A document with the word caa on it.

Aug 7, 2019

8 min. read

A drive through Kawarthas Northumberland, just 90 minutes east of Toronto, guarantees bursts of fiery fall colour as well as a host of cultural and culinary treats. We’ve picked three getaways for leaf peepers in search of a great show—and there’s even more to explore at FallRoutes.ca.

In the loop: Leaf It to Lang

An aerial view of a lake surrounded by trees.

This leisurely 100-kilometre route loops east from Peterborough, stopping at Lang Pioneer Village, an authentic recreation of a 19th-century hamlet where costumed villagers demonstrate daily life as it was 200 years ago. For lunch, stop at Muddy’s Pit BBQ in Keene for pulled pork sandwiches piled high, then circle back south to Zimart, the outdoor sculpture park that’s home to Canada’s most comprehensive collection of Zimbabwean stone art. It’s a quiet oasis overlooking the north shore of Rice Lake. “On the other side of the lake, you can see the hills of Northumberland, some of the most beautiful countryside in Ontario,” says curator Fran Fearnley.

The day wouldn’t be complete without one of the region’s famous butter tarts, so stop at Doo Doo’s Bakery in Bailieboro, voted best in Kawarthas Northumberland last year in Ontario’s biggest culinary tour of its kind, the Butter Tart Tour.

The name says it all: Great Fall Drive

A road with a house and trees.

The rolling hills of Northumberland offer dozens of vantage points to take in the fall colours, mapped along a 50-kilometre route going east from Port Hope. The views of Lake Ontario are especially sweeping near Camborne, east of Baltimore at Speechley Road, going south from Vernonville and along Telephone Road near the Big Apple, a can’t-miss stop serving fresh-baked apple pies.

In Cobourg, the Art Gallery of Northumberland houses almost 1,000 works by primarily Canadian artists in the historic Victoria Hall building and offers tours every Saturday at 2 p.m. You can also peek into some of the studios of Northumberland’s many talented local artists during a self-guided studio tour on September 7 and 8.

The shore thing: Lovely Lakesides

A house with trees around it.

From Lindsay through Bobcaygeon to Fenelon Falls, this scenic 75-kilometre drive brings you to the historic octagonal Sturgeon Point Church on the Kawartha Lakes Arts and Heritage Trail. Your destination in Fenelon Falls is Colborne Street Gallery, where owners Tim Wisener and Chris Van Lierop showcase contemporary art from local artists as well as from across Canada and the world.

Make a reservation for a farm-to-table lunch at South Pond Farms in Pontypool (featured in the Netflix series Taste of the Country). For the ultimate fall colours tour, explore the 386-kilometre Trent-Severn Waterway, a National Historic Site of Canada operated by Parks Canada. “The absolute best way to see the foliage is by boat,” says Wisener. “Fall is the perfect time, when there isn’t as much traffic on the water.” Whether you canoe, kayak, cycle or drive, the roads and trails that run along these waterways take you to some of the best food, culture and nature Ontario has to offer.

Want more ideas for things to see and do in Kawarthas Northumberland?

Here are great places to eat in the area, plus, discover local brews, ciders, wines and spirits to take home on two craft-beverage driving routes.

Find out more about these routes—and more!—at FallRoutes.ca.

Image credit: Courtesy of Kawarthas Northumberland

Share this article: