The days are shorter, the water has cooled off, and the docks are out for the season.
Now that Fall has settled in, you might think it’s time to close up the cottage for the winter and start planning for next summer. If you do, you may be missing out on some of the best that cottage country has to offer.
Now that your focus is not on the water, you can spend your days exploring all of the other things that make cottage country so great. From hiking trails to craft shows to some great places to eat, there is something for everyone to do.
Don’t believe us?
Here are our top 5 reasons to “Fall” in love with cottage county - see what we did there?
1. For the Leaf Peepers & Day Trippers
Fall colour changes make for a great day trip. A short drive to take in the scenery is a great way to spend the day and stay safe.
In Haliburton, take highway 35 north through Minded to highway 121 east. Follow this to the village of Haliburton where you can take highway 118 back to highway 35 and complete the loop. There are plenty of places to stop for lunch in both Minden and Haliburton so make a day of it, but we recommend a stop at Rhubarb at the corner of Highways 35 & 118.
In the north Kawarthas, start off on highway 35 in Norland, heading south to County Road 8 and turn left toward Fenlon Falls. Continue on County Road 8 to Bobcaygeon, and then County Road 36 toward Noggies Creek, to County Road 507 and proceed to Buckhorn.
2. Craft Breweries Anyone?
Haliburton and the Kawarthas have a thriving craft beer industry. Find a driver and plan a day to tour a few, or pick a spot to sample the beer over lunch - you won’t be disappointed.
In the Kawarthas, you can’t go wrong with:
Fenelon Falls Brewing Co. in - you guessed it - Fenelon Falls. Located in a former Livery Stable, the brewery has created a scenic space that overlooks the Trent Severn Waterway’s Lock 34.
With beers like the Yellow Lab Lager and Mad Dog American Pale Ale, Bobcaygeon’s Old Dog Brewing Co. invites you to make this “old dog” your new best friend.
The Pie Eye’d Monk in Lindsay has something for everyone on tap.
And the Bobcaygeon Brewing Company is working hard to create a a full production facility, retail store and tap room in Bobcaygeon. In the meantime, their Innovation Lab is open in Peterborough for tastings.
Heading north, you will find Boshkung Brewing Co. with locations in Carnarvon and Minden. Both locations provide a wide range of beer to sample as well as food to snack on.
And last, but definitely not least, Haliburton Highlands Brewing, located on the serene Abbey Gardens property, is a destination in itself.
3. Take it Outside
Fall is a great time to get outside, and cottage country has no shortage of great hiking trails and park spaces.
The Victoria Rail Trail, stretches 55km from Lindsay to Kinmount, along Sturgeon and Cameron Lakes and the Burnt River. The trail is used year-round for hiking, horseback riding, cycling, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. The trail follows the former CN rail line which was constructed beginning in 1874.
Ken Reid Conservation Area is a great place to spend the day. Groomed trails and child-friendly facilities provide a variety of ways for visitors of all ages to experience this natural setting just north of Lindsay.
Balsam Lake Provincial Park, Emily Provincial Park, Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park, and Petroglyphs Provincial Park, and Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Provincial Park are just a few parks to explore.
4. Butter Tarts - Need I Say More?
The Kawartha Lakes may be known for the Trent-Severn waterway, but another important and historic route is The Kawarthas Northumberland Butter Tart Tour. Spend the day tasting your way thought the region trying to find a favorite.
5. Cozy evening fires
This one is my all-time favorite. After a long day checking out the fall colours, hiking through parks, tasting the best the area has to offer, light a cozy fire and relax for the evening.
Bonus points if you add a glass of wine, warm blanket and good book to complete the picture. There is nothing better than the smoky smell of a fire combined with the crispness of a fall evening.