Short getaways are just the right amount of time to get to know the splendor of South Eastern Ontario in the summer – and there are plenty of opportunities to adventure outdoors here! This region is world-famous for its outdoor activities so lace up, dive in, and get ready to roam.
If You’re Coming From Toronto…
Arrive in The Bay of Quinte and hit up Batawa Hills. The small hill with a big heart introduces visitors to a natural playground like no other in the Bay of Quinte region. Famous for its 22-km of non-motorized trails, spending quality time outdoors immersed in the forests that surround the Batawa Ski Hill – many are multi-use and ready for feet as well as tires! Go for a run, hike or bike.
Not to be outdone on land, drop a line in this well-known hotspot for fishing, which is known as the walleye capital of the world! The fish tales are true here and walleye or pickerel fishing is serious business on the Bay of Quinte. Professional guides know where the fish are biting and can teach you the basics, while boat charters offer group excursions to favourite spots.
Next, head over to Lennox & Addington for an unforgettable descent into the Hell Holes Nature Trails. These are spectacular and jaw-dropping – the main event is the ragged-looking hole in the ground and the cave it leads to.
Your descent into darkness starts on the narrow ladder that will have you climbing down to explore this fascinating cave below.
End the day star gazing at the Lennox-Addington County Dark Sky Viewing Area. This tennis-court sized concrete viewing area is the perfect spot to set up a camera or telescope, or bring your lawn chairs and cuddle up under a blanket to rediscover the night sky as it looked 100 years ago. It’s the most southerly dark sky night viewing area in the province!
Outdoor adventuring in South Eastern Ontario isn’t complete without feeling the white sand from the world’s largest freshwater dunes between your toes. Hop over the bridge and enjoy being a beach bum at Sandbanks Provincial Park in Prince Edward County. An island with 800 km of shoreline, the County is home to some of Canada’s best beaches.
After working on your tan, side-trip to Westlake Willy Waterpark to splash, swim and bounce on massive inflatable water features like slides, towers giant pillows and courses. Think a 22-foot tall iceberg… this is something that’s fun for families and adventurous adults alike!
Take the scenic and iconic ferry back to the mainland and drive to Kingston where you can rent a Stand-Up Paddleboard and even take a lesson on Lake Ontario! Before settling in for the night, get your adrenaline pumping with a walk outdoors that is unlike any other – a haunted walk of Kingston! Prepare to be spooked by real-life tales of haunted hotels, hidden burial grounds, hangings and more. This outdoor adventure will have your spine-tingling!
Discover delicious options for dinner and cozy accommodations in South Eastern Ontario to make the most of your getaway!
If You’re Coming From Ottawa…
Start the day early with an incredible twist: getting a bird’s eye view of the 1000 Islands region! Fly first class with 1000 Islands Helicopter Tours out of Gananoque, and marvel at the unique perspective on the lush greenery, sparkling St. Lawrence River and more.
Next, delight in getting up close and personal with the 1000 Islands themselves, as you embark on a guided kayak excursion with 1000 Islands Kayaking in Gananoque. Glide through the water with a 1000 Islands Kayaking guide or on your own, paddling at your own pace to discover the inlets and island life surrounded by nature. Guides can offer cultural significance along the way, and even prepare an island gourmet lunch! Share an intimate guided tour of the islands by kayak to explore up close and personal.
Propel through Ontario’s largest ziplining and canopy adventure park at Skywood Eco Adventure Park near Mallorytown. Kids can explore treehouses connected by log bridges, ramps, slides and a swing in the Treewalk Village. Guests enjoy exploring courses within the forest canopy, hiking through unique games, bridges, swings, nets and full-on zip lines from one treetop platform to the next.
Carry on and flock to Morrisburg in Cornwall and SDG Counties at the Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Enjoy more than eight kilometres of self-guided hiking trails, which showcase about 150 different bird species, including a unique boardwalk. A birdsong paradise – just don’t forget your camera!
End the day in Cornwall watching the sunset while cycling the scenic Waterfront Bike Trail, spanning the length of Cornwall and Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry United Counties. This meandering cyclist recreational path encompasses the entire waterfront in Cornwall promising amazing views of the as a backdrop to the blue of the water.
Have fun adventuring outdoors across South Eastern Ontario!