Sometimes some of the most memorable travel destinations are those that are lesser known; the diamonds in the rough, the hidden gems. Today we’ll be sharing our discovery of Chatham-Kent and take you off the beaten path to explore its unique offerings for group tour and travel. These fun group activities are sure to entertain and excite. Chatham-Kent is in Southwestern Ontario, easily accessible by Highway 401 between Detroit, Michigan and London, Ontario.
This is a recreational group destination filled with culture. More than 60 tourism experiences await travelers. Riding this train of thought, we’ll also be looking at three categories of activities that are particularly unique and interesting for which motorcoach groups may partake.
The shores of Chatham-Kent include the wide waters of the Great Lakes, narrow rivers and quaint bays. Unload the group from the motorcoach and let them get their feet wet. There’s an abundance of small waterfront communities to tour and explore that cater to outdoor water sports. Boaters, kayakers and canoeists can get their paddle on in the Wallaceburg area, while more extreme thrill seekers can head to the warmer waters of Mitchell’s Bay for Canada’s longest season for kite surfing. Wakeboarders can get in on the wave action at Lake Erie along the shores of Erieau. Slap those flippers on your feet, too, because scuba diving is another accessible activity and an opportunity to explore the wildlife of Chatham-Kent’s waterways.
Scenic Lighthouse Cove is home to three resort-style marinas, including both casual & fine dining, and accommodations in Ontario. Take a dip in the heated pools while you visit. Groups looking to spend some time with a hook and lure can head out on Lake Erie for a fishing expedition; an area rated highly by anglers for its world-class game fishing. Expect to reel in quality pickerel, perch, rainbow trout and walleye for the group.
If your group prefers land to sea, pack some camo for the group and visit Chatham-Kent for a hunting expedition. Smaller groups might elect to charter a minibus for this type of hunting trip out. The region itself is along a main migratory bird route, so grab the duck calls and get ready to aim down the sights. Unlike more strict hunting limitations in Michigan, the number of waterfowl in the area gives liberal limits on what hunters can catch in a day.
Chatham-Kent is known as one of the best spots in all of Ontario for hunting canvasbacks, redhead ducks, mallards and bluebills. Make a hunting trip any time from the last Saturday in September to mid-December. Goose season extends into early January and an additional week in February.
The Chatham-Kent area is rich in cultural history. One of the last stops on the Underground Railroad, this region was known as a destination for freedom seekers and home to some of the most successful black settlements in Canada. There is an abundance of historical significance in the area thanks to the heritage of this former slave population that is preserved in Chatham-Kent’s historic sites. Head outdoors and follow a path through time. The Buxton National Historic Site & Museum features structures built during the original settlement. Groups can step back in time to visit the last standing schoolhouse, an 1852 log cabin, two churches, a cemetery and museum. One of history’s most famous black slaves, Rev. Josiah Henson, is immortalized at Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site. Groups can tour Henson’s home, a smokehouse, sawmill, the Henson Family Cemetery and Pioneer Church.
In addition, groups that tour the Chatham-Kent area will find local specialty food, wineries and breweries, world-class golf courses and more. Its small towns are friendly and urban centers intriguing with theater, galleries, and family-themed attractions. Take a look at Chatham-Kent’s tourism website for more ideas, and plan your next trip.