Just east of Toronto, Port Hope and Cobourg are your escape from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Enjoy unique shopping opportunities and winter festivities at your own pace with a charming touch of quaint Victorian architecture and small-town calm.Treat yourself to a stunningly delicious meals and buy some locally-made baked goods before you relax before a performance at the unique Capitol Theatre or one of several other great venues. Get tips from Northumberland Tourism here, use our Trip Planner to guide your discoveries, or take some sweet cues from the stops on the Butter Tart Tour.
If you prefer to get away from cities and towns altogether, escape to one of the resorts on Rice Lake.
Every year Coboconk hosts the “Freshwater Summit Festival” in late June. What is the “Freshwater Summit”? Coboconk is located on Balsam Lake, the highest point of the Trent Severn Waterway. Balsam Lake is also the highest body of freshwater in Canada from which you can navigate to all oceans in a seaworthy vessel. In other words, this is Canada’s Freshwater Summit!
Just west of Coboconk, around the peninsula of Indian Point, is Balsam Lake Provincial Park. This is a gorgeous park with canoe rentals, playgrounds, a great beach, crystal clear waters, and lovely trails with lots of wildlife. Check them out for camping details and other great activities & events!
Visit the Smallest Jail in Canada! Built in 1884, the jail is currently operated as a craft shop and is open July and August, as well as Victoria Day & Thanksgiving long weekends.
Eats & Treats
Check out Bexley Golf Centre just west of Coboconk & Balsam Lake Provincial Park. They are a Butter Tart Tour stop!
In Coboconk, great eats are available at The Pattie House Smokin’ Barbecue, Riverbank Pizza, Ryan’s Charbroiled Burgers & Pizzas, and more! The Gull’s Nest Restaurant has a great patio overlooking the water, and we all know how delicious Kawartha Dairy Ice Cream is on a patio in the summer sun!
Fishing Tips from Local Pro Chris Huskilson
Balsam Lake is a fishing hot spot! Major species include Large and Smallmouth Bass, Walleye, Muskie (and Tiger Muskie!), Northern Pike, Bluegill, Yellow Perch, Black Crappie, Carp, and Catfish. Fishing is great all-year long. But for many species (Pike, Walleye, Perch, Bluegill, Crappie) fishing is most productive in spring, when the fish are fresh off the spawn and looking to feed. The biggest Muskies and Smallmouth Bass are typically caught in the fall.
Where to Stay
Rent a houseboat & stay on the water! Or check out our Trip Planner for other options! The Saucy Willow Inn is right on the water in Coboconk. Cedar Nook Cottages are just north of Coboconk.
If you’re interested in tasting more of 19th century history, check out the Maryboro Lodge in downtown Fenelon Falls, home of the Fenelon Falls Museum.
Have paddled the Trent Severn Waterway or “Shared the Chair” at Parks Canada’s Lock 34?
The Kawartha Lakes is the Houseboat Capital of Ontario. Your houseboat adventure is calling! Get the details here.
The Kawartha Lakes are a gorgeous area to explore by bike. Get ideas from Kawartha Lakes Tourism and then check out detailed route maps via Kawartha Lakes Cycling Club.
Hidden Gem: Shopping!
Looking for a unique shopping experience? You *must* check out “Curious?” at 10-B Water Street. This is your fine art, home décor, body products, jewellery, pottery, toys, bedding, and generally everything wonderful and unique store. Curious? Just take a look at their great posts Instagram @CuriousFenelon.
Eats & Treats
If you want the best view in town, get a patio table at The Perch Restaurant and enjoy a great lunch, snack, or dinner while you’re there.
Fenelon Falls is a big little Butter Tart Tour destination with four tour bakeries! Visit their website to download the map & make your sweet tour plans. Here are the four stops in Fenelon Falls:
1) A quick walk or bike from Lock 34 is Sweet Bottoms Coffee Shop. They have some of the best coffee around.
2) Kawartha Shortbread is also here in Fenelon Falls, baker of the 1st place butter tart in the 2017 “Best of the Best” Taste-off!
3) Little Pie Shack is cute, pink, and sweet – a must-see for any Butter Tart Tour aficionado!
4) Last but not least, Eganridge Inn, Country Club, and Spa has it all, including butter tarts!
Savour the Seasons
The Fenelon Falls Fair is an annual event in early August. Check out this website for 2018 dates as they become available.
Fishing Tips from Local Pro Chris Huskilson
Lock 34 at Fenelon Falls connects Cameron Lake and Sturgeon Lake. Fishing is great all-year long. But for many species (Walleye, Perch, Bluegill, Crappie) fishing is most productive in spring, when the fish are fresh off the spawn and looking to feed. The biggest Muskies and Smallmouth Bass are typically caught in the fall.
The Fenelon Inn is right downtown, and Eganridge Inn, Country Club, and Spa is halfway between Fenelon Falls and Bobcaygeon. (Don’t forget that they are also a Butter Tart Tour stop!) There are some parks and cottages farther afield too.
Lindsay is on the beautiful Kawartha Trans Canada Trail. Most of this trail is based on old rail lines, which means it is relatively flat and great for riding and hiking. In 2017 we met up with an Ontario By Bike tour group going from Lindsay to Peterborough along this trail, and they were loving the route. Many of them had been on all the guided tours that year and ranked this as #1 or #2! The lookout from Doube’s Trestle Bridge is stunning!
Watch this all-season video of the beautiful Kawartha Trans Canada Trail.
The Victoria Rail Trail is another great rail trail that stretches north from Lindsay into Kinmount.
The Wilson Boardwalk runs from the picturesque Old Mill ruin north to Wellington Street. The stone ruin is the remnant of the Old Mill that was built in 1869, destroyed by fire in 1978.
The Old Mill Park is also right beside Lock 33 of the Trent Severn Waterway. Back in 1844, this was the first timber lock completed in the entire waterway. They still use timber today, and this lock features a unique double gate system that allows smaller vessels to transit without using as much water.
Just north of Lindsay is the beautiful Ken Reid Conservation Area, home to migratory birds and a great diversity of wildlife. This is a beautiful spot to explore at any time of year!
Are you feeling the need, the need for speed? Head to the Lindsay 500 for some go cart racing!
Pane Vino Trattoria & Wine Bar offers a modern interpretation of Italian cuisine. Built upon strong relationships with local farmers, the menu features locally-grown ingredients from within the region.
Elm Creek Chocolates is where you’ll discover “an old world style chocolatier, a creator of tasty, melt in your mouth, Belgian Couverture Chocolates.” ‘Nuff said. They’re located at 73 Kent Street West.
ShirLee’s Bakery is a family-run business located in the heart of Lindsay. The bakery has been in Lindsay for over 100 years, though it has changed names & hands a few times. Pies, tarts, brownies, cookies, buns, bread – it’s all here, fresh & baked daily!
Performance & Fine Arts
You can connect your arts experience along the Kawartha Lakes Arts & Heritage Trail! Full details are here.
During the summer months Lindsay hosts free “Concerts in the Park” at the Frank Banks Gazebo in Victoria Park on Wednesday evenings form 7pm and Sunday afternoons from 2pm.
Art on Kent is a co-operative exhibition space funded by member artists. Touch base with them to see what this month’s exhibit is. Stop by to enjoy the exhibit, and check out the for-sale artworks, artist’s cards, reproductions, and smaller gift items!
CJ’s Gallery is a seasonal gallery that showcases the art of CJ herself and selected other artists.
Boat over to Wolf Island Provincial Park. Located right between Lower Buckhorn Lake and Lovesick Lake, this park is accessible only by water. There is easy access from Lock 30 (Lovesick). Note that the park has no facilities and trails are not marked. Washrooms are available at Lock 30 when the Trent Severn Waterway is open.
Experience the largest known concentration of Aboriginal rock carvings in Canada at Petroglyphs Provincial Park. These carvings are considered sacred, so photography is not permitted. That means you must be here to see them! Petroglyphs Provincial Park is on the north-east end of Stoney Lake (just east of Lower Buckhorn Lake), and the park also features McGinnis Lake, which is a meromictic lake. In most lakes, the surface and deep waters mix with one another at least once a year. In a meromictic lake, however, the surface deep waters do not intermix. These unusual lakes create unique colourations and extremely low-oxygen habitats. There are only a handful of these lakes in Canada.
• Kawartha County Wines is just a short drive up County Road 36 from downtown Buckhorn. Once there, you’ll be dazzled with the largest variety of premium fruit win in the province, many of them award-winning! There is also a wide variety of preserves and other tasty locally-sourced fare.
Savour the Seasons
• Buckhorn features one of Canada’s largest privately-owned, retail art galleries. The beautifully situated Gallery on the Lake has 15,000 square feet of original fine art, sculpture, glassware, pottery, and jewellery from Canada’s top artists. At any time of year, it is a treat to immerse yourself in their stunning collections. You could go home with your new favourite piece of art, and you can also pick up some gorgeous art cards and smaller gifts to remind yourself of your visit or to share with friends.
• Experience “Rock the Locks”! Every year on the last weekend of August Buckhorn celebrates the Trent Severn Waterway with classic cars, vendors, music, a petting zoo, horse and buggy rides, and an ARTivity Zone. Get details here.
• Find one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted treasures at the many seasonal arts and crafts shows hosted at the Buckhorn Community Centre. Check out their events calendar here for upcoming show dates.
Late fall right through to ice up presents some of the greatest Muskie and Smallmouth bass fishing of the year in the Kawarthas Northumberland region of Ontario. Your opportunity to truly catch a legend awaits right here. Come see for yourself!
1. It’s beautiful & the fish are biting!
Fall fishing in the Kawarthas Northumberland region is one of my favorite times of the season. Not only is the fishing spectacular, but the sheer beauty and fall colors have made their appearance in full. The leaves have turned and begun to fall. The nights are cooler, the air is crisp and the fish are feeding up in preparation for winter.
2. My favourite fall focus is on trophy Muskies and Smallmouth Bass.
These two species are without question my favorite target from mid-September right through to ice up. Why you might ask? Well the answer is this. Not only are they aggressively feeding during this time, but they are much more likely to be susceptible to simple angling techniques in areas that are much more obvious and easier to access. I keep my techniques very simple during this time and the results are always very good.
3. How to target Smallmouth Bass during Fall Fishing.
When targeting Smallmouth Bass from late September through November my approach is simple. During this period the fish within the region tend to school up on shallow rocky points extending out from the shoreline. Points close to deep water. Fall equals BIG smallies. Fish at this time of year feed heavily on crayfish and minnows in preparation for the cold winter months. I always start my search right on the bank in as little as a foot of water. Early morning “walk the dog” style topwater baits are a great option. I will fish them very slowly and in a color pattern resembling the local forage. In most cases white will do the trick. When the water is really starting to get 60°F or lower, nothing beats the steady cadence of a suspending jerk bait. I will allow for very long pauses between jerks to allow enough time for the fish to commit to the bait. The pause is the key. This is a great time for the shore angler to take advantage of some great accessible shallow water fish! Check out the “Fish From Shore” fishing locations on the Kawartha’s Northumberland website and catch the fish of a lifetime! Below are a few lake recommendations and examples of baits I suggest you try.
4. Lake Recommendations for Smallmouth Bass Fall Fishing
Dalrymple, Rice Lake. Stony Lake
5. Tackle Recommendations for Smallmouth Bass Fall Fishing
A White Jerkbait is a great minnow imitator. Remember to allow for long pauses between jerks to trigger strikes. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your cadence though! The fish’s reaction will dictate the amount of time between twitches.
A walk the dog style topwater bait in shallow water first thing in the morning can be a great way to trigger big fish to strike. The same rule applies during this time of the year. Slow and steady wins the race.
6. How to Target Muskies in Fall Fishing
When targeting Muskies from late September right through until Ice-Up, my approach is even more simplified. They are packing on pounds before winter as well and quite literally can be found in the same areas as the Smallmouth–Rock and/or weed points with close proximity to deep water. While I will shy away from top water presentations during this period, I will lean heavily towards a suspending/neutral buoyancy type bait that will allow me to impart a jerkbait type presentation triggering bites in the exact same manner as I would with the Smallmouth. It is during this period that I lean heavily on large profile soft plastic baits. Large swimbaits and water dwelling rodent imitators are a favorite for me as well as large Tube style baits that have been rigged weightless so that I can fish it in the upper portion of the water column instead of the bottom. Long pauses are key! Fish slowly and the fish will come. The Muskies within the region this time of year are feeding heavily! They are opportunistic, meaning no bait is too big. This is the time to increase in size and hang on for the fish of a lifetime! Below are a few lake recommendations and examples of baits I suggest you try.
7. Lake Recommendations for Muskie Fall Fishing
Balsam Lake, Pigeon Lake, Cameron Lake
8. Tackle Recommendations for Muskie Fall Fishing
A heavy leader is an absolute must and will ensure you land your fish of a lifetime. I prefer Fluorocarbon leaders made from only the finest and strongest components.
Large swimbaits slow rolled are a great local forage imitator and trigger big bites!
Water dwelling rodent type baits are exceptional this time of the year as they present a big meal to big opportunistic fish!
Large profile casting tubes are an absolute staple for me during the cold water periods. Fished like a jerkbait with grewat hang time and long pauses trigger some of my biggest bites of the year!
Author: Chris Huskilson Reach Chris on Facebook: Chris Huskilson Or Twitter: @CHuskilson
Cycling or hiking? The Trans Canada Trail gives you two great options to explore from Hastings.
West of Hastings you can explore along the Lang-Hastings Trail, which is one of the newest sections of the Trans Canada Trail. This flat, crushed limestone trail takes you along the beautiful northern edge of Rice Lake and up north through picturesque farmlands, a beaver dam, and Lang Pioneer Village in Keene. (Get Keene travel tips here.)
East out of Hastings, you can follow the Trans Canada Trail beside Water Street from Banjo’s Café, turn left along Cedar Drive, and continue into the wooded shores of the Trent Severn Waterway. After a short while the trail curves right, heading south and taking you past Highway 35 near the curiously named village of Godolphin. As the trail crosses Highway 35, take a short detour half a mile east to Twoloom Alpacas. Visit some alpacas and enjoy a unique shopping experience. Get a pair of alpaca socks or insoles to keep your feet happy as you continue hiking! If you keep following the Trans Canada Trail for roughly 6km, you’ll end up at West Corners (highway 35 meets Highway 30), near the Westben Arts Festival Theatre! Another two kilometers along the trail and you’ll meet back up with the Trent Severn Waterway in Campbellford! That route from Hastings to Campbellford along the Trans Canada Trail is roughly 16km, so be ready for a long round-trip of cycling or, if hiking, partner up with some family or friends in a second car for a one-way shuttle trip. Of course, you can also plan your trip with an overnight stay in Hastings or Campbellford! Whatever your plan, get travel tips for Campbellford here.
Where to Stay
• Check out our Trip Planner to find great options for resorts and cottages near Hastings and all around Rice Lake.