Barn Quilts: A Journey of Family, History & Memories

Barn Quilts: A Journey of Family, History & Memories

Barn Quilts: A Journey of Family, History & Memories

The Huron County Barn Quilt Trail was created in celebration of the 2017 International Plowing Match, Rural Expo (IPM), and to mark Canada’s 150th Birthday.  At that time, 150 quilts were made in both rural and urban areas throughout Huron County for this beautification process. Since 2017, the number of barn quilts in Huron County has continued to grow and there are now well over 200 of these community artworks scattered across the county.  

The Quilt Trail takes you on a journey throughout the highways and back roads of Huron County where you experience not only the beauty of the county’s agricultural landscape, but also the coming together of communities and families as they tell their stories through these traditional and contemporary painted barn quilt blocks. You will find barn quilts on barns, sheds, homes, buildings, parks, schools, gateway entrances, or even as part of the landscaping. Some have traditional quilt block patterns, while others include farm, family or business names, crests or logos.

Beyond the beautiful scenes and wonderful stories that unfold with these quilts, they also remind us of Canada’s disappearing rural landscapes and tugs at our hearts as we remember the old barns, family farms, and growing up in the county.

Want to experience the beautiful stories and quilts? You can load up the whole family and follow the map as you search for these eye-catching artworks while learning about their stories on the go.

Enjoy Dinner or a Wine Tasting in the Vineyard

Enjoy Dinner or a Wine Tasting in the Vineyard

Enjoy Dinner or a Wine Tasting in the Vineyard

Hessenland Inn and Schatz Winery is offering a unique al fresco dining experience this summer.  You can enjoy dinner or a wine tasting at a table set-up right in the vineyards.  Experience their newly launched menu as you sit among the grape vine enjoying a glass (or two) of their Schatz wines made from the grapes grown on the vines that you are sitting amongst. It doesn’t get more locavore than that. If eating local is important to you, Hessenland Inn is certified Feast On by the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance. Feast On is a certification program that recognizes businesses committed to sourcing Ontario grown and made food and drink.

Before summer is over, make a reservation to enjoy a memorable dining experience with wine grown on the vines that surround your table.


Hessenland Inn Grapes
Hessenland Meal

Hessenland Inn & Schatz Winery

72981 Bluewater Highway

Zurich, ON N0M 2T0


Phone: 519-236-7707

Toll free: 1-866-543-7736


Outstanding Outdoorsy Weekend

Outstanding Outdoorsy Weekend

Outstanding Outdoorsy Weekend


Arrive at your reserved campsite at Point Farms Provincial Park on Friday evening. If you’re coming up Bluewater Highway from the south stop for some provisions at Bayfield Farmers’ Market.


Courtesy of West Street Willy’s


Head into Goderich for a full breakfast at West Street Willy’s that was featured on the TV program You Gotta Eat here.  Stop by Shanahan’s Quality Meats for some picnic lunch supplies before heading to the Maitland Trail. Spend the rest of the morning hiking the trail starting with the Tiger Dunlop Heritage Trail which includes great views of the Maitland River and Harbour from Menesetung Bridge

 After the long hike refresh yourself with a swim at one of Goderich’s three beaches. Change back into your street clothes and head to Square Brew to sample the local suds before dinner. Plenty of patios to choose from for dinner three recommendations include: Part II Bistro, Beach Street Station or Thyme on 21.

End your evening sitting around the campfire or having a leisurely walk along the darkened beach gazing up at the amazing stars.

Square Brew

Courtesy of Square Brew

Thyme on 21

Courtesy of Thyme on 21


After breakfast take a quick dip in the lake and then strike camp as you get ready for an amazing off road cycling experience.

This morning bike the Goderich to Guelph Rail Trail from Saltford to Blyth, a 30 km one way trip.  Arrange for 519 Tours to pick you up in Blyth and bring you back to your starting point (unless you have it in you to do the return trip).

G2G Rail Trail
519 Tours

Spend your afternoon at Falls Reserve Conservation Area, a 230 acre natural outdoor playground. Enjoy the trails and swimming in the falls. Alternatively you can head back to Goderich, making a quick stop on The Square to rent a kayak from 360 Bikes N’ Boards or book a stand up paddle board (SUP) lesson from the Yoga Den and spend your few remaining hours having a blissful time out on the lake. Either way you’ll head home feeling physically and mentally refreshed.

Falls Reserve
Stand up paddle boarding

Courtesy of Yoga Den

Spend a Perfect Day in Bayfield

Spend a Perfect Day in Bayfield

Spend a Perfect Day in Bayfield

Grab yourself a classic diner-style breakfast at Renegades Diner before heading out on a walk on one of six Bayfield Trails.

After your morning hike stroll Bayfield’s Historic Main Street and visit some of the galleries and boutique shops. Three galleries to check out are: Main Street Gallery exhibiting works of many award-winning artists. Marten Arts, a Canadian art gallery and Bayfield mainstay for over 20 years and Patina Studios & Gallery artist/owners Joan Bailey (painter) & Tony Eyamie (potter) are often found working in front of the gallery.


Courtesy of Patina Studios & Gallery

Courtesy of Main Street Gallery

Patina Studios & Gallery
12B Main Street, Bayfield

Main Street Gallery
4 Bayfield Main St N, Bayfield


Grab a quick lunch of fish tacos, footlong hot dog or poutine at Copenhagen’s. Don’t forget to save room for a decadent cupcake from Pink Flamingo Bakery.

Spend the hottest part of the afternoon staying cool at Bayfield’s Main Beach. Designated with a Blue Flag, it indicates that it is a clean, safe and sustainably managed beach. After a few hours at the beach you’ll have worked up a thirst for a late afternoon beverage at Bayfield Brewing Co.. Visit the tap room to try a flight of the brewery’s current offerings.



Courtesy of Pink Flamingo Bakery

Bayfield Brewing Co.

Courtesy of  Bayfield Brewing Co.

Pink Flamingo Bakery
28 Bayfield Main St N, Bayfield

Bayfield Brewing Co.
14 Bayfield Main St N, Bayfield

There’s no lack of great choices for an exceptional dinner in Bayfield. Dine al fresco at Black Dog Village Pub & Bistro, The Lakehouse of Bayfield or stay put and go next door to the Bayfield Brewing Co.’s Public House.

After dinner enjoy one of the world famous double sunsets at Pioneer Park. Afterwards if you’re still going strong, enjoy a night cap on the veranda (weather permitting) of the Bayfield Little Inn.

Black Dog

Courtesy of Black Dog Village Pub & Bistro

Lake House

Courtesy of The Lakehouse of Bayfield

Black Dog Village Pub & Bistro
5 Bayfield Main St N, Bluewater

The Lakehouse of Bayfield
21 Bayfield Main St N, Bayfield

Drive-In Dining

Drive-In Dining

Drive-In Dining

Before there were food trucks there was the drive-in restaurant and hamburger stand. Huron County is home to six of these independently-owned drive-in restaurants. Each of them has their own unique specialties but the one thing they have in common is that they continue to serve quality locally-sourced summer favourites straight from the grill to your car or one of the nearby picnic tables. Lake Huron, beaches and sunsets, a trip to Huron County has to also include some summertime grilled favourites. 

Courtesy of Jeff Oesch

Courtesy of Freeze King, Seaforth

Farmer’s Dell
6 London Road (Highway #4), Brucefield

Freeze King
42566 Huron Road (Highway #8), Seaforth

Courtesy of Frosty Queen, Wingham 

Courtesy of  Jodi Nurse

Frosty Queen
143 Josephine Street, Wingham

Sky Ranch Drive-In
81669 Bluewater Highway, Goderich

Courtesy of Christina Duizer Photography

Courtesy of Woodland Drive-in, Bayfield

Willy’s Burger Bar
267 Huron Street (Highway #8), Clinton

Woodland Drive-In    
17 Mill Road, Bayfield

Outdoor Must-Try Experiences

Outdoor Must-Try Experiences

Outdoor Must-Try Experiences

Ontario’s West Coast has plenty of outdoor activities on land and water to choose from. Here are just a few of the experiences to get outside and into nature that we recommend you try during your visit. Share your must-try outdoor experiences with us using the hashtag: #OntariosWestCoast.

Set along the scenic Maitland River, Falls Reserve Conservation Area is a natural outdoor playground. The river cascades over a series of low waterfalls as it flows around the park, creating a unique and exciting swimming area. It also offers seasonal camping, excellent fishing, playgrounds, horseshoe pits, a volleyball area, playing field, picnic areas, and a picnic shelter.

Courtesy of Falls Reserve Conservation Area/Maitland Valley Conservation Authority

Huron County offers trail enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels a variety of terrains from natural paths to partially paved routes. Download the Huron County Hiking Guide and head out on to the trails and enjoy the scenic beauty and natural landscapes that Huron County is famous for. A few favourites we recommend you explore our Bannockburn Conservation Area, The Maitland Trail, and Wawanosh Valley Conservation Area. Learn more trail details here


The sunsets are gorgeous but a clear night sky in Huron County can be just as amazing for looking up and stargazing. The moon, constellations, shooting stars, the Milky Way, and some planets are all visible without a telescope. One annual highlight is to take in the Perseid meteor showers in August while lying on a blanket listening to the surf on a dark Huron County beach.

The Port Albert Fishway (located in the Village of Port Albert) is a man-made structure that allows fish to by-pass obstructions to travel upstream on the Nine Mile River. Fish jumping can be viewed from late March until early May, with peak runs occurring in the last 2 weeks in April. In the fall, jumping occurs from mid-September until late November, with the peak occurring during October and early November.

The Exeter white squirrel is a symbol of the town. Exeter’s white squirrels are not albinos. True white squirrels are said to be a genetic mutation of the common Eastern Grey Squirrel. In Exeter, this white colour mutation has become predominant. You can find the white squirrels in MacNaughton Park and on the South Huron Trail areas but are more often seen in the residential parts of town.

Courtesy of