My stroll through town and the gallery tour had already shown me that Bayfield is a great getaway destination. Since we still had a bit more time before checking in at our B&B, we decided to discover the surrounding area of Bayfield and drove to the village of Clinton through rolling farmlands. During WWII, Clinton was actually a Royal Canadian Air Force Station and still has a huge radar antenna downtown. Although fairly quiet nowadays, it still has several impressive Victorian commercial buildings.
Just a few minutes outside of Clinton we made a stop at the Hullett Marsh, a provincial wildlife area extending over 2200 hectares along the Maitland River that is home to a wide range of waterfowl, beavers, muskrats, minks and deer. The Hullett Wildlife Area offers three different trail systems, several viewing stands, opportunities for canoeing, cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing as well as guided walks.
In the evening we checked into our abode for the next few days: Clair on the Square. Clair Soper, our gregarious bed and breakfast hostess, welcomed us warmly and showed us into our cozy room under the slanted roofs of the second floor. The three rooms in her 1860s farmhouse are nicely decorated, each equipped with a private bathroom. Behind the house is an impressive garden with a large deck. Clair allowed us to store our bicycles in her garage before we headed off for our evening explorations in Bayfield.
Shortly before 6:30 we made it back to Pioneer Park, the best spot in Bayfield for watching the famous Lake Huron sunsets. Numerous people had already gathered, couples, groups of friends, families and photographers, who all wanted to partake of the famously beautiful sundowns that can be viewed from this elevated park. We weren’t disappointed and enjoyed 30 minutes of a gorgeous sunset until the sun slipped below the horizon, leaving only a tiny sliver of orange and red on the purplish horizon.
After a brief rest in the parlour of the Little Inn, Bayfield’s historic upscale inn, where we were going to have dinner tomorrow, we made our way to our dinner destination for tonight: the Albion Hotel, another storied historic property in town.
The Albion Hotel has been welcoming guests for more than 140 years and in addition to its four quaint guestrooms, it also features an English-style pub and a dining room. A special menu was on offer for Thanksgiving, but we opted for the regular menu and sampled a tasty butternut squash soup, calamari, New Zealand spring lamb and breaded perch with mashed potatoes, turnips and green beans with freshly caught fish from Lake Huron. Then we headed home to our B&B to rest up in the quiet country for a full day of sports activities tomorrow.
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