Thursday, September 30

An Afternoon in Burk's Falls

The natural setting and outdoor adventures may be the biggest draws for visitors to the area, but the towns and villages of the region offer their own charms as well. Huntsville, being the largest town in the region (pop. 18,500) is well-known to tourists and popular with our guests for shopping and dining. But it's not the only town within an easy drive of the inn.

The Village of Burk's Falls lies just north of us, 16 km up Highway 11. With a population of just 1,000, it is definitely a small town, and a lovely place to spend an afternoon. The Magnetawan River winds through the village. Houses, shops and churches perch on hillsides or cluster along quiet streets. Stores and restaurants are spread out, mostly along the main street, so driving between stops is more common than walking, but parking is free and plentiful.

Here is a selection—by no means complete—of some stops to include when you spend an afternoon in Burk's Falls.

Burk's Falls Welcome Centre & Cafe

Not just a repository of tourist information, the centre has public washrooms, a covered outdoor picnic spot overlooking the river, and an excellent cafe. This is the place for a great latte, cappuccino, or other specialty coffee. Plus their selection of fudges and baked goods are absolutely delicious. I highly recommend the butter tart muffins! Beside the centre is the covered footbridge which is the starting point for the in-town Heritage River Walk.
Hwy 520, just east of Ontario Street.

Circling Hawks Centre 
A retail store selling jewelry, books, crystals, drums and all things of various spiritual beliefs and faiths. A tarot card reader is sometimes available at the store for readings. Beyond the store, the back garden is open to visitors to enjoy a labyrinth, quiet gardens, teepee, bottle tree, peace pole and more (visiting is free). The barn out back houses an art studio showcasing works from local artists.
156 Ontario Street, Burk's Falls

Wooden Roo 
Located in a big old barn, this retail store offers two floors of giftware and home furnishings, many of them hand-crafted. You'll find things such as pottery pieces, solid wood furniture, framed artwork, jams & jellies, jewelry and souvenirs. 
311 Ontario Street, Burk's Falls

Burk's Falls Arts & Crafts Club
A gallery displaying various artwork and handcrafts of local artists. 
113 Young Street, Burk's Falls

Burk's Falls Flea Market
It bills itself as a flea market, but it's more like one mammoth, indoor rummage sale. Crammed into a big warehouse, you'll find all sorts of household and recreational pieces from years past. The first time we were in there, Jim and I were surprised to see a Flintstones car (barely visible under piles of everything else). There are crates of old vinyl records, stacks of books (fairly well organized, actually), housewares, hardware, appliances, furniture, boats.... stuff! Last time I was in, I found a table full of file boxes containing old magazine cover art and advertisements, each carefully protected in a plastic sleeve. I could've spent the entire afternoon just sorting through those.
I took a picture of one old ad for jello. It is a time capsule on paper, providing a glimpse back to a different era. The gist of the message is that if your cook quits, don't worry. You can feed your family jello until the employment agency can send you a new one. I love it! If you go, be sure to share your finds with us.
Young Street, Burk's Falls.

Burk's Falls offers a small selection of eateries, with something for everyone.

Dee's Bistro: Family and fine dining. Ontario Street.
Al's Diner: Classic diner fare. Ontario Street north of the bridge (beside the bowling alley).
Bakery by the Bridge: Baked goods, beverages, small but excellent lunch menu. Ontario Street.
British Boy Fish & Chips: hand-battered fish fillets, assorted menu, take out or eat at the picnic tables outside. Ontario Street.
Danny's Justa Pasta: this one is not in Burk's Falls but further north and very popular. On Hwy 11 between Burk's Falls and Sundridge. 

Around Burk's Falls
Other things to do and see when you're around Burk's Falls include...
Burk's Falls and District Museum 
Screaming Heads 
Magnetawan River Rapids 

Enjoy your visit to Burk's Falls!

No comments: