Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, “WOW,  What a Ride!”

— Hunter S. Thompson

LIST OF ACTIVITY PROVIDERS

Grand Bend Motorplex

Contact: Paul Spriet
Location 70292 Grand Bend Line Grand Bend ON N0M 1T0 CanadaPhone: 519-238-7223

More Details

The Grand Bend Motorplex is a high-performance, quarter-mile drag strip that hosts weekend racing throughout the summer. The Grand Bend International Speedway is a quarter-mile, stock car, oval track featuring Can-Am Midget, mini, micro and outlaw sprints, junior late models, mini trucks, street-6 stocks and V8 super trucks. Saturday evening racing goes from May to October with qualification rounds starting at 6pm.

The Home of Ontario’s largest Drag Race Events, as well as several popular race series. Grand Bend Motorplex is a multi purpose motorsports facility consisting of a 1/4 mile dragstrip, and a multi circuit road course for cars, bikes, and go-karts.

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70292 Grand Bend Line Grand Bend ON N0M 1T0 Canada

PEDAL POWER

Photo of bikes in Pinery Provincial Park
Photo: C. McLeod

According to Cycling Canada, the number of competitive and recreational riders has grown 10 per cent annually in recent years. No surprise then packing the family’s bikes along with the swimsuits is becoming a more frequent vacation plan.

Local bike routes vary from eight kilometres to 40 kilometres and cycling guides are available from the Welcome Centre.

Mountain bikes, coaster bikes, tandems and classic bikes, including kids bikes, trailers and strollers, can be rented in Pinery Provincial Park (519-243-2220) by the hour, day or week. The bike rental is open daily 9am to 9pm and is located beside the park store.

Outside Projects (519-955-1729) located on Bayfield’s historic Main Street offers bike sales and rentals, custom bike building and fitting, skateboard and longboard building and sales, snowshoe sales and rentals, guided hikes and bike tours, bike and skateboard summer camps, apparel sales for outdoor activities, and more!

In Goderich, look for 360 Bikes ‘n Boards (519-524-7171) where you can rent bikes by the hour, day or longer. They also offer bike repairs and sales of bikes, scooters, skateboards, longboards, paddleboards, apparel, and snowboarding accessories. They also special order parts, snowboard and ski waxing, bike rentals, and SUP rentals.

See related websites:

Grand Bend Bike Club

mapmyride.com/ca/goderich-ontario

waterfronttrail.org

DECKS, RAMPS, BOARDS, BMX & SCOOTERS

Photo of All In Action Skatepark
Photo: All In Action Sports & Skatepark

Ready to ramp things up? The quaint village of Zurich is home to Ontario’s largest indoor skatepark. All In Action Sports & Skatepark (519-236-7203, allinactionsports.com), a 40,000-square feet indoor skatepark facility, is not just for the Tony Hawks of this world, it provides opportunity and inspiration for kids and adults.

Riding rookies benefit from training on courses with foam pits and padded ramps. Whether biking, skateboarding or testing your scooter skills, safety equipment and appropriate course levels ensure injury free fun. Packed with wall-to-wall incredible courses and features, All In hosts professional competitions, including the World Championships. Kids summer camps enable young riders a chance to work with some of the pros that compete in advanced competitions. Equipment rentals available – bring your own helmet, guards or pads.

GO PITSIDE!

Photo of dragster at Grand Bend Motorplex
Photo: BGF Photography

Join more than 60,000 racing fans who annually attend heart-pumping action at one of Canada’s largest motorsport facilities, Grand Bend Motorplex (grandbendmotorplex.ca, 519-238-7223).

The Motorplex offers drag racing, road racing, oval-track racing and motorcross competition. It’s the location of the largest drag-racing event in Eastern Canada, the MOPAR Canadian Nationals, and now also the MOPAR Canadian Superbike Championship, which is televised on TSN. In 2019, the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) announced the addition of a “sportsman no electronics” class to the Summit Super Series program.

Ever wanted to take a Ferrari or Lamborghini or other exotic car for a drive? The GTA Exotic Cars (gtaexotics.ca) track experience program lets drivers select their dream car and take it for a spin.

Maybe you’d rather throttle it out on a motorcycle. The Racer 5 Motorcycle Training School (racer5.ca) is offering weekend training from introductory to pre-race levels for aspiring motorcycle racers.

Of course, crowd favourites like the Ontario Nostalgia Drag Racers Weekend, Stratford Spectacular, Windsor Race Weekend and Thunder by the Beach are all back for another year.

MOTORCYCLING ROUTES & GUIDES

It’s not the destination, it’s the journey. The Greater Grand Bend Area is nestled between two regions that publish motorcycling route guides – Cruise the Coast and Ride Perth County. Motorcycle tour itinerary maps are available at the Welcome Centre, located south-east of Grand Bend’s main intersection.

Handy Motorcycling Websites:

FREEFALLING & PARASAILING

Since 1982, the Grand Bend Sport Parachuting Center (skydivegrandbend.com) has operated as the only skydiving facility in Southwest Ontario. Qualified professional instructors assist beginners to advanced skydivers with freefalling. Whether you’re a freefalling expert or this is your first jump, there’s something for everyone at the parachuting centre. Instructors recognize a first jump can be frightening, so they offer new skydivers a freefall skydive with two instructors assisting until the parachute is activated, which is when the beginner steers the parachute with instructions via radio.

Skydiving not your thing? Try parasailing with Grand Bend Parasail (grandbendparasail.com) through the skies at heights of up to 1000 feet from the pier. There are several qualified instructors and operators who provide instruction to all participants, no matter their experience level. Deal can be had. Take advantage of early bird flights, which run from 9am to 11am daily; sunset loads where you can enjoy one of Canada’s best sunset destinations from a bird’s-eye view above the main beach; and group rates and specials for groups of eight or more people.

WATER SPORTS

Head over to Xtreme Water Sports (xtremewatersports.ca, 519-319-4864) where you can whip around on waves in a seadoo, launch into the lake off of a 20-foot water trampoline, try out a tube or water ski. They even have the latest innovation in adrenaline-rousing water thrill ride flyboarding, which is essentially a “water jet pack” that uses water pressure to let the user rise into the air, dive, and jump out of the water. Xtreme also provides an exclusive jet boat charter service and quality seadoos, jet skis and three-person waverunners for rent.

Other providers of seadoo and waverunner rentals include Deep Wave Rentals (deepwaverentals.com, 519-615-7333) and Splash Water Sports (splashgrandbend.com, 519-671-4865). Before you head out on the water, be sure to get your Pleasure Craft Operator Card. You can take the boater education course, pass the exam and print off your temporary card – all online at boaterexam.com/canada.

Bayfield’s Windmill Lake Wake & Eco Park (windmill-lake.ca, 519-524-0636), an eco-friendly outdoor recreation park, offers beginner, intermediate, and advanced cable wakeboarding, as well as stand-up paddleboarding, canoeing, kayaking and paddle boating. Windmill Lake is the only straight-line cable park in Huron County and the first bi-level wakeboarding park in Canada. There are adventures for the whole family with programming like PaddleFit, Stand-Up Paddleboarding, SUP Yoga and guided nature tours that wind through 200 acres of forest.

SIGHTSEEING FLIGHTS

Great Lakes Helicopters (greatlakeshelicopter.ca, 519-650-4542) offers scenic helicopter rides over the Grand Bend Area. Papple Aviation (pappleaviation.wordpress.com, 519-318-4224) offers daylight scenic flights from Goderich and Centralia (Exeter) year round. Seeing countryside from the air is a great way to experience Southwestern Ontario in all seasons, especially during the Fall. Lake Huron’s shoreline changes daily and is so clear you can see individual rocks under the water.

HORSE RIDING

A great family activity or just a way to relax, horse riding can include trail rides, horse drawn wagon rides and more structured skill development. Home on the Range Frontier Town (frontiertown.ca, 519-523-9478) in Londesborough, offers 100 acres of trails throughout some of the area’s most spectacular scenery. All About Horses (facebook.com/allabouthorsesthedford, 226-678-1471) in Thedford offers skills development that includes beginner riding lessons, riding trails, dressage, jumping, hunter and western disciplines.

BOWLING

Looking to take it easy after an action-packed day or seeking rainy-day activities? Hit the lanes at Town & Country Bowling Lanes (Main Street, Zurich). Family-friendly 5-pin bowling can include glow-in-the-dark fun! Call 519-236-4923 or visit townandcountrybowling.com.

FITNESS

Maintain your fitness routine away from home at one of the area’s gyms.

  • Birch Park Trailer Park (Grand Bend): passes and memberships available to non-park visitors, com, 519-238-8256, 36501 Dashwood Rd. (County Rd. 83).
  • Grand Bend Gym (Grand Bend): 4am to 10pm daily, secure carded entry, passes and memberships, 6,200 square foot gym facility, grandbendgym.com, 519-238-6093, 37 Ontario Street North.
  • Oakwood Resort (Grand Bend): Drop-in, monthly and seasonal gym, pool and fitness class passes, oakwoodresort.ca/fitness-oakwood, 519-238-2324, 70671 Hwy. 21.
  • South Huron Fitness (Exeter): 24-hour, 4,000 square foot gym facility; passes and memberships, southhuronfitness.com, 519-235-4555, 190 Thames Road E.
  • YMCA Fitness Centre (Forest): Inside the Shores Recreation Centre. Adult and student priced day passes available, ymcaswo.ca, 519-786-9622, 7883 Amtelecom Pky.
  • YMCA Fitness Centre (Goderich): Inside the Maitland Recreation Centre, ymcaswo.ca, 519-524-2125, 190 Suncoast Dr. E.

YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS

  • MOPAR Canadian National Superbike Series – June 6 & 7, 2020
  • ONDR Nostalgia Weekend – June 26-28, 2020
  • Bayfield Vettefest – July 4 & 5, 2020
  • BaconFest – July 11, 2020
  • MS Bike Tour – July 25 & 26, 2020
  • MOPAR Canadian Nationals – July 31 – August 2, 2020
  • Wind & Waves Outdoor Eco Festival – August 1-3, 2020
  • Thunder by the Beach – September 5-7, 2020
  • Volkfest, Bayfield – September 27, 2020

See Festivals & Events for more events, dates, times and details.