Lorry Brandon left presents to Haliburton County on the Tourist Information Caboose which saw almost 7500 people visit from May 18 to October 15 this year. /SUE TIFFIN Staff

Caboose moving full steam ahead

By Sue Tiffin

Twenty years ago when people asked at what point in the summer Haliburton County got less busy the answer was usually “when the Ex starts” but nowadays August is no less busy and sometimes busier than July explained Lorry Brandon and Nancy Stinson in their delegation to Dysart council on Oct. 22 about the Haliburton Tourist Information Caboose.

This year for example in August 2878 people visited the Caboose located at Head Lake Park compared to 2351 people in July and Brandon noted that tourism is “alive and well” in Dysart.

Brandon and Stinson enthusiastic ambassadors of the Caboose said 7438 people visited the Caboose this season from May 18 to Oct. 15 compared to 5375 in 2016. Visitors included full-time and seasonal residents day visitors travel group guides camp parents hikers rail trail cyclists paddlers motorcyclists ATV drivers geocachers history buffs and even those arriving by float plane and Brandon said they came with a variety of information requests.

“If we didn’t know the answer we certainly did our best to try to find the answer” she said.

Besides looking for information on local attractions visitors were also looking for campgrounds or other accommodations scenic tours menus of local restaurants and printed maps directions or washroom facilities.

Though the Caboose has ramped up their social media usage with a Twitter and Instagram account Brandon said some visitors commented on how important it was to be able to speak with someone face-to-face.

“Every little relationship every little first meeting every way you can make people feel welcome – it’s so important” she said.