Here’s how to explore London during the fall
As the leaves change colour and pumpkins get ready to be picked, London, Ont., offers various fun and wholesome activities throughout the season.
According to The City of London, the city has over 490 parks, from modest neighbourhood parkettes lined with native plants, shrubs and trees, to large, sprawling acreages ideal for huge outdoor gatherings, summer festivals, celebrations and sports.
Sport tourism assistant of Tourism London Jeremy Hick said that tourism is essential to overall economic development and a significant industry economic engine.
“Sport tourism, specifically, is a catalyst for economic impact in London,” Hick said. “During this season, there are many different sports and activities for Londoners and travelers alike.”
According to a report from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), sport tourism is a significant driver of economic activity and visitor appeal in Ontario. Visitors from domestic and foreign countries spent $2.5 billion on sports tourism in Ontario in 2019. Ontario attracts 33 per cent of all sports visitors in Canada.
“London has several locations perfect for family sports and activities. A few of its best include Boler Mountain, East Park, Palasad, Fleetway and 100 Kellogg Lane,” Hick said.
Hick added that people can also attend several sports events during the season.
“Many of these events will offer rental equipment to guests,” Hick said. “Locals can participate in sports by joining a league, local sports club or group such as Forest City Sport and Social Club.”
He stated that London has so much to offer regarding recreation and parks.
“The Thames Valley Parkway (TVP) is a multi-use trail that is 43 kilometres in length. It is a two-way trail used by walkers, joggers, cyclists and others. Many parts of the trail have great views of the Thames River,” Hick said.
He said that several Environmentally Significant Areas are also scattered throughout the city.
“London is a city that offers a unique blend of urban and rural landscapes that provide ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking.”
“A few of those Environmentally Significant Areas are the Westminster Ponds, Sifton Bog, Meadowlilly Woods and The Coves. Each one is noted for the flora, fauna, and wildlife found there,” Hick said. “Walking, jogging, or cycling in those areas can be a show of colours and nature.”
Fall in Ontario is also the perfect time for fishing. Director of sports tourism of Tourism London Zanth Jarvis said people can also fish within the city limits or the north branch of the Thames. He added that some good accessible spots include Fanshawe, Wildwood, and Pittock Conservation Areas.
“The City of London’s Fish and Paddle Guide has a comprehensive map with information on where paddlers and anglers can find shore access, fishing platforms, details on local fish species, safety and more,” Jarvis said.
Jarvis added that London is a city that offers a unique blend of urban and rural landscapes that provide ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking.
“Going for a hike is the best way to escape the loud and busy concrete jungle,” Jarvis said. “One of the best places to hike for me is the Warbler Woods, a 22-hectare forest in the south of London.”
He stated that Warbler Woods has several hiking trails ranging from easy to moderate.
“The trails are well-maintained, making it easy to navigate even for beginners,” Jarvis said.
Jarvis said other unique hiking places are Komoka Provincial Park, Westminster Ponds and the Medway Valley Heritage Forest.
“Hiking is an excellent way to stay active and connect with nature, especially in London,” Jarvis said.
Hick stated that those people who prefer a softer activity can enjoy harvesting their fruits and vegetables.
“Get hands-on with plants, seeds, soil, and bugs,” Hick said. “London has a lot of events in which people can explore everything from garden planning and planting to pruning and harvesting.”
Don’t let the colder temperatures keep you indoors this fall; get out and experience the season with these outdoorsy activities.