Make Oro-Medonte your destination this summer. Just over an hour’s drive from the GTA, located on the shores of Lake Simcoe between Barrie and Orillia, this rural destination is the perfect spot for a summer daytrip or even better a midweek or weekend getaway. This summer experience bucket list will ensure that you get some amazing experiences away from the city life.
DYK: In 2022 Oro-Medonte was ranked by the Globe & Mail, to be one of the top undiscovered destinations, in their Hidden Canada annual Canadian Travel Guide.
Oro-Medonte Summer Experiences Bucket List
Experiences for Everyone
Connect with Animals
What would a farming community be without a wide array of animal friends? Oro-Medonte has its fair share of traditional farm animals, but also offers farms with a twist. Davidson Estate Alpacas is a unique location that will allow you to get up close and personal with friendly alpacas. Take Instagram worthy photos as you and your family experience an alpaca trail walk or a special bonding experience connecting one on one with the alpacas. Or plan a visit to Scale’s Nature Park to experience hands-on learning as you get a chance to hold snakes, lizards, and more! Scales boasts 21 hectares of natural wetland, with 4 km of trails through hardwood forests, and wetlands. Keep your eyes peeled for the wide abundance of wildlife that roams. Come visit and see how Oro-Medonte offers experiences on the wild side!
Local Farm Visits
The history of Oro-Medonte has been defined by two industries, agriculture and tourism. Agritourism combines the best of both worlds, allowing customers to purchase locally made farm products while also in some cases touring and visiting picturesque farm locations. There is an abundance of agritourism locations in Oro-Medonte! Get out and explore there are a few choices with varying products and activities: Chappell Farms, Johnstone’s Sweet Corn, Bass Lake Farms, Integrated Farms, Egos Garden Centre, Coulson Ridge Farms, The Fifty Acres Garden, Newman Farm, Brown’s Farm, Century Stone Farms, McNiven Farms, McArthur’s Berry Farm, and Our Farm Store). See where your farm fresh food comes while shopping local! Every Thursday is the Oro-Medonte Chamber of Commerce Farmers Market, held at Chappell Farms, bringing together many local farmers and producers. You can participate in on-farm activities at locations such as Glen Oro Farm or Quayle’s Brewery, Oro-Medonte is home to a plethora of farmers and producers.
Plan a Beach Day
The township’s rolling hills, sprawling forests, and waterfront has led to an abundance of parks scattered about the area. Of Oro-Medonte’s 24 developed parks, there may just be one that rises above the rest. Located just off Line 9 South is Bayview Memorial Park. This local hotspot offers an exciting day in the sun for residents and non-residents alike. Between the large grass fields, sprawling beach, and a playground, families will have no problem spending an entire day experiencing all that this park has to offer. Parking permits are required or buy a day pass if you are visiting out of town and show up early, prime beach locations fill up fast!
Go on a new adventure
Spend a fun filled day climbing and zip lining across Oro-Medonte’s spectacular Copeland Forest. Treetop Trekking at Horseshoe Resort is Ontario’s original aerial game and zip line park. The course’s many obstacles and ziplines will ensure fun for the entire family. During your trek you will be accompanied by a team of friendly and experienced guides that will ensure you have fun in a safe environment. Experience the views and the thrills that only tree top trekking can provide!
If you have a need for speed, check out Yamaha’s Riding Adventures. ATV and Riding Adventures by Yamaha has the perfect Ontario summer adventure for you and your entire family. Have your choice of ATV or motorbikes. With endless kilometers of natural trails through rugged Horseshoe Valley Forest, riders will encounter a wide range of terrain on these guided tours. Come and experience hills, valleys, grassy meadows, mud, gravel pits and much more!
For those looking to experience golf with the entire family, consider Horseshoe Resort’s slope side mini golf. This 18-hole miniature golf course is fun for all ages, kids 3 and under get to play for free! This newly constructed course has plenty of obstacles and water features to provide a challenging yet fun experience for putters of all skill levels. Enjoy the pleasures of golf with a family atmosphere only at Horseshoe Resort Mini Golf!
See Oro-Medonte from the Shoreline
Oro-Medonte is located along the shores of beautiful Lake Simcoe. Horseshoe Valley Outfitters has everything you need to have a fun day on the water. Rent your equipment and explore the amazing shoreline and scenic views along the shoreline. Make sure to have a permit or daily parking pass.
Go for a Bike Tour
The weaving trails and the scenic views of Oro-Medonte combine to create the ultimate biking destination. Whether you are looking for a relaxing cruise or an opportunity to challenge your biking skills, Oro-Medonte has it all. Humdinger Bike Tours provides the perfect getaway for those looking to take guided tours that explore all the region has to offer connecting cycling routes with local business experiences. Horseshoe Valley Outfitters provides rentals and guided rides throughout the forested trails found in the Township. Hardwood Ski and Bike and Horseshoe Resort provide courses for those that are looking to explore mountain biking or even looking to enter the world of competitive racing or downhill opportunities! Biking through Oro-Medonte’s landscape is a must-do experience for anyone visiting the area.
Hiking or Cycling the Copeland Forest
In the rolling hills of Oro-Medonte’s Horseshoe Valley is Copeland Forest. Copeland is a 4,400-acre protected forest area that offers a wide range of recreational opportunities. The size, beauty, and unfettered recreational uses of the forest makes the preserved location a must visit. The Copeland Forest’s extensive network of trails and tracks ensure that you can visit multiple times and never experience all that the park has to offer and has kept visitors returning for years.
Walk or Bike the Rail Trail
Oro-Medonte is situated between the cities of Orillia and Barrie, connecting these two city centres is a 28 km stretch of trail known as the Oro-Medonte Rail Trail. The Rail Trail holds a special place in the hearts of many residents. In the memories of those first settled here, it is remembered as the rail line that connected Oro-Medonte to the rest of the nation. In the hearts of the newer generations, it is remembered as the recreation trail that residents spend many hours hiking, biking, and snowmobiling. Experience all the history and wildlife the rail trail has to offer as you journey through meadows, forests, and marshlands. See for yourself why the Oro-Medonte Rail Trail is such an integral part of Oro-Medonte’s history and identity as you explore the interpretive signage that tells the stories of the past.
Plan a visit to Bass Lake Park
Bass Lake Provincial Park, a small and intimate park with day visitors as well as RV camping, car camping, group camping, and roofed accommodations. Bass Lake’s sandy beach is the perfect place for swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and more. A 2.8 km trail is available throughout the seasons, whether you are hiking, snowshoeing, or skiing. Day use passes are also available for short visits. Visiting the Township’s only provincial park is a must do for tourists and locals alike.
See the Movies Under the Stars
Experience a simpler time while enjoying the modern entertainment of today at Oro- Medonte’s Sunset Drive-in Theatre. This four-screen drive-in theatre is a rare commodity in today’s world. Sunset Theatre is one of the few drive-in theatres left in Ontario. A throwback to generations of the past, relax and take in the newest films that Hollywood has to offer. A fully stocked snack bar will also ensure that your car full of friends and family will be able to snack to their delights. Drive on up and enjoy a throwback summer night in Oro-Medonte.
Dine and Enjoy the Local Tastes
Oro-Medonte has a wide abundance of dining options, covering all types of cultures, cuisines, and cravings. Looking for a simple slice? Consider visiting Off Eleven Pizza + Eats, Eleven01, or Napoli’s Pizzeria. If a sandwich and fries are more your speed checkout Northway, Loobies, The Schnitzel Haus, Burger Pit, or Jimmy B’s food truck. These restaurants have a wide range of menu items and while be sure to have whatever you are looking for. From breakfast food to fish and chips, they have you covered. If you are looking for a family friendly pub atmosphere, consider stopping for a bite at HQ Restaurant & Taphouse, Carthew Bay Pub & Scoops, or Crazy Horse Sports Bar and Grill. Finally, if you are looking for a perfect date night, consider visiting The Ktchn for its fantastic menu and stunning views. Quayle’s Brewery offers a farm fresh family experience including live music, beer garden outdoor games and more. If you get hungry while exploring all that the township has to offer, make sure you remember to scratch one of our many restaurants off your bucket list.
Tour the Art_Tree Trail
Located in Oro-Medonte are over 25 beautifully crafted and hand painted Art_Trees. These public art installations are located at numerous businesses throughout the region and have each been skillfully enhanced by local artists. Check out the self-guided trail, to see all the stunning pieces created for the project. The Township of Oro-Medonte regularly runs Art_Tree contests, so take some photos and check the township website to see how visiting the Art_Trees can earn you prizes! The Art_TreesTrail is a perfect way to spend an afternoon travelling and seeing all that Oro-Medonte has to offer.
Shop & Dine in Craighurst
In northwestern Oro-Medonte you can find the settlement of Craighurst. Craighurst is a small but bustling town centre with lots to explore. From local restaurants (Loobies, HQ restaurant & Taphouse), to specialty chocolate (Chelsea Chocolate), home décor stores (Dwellings), end everything in between (Guardian Pharmacy, Foodland, Whistle Stop Pet Shop, Corner Gas), Craighurst has it all. Exploring this community of local businesses could be a whole day trip itself. Remember to visit the Art_Trees and make sure you plan for ample time when making a stop in Craighurst!
Take a Step Back in Time
Oro-Medonte is ripe with local history. The Oro African Methodist Episcopal Church is a national historical heritage site originally constructed between 1846 and 1859. Considered one of, if not, the oldest African log church in North America, the site saw extensive restoration in recent years. Today the building stands as a monument to the township’s history and a gateway to almost 150 years ago. Visitors are welcome to tour the grounds and view the plaques at any time, the building is not currently open for visitors. From the very first day of worship over a century ago, the Oro African Church has engendered heartfelt emotions from many people regardless of race, gender, age, or religion. Experiencing the church firsthand is a must for all visitors hoping to experience all that Oro-Medonte has to offer.
Wellness & Relaxation
Located just over one hour north of the GTA, Oro-Medonte offers the perfect retreat from the busy city life. Visit and relax at one of the many state of the art wellness experiences Oro-Medonte has to offer. The newly constructed Vetta Nordic Spa offers relaxation the traditional Finnish way in modern facilities. Feel recharged as you move through an authentic Finnish hydrotherapy cycle of heat cold, and relaxation. If you want to experience the relaxation and calmness of yoga, Oro-Medonte has two premium options. Forks in the Trail Yoga Studio offers a multitude of classes and workshops both private and public. With a primary focus on the healing benefits of yoga, Forks in the Trail Yoga Studio hopes to enhance your quality of life. For a yoga experience with a scenic view visit Vicki Tree Yoga & Wellness. This unique experience takes the yoga classroom to the middle of the forest. Nestled deep in the woods, experience the bliss, calm, and peace of the Oro-Medonte forest. When it comes to wellness, Oro-Medonte is a great destination.
Play a Round of Golf
The rolling hills and plummeting valleys of Oro-Medonte could not have created a more prime spot for golf lovers. The Township offers an abundance of golf courses giving golf lovers a range of over half a dozen courses to choose from! No matter where you visit in Oro-Medonte you are always a tee shot away from the nearest golf course. These wonderful courses include Braestone, Heritage Hills, Settlers’ Ghost Golf Club, Shanty Bay Golf Club, Horseshoe Resort, Simoro Golf Links, and Trehaven Golf and Country Club. For a fun day of golf with the family, be sure to check out Ridgetop Mini Golf. A state-of-the-art mini putt course located at Horseshoe resort. If you consider yourself a golfer, Oro-Medonte is a must visit destination.
Get out this summer and experience all of the amazing attractions, shops, trails, farms, and restaurants in Oro-Medonte. Looking to stay awhile, take a look at local accommodation options and plan your trip accordingly, stay longer and visit the surrounding communities. Make sure to plan ahead as many places require reservations and have fluctuating hours. We look forward to welcoming you!