Adventures in Barrie

I just realized that two of my favourite things that I did this summer were done in Barrie, Ontario and so I decided to put them together in a single post. Last July, I and my family went fruit-picking. We’ve done it a million times before and we never get tired of it. It was our first time to visit this farm and it was so delightful. And then recently, I went aerial trekking with old and new friends. This one I’ve never done before but I’ve always longed to. It was terrifying, especially for someone who is acrophobic, but it also left me with an overwhelming feeling of gratification.

Part I

Welcome!
Welcome!

This was taken by the berry farm entrance. There are no extra fees such as parking or entrance; the only thing you need to pay for is the produce (prices are listed on their website). The farm offers a variety of fruits and vegetables but we specifically went there to pick blueberries and raspberries.

There’s this Instagram account I’ve been following that inspired this trip. It is run by Camille Storch and her account is filled with vibrant pictures of fruits from pick-your-own farms and roadside trees. And during blueberry season, she goes to Radke’s Blueberries, which she fondly calls the world’s greatest U-pick blueberry farm. So when I heard about Barrie Hill Farms and their blueberries, I thought it would be a good thing to see with the family.

Because the farm is extensive and the bushes are not located in a single area, pickers have to wait for wagons to bring them to the fields. Baskets are available at the waiting area so if you’re not bringing your own container, remember to grab some before heading to the fields.

There’s also a farm market by the entrance that is perfect for those who are in a rush and don’t have time to pick. When we went, there were bunches of asparagus, fresh herbs, baskets of different fruits, a couple of honey varietals and preserves. The products depend on the season and if you want to have an idea of their display, they’re all in the website’s Market tab.

The wagon that brought us back to the farm entrance passed by a charming trail that reminded me of a scene from Little Red Riding Hood. It must be enchanting here during autumn, when leaves turn the colour of sunset.

Part II

My good friend Iza who is so into fun group activities organized a quick summer get-together in August. I’ve done  wine tasting with her before and I’ve attended her bachelorette party and I’ve enjoyed both so I was pretty sure this was something to look forward to. She’s also invited coworkers so I was able to make new friends and we all made a wonderful bunch.

The weather was nice, perfect for an outdoor adventure. And we went on a Monday so there weren’t a lot of people. Our main objective was the Treetop Trekking so that’s what we did first. I think I paid $80 for the whole package which included access to Treetop Trekking, Slopeside Adventures, and Skyline Zipline. The resort’s website offers various packages and Groupon also has several deals that could be purchased ahead of time.

This signpost got everybody super thrilled.
This signpost got everybody super thrilled.

Before embarking on an aerial adventure, there’s a safety training course that everyone has to go through. It’s a 15-minute session where the guides basically talk about how to’s, do’s, and don’ts. The whole aerial trekking course is subdivided into stages that vary in height and difficulty. Everyone must start at the easy stages and then decide whether to move on to the more challenging ones.

Too bad I wasn’t able to take pictures on my camera during the activities. For safety reasons, cameras are not allowed in the activity area unless you are able to secure them with something (i.e. headgears, monopods). This is where that ugly waistpack is badly needed. And that pricy GoPro.

We spent more or less three hours doing Treetop Trekking. We weren’t able to finish all the stages but I got to the final one and it was extremely exhausting. There were five consecutive zip lines, I think my fear of heights was temporarily blown away. Every obstacle required more effort, every move needed more calculation. My hands were red and raw and smelled of metal. But I had so much fun, no regrets at all.

We tried to do other activities after Treetop but everyone’s energy meter was near empty. So we just took photos and decided to fill our bellies before going on an almost two-hour drive back to Toronto. We capped the day off with a nice patio dinner at a fancy restaurant in downtown Barrie.

 

 

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