We down our breakfast and pack up the last of our stuff for our day trip. The night before we did our usually family system of picking adventure days and then locating a destination that fits the needs and wants of everyone. First stop: Peterborough Farmer’s Market (my pick!).
We stroll the rows of vibrant vendors filled with local produce, tasty treats and unique edibles. The outdoor space (which moves indoors in the winter) is packed with families, dog owners, and the young and old. We sip coffee from local Kyoto Coffee while Chason munches on dirty carrots and a maple leaf sugar candy (veggies ALWAYS come before treats!). Even the dog has his choice of weekend biscuits at this market. We fill our recycled bag full of veggies for the the weekend and slowly shuffle our feet while we take-in the array of market aromas.
With our bellies filled we head to Chason’s choice: the Indian River Reptile Zoo. Just a mere 15 minutes from the farmers market on the east side of Peterborough, Indian River rescues endangered reptiles that can not be returned to wild for various reason. The small zoo allows you to view over 200 different reptiles, as well as explore an outdoor dinosaur ‘park’. We dig for fossils, watched crocodiles sleep, get scared by dinosaur calls, view countless snakes, and walked the grounds for a solid hour and a half. It was the perfect educational warm-up for our next stop.
Another short drive directly north of the reptile zoo sits Warsaw Caves Conservation Area. With over 15 kilometers of trails that meanders through forests and across a limestone plain, this is the perfect spot to end our day moving our bodies. While the dog and kid chase each other through the campground, we quickly get on our running attire and study the map. The Limestone Trail seems like a good match, so we head off with the chariot and family in tow. The single track trail is well marked, flat, and full of fall beauty with a combination of rocks, dirt, and more rocks. It’s a novice run, hike or mountain bike trail, but with the chariot it proves a little more challenging and bumpy for the child. But he is a good sport and use to our adventures. 45 minutes later we arrive back at the car full of sweat and smiles. As always everyone benefits from the fresh air and movement.
A quick change and market snack and we are back in the car heading home in time for dinner. Our full day of food, fun and outdoors cost a total of $40 (plus gas and market treats). This included the conservation area vehicle entrance fee (if you go off-season you can just park and walk in for free) and the zoo (of which we scored a 50% off coupon from our local newspaper). Until next time Peterborough County, thanks for the day!