star hotels to B&Bs to tranquil campsites along the Grand River, and local attractions are abundant and varied. If you're feeling lucky why not head to the OLG Casino, or take a side trip to the Canadian Military Heritage Museum, Chiefswood National Historic Site, Bell Homestead National Historic Site, the Woodland Cultural Centre, or take in a show at the Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts.
Be sure to put the City of Brantford on your list of must visit places in Southern Ontario.
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