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Skirting Lake Ontario in Southeastern Ontario
An incredible adventure awaits in southeastern Ontario thanks to the Bay of Quinte and the St. Lawrence River. Look forward to golf, sailing, and even wreck diving, and work up an appetite for incredible festival food, wineries, and pick-your-own farms.
The easternmost city in Ontario, Cornwall is a scenic city set on the St. Lawrence River. For beachgoers, the shores of Cornwall are as fun as they are unique. Try area beaches like Long Sault Parkway Beach, Crysler Beach, and Glengarry Beach – all ideal for picnics, sunbathing, and splashing around.
Try to catch Lift Off – an annual event held in Lamoureux Park on the St. Lawrence River. Happening in July, this miraculous hot air balloon festival also features food, games, and live entertainment.
Cornwall is ideal for Ontario agritourism. Syrup celebrators can visit Maple Ridge Farms or Sand Road Maple Farm, while those looking to pick their own berries can try Dentz Orchards & Berry Farm and Avonmore Berry Farm. Bring back some red delicious apples from Smyth's Apple Orchards, or take the whole family to McMaze Family Fun Farm.
Cornwall features a slew of outdoor fun, from fishing the St. Lawrence River to golf at one of 11 courses. Don’t forget trekking the Waterfront Trail, or hitting the many snowmobiling paths in the winter.
It’s about two hours from Cornwall to Gananoque, or 250 kilometres, in central Ontario. Be sure to stick to the St. Lawrence River when heading to Gan on Country Road 2, then cut over to ON-401 just after Brockville. Set at the confluence of Gananoque River and St. Lawrence, this southern Ontario city is known as Gateway to the Thousand Islands.
The Thousand Islands is a collection of over 1,800 islands along the St. Lawrence River, and it offers more than enough to see and do. A major stop includes Boldt Castle on Heart Island just over the border in New York – also featuring Powerhouse and Alster Tower.
Downtown Gananoque is a quaint pitstop for anyone looking to shop, dine, and explore. Downtown Gan features art galleries, antique shops, ice cream parlors, boutiques, and over 70 other places of business.
From Gananoque, you can set yourself up with kayaking tours, parachuting, golf, fishing charters, and more.
From Gananoque, head east on Route 2 with the St. Lawrence River for 30 kilometres until you reach Kingston. Known as Limestone City, Kingston is a historic city – remembered as the original capital city of Canada.
Established in 1812, the Fort Henry National Historic Site is a one-stop shop for history and entertainment. This UNESCO Designated World Heritage Site features self-guided tours, historic reenactments, and weekly events like the Sunset Ceremony and Haunted Walks of Kingston.
Held at Springer Market Square, the historic Kingston Public Market runs on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Established in 1801, this setup is known as Ontario’s oldest running market.
Kingston offers an array of outdoor options. Choose from hiking Frontenac Provincial Park or windsurfing on the St. Lawrence River. Kingston is even known for impeccable wreck diving – where adventurers can explore shipwrecks in Kingston’s fresh waters.
Now traveling on ON-401, Belleville lies about 85 kilometres west in southern ontario. Belleville is set on the beautiful Bay of Quinte, just east of Ontario cities like Cobourg.
You’re still on the Bay of Quinte, so why not spend another day on its stunning shores. Enjoy fishing, swimming, and of course, sailing, in Belleville.
Belleville is an active community with a busy event calendar. Belleville celebrations include the Waterfront & Ethnic Festival, Quinte Ribfest, Empire Rockfest, and of course, Canada Day.
Thanks to a healthy breeze and spectacular sky, Belleville is an ideal spot for golf. Home to over 15 golf courses in the area, Belleville features impeccable links at the Roundel Glen Golf Course, Frankford Municipal Golf Course, Black Bear Ridge Golf Course, and many more.
Head south along ON-62 for 26 kilometres until you reach Prince Edward County. PEC juts out from the northern shore of Lake Ontario – and is known as a scenic little spot packed with great food, festivals, and fun on the Bay of Quinte.
The gorgeous Bay of Quinte yields over 800 kilometres of shoreline. Visitors are encouraged to hit the Z-shaped waters for fishing and sailing.
Dozens of wineries, bistros, and artisanal shops are scattered throughout Prince Edward County. Sample your way through stops like Vicki's Veggies, Black River Cheese Co., Grange of Prince Edward Vineyards & Estate Winery, Norman Hardie Winery & Vineyard, and so many more.
For a little time on the beach, head to Sandbanks Provincial Park. Here you’ll find hiking and biking trails and bird watching, plus water recreation like fishing, boating, and swimming.
Ideal in fall, the Ontario Apple Route is located in the southern region of Northumberland County on the northern shore of Lake Ontario. From Belleville, head west on Highway 2 to Trenton – where to Apple Route begins.
From Trenton, stick to Highway 2 for 65 kilometres – traveling west through cities like Brighton, Colborne, Grafton, and Cobourg until you reach Port Hope.
Be sure to reflect on scenic, sprawling apple orchards, visit Presqu’ile Park, and check out historic sites like Fort Kente.