In the fall I test-drove the perky Hyundai Accent on a trip to Long Point. Destination was the Long Point Bird Observatory to see some bird banding. We were a bit late for the bulk of the fall bird migration but spring is here and from now through May you should put Long Point on your list for a charming spring expedition. Here’s what it was like in the fall.
From Hamilton to Long Point you can follow a laid back path that takes in antique shops, hot dog stands, cottages, fields and waves. As the crow flies, take Highway 6; keep Lake Erie on your left and watch for signs for Long Point,
The Hyundai Accent is perfect for a fresh air adventure Our Accent SE model is $18,749. Give up a bunch of amenities and
it’s yours for $13,899. All models have the same 1.6- litre, 4-cylinder engine producing 138 horsepower with123 lb.-ft of torque.
Power is modest, but along the rural routes of southwestern Ontario it’s never missed. With the road to ourselves much of the time, we note the quiet cabin, the smooth six-speed automatic, and good visibility from the supportive driver’s seat.
Port Dover is the major Mecca on the way to Long Point, but we search out the little beach side towns instead.
In Port Rowan the water is like glass in the harbour and tin boathouses seem to lean against each other for support. It’s easy to pilot the agile Accent around trailers and boats to pose it against the silvery water.
We decided to stay overnight at Long Point Eco Adventures (www.lpfun.ca) in St. Williams, between Turkey Point and Long Point. We want to get there before dark, so the Accent goes in to high gear for some solid if not sporty driving.
You’ve heard of glamping? Well this is it. The wilderness suites at Long Point Eco Adventures are tents with wood floors, a fridge, shower, bathroom, and a big comfy bed. In the morning a lavish breakfast is served in a communal tent, and then you work it off walking the gorgeous boardwalk overlooking Long Point Marsh. As the morning mist burned off we saw turkey vultures doing their slow loops high overhead.
Leaving behind the glam camping, we jump back into the Accent which has stylish interior design of its own. The seats are done in modern, attractive fabric, the layout is uncluttered and hard plastics are tasteful, but already banged up with a few gouges. In the back seats, space is snug even for me at 5’4”.
We have a short drive to our last stop, the Long Point Bird Observatory where field biologists monitor the health of bird populations by banding birds caught in lightweight nets. During the busy spring and fall migrations, Long Point is a resting place
for birds before and after they fly over the lake. At the observatory, scientists and volunteers collect birds caught in lightweight nets and record information, including weight, wingspan and approximate age. The information is used to track long-term population trends of migratory birds.
Visiting the bird observatory (www.birdscanada.org) is a marvelous way to see birds close up, from the smallest kinglet to owls and hawks.
After a delightful time at the observatory we tuned the Accent around, switched on its symphonic sound system and did out best to follow a route home “as the crow flies.”
Written by: Kathy Renwald