Tourism & Hospitality
Beaches, fishing and boating
Located on Lake Erie, there are three major beaches in Norfolk County: Turkey Point, Long Point and Port Dover. Long Point Bay offers excellent fishing for bass, pike, perch, walleye and other species. There are also many marinas and boat launches in Norfolk County, so boaters and sailors can access the lake.
Long Point was designated as a Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations Scientific, Cultural and Educational Organization (UNESCO) in 1986. It is a world-renowned refuge and stopover for migrating birds in fall and spring, and waterfowl viewing is excellent in spring. Its delicate dunes and marshes teem with songbirds, spawning fish, turtles and frogs. About 25% of Norfolk County’s land is covered in Carolinian tree canopy, one of the most forested areas of southern Ontario. Recently, Norfolk County was awarded the status of Canada’s Forest Capital. There has been an increase of 2,500 acres of oak savannah and native prairie grass habitat – through efforts of the Nature Conservancy of Canada and Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS).
Local food from unique terroir
Norfolk County is known as Ontario’s Garden, due to its status as Canada’s leading grower of many types of fruit and vegetables. As a result, several chefs and restaurants in Norfolk County proudly use Norfolk County ingredients in their dishes, and promoted these offerings to culinary tourists. Norfolk County is a member of the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance, and a supporter of the FeastON program, whereby local restaurants are accredited in a thorough process that vets their procurement process.
From kayak fishing on Long Point Bay to camping at two Provincial Parks, there are many recreation opportunities in Norfolk County. Long Point Conservation Authority operates several day-use parks and campgrounds, with Deer Creek and Waterford Ponds among the most popular. With hundreds of kilometres of paved back roads, Norfolk County is a magnet for cyclists and hosts the annual Le Tour de Norfolk cycling event. Mountain biking is popular at the Long Point Eco-Adventures property, which also boasts zip lines, wilderness suites and astronomy observatory. Trails in Norfolk County span from community to community, and are connected to the Trans Canada Trail. In winter, ice fishing, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing are very popular. There are also two dog parks with leash-free zones, 19 outdoor parks – some with baseball diamonds, pavilions, and tennis courts.
Norfolk County operates several recreation facilities, including six ice arenas, 13 community centres and halls, and an indoor aquatic facility. The Community Services Department offers many recreational programs for families and individuals. Norfolk County is home to an arts centre, five museums and a heritage interpretive centre. The Norfolk County Public Library has five branches across the municipality with state-of-the-art technology.
Leaders in tourism development and promotion
Norfolk County’s Tourism & Economic Development Division (norfolktourism.ca) is considered a thought leader in the Ontario tourism industry, having implemented many leading edge tourism product development initiatives and marketing campaigns that have won awards from the Economic Development Association of Canada and the Economic Developers’ Council of Ontario. Recently, the experiences along the lakefront (wineries, beaches and farm markets) were connected as part of the new South Coast Shuttle bus service, which operates May through September on weekends and holidays. The service is popular among tourists and local residents.
“It’s a fascinating place to live. There are a lot of people out here with really great, innovative ideas. There is so much going on here. You just have to see it to believe it.” – Bryan Gilvesy, YU Ranch
Explore our website designed specifically for tourists at norfolktourism.ca.