Fall Colour Tour
Driving the backroads of unfamiliar territory can be unsettling, but getting off the highway is a great way to find the undiscovered jewels of a region. Rural Huron County offers quaint country roads and rolling hills. In mid-October you’ll find the woodland palette has changed to a vibrant assortment of reds, oranges and yellows.
We’ve selected this route for the views. There is more forest than town, so make sure you gas up and grab a coffee to go! Following the directions to the letter will have you start and finish in Goderich, but you can pick out any section and do it on its own. Remember - your GPS and Google Maps are your friends.
To follow this route with no stops will take approximately two hours. That should leave plenty of time if you find some things that interest you along the way. We’ve also indicated where you can cut short and head easily back to Goderich.
- Follow Highway 21 north out of Goderich. Past the Maitland Golf Course and Country Club, you’ll cross the unique double “S” bridge over the Maitland River. As you come up the hill after Saltford, you’ll pass under the footbridge of the Goderich to Guelph Rail Trail on the former CN line. Note the Goderich airport and Sky Ranch Drive-In on the left.
- At County Road 25 (Blyth Road) turn right. This corner is locally known as Dunlop Corner.
- At Carlow, turn left on Huron Road 1 (Lucknow Line).
- Follow Lucknow Line through the villages of Nile and Dungannon. At the second corner north of Dungannon, you’ll turn right on Belgrave Road.
- At the third road, take a left on Creek Line for your first gravel road experience of the trip. On your right you’ll see the Lake Wawanosh Conservation Area.
- At the next corner turn right on Belfast Road. Watch for horse and buggy traffic, as you are sharing the road with our Mennonite community.
- At the second corner, turn right on County Road 22 (Donnybrook Line).
- Just past the Maitland River, turn left on Westfield Road. You will see signs for the Wawanosh Nature Centre.
- The first corner is Hoover Line, turn left. The road takes a big right and becomes Nature Centre Road. Past the curve on the left is the Wawanosh Nature Centre Conservation Area - a great stop for a picnic and a hike. [40 MINUTES]
- The next corner is a right turn on Marnoch Line, one of the prettiest roads in Huron County.
- Follow Marnoch right through to County Road 25 (Blyth Road), and take a right.
- At Auburn just before the bridge, you’ll turn left on County Road 8 (Base Line).
(TO SKIP THE REST AND RETURN TO GODERICH, STAY ON BLYTH ROAD UNTIL YOU REACH HIGHWAY 21. TURN LEFT AND YOU WILL BE BACK IN GODERICH.)
- At the next corner, turn right on Maitland Block. This is a quiet country lane that skirts the Maitland. The colours are amazing in the fall, and once the road is opened in the spring it is the perfect spot for pictures of trilliums.
- Back at the Base Line, turn right and continue south. [60 MINUTES}
- At Little Lakes Road, turn right. You will cross the iconic Ball’s Bridge which is only open to light car traffic. Farther down this road, you will pass between the Little Lakes, a great place to stop and take a family photo!
- Now turn right on River Line and as you crest the hill you will find one of the most amazing views of the Maitland Valley and Huron County.
- There is a sharp left and the road becomes Hills Road. At the first corner turn left on Sharpes Creek Line and stay on this for several miles until you reach Highway 8 (Huron Road).
(TO SKIP THE REST AND RETURN TO GODERICH, TURN RIGHT ON HIGHWAY 8 AND YOU WILL BE BACK IN GODERICH.)
- Cross Huron Road into Holmesville and veer left on County Road 31 (Parr Line).
- Now stay straight until you reach County Road 13 (Bayfield Road) and turn left.
- At the first corner turn right on Bannockburn Line. This is a lovely, densely wooded area that passes by the entrance to Bannockburn Conservation Area, which has a great trail system.
- At County Road 3 (Mill Road), turn right. Follow Mill Road through Varna and into the village of Bayfield. [95 MINUTES]
- At Highway 21 (Bluewater Highway), turn right to head north through Bayfield. If you have the time, you should explore the village.
(TO SKIP THE REST AND RETURN TO GODERICH, STAY ON HIGHWAY 21 AND YOU WILL BE BACK IN GODERICH.)
- Crossing the Bayfield River you will see Bayfield Harbour on your left. Keep on the highway up the hill until you see Bayfield River Road and turn right. You’ll pass the Old Homestead Campground on your left. Just as you see River Road Brewing & Hops (and their herd of Highland cattle) you’ll find your next turn.
- Turn left on Orchard Line. Along this stretch you’ll find a few things to keep you amused. Stop in at Bayfield Berry Farm and pick up a pie and some of their new fruit schnapps! Along the way you’ll see Pine Lake Camp and maybe catch a glimpse of some Texas Longhorn cattle if they’re out. You’ll be on Orchard Line for about 20 minutes.
- When you reach Highway 8 (Huron Road), turn left.
- This will bring you back to Goderich and civilization. [120 MINUTES]