Marine Heritage Walking Tour
Discover Goderich's marine history with a walking tour
By Shawn Loughlin
Your tour of Canada’s prettiest town starts on Hamilton Street, at the tourism centre. There you’ll find pamphlet guides that will take you all over Huron County, not just Goderich.
One of the newest pamphlets, which was just launched at Huron County’s annual brochure swap, is the new hiking guide, which features over 25 trails throughout Huron County that will take you up and around and through some of the most beautiful country in Ontario.
However, while there might be too much to choose from, the diamond in the rough is the map of the Marine Heritage Walking Tour. This detailed guide will direct you where you need to go and tell you all you need to know to find Queen Elizabeth II’s reasoning behind calling Goderich Canada’s prettiest town.
There are new, redesigned maps featuring all four walking tours, as well as the Marine Heritage Walking Tour. Right now, the pamphlet consists of over 40 different points of interest along Goderich’s beautiful view of Lake Huron.
The tour, as pointed out on the walking tour map, spans several different points of interest from the remains of a ship, to the breathtaking, elevated view from Goderich’s lighthouse to the black hole in Lake Huron; and these are just the beginning.
While it is hard to imagine that visitors may need one more reason to visit the beach, the jewel of the town, the walking tour guide provides history and background for history buffs, curious visitors and even long-time residents who are always eager for more knowledge of their town.
A short drive down Harbour St. and then Cove Rd. takes you to the south end of the beach where the walk can begin. Walking north begins the historic and beautiful walk through the history of Goderich.
One of the early stops on the tour is the “bone yard”. Several ships are laid to rest in this deep corner of Lake Huron.
Soon after, the tour reaches St. Christopher’s Beach, the middle of Goderich’s three beaches.
St. Christopher’s Beach is where the stops along the tour become abundant. Perhaps the best view of the harbour is just a short trip up some stairs from St. Christopher’s Beach to the Goderich lighthouse. This plateau provides a perfect bird’s eye view of the water. Also accessible through town roads by car on Cobourg St., the elevated view is easily the town’s most breathtaking.
After dark, the lighthouse is outlined with thin red lights, with the traditional rotating lighthouse beam sweeping across the beach.
As the walk continues north to the main beach, this area is often busy as there are snack shops, a restaurant and other attractions at the mouth of the harbour.
All along the trail and Goderich’s famous boardwalk are public beaches and plenty of places to stop and cool off. There are also several children’s playgrounds for the youngsters who aren’t so inclined to sit down and take a quick rest.
Along the walk are blue information plaques that feature stories about the area in that specific spot to keep you on course. However, in recent years, the plaques have begun to be replaced with classic brown and white plaques greeting you along the way.
The plaques provide a wider scope to the tour, filling in blanks that may have been left by reading the pamphlet alone.
The descriptions in the pamphlet are meant to peak your interest, while the story will be told in full by the plaque at the actual port and the experience that accompanies actually being there to see for yourself.
If you don’t believe the Queen, see for yourself. If Goderich is the prettiest, the beach has to be the feather in its cap, so grab a pamphlet and see the prettiest of the pretty.