Beach, camping & fishing. A weekend retreat to Goderich, Ontario

If you read Big plans end in miserable failure you’d know that last weekend I had to bail on an awesome trip to the Kawartha Highlands because I was sick, plus being the clutz I am, I’d fallen and injured my tailbone for the second time in 6 months.

So when looking at the forecast for this weekend and I saw hot and sunny I instantly thought, beach.
We have this sort of secret beach we know of that is dog friendly and you don’t have the crowds like you’d get at Grand Bend. Nick suggested we spend the night in Ben Miller at Falls Reserve Conservation Area so our plan was coming together.

If you follow me on twitter, you know that I woke up Saturday with some serious neck pain. But this time I wasn’t going to let an ailment get in the way of enjoying my weekend. Even the forecast wasn’t in our favour, but we decided to head out.
We drove for around two hours, taking some different side roads, enjoying the views of rural Ontario. We arrived at our beach at around 2:00.



I had a nap on the beach while Nick walked Fingal. When he got back it was my turn for a stroll on the beach. I picked up a few pieces of beach glass, and Fingal played with another dog. We were soon out numbered by loud children and rude adults so we gathered our things and moved on.

We decided to check out an abandoned school house we had passed by on our way to the beach.

In my early twenties I was very into urban exploration, I had even established a bit of a reputation among those in the UE community. But with Nick not being as interested, and a lack of places to explore close by, I stopped exploring and I hadn’t set foot in an abandoned building in years. I immediately missed it. The damp musty smells, the thrill of not being sure if the floor is safe to walk on, but doing it anyways.

What I found was a basic one room school house, with some of its original charm still showing, though certainly not lacking in feces.



There was even writing still on the chalk board.





I could’ve hung out there forever. But Nick was waiting so I headed back to the car, and we decided to try some fishing. So we drove into Goderich, to put our lines in on the Maitland River.

Being that it was family fishing week in Ontario, there seemed to be more people than usual on the river banks. We managed to find a quiet place to toss our lines in, and after a short time Nick had his first bite.


Not being big enough for a meal, Nick let him go. After a few more casts, and getting stuck several times, we decided to call it a day and head to our campsite.
We got to Falls Reserve at around 7:00. As I mentioned, this is the third time we’ve stayed here. When it’s just Nick and I we prefer to stay in the radio free area on either numbers 5, 6 or 7. These are probably the best campsites I’ve stayed on that aren’t back county.
The sites are very small, but they have a huge buffer and are super private!



The campsites on the opposite side are better suited if you’re in a group. They’re in a pine forest and don’t offer any privacy. The only issue I have with the park is that radio free camping backs onto the group camping area where there aren’t noise restrictions. So for example, on our first visit somebody ran a generator at 10:00 pm. But this stay was quiet.
At 8:00 we decided to head to the river to do some fishing. On the way down we saw that the water was unusually high.

These are photos from September 2011. The last photos shows Nick walking on the rocks. This year, that was all under a foot of water.





When we got down to the river we almost had to fight for a spot to fish.


But after being there for 5 minutes Nick had his second catch of the day. You could feel the stares from all the other fisherman, who’d probably been there for hours and hadn’t caught anything.


Still not big enough for a meal, so he let him go. I got tired of fishing so I decided to sit back and watch Nick and the skies. He would soon catch fish number 3.










Once we retired to the campsite, it got dark very quickly. It was after all close to 10:00. We still hadn’t eaten so we got a fire going.

Part way through cooking our sausages, we were discussing the “imminent rain” that was supposed to occur that evening. “I wouldn’t exactly say ‘imminent'” were Nicks words, and less than a minute later it began to pour. We stayed up until the rain put our fire out then we retired to the tent.

The tent we used on this trip was our new Asolo tent that we bought for ourselves using money we received as a wedding gift. It was only our second time using it and it was about to be put to the rain test.

It passed. We stayed completely dry considering just how hard it rained. The only leak we had was water found a way through the fly and was dripping through the mesh door, and right into my face! It was like Chinese water torture. I never knew when a drop of water to the face was going to wake me up. It happened a few times, by the rain pounding down on the tent was enough on its own to keep us awake.
The rain stopped around 8:00 in the morning so we decided to dismantle camp incase it started up again, but the weather Sunday proved to be nicer than expected.
We took our time driving home, making stops at some flea markets, but came home empty handed.

Goderich is such a beautiful place to visit. There’s reasons why we keep coming back. If you’re looking for a place to get away for the weekend, I highly recommend staying at Falls Reserve.

Next week I’ll have stories from a wild weekend of an all girls camping trip!


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