This past March of 2018, the Municipality of Port Hope and Tourism of Port Hope invited us to check out what Port Hope has to offer. We had so much fun in this town that we are back for more fun for a Port Hope Press Trip 2.0 during this fall season.
The Municipality of Port Hope and Tourism of Port Hope called themselves “Ontario’s Fav Small Town” for a reason and I could totally see why. Port Hope is only a short drive from Toronto (about 1.5 hours) but it offers so many activities all year round for families, couples and friends. And during September, it’s salmon spawning season, they need to swim upstream against the current to spawn. This salmon migration attracts lots of tourists to come and witness this special occasion that only happens once a year.
Me personally, I live in the downtown core of City of Toronto, although most of the time, it’s nice and convenient for me to go to work and attend VIP parties after work, but sometimes, I do want to get out of the downtown core to get some fresh air, stay away from the congested traffic and noise. And Port Hope gives me that sense of calm and peace and relaxation. It’s like a much needed weekend getaway. The nature of watching the salmon migration, walking in hiking trails, perhaps a horse back riding in the forest, all these types of outdoor activities are available in Port Hope, Ontario.
Let me show you around Port Hope and the wonder activities that it offers for you and your family and friends
Salmon Migration (Ganaraska River)
Salmon migration happens annually and September is the month where most actions are. I was told by the fishing experts that salmons will swim as far from the United States, swimming all the way up here to Port Hope to spawn. Port Hope is gaining popularity with tourists and locals for salmon watching. This was my first time watching salmon migration and is quite a cool experience. I had never seen so many salmons in one spot in my life!
Running through the heart of town, the shallow waters of the Ganaraska River offer some of the best trout and salmon fishing in the province. You could basically able to watch salmon swimming along any parts of the Ganaraska River. However, my recommendation to watch the salmon watching is at the Corbett’s Dam. It’s the best place to view the fish as they leap their way up the entrance to the spawning grounds in the north. May the strongest salmons make it to the spawning grounds!
Check this site to see the proper fishing guidelines and fishing laws in the Port Hope region.
Maple Leaves Sightseeing
When I think of our Canadian fall season, I think of the beautiful maple tree leaves turning from green into red, orange or golden colours. They really make the nature so much more beautiful. It’s an amazing vibe.
Port Hope is a great spot with lots of hiking trails, Ganaraska forests and other natural landscape areas.
Click here to check out the various hiking trails that you can explore in Port Hope.
Horseback Trail Riding at Trickle Creek Farm
What? What? There is horseback riding in Port Hope? Yes, indeed! I was surprised too when I was told that there is horseback riding available in Port Hope and we were so glad we did. Trickle Creek Farm provides horse back trail riding and is so relaxing and so calm.
And safety first, the staff gave each individual proper horseback riding training. During the horseback ride, there were staff at the front, middle and end of the line to ensure everyone of us is being taken care of.
Imagine riding a horse in the beautiful outdoors, trails, forests, it’s so soothing and the fresh air was my favourite part. Trust me, breathing fresh air, listening to birds singing, hearing the breeze blowing the leaves on the trees were such a treat for me.
Welcome to the “Cultivate Festival” in Port Hope. This is an annual festival that happens in September every year.
Cultivate is a celebration of local farmers, harvesting of fresh produce, the “Shop Local; Eat & Drink Local; Support Local”. This event is open to public with a purchase of an admission ticket and you can buy food and drink tickets to enjoy the local foods, drinks & music.
What impressed me the most about this event was the fact that the event organizer wants to reduce waste and aim is to have zero waste at this festival. There are no garbage cans or recycling boxes around the venue. However, there is a sorting station. Once you finished your food, you bring the garbage to the sorting station, staff/volunteers will sort out the garbage for you in a more organized manner.
The Cultivate Festival organizer claimed that they only produce 1 bag of garbage towards the landfill site, this picture that they took on Instagram was memorable as I am amazed how impressed this was. And they encourage other organizers from around the world to do the same.
View this post on Instagram
After three days spent celebrating local food and drink with a few thousand of our closest friends, here is the total garbage produced inside our gates: just 1 bag is headed to the landfill!⠀ We could not have achieved this amazing feat without support from the County of Northumberland, our amazing Green Station volunteers — including young Soren, who seemed to spend the whole weekend sorting trash, our friends at @peterborough_folk_fest, and all of the festival vendors and attendees who put in a little more effort to divert as much waste as possible from the landfill, and to Schmidt Law for sponsoring our Green Station. To our fellow festivals, the challenge is on: show us your garbage!
Haute Goat Farm
Love animals? Want to see goats, alpacas and other cute animals? Then Haute Goat Farm is for you! It’s a huge open farm space, you can feed the alpacas. If you want to do goat yoga, they offer such service.
Primitive Designs, in my opinion is a “MUST STOP & CHECK IT OUT” type of spot. It’s unique and there is nothing like this in Canada, at least not that I know of. It’s a special unique art shop that imported unique products from around the world. These are artwork, unique decor and accessories that will sure make your house with more character and flavour. Even if you don’t buy anything, the gigantic transformers and dinosaurs that are made of old machine parts will surely excite you, it doesn’t matter if you are a kid or an adult, these art pieces made by the staff and owner at Primitive Designs will surely impress you!
Port Hope Is A Place For Filming (in 2018, if you are reading this after that, it’s too late)
If you are a big fan of the famous author Stephen King, you maybe in luck to bump into him walking down the streets in Port Hope. The reason? Well….the famous movie “IT“, based on Stephen’s novel was filmed in Port Hope. And during this fall, the sequel called “Largo” is also being filmed in Port Hope. Film set were readily visible around the streets of Port Hope back in September and there may still be a chance that the film set is still on going.
From the local media, it looks like Stephen is in Port Hope occasionally, you may or may not spot him, it’s really depends on good timing and luck. It’s amazing how popular films can really bring in the tourists and businesses into a town. If you are a producer or film investor or a film set scout and want to find a good spot to film your next project, be sure to check out Port Hope and see how they can assist you.
Laveanne Lavender Boutique
Anyone loves lavender? I love lavender a lot! I just love the scent of it, any cocktails or hand cream that uses lavender as ingredient, I go crazy! Lavenne Lavender Boutique is in the Port Hope region and you can go check it out. In July, when lavender blooms, you can even walk around and Instagram worthy of the rows and rows of lavender fields. But in the fall or winter, the boutique store is open for you to purchase lavender hand made body care products, lavender inspired gourmet food items; table ware and home accents.