The locals will tell you that Picton is at its best in the fall when the annual fair comes to town. The cooler temperatures are ideal for exploring the fall colours or wandering around one of the town’s many festival offerings.
1. PICTON FAIRGROUNDS AND CRYSTAL PALACE
375 Main Street East
The Picton Fair comes to town with its traditional cattle and horse shows, tractor pulls, midway rides, and the “Rising Star” competition and musical performances. The Fair’s centrepiece, the Crystal Palace, was built in the 1890s and is the only one of its kind in North America. The Picton Fair runs Sept. 8-10. pictonfair.ca
2. FARMGATE MARKETS
Enjoy the bounty from the County. Stop at one of the many farmgate stands to pick up a variety of fresh produce, and then wander through fields of pumpkins to pick your own.
For farms and markets:
3. JAMES A. TAYLOR MILLENNIUM LOOKOUT
244 County Road 22
Make a quick stop at the lookout named after the first mayor of the amalgamated County. Read the 10 plaques representing each of the municipalities and their origin stories before driving up the road to the conservation area.
4. MACAULAY MOUNTAIN CONSERVATION AREA & BIRDHOUSE CITY
224 Union Street (County Road 8)
Trails and walkways wind seven kilometres up a steep escarpment for a bird’s-eye view of the fall colours. Speaking of birds – the conservation area is known as the home of Birdhouse City, an area of over 100 nesting boxes for native bird species. Open 6am-8pm daily. Parking $5. quinteconservation.ca
5. FARM-TO-TABLE EXPERIENCES
The County’s farm-to-table dining experiences are as unique as its seasonal harvest. The historic Waring House is where Executive Chef David Correa (formerly Sir Mick Jagger’s touring chef) brings his international culinary experience to the 1860s limestone estate, fusing local ingredients with global flavours. At The Royal Hotel, Executive Chef Albert Ponzo couples his farm-to-table ethos with two decades of award-winning experience (Canoe, Le Sélect Bistro) to create his signature culinary works.
The Waring House, 395 Sandy Hook Road
The Royal Hotel, 247 Main Street
6. BASE 31
343 County Road 22
The 70-acre former World War II air training base is now home to a vibrant cultural community including galleries, restaurants, workshops and businesses. Take a guided tour of the historical buildings or explore the art scene at the Melt Studio and Gallery, the Maison Depoivre Art Gallery or Side x Side Studios.
7. SANDBANKS PROVINCIAL PARK
3004 County Road 12
The crowds of campers and beachgoers that flock to Sandbanks Provincial Park in the summer give way to flocks of migratory birds in the fall. The locals climb the dunes to see the colours along the shoreline and the spectacular sunsets.