History of Pretty River Valley Country Inn
The Pretty River Valley Country Inn sits on the Niagara Escarpment of which has been formally recognized by the United Nations as a significant region whose unique landscape was worthy of preservation for all time. Nestled in the Blue Mountains, the Inn is minutes away from a wealth of outdoor experiences such as hiking the Bruce Trail, biking, paddling on the Beaver River, swimming at Wasaga Beach the longest (14 kilometres (9 miles) freshwater beach in the world. The area known throughout Canada for its apple orchards are now getting a reputation for its vineyards.
The area was originally settled by the Petun Aboriginal people many years ago. Approximately 150 years ago hardy Scots immigrated to this valley and made it their home. Gaelic was spoken in this valley as recently as the 50’s. Many of the early Scottish farms were bought by the government and are now part of the Pretty River Valley Provincial Park. Heritage lilac bushes and flowers still flourish up what would have been their driveways many years ago.
The Inn sits on 125 acres of what was once 650 acres parcel that was acquired in 1860’s by a Mr Bell. Many a tale is told about teams of horse careening from the top of the property down an old extremely steep logging trail that can still be seen on a hike up the escarpment. Home Farm the original homestead built in 1880 now houses the Crofts, Exercise facility and Boardroom. The existing log Inn was built in 1977 by a family who had a vision of inviting guests to share this marvelous location with them as a B&B.
Paul & Linda bought the Inn in 2002 with thoughts of easing into retirements. Both of them come from I.T. positions. Having both worked overseas in the UK and Scotland for six years, the Pretty River Valley so reminiscent of Scotland was a natural location to reinvent themselves. Linda brought three Icelandic horses back with her and they earn their keep by providing Trekking on the Inn property to the delight of the guests. As we practice “Natural Horsemanship” guests will be introduced to ground skills while playing with your horse prior to horseback riding.
On hand to greet our guests are our menagerie of animals. Horses, Reindeer, chickens and pigs raised seasonally for organic bacon and sausages. Top Bar Bee Hives help pollinate the apple orchard. Organic gardening helps bring product to our guest’s breakfast table. The Inn welcomes young people as volunteers who want to try their hand at farming. A local young lad is growing Farmed Mushroom on Logs and sells them to guests to take home. Organic, Biodynamic & Permaculture practices go hand in hand at the Inn.
The Inn has welcomed guests from North America and around the world to unwind, reconnect with nature and each other and enjoy the richness of our ecological environment.