How well do you really know the area where you live?
Over seventy people from different corners of South Eastern Ontario have shared with us their favourite places and things to do. Some are well-known, some are a little off the beaten track, but ALL are local favourites! Here’s a look at Frontenac County.
With on-going developments regarding the global pandemic, please visit each location’s website, or connect with their staff via email and telephone, for updates on COVID-19 procedures such as guest capacity, sanitization methods and mask requirements.
Food And Drink
This organic creamery near Sydenham in Frontenac is processing milk right there on the farm! In addition to also featuring many local and organic whole foods available farm store and through their home delivery service, Limestone Organic Creamery also makes its own ice cream on site. Try the chocolate milk here, too!
“Chocolate milk, egg nog, and other sweets – organic things taste better.” Richard Allen, Tourism Champion
Keep an eye out for this yellow gem located in the quaint village of Marysville. Cafe Tenango offers a great cup-a-joe, while sourcing their smooth ice cream from Tracy’s Dairy. Try out their salted caramel flavour, it’s said to be a local favourite!
With 40 years of experience under their belt, Wolfe Island Bakery has perfected the art – or is it science – of baking. They offer a range of melt-in-your-mouth products including bread, pies, buns and cakes, but the star of the show has to be their butter tarts. Next time you’re looking for something sweet, let the anticipation of delicious butter tarts guide you to Wolf Island.
There’s something for everybody at Lavallee’s Cookery, with gluten-free and vegan options for those with special diets, as well as local favourites such as their cinnamon buns, lasagna and cheesesteak sandwiches! Try out this local legend the next time you’re passing by.
“Everyone is so friendly, the food is fantastic, and I love businesses that support other local businesses! Grabbing Pizza from Ormsbee’s Cookery – Fantastic pizza, great people, and another business that supports other local businesses.”Lisa C Henderson, House of Three and Stamp & Create.
You may have heard of a ‘one-stop-shop’, but you haven’t experienced one like this! With a local LCBO on site, hearty breakfast sandwiches, buttery scones as well as the added convenience products such as local produce! Did we mention, they also sell Ormsbee Maple Syrup, produced just down the road.
Head over to the sweet town of Verona, where you can truly eat farm-to-plate at Food Less Travelled. Sourcing only local ingredients, and raising their own animals and crops, you can pick up dinner for the week, or try freshly prepared meals including chicken pot pie, a variety of soups and “Canadian-Cajun jambalaya!”
“If you want local food, this is the place to go. Not only are the shelves full of products grown, raised, processed, created in Frontenac and the surrounding areas, the staff are super knowledgable about everything local food. If they don’t have what you’re looking for, they know where you can get it.”Alison Vandervelde, Tourism Champion
A cozy and comfortable spot to enjoy a stunning view while eating great food. Known for their hearty breakfast options, you can take some comfort in your comfort food, as well as their lovely service and kind employees. After your visit, you might just add Muddy Waters to your list of favourites.
“The pizza is an absolute MUST try. Showstopper!”Alison Vandervelde, Tourism Champion
This unique nano-roaster located on Wolfe Island is sure to be a unique experience. Nano-roasting is a new trend of coffee shops that provide brew a limited amount of their beans, making their yummy caffeine exclusive and even more delicious.
Arts And Culture
Each year, starting in June, Wolfe Island Gallery hosts a collection of local artists’ talented work. They are consistently looking to support more local artists, therefore you can be sure to find something new every time you go. Currently, the gallery is not operating regularly due to COVID.
The oldest general store in Canada is found in Sydenham, where you can enjoy great finds including kitchen ware, delicious local ice cream, clothes and much more. Old meets new at Trousdales, where you can have your next shopping experience online or in store, with curb-side pickup!
“The coffee bar and Kawartha Dairy ice cream make it a must-visit!” Alison Vandervelde, Tourism Champion
If you plan a visit near Verona, take a moment to check out Nicoles Gifts, where you can find unique, hand crafted items that are one-of-a-kind. From jewelry, to decor, and even nostalgic candy options, you won’t regret the visit.
“Every time I go to shop for someone else, I find a dozen things to put on my own wish list.”Alison Vandervelde, Tourism Champion
Do you have a knack for photography? Or do you just enjoy being surrounded by serene nature taking over your senses? Check out The Arab Lake Gorge Trail, where you can leisurely walk the 1.3 kilometer trail, which is pet friendly, and capture some awe-inspiring photos of the stunning bridges, trees and streams that intertwine with the path.
Hike where miners blasted more than 100 years ago! Gould Lake Conservation Area is history mixed with nature along the unique Mine Loop Trail, which still shows remnants of mica mining operations in Frontenac County. With more than 20 km of trails over 580 acres, the area is also a wildlife haven. Look for the main Rideau Trail and side loops which are located within the conservation area. Trails are open here, but the conservation area is asking visitors to practice physical distancing of at least 2 m and washrooms remain closed until further notice.
Enjoy 50 metres of warm sand under your feet at this stunning watering hole! Made private by the snuggled trees and within walking distance of easy parking. This beach does require that all guests please follow the advice of health experts within their respective communities, and in all cases, social distancing is required.
Adventure just north of Kingston to the historic Sydenham Lake to enjoy a true lake-beach experience. This beloved lake, which is directly connected to Lake Ontario, is said to be well known by some very famous people, including household names of actors and hockey players. This beach does require that all guests please follow the advice of health experts within their respective communities, and in all cases, social distancing is required.
“All three beaches are well maintained and offer easy swimming in beautiful, clean lakes.”Alison Vandervelde, Tourism Champion
For a day of fun in the sun, travel to Sydenham Lake Canoe Club and enjoy recreational kayaking and canoeing, or even take part in competitive paddling along the Sydenham Lake. Please note that when entering the Canoe Club masks and social distancing is required by both employees and patrons at all times.
Enjoy a relaxing day in Inverary at the Ken Garrett Memorial Park! The local community prides itself on their park, and have worked together to support its maintenance and upkeep through the challenging times of COVID. Please be respectful of others while enjoying your time at the park by maintaining distance!
“It’s a secret little hideaway fantastic for kids.”Lisa C Henderson, House of Three and Stamp & Create
Surrounded by trees and privately owned cabins, you can visit this adorable lake for a refreshing swim, kayaking, canoeing and more. Please note that Burridge Lake is not overseen by an organization, therefore you must take into consideration social distancing rules when journeying through the lake and surrounding area.
“Many lakes in Frontenac are small, quiet, and under-developed — which means they’re fantastic for paddling. Undisturbed flora and fauna await, especially as you paddle along shorelines and close to marshy areas.”Alison Vandervelde, Tourism Champion
If you have a love for learning, and a love for the water, then you need to check out the Wolfe Island Boat Club. If you already are experienced, you can rent canoes, kayaks, sails and rowboats to spend your day on the lake among the fishes. If you are a novice, check out their Adult Learn to Sail course or sign up for some coached rowing to build your skills!
The abandoned rail bed of the K&P Trail offers an off-road route to experience stunning natural scenery through open fields, beside rock cuts, over creeks, next to wetlands and more. The 75 km stretch of the K&P Trail between downtown Kingston and Sharbot Lake is a fully-developed, stone dust rail trail with stops in charming small communities along the way. This section is also part of the Trans Canada Trail. The K&P Trail remains open for use; however, trailheads and public washrooms are closed. Frontenac County asks that all trail users maintain a 6-foot distance with one another and take care to allow others to use the trail safely. Additionally, the county recommends taking further safety precautions like sanitizing hands before and after time on the trail and wearing a mask.
“Whether you’re on foot, bicycle, horse, or ATV (north of Verona), with your dog or pushing a baby carriage, the K&P offers a safe space to get your blood pumping and explore the countryside in Frontenac.”Alison Vandervelde, Tourism Champion
“The rail-trail makes it easy for me to bring my family along and for us to feel safe.”Richard Allen, Tourism Champion
With 120 km of looped and well-maintained backpacking and hiking trails, Frontenac Provincial Park is an exceptional spot for wildlife viewing, interior camping, and backcountry exploring. The park also includes 22 beautiful lakes with great fishing and swimming opportunities – and all 48 interior campsites are accessible by hiking trail. Check what facilities are available and pack what you need (e.g. water, snacks, hand sanitizer). The park is expecting visitors to follow public health advice including physical distancing by keeping at least two metres from others, wearing a face covering where required and cleaning hands regularly.
“Incredible hiking experiences for advanced outdoors people, as well as beginners.”Alison Vandervelde, Tourism Champion
Sightseeing And Tours
Travel to Kingston and take a short (and free) ferry ride over to the beautiful island where you can enjoy a variety of activities including sailing and swimming, dinner at The Wolfe Island Grill, drinks at The Wolfe Island Pub and a restful sleep at one of their adorable cottages. A hidden paradise is tucked away on Wolfe Island – but you’ll have to plan to add this spot to your bucket list. Please note that the Wolfe Island Corn Maze and Big Sandy Bay beach are both closed for the 2020 season.
“Anywhere on Wolfe Island. Any time of day, anywhere on the Island the vast skies and gorgeous rural landscape take my breath away. Sharing a meal with a fave human and watching the sunrise or set over the water is postcard magical.”Alix Carr-Harris, Haymaker’s Coffee Co.
“I’m a fan of the somewhat Netherlands like experience of riding my bike on the backroads of Wolfe Island. There’s lots of farmland, waterfront, and windmills. The longer the bike ride, the more I deserve a cold beverage afterwards on the patio at the Wolfe Island Grill.”Richard Allen, Tourism Champion
What are your favourite places and things to do in South Eastern Ontario? Share the love with #SouthEasternOntario and #ShopLocalSEO
Thank you to everyone who participated in our survey and shared with us their local favourites!