44 Best Places And Things To Do in Kawartha Lakes, Canada

Kawartha Lakes is a stunning region in Ontario, Canada, known for its picturesque landscapes, pristine lakes, and charming small towns. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or seeking cultural experiences, Kawartha Lakes offers a wide range of attractions and activities that cater to every taste. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Kawartha Lakes:

1. Kawartha Settlers’ Village

Image Source: https://www.settlersvillage.org/

Step back in time at this living history museum, which showcases the region’s pioneer heritage. Explore historic buildings, including a one-room schoolhouse, blacksmith shop, and log cabins, and learn about the early settlement of Kawartha Lakes.

2. Victoria Rail Trail

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This scenic trail stretches for 85 kilometers and follows the old Victoria Railway line. Perfect for hiking, cycling, or horseback riding, the trail winds through forests, wetlands, and charming rural landscapes, providing breathtaking views along the way.

3. Ken Reid Conservation Area

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Nature lovers will enjoy exploring this beautiful conservation area. With over 800 acres of forests, meadows, and wetlands, it offers a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, bird-watching, fishing, and canoeing. The park also has picnic areas and a children’s playground.

4. Fleetwood Creek Natural Area

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Located near Lindsay, this protected area is a haven for hikers and nature enthusiasts. Wander through serene forests, cross wooden footbridges, and witness the beauty of the creek and its cascading waterfalls. It’s an ideal spot for a peaceful retreat in nature.

5. Fenelon Falls

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Known as the “Jewel of the Kawarthas,” Fenelon Falls is a charming village nestled on the shores of Cameron Lake. Stroll along the scenic waterfront, visit unique shops, dine in local restaurants, and enjoy boat cruises on the historic Kawartha Spirit paddle-wheeler.

6. Kirkfield Lift Lock

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Visit the highest hydraulic lift lock in the world, located on the Trent-Severn Waterway. Watch as boats are raised and lowered, marvel at the engineering feat, and learn about the history and significance of this impressive structure.

7. Lindsay

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Explore the largest town in Kawartha Lakes, offering a mix of cultural attractions and recreational activities. Visit the Lindsay Gallery, which showcases local and regional artwork, or catch a performance at the Academy Theatre. Lindsay also hosts the Lindsay Exhibition, an annual fair that celebrates agriculture, entertainment, and community.

8. Pigeon Lake

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Enjoy a day on the water at Pigeon Lake, which is renowned for its fishing and boating opportunities. Whether you prefer casting a line for bass, walleye, or muskie or simply relaxing on a pontoon boat, this lake provides a tranquil setting for water-based adventures.

9. Bobcaygeon

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Another picturesque village in Kawartha Lakes, Bobcaygeon is known for its historic charm and scenic beauty. Stroll along the waterfront, browse the boutique shops, and stop by the iconic Bigley’s Shoes and Clothing store, famous throughout the region.

10. Kawartha Dairy

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No visit to Kawartha Lakes is complete without indulging in delicious ice cream from Kawartha Dairy. This local institution has been producing premium ice cream since 1937, and their wide range of flavors is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.

11. Balsam Lake Provincial Park

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Located on the shores of Balsam Lake, this provincial park is a popular destination for camping and outdoor recreation. Set up your tent or rent a cabin, go swimming or boating in the lake, hike along scenic trails, and relax amidst the natural beauty of the park.

12. Horseback Riding

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Explore the stunning countryside of Kawartha Lakes on horseback. Several ranches and stables in the area offer guided trail rides for all skill levels. Immerse yourself in the peaceful surroundings as you meander through forests, fields, and along picturesque trails.

13. Kawartha Lakes Wineries

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Discover the growing wine scene in Kawartha Lakes. Visit local wineries and vineyards that produce a variety of wines, including cold-climate grapes like Marquette and Frontenac. Take a tour, sample the wines, and learn about the winemaking process while enjoying beautiful views of the vineyards.

14. Kawartha Lakes Golf Courses

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Golf enthusiasts will find several excellent courses in the region. Tee off amidst the scenic landscapes, rolling hills, and lush greens. Some notable golf courses in Kawartha Lakes include Lindsay Golf and Country Club, Eganridge Golf Club, and Deer Run Golf Course.

15. Kawartha Lakes Farm Tours

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Experience the agricultural side of Kawartha Lakes by taking a farm tour. Visit local farms and learn about their operations, from dairy farms to fruit orchards and maple syrup production. Interact with farm animals, pick fresh produce, and savor the farm-to-table experience.

16. Kawartha Lakes Boat Tours

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Explore the waterways of Kawartha Lakes on a boat tour. Several operators offer scenic cruises, allowing you to admire the beauty of the lakes, islands, and shorelines while learning about the region’s history and ecology. Some tours also include lunch or dinner options.

17. Lindsay Milk Run

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If you’re a cycling enthusiast, consider participating in the Lindsay Milk Run. This annual cycling event attracts riders of all ages and abilities. Choose from various routes that take you through the picturesque countryside of Kawartha Lakes, promoting fitness and community spirit.

18. Kawartha Lakes Heritage Trails

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Embark on a journey through history by exploring the Kawartha Lakes Heritage Trails. These interconnected trails showcase the region’s heritage, with historical markers, artifacts, and interpretive displays. Walk or bike along the trails and learn about the area’s rich cultural and natural heritage.

19. Kawartha Lakes Winter Activities

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Don’t miss out on the winter wonderland of Kawartha Lakes. Enjoy activities like cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing, and snowmobiling. The frozen lakes provide a perfect backdrop for ice skating or playing a game of hockey with friends and family.

20. Kawartha Lakes Festivals and Events

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Throughout the year, Kawartha Lakes hosts a variety of festivals and events that celebrate the local culture and community. From agricultural fairs and music festivals to art exhibitions and craft shows, there’s always something happening in the region to entertain and engage visitors.

21. Kawartha Lakes Cycling Routes

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Kawartha Lakes is a paradise for cyclists, offering a network of scenic routes suitable for all skill levels. The quiet country roads, rolling hills, and picturesque landscapes make for enjoyable rides. Consider exploring routes like the Kawartha Trans Canada Trail, Scugog Island Loop, or the Victoria Rail Trail for a cycling adventure.

22. Fenelon Falls Museum

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Dive into the local history and culture of Fenelon Falls by visiting the Fenelon Falls Museum. Housed in a historic stone building, the museum showcases exhibits and artifacts that depict the town’s heritage, including early settler life, the logging industry, and the construction of the Trent-Severn Waterway.

23. Lindsay Farmers’ Market

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Experience the vibrant local food scene by visiting the Lindsay Farmers’ Market. Held on Saturdays from May to October, the market offers a variety of fresh produce, baked goods, artisanal products, and local crafts. Engage with local farmers and artisans while enjoying the lively atmosphere.

24. Boyd Heritage Museum

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Located in Bobcaygeon, the Boyd Heritage Museum provides insights into the history and development of the Kawartha Lakes region. Explore exhibits that showcase the area’s Indigenous heritage, pioneer life, early industries, and the impact of the Trent-Severn Waterway.

25. Gamiing Nature Centre

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Immerse yourself in nature at the Gamiing Nature Centre, situated on a beautiful property near Bethany. Participate in guided nature walks, wildlife observation, and educational programs that focus on environmental conservation and sustainable living. The center also offers workshops on topics like organic gardening and traditional crafts.

26. Art Galleries and Studios

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Kawartha Lakes is home to a vibrant arts community, and there are several galleries and studios worth visiting. Discover local talent and admire a variety of artwork, including paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and mixed media. The Kawartha Art Gallery in Lindsay and various artist studios in the region are excellent places to start.

27. Kawartha Lakes Heritage Railway

Image Source: https://kawarthanow.com/2015/06/08/cultural-mapping-kawartha-lakes/

Step aboard the Kawartha Lakes Heritage Railway for a nostalgic train ride experience. The heritage railway operates vintage trains that travel along a scenic route, offering passengers stunning views of the countryside. Check their schedule for special events, themed rides, and holiday excursions.

28. Outdoor Adventure Parks

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For family-friendly fun, head to one of the outdoor adventure parks in Kawartha Lakes. These parks feature activities like ziplining, aerial courses, rock climbing, and obstacle courses suitable for both children and adults. Challenge yourself and enjoy an adrenaline-filled day surrounded by nature.

29. Kawartha Lakes Brewing Company

Image Source: https://www.ptbocanada.com/journal/2019/6/11/cheers-to-raspberry-wheat-beer-coming-home-to-kawarthas

Beer enthusiasts shouldn’t miss a visit to the Kawartha Lakes Brewing Company in Peterborough. Take a tour of the brewery, learn about the beer-making process, and sample a variety of craft beers. The brewery often hosts events and live music, creating a lively and welcoming atmosphere.

30. Kawartha Lakes Trails

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Lace up your hiking boots and explore the numerous trails scattered throughout the region. From easy nature walks to more challenging treks, the trails in Kawartha Lakes offer opportunities to discover the area’s natural beauty up close. Some popular trails include Somerville Tract Trail, Emily Tract Trails, and Balsam Lake Lookout Trail.

31. Lindsay Creative Exchange

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Immerse yourself in the local arts and culture scene by visiting the Lindsay Creative Exchange. This vibrant hub showcases the works of local artists, hosts exhibitions, and offers workshops and classes in various artistic disciplines. Engage with the creative community and gain inspiration from the diverse range of artistic expressions.

32. Kawartha Lakes Provincial Parks

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Explore the natural beauty of Kawartha Lakes by visiting its provincial parks. Sturgeon Lake Provincial Park, Emily Provincial Park, and Indian Point Provincial Park are just a few examples. These parks offer opportunities for camping, hiking, swimming, picnicking, and wildlife spotting, allowing you to connect with nature and unwind in serene surroundings.

33. Kawartha Lakes Farm Fresh

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Indulge in the region’s agricultural abundance by visiting local farms and farmers’ markets. Kawartha Lakes Farm Fresh initiative promotes farm-to-table experiences, allowing visitors to purchase fresh produce, meats, cheeses, honey, and other locally sourced products. Enjoy the flavors of the region and support local farmers.

34. Kawartha Lakes Heritage Network

Image Source: https://www.kawarthalakes.ca/en/living-here/about-kawartha-lakes-lifestyle.aspx

Delve deeper into the rich heritage of Kawartha Lakes by exploring the Kawartha Lakes Heritage Network. This collaborative organization brings together museums, historical societies, and heritage sites in the region. Discover the history and stories of Kawartha Lakes through exhibitions, events, and educational programs.

35. Bethany Hills Nature Reserve

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Located near the village of Bethany, this nature reserve offers stunning hiking trails that wind through forests, meadows, and wetlands. Enjoy a peaceful walk surrounded by nature, spot wildlife, and take in breathtaking views from the hilltops. The reserve is a hidden gem for outdoor enthusiasts.

36. Kawartha Settlers’ Village Ghost Walks

Image Source: https://www.settlersvillage.org/events-calendar/2022/ghost-walks

Experience the spooky side of Kawartha Lakes with the Kawartha Settlers’ Village Ghost Walks. Led by knowledgeable guides, these evening tours take you through the village’s historic buildings while sharing tales of paranormal encounters and local legends. It’s a unique and thrilling way to explore the region’s haunted history.

37. Fenelon Falls Brewing Co.

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Beer lovers can enjoy a visit to the Fenelon Falls Brewing Co., a local craft brewery in Fenelon Falls. Take a tour to learn about the brewing process, sample a variety of handcrafted beers, and relax in the cozy taproom. The brewery often hosts events and live music, creating a lively and social atmosphere.

38. Kawartha Lakes Berry Farms

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During the summer months, indulge in the seasonal bounty of fresh berries at the various berry farms in Kawartha Lakes. Experience the joy of picking your own strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and more. Many farms also offer other activities such as wagon rides, farm markets, and delicious homemade berry treats.

39. Kawartha Lakes Music Festival

Image Source: https://kawarthanow.com/2019/03/01/three-festivals-in-the-kawarthas-among-top-100-festivals-in-ontario/

If you’re a music enthusiast, check out the Kawartha Lakes Music Festival. This annual event showcases local and regional talent, featuring a diverse range of musical genres and performances. From classical concerts to contemporary showcases, the festival celebrates the vibrant music scene of Kawartha Lakes.

40. Outdoor Yoga and Wellness Retreats

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Take some time for self-care and rejuvenation by participating in outdoor yoga and wellness retreats in Kawartha Lakes. Various retreat centers and yoga studios offer immersive experiences that combine yoga classes, meditation, nature walks, and wellness workshops. Connect with your mind, body, and soul in the peaceful natural surroundings.

41. Buckhorn Wildlife Art Festival

Image Source: https://kawarthanow.com/2018/07/15/2018-buckhorn-fine-art-festival/

Art and nature enthusiasts should mark their calendars for the annual Buckhorn Wildlife Art Festival. This event brings together talented wildlife artists from across Canada, showcasing their stunning artwork inspired by the natural world. Explore the exhibits, meet the artists, and take home a unique piece of art as a memento of your visit.

42. Kawartha Lakes Film Festival

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Film lovers can enjoy the Kawartha Lakes Film Festival, a celebration of cinema showcasing a diverse selection of films from both local and international filmmakers. From thought-provoking documentaries to captivating narratives, the festival offers a unique cinematic experience in the heart of Kawartha Lakes.

43. Kawartha Lakes Food Tours

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Embark on a culinary adventure with Kawartha Lakes Food Tours. These guided tours take you on a gastronomic journey, allowing you to sample delicious local cuisine, learn about the region’s food culture, and meet the passionate chefs and food producers who make it all possible. It’s a delectable way to explore the flavors of Kawartha Lakes.

44. Kawartha Lakes Antique and Classic Car Show

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Classic car enthusiasts won’t want to miss the Kawartha Lakes Antique and Classic Car Show. Held annually, this event showcases an impressive collection of vintage automobiles, from elegant classics to muscle cars. Wander through the displays, admire the beautifully restored vehicles, and immerse yourself in automotive nostalgia.