Tuesday, October 27, 2015

TreeWalk Village: Go play outside!

Last day of the season is Sunday November 1st, 2015!
There's been many changes at Bruce's Mill Conservation Area over the years, and my favourite one is the addition of TreeWalk Village. This private attraction is hosted within the conservation, around the buildings where the yearly Maple Syrup Festival is held. (You can access it from the first parking lot to your right.) 

I don't know the hours during spring and summer but this fall, the TreeWalk Village is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends and Thursdays and Fridays from 12 noon to 4 p.m.

As soon as you get out of the car, you can hear laughter coming from the Village. What's not to love! Gorgeous little tree houses that look made out of giant popsicle sticks, adding splashes of colour to the decor, suspended nets linking one to the next, slides for quick exits, plus a Hobbit-like structure in the back.

All of this in a beautiful setting of tall trees, throwing a fantastic yellow glow in the fall!

The TreeWalk Village is managed by TreeTop Trekking, also responsible for the aerial trails nearby. They strongly recommend that you call to reserve a spot with them, the activity is quite popular.

Note that no reservations are required for the TreeWalk Village. Admission to the Village does not include admission to the aerial trails nor the admission fee to the Conservation Area ($5.75/15 years and over, FREE/14 years and under).

If you walk around the Village, you'll be able to access Bruce's Mill trails. They're not very well marked but try to follow the white or blue marks for a lovely walk through the tall trees, on a boardwalk, over small bridges and into a hilly field, which you will reach in less than 20 minutes.

Forsythe Family Farms: Same spirit, new location

Special Halloween Day: October 31 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.!
For years, Forsythe Family Farms was Toronto's closest working farm open to the public. A few years ago, they moved to Uxbridge area.  I recently went to visit the new location and found out it's a lovely country ride as you approach the farm. No wonder their new motto is "A little drive for a whole lot of country".

Driving towards the farm on Cragg Road, west of Marsh Hill Road

Those who knew their other location will recognize this Three Little Pigs scene from their beloved Enchanted Forest. The little forest in their current location did not allow them to reproduce the exact same concept but check the photos below to see how they've turned it into a Fairy Tale Lane with additional I-Spy fun walk in their Forest Discovery Trail.

Forsythe Family Farms has always been good with their attention to detail. Throughout the site and in their Barnyard Adventures, we see cute signs and family-tested simple activities: a fully equipped kitchen in a tiny playhouse, upraised slides, photo ops corners, wagon ride to the Fairy Tale Lane, 2-acre corn maze, and many animals in the Animal Barn, where you can feed them a 50¢ bag of healthy greens.

I was surprise to see many teens visiting the place on their own. Not because they were accompanying younger siblings but simply for the fun of it.

You can easily walk to the Fairy Tale Lane (probably a 10-min. walk). When you take the wagon ride, it stops at the entrance of the Forest Discovery Trail and waits for you to return to the farm. I would recommend walking back instead to have more time to look at the fairy tales with the kids and to spot all the items on the list of the I-Spy game.

I Spy an owl!

I Spy a frog!
I saw that some people had a sheet that they could put to use at three different spots in the maze, opting for different elements to draw on an empty pumpkin face. At the exit of the maze, they could find out the name of their pumpkin, depending on their overall selection, on a panel with 64 pumpkin faces.

Remember your maths? 4 choices x 4 choices x 4 choices = 64 options

Good to know! You can ask the staff around to let you hold a bunny!

While stopping in their market store to grab a freshly made apple pie, I found out they have a good selection of frozen meat from nearby farms. I was there on the special Apple Cider Day when a mobile cider-making truck was making and pasteurizing cider and putting them in containers that can keep cider on the shelf for a full year! (The farm carries this cider.)

Look at this view! It's so pretty Mr. and Mrs. Forsythe decided to create a patio overlooking it all.

Looking westbound on Cragg Road, on my way back to Marsh Hill Road