A month rarely goes by without some form of adventure in our family. This doesn’t always mean overnight trips, long drives, or airplane rides (though occasionally it does). Some of our favourite and most frequent days are filled with activity, fresh air and good eats right in our own backyard. We currently live in the Quinte West region, plucked right in between Toronto and Kingston, Ontario. This great corridor has lots to do if you are willing to explore a little and is a great spot to jet to major cities, provincial parks, to the beaches, and across the border if you wish.
Most recently we spent a mild winter day moving and playing within a 30 minute radius of our house. We started our venture with a stop at the Brake Room in Belleville. This place is a hub for all things coffee, cycling and community. The friendly atmosphere, good tunes, pilot coffee and local treats are some of the best in the region. And if you happen to have a Sunday morning open this winter, I highly recommend their Hip Hop Sunday Brunch.
Once our travel mugs were filled we hopped down Front St to Ideal Bike where the owner Ed set us up with some fat bikes for the afternoon. A fat bike is an off-road bicycle with oversized tires, designed to allow riding on soft unstable terrain, such as snow. These monsters are just what we needed to get our biking mid-winter fix so we head 20 minutes due west and land at the Batawa Ski Hill parking lot. Adjustent to the hill and to the community of Batawa, are a somewhat hidden series of double and single track trails, perfect for todays fun. We attach our kids saddle to the bike and get on our way. At first the trails were a tad bumpy from the multi winter users but as soon as we enter the thick forest the packed snow prevails and we begin to whip and whirl through the woods. The near zero temps are perfect for a solid hour plus of riding before the kid is getting chilly and our legs are getting heavy.
As we warm up in the truck we head to return the bike rentals and just a short walk away is one more dose of chill for the day. Nice Ice Baby is our favourite (and kind of only) Ice Cream joint. The vegan flavours, the homemade small batch process and the simple ingredient lists are what first attracted us to Nice Ice. Since then we have kept coming back, even in the off-season. As a mostly dairy free family the Vegan Coconut Vanilla, and the dark chocolate sorbet are our go to’s. There was no need for big wallets and lots of mileage for this active and smile-filled day; licking ice cream cones and sitting by the heaters was the perfect cap to our close to home venture day!