Dave loves autumn and prefers it to summer. I guess I would as well if it didn’t lead to the crushing cold of winter. This year we’ve been busy in the midst of launching our new restaurant Loka, we’re so fortunate to have the opportunity but this week we were feeling a bit burnt out. It’s times like this that you need to get away even if it’s just overnight.
Last week I snuck off on my own to Grey County but this weekend Dave couldn’t pass up a weekend in Southwest Ontario to go foraging for edible mushrooms and ziplining – also known as shrooming and zooming. Ontario’s Southwest is not new for us, we traveled there in the Spring to go foraging edible plants and we loved how it was less than 2 hours away and without all the crazy cottager traffic.
I love love love mushroom foraging! My first time was in Spain (video above) but I was so excited I didn’t have to cross the atlantic to do it again!
Long Point Eco Adventures is located at Long Point – a designated UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, which contains a large area of wetlands and woodlands. There are lots of animals, birds and some plants that do not exist anywhere else in Canada.
The company runs a number of eco-tourism programs from the mushroom foray to zodiac boat tours and mountain biking. There are also wilderness suites and newly constructed pods, which we stayed in, so you can go glamping overnight.
Mountain biking seemed too strenuous as we wanted to recharge but foraging for edible mushrooms in the Carolinian forest was perfect. We took a tour with naturalist Robin Tapley and spent two hours wandering trails looking for edible mushrooms, Robin also shared other tips like how to make raspberry tea and to look for animals.
At the very end of the walk we found puff ball mushrooms, which are highly prized. We returned with them as the next part of our tour was a mushroom lunch and learning from neighbouring Burning Kiln Winery how to pair the flavours.
We then spent the afternoon wandering the different trails before heading across the street for more wine at Burning Kiln Winery. Once a region for tobacco, the winery repurposed a tobacco pack barn and included the region’s heritage on the wine labels. We stayed for dinner as a local restaurant hosts a food trailer on site with suggested wine pairings.
The next day we spent the morning sleeping in as our zipline adventure, also on site, was booked for 11am. I went ziplining in Ecuador with my mother and sister but I knew it would be a bit different at Long Point Eco Adventures. Here the course is 2.5 hours with suspension bridges and a final rappel. There’s also an opportunity to take a night zipline if you are fearless.
When we left Long Point Eco Adventures on Sunday Dave was already talking about coming back. We loved that the pods had beds but no electricity so you felt like you were camping but you were still comfortable.
We feel like we may be letting the secret out of the bag but this was the perfect weekend recharge for us. Everything was a short walk away and we could just relax in the country. We heard next year they’re hoping to put some pods in the forest underneath the ziplines, which we would love to try.
This post was in partnership with Ontario Southwest. To plan your own trip to Ontario Southwest, visit oswculinary.com.