Roll the Windows Down, Relax, Put some colour in your life and Drive

OakManorFarm That is what I plan to do today, roll the windows down, relax, see the colour of the leaves just starting and drive… Well that is until I am finished an errand for work. I decided that I would travel the back roads of Oxford County to my destination.  I am so lucky that this is part of my job! Today, I need to pick up gift certificates at Oak Manor (north east of the County).

I am lucky enough to live in the country just west of Hickson. I don’t farm, but live on a 3/4 lot surrounded by my neighbours fields of corn, beans, alfalfa, with a maple bush that runs behind our house. You  may have seen some of my wonderful views,  if you follow us on Facebook (Tourism Oxford).

IMG_2533As long as you don’t treat a gravel road like a highway, it is a very pleasant drive.  I puttered up the 10th Line to Cassel side road and turned east towards highway #59 .  Driving along Cassel I took special note of the tree colour which is just starting (about 20-30% coverage so far).  I saw splashes of red and highlights of yellow standing out in the wood lots along the road. Beautiful-especially on this misty morning. I also noted a small shady cemetery and a home that once was an old school.  There is always something to discover en route.

My travels took me through the  village of Tavistock,  east on Perth County Line to the bend where I continue straight and turn right at that corner onto Oxford Rd. #4.  This is a  paved road with a number of wood lots and road cover that in a few weeks should be a full riot of colour!

IMG_2553I stopped at Oak Manor and fulfilled my mission.  I also bought some organic whole wheat bread flour, then continued on my way back to work.  As I was driving I was thinking about what to write for this blog on fall colour. I am proud to live in Oxford County and enjoy the wide open views of the farmscape.

I  pull over to the side of the road to take some pictures. I put my four-ways on and stepped out of the car.  I had a hard time seeing the screen of my phone as I was trying out a new panoramic feature,  when a large feed truck stopped beside me. The driver kindly called to me “Mam, are you having any trouble? Can I help?”  A little embarrassed, I told him I was just taking pictures and told him I was fine.  I am sure as he was driving down the road towards me, he saw this woman, standing by a car with hazards flashing,  swinging a phone in the air, looking like I couldn’t find a signal. Ha Ha, it was really nice of him to stop, even though I wasn’t in trouble. I will definitely be passing that bit of goodness on…

Back on the road, I was trying to decide which would be the most direct and scenic route back to work. I turned west onto County Road #8,  then turned south onto the 16th Line, where at the corner you will find the small and quaint  Hebron United Church.

I couldn’t resist stopping at Pittock Conservation Area at Oxford Rd 4,   There is a trail entrance to the east end of the Roth Park Trail.

IMG_2565The trail was lovely, shaded and cool with glimpses of the blue water and shoreline through the branches. It was so relaxing, I had to force myself back to the car and work.

I grew up in Oxford County, and I am fairly familiar with most of the roads, but I am sure there are some that I have yet to discover.  Below are some of my favourite spots to drive or walk.  If you have any interesting spots that you would like to share, please comment and let us know.

Oxford County has so many lovely roads to travel and especially at this time of year.  Here are some of my favorite spots.

Vansittart Avenue in Woodstock, if you enjoy beautiful homes and gardens with tree canopies I encourage you to take a walk.

A drive to Lakeside in East Nissouri Township where you will fine a small cottage community around a small lake with a small campground and a dance hall.

A drive through Canning to Wolverton.  There is a curvy road that approaches Wolverton from the north, but either way works.

From Bright drive south on Oxford Rd #22 through the swamp. I love to drive slowly through that section.

Just west of the village of Sweaburg is Trillium Line.  If you turn north (right) you will discover the Trillium Trail which will be a relaxing walk and just across the road is Jakeman’s Maple store (Not open on Sunday).

If you travel a little further west on Sweaburg Road to Folden’s Line and turn south (left) to Rivers Road and turn left, it is a nice country road to travel, with century farms along the way including Stonecroft Folk that raises Berkshire pork and is known for their house concerts.

South of Woodstock off of Hwy #59,  you just have to drive down the Old Stage Road. The trees have bridged the road and is beautiful. The name does describe the road correctly, it was the road the stage coaches would travel delivering mail to the communities and also a route that the troupes would have traveled in 1812-1814.

Find your way to Gunn’s Hill Road just off of Hwy #59 S, and enjoy the rolling hills of the farms, in harvest time, and discover Just a few fotos, Janice Marshal’s studio and then Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese built on one of their farms. Thursday & Fridays are squeaky cheese curds day.

The Norwich Area has a large Dutch community and Amish as well. You will see working farms, saw mills, one room school houses if you travel west of Norwich on Pleasant Valley Road, Maple Dell Road and Milldell Road and Zenda Line.  You may be lucky and see a few vegetable stands if they have any product left to sell. If you like quaint stores, visit the main street of Norwich and stop in at the bakery for some goodies.

grist millotterville fallsOtterville is another great destination where there is a waterfall, an old mill & museum and a Black Cemetery.

Tillsonburg west of Otterville has a great spot for a picnic lunch at Lake Lisgar.

North of Tillsonburg,  on Hwy #59, you will travel through Ostrander to the Airport Road where on the corner is Coyle’s, a perfect shopping opportunity, and if you are traveling on a Tuesday or Saturday morning a stop at the airport (east of Coyles) to see the Harvards.

Ingersoll is a bustling town and is worth visiting the down town core for shopping at Patina’s and a bite to eat at the Olde Bakery Cafe before you head out on two more of my most favourite roads, from Hwy 19 take Clarke and travel east to Embro Road. At that corner you will discover Leaping Deer Adventure Farm and Market then turn left on Embro Road and then left again onto Karn Road back towards Ingersoll. Both roads are paved and full of rolling hills. Another good spot from Ingersoll is Hamilton Road to Putnam.

Stop in and get an Oxford County map, to help guide your way at the Visitor Kiosk, 580 Bruin Blvd., Woodstock, ON  N4V 1E5 at Hwy 401 exit 232.


Jeanne Turner, Tourism Oxford

Tourism Oxford, 580 Bruin Blvd., Woodstock, ON  N4V 1E5

519-539-9800 or TF: 1-866-801-7368  # 3355

About Tourism Oxford

Located in Southern Ontario, between Toronto and Windsor on the 401 Highway. Agricultural by nature, with farmers' markets, award winning cheesemakers, wonderful history, culture, art and hiking trails for nature and bird lovers. Visit our website and start your adventure.
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