Between the eastern shores of Lake Ontario and the rugged terrain of the Canadian shield is Lennox and Addington County. It’s a great place to unwind and be inspired by your surroundings. The county has all the benefits of a rural lifestyle while maintaining big-city amenities (minus the congestion and line-ups). 

Lennox and Addington County provides visitors with seemingly endless activities set upon beautiful, natural backdrops. Adrenaline seekers will enjoy biking on and off-road trails, fishing lakes and rivers, hiking, and exploring caves. Are you simply looking to unwind? Stroll along streets filled with local shops and fresh food before ending your day gazing at the stars above. At just a 2‑hour drive from Toronto and Ottawa or 3 hours from Montreal, your long weekend escape to this natural, unspoiled paradise is closer than you may have imagined.

Camp, Hike, Relax & More at Bon Echo Provincial Park

Bon Echo Provincial Park is in the township boundaries of Addington Highlands and North Frontenac. Open from mid-May to mid-October and measuring up at 6,644 hectares (16,500 acres), there’s plenty of time and space to conquer the many on-site activities at the park. With over fifteen lakes and other bodies of water, three sandy, swimmable beaches, and over 40-kilometers of hiking trail, you’ll likely need more than a day to do it all!

Standout Activities:

One of the best things to do at Bon Echo Provincial Park is to explore the Mazinaw Rock. At over 100-meters high (328ft), this scenic landmark features over two-hundred and sixty indigenous pictographs for exploration and interpretation. This section was also designated as a National Historic Site of Canada in 1982

If you’re looking to get active, consider heading to the top of the Mazinaw Rock via the Clifftop Trail. This 1.5‑kilometer trail is moderately-challenging and should take less than an hour to complete. Once you reach the top, be sure to enjoy gorgeous views of Mazinaw Lake from this vantage point. You must canoe, kayak, or take the ferry to reach the trailhead. If you are interested in heading out onto the water but don’t have the equipment — not to worry — paddleboats, canoes, and kayaks are all available for rent at the on-site Bon Echo Lagoon.

Paved or Rugged – Ride a Variety of Bike Trails

Whether you’re looking for a serene ride along paved routes or something a little more rugged, like off-road mountain biking in a forest, Lennox and Addington County has an itinerary with your name on it. There are over 600-kilometers of paved routes, making up twelve looping trails, for a complete network. These routes will take riders around curves, over rolling hills, and through many elegant rural communities that are perfect spots to take a break or to explore further. 

Routes to Discover: 

Napanee River Route (Paved): If you’re looking to bike a peaceful route with outstanding views, this is the ride for you. This 24-kilometer loop takes riders by picturesque views of the Napanee River and the Bay of Quinte. Without long stops, this route can take as little as one hour to complete or a little longer if you decide to park and enjoy the rolling hills and river’s edge. 

The Pines (Off-Road): Ready to go off-road? The Pines is one of the top bike trails in Lennox and Addington county. Located within the Lennox and Addington Forest Trails system, this route will take riders through 10-kilometers of single-track trails, logging roads, curves, and differing elevations ‑all amongst the Canadian Shield’s tall pines. This route is suited to more experienced off-road cyclists.

An Angler’s Paradise – Fish the Napanee River

Lennox and Addington County is a great year-round fishing destination, thanks to its many rivers and lakes. 

Eager to cast your line? Head over to the Napanee River, one of the most popular fishing spots in the area. Beginning at Camden Lake and passing through several communities like Yarker, Camden East, Newburgh, and Napanee, the river eventually flows into the Bay of Quinte, a tributary of Lake Ontario. The river draws many anglers thanks to its wide variety of fish and ample shore casting space — although you may also launch your boat if you’d like to head out into a different part of the water. A Napanee River fishing experience will provide the opportunity to catch a variety of fish species like Lake Trout, Bass, Yellow Perch, Round Goby, Northern Pike, Walleye, Atlantic Salmon, Pumpkinseed, Bluegill, and Rock Bass.

Gaze Up to the Star-Lit Sky at the L&A Dark Sky Viewing Area

Going back to 2010, county resident Terence Dickinson stopped at a particular spot along County Road 41. He noticed the view of the sky was incredibly uninterrupted. It was a thing of beauty. He proceeded to stop here several times to take night sky photos. Eventually, he informed the Lennox & Addington Economic Development Office of the location, to which they noted a great tourism opportunity. This spot and its surroundings are now known as the L&A Dark Sky Viewing Area. 

Tips for an Optimal Viewing Experience:

As the most southerly dark sky site in Ontario, catching a glimpse of the stars and your favorite constellation is easy to do here. It provides a break from the light pollution of big cities and suburbs and is a perfect experience for those of all ages. Consider the following tips for an optimal viewing experience: 

  • Avoid visiting on cloudy nights. If daytime has clear, blue skies, there’s a good chance nighttime will produce clear views for stargazing.

  • Pick a night where the moon isn’t so bright. Although a full moon can sometimes be a sight to see on its own, it isn’t ideal for stargazing.

  • Bring a set of binoculars or a telescope if you’d like to get a closer look at the stars. Don’t have one? Not to worry, the views are still great regardless.

Pick Sweet Fruit at a Local Orchard

If you’re looking to pick some local farm fresh fruit, there’s a wide variety to choose from in Lennox and Addington County. Depending on the time of year, visitors can take their pick at raspberries, strawberries, apples, pumpkins, and more. If you are tight on time but still want to take home some of these delicious offerings, you may opt to grab a pre-picked selection. Visiting a local farm for a you-pick is an exciting and relaxing experience for just about anyone. 

Explore Variety at Wynn Farms

Located in Greater Napanee and open from mid-August to the end of October, Wynn Farms is one of the best destinations if you want a local farm experience. This farm is the place to be if you’re looking for apples, as they offer more than ten varieties. 

As fall begins and Halloween approaches, this location becomes popular for its pumpkin patch. After selecting the perfect pumpkin to carve or bake, visit the Wynn Pioneer Village, where an on-site corn maze will present you with an enjoyable challenge. As you strategically plot your way out, you will also encounter fun facts along the way.

Taste the Difference at one of the Areas Wineries & Breweries

Lennox and Addington County breweries and wineries are becoming a more common sight. Optimal soil quality and longer, diverse seasons make for excellent growing conditions, resulting in a delicious final product and various offerings. Whether it be beer, cider, or wine, there’s plenty to taste and take home upon visiting the county. 

Experience Authentic Canadian Craft Beer at MacKinnon Brothers Brewing Company

With over 200 years of farming heritage, Ivan and Daniel MacKinnon have transformed the family farm into a prominent craft brewery. Located in the township of Bath, everything is done on-site, with the hops, barley, and wheat grown on the farm. With a focus on creating beers that reflect the character of rural Canada, there are a few must-try varieties. 

  • 8 Man English Pale Ale — A traditional English Pale Ale with a smooth and sweet taste. 

  • Crosscut Canadian Ale — A crisp and smooth golden ale with a sweet aroma.

  • Red Fox Ale — Although you may be taken back by the red color of this particular beer, we promise it’s worth a try. It has a distinct flavor that is due to the addition of beets.

Whether to taste test some craft beer or to attend an event, be sure to snap a few pictures as the location, including the centuries-old barn, is very photogenic!

Special thanks to Naturally L&A for their suggestions. Visit their website for more information and trip inspiration. 

Always follow Canada and local health authority COVID-19 guidelines for travelling or visiting attractions. Learn more about current restrictions and travelling within Canada.

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