There’s something magical about a good sunset. Nothing soothes the soul quite like watching the sun bid us farewell with a spectacular show of colours. There is no shortage of fantastic places to admire the sunset – or sunrise for the early risers – across Ontario’s Highlands. Grab a chair or a blanket and take in Mother Nature’s evening show at any of these breathtaking locales.
Lakeside in Haliburton
We think it’s highly possible that the beauty of a sunset is heightened when it sets over a picturesque lake. Pull a chair down to the dock and have your camera at the ready for the cotton candy skies you’re sure to find in Haliburton. The reflections on the lakes and silhouettes of the trees standing tall make for a perfectly Instagrammable moment – no filter needed. Take your pick from the adorable lakeside inns or bed and breakfasts in Haliburton, like the Bonnie View Inn.
Cliffside in Calabogie
You could sit by the water or watch the sun set behind the trees, or you could hike up to Eagle’s Nest Lookout in Calabogie for a bird’s eye view of the incredible scenery. Stay at Calabogie Peaks Resort and you’re just a few kilometres away from an unbeatable lookout point soaring high above the Ottawa Valley. The Eagle’s Nest Lookout is accessible via a trail that leads right to the resort, or you can park nearby for a less challenging route. If you choose the latter, watch carefully for the trail markers that will guide you to the lookout, approximately 1.5 kilometres from the trailhead.
‘Boatside’ in Bon Echo
The landscape at Bon Echo Provincial Park is something extraordinary, even before you factor in the colourful sunsets. Due to the direction in which it faces, stunning sunsets illuminate the towering Mazinaw Rock in tones of orange and pink at the end of the day. Hit the water in a canoe for an unforgettable experience before spending the night in one of the rustic wood cabins on site.
‘Parkside’ along the Ottawa River
The mighty Ottawa River flows over 1,000 kilometres, and luckily for us, right through the Ottawa Valley. You can’t beat a riverside stroll at dusk through the Pembroke Waterfront Park or on the Kiwanis Way Waterfront Trail that winds along the river. Or travel downstream to Arnprior and enjoy the view from the riverside beach at Robert Simpson Park.
‘Patioside’ in Rideau Ferry
The little cottage community of Rideau Ferry may be small, but it sure has some grandiose sunsets. Have a seat at the Muskoka chairs on the community dock, or park yourself on the patio of CCs on the Rideau with a cold beer in hand to enjoy a stunning sunset over Lower Rideau Lake.
Riverside by the Five Span Bridge
Watch the sun set behind Pakenham’s historic Five Span Bridge, the only bridge of its kind in North America, built in 1903 by Scottish stone masons. The shallow banks of the Mississippi River, which runs below the bridge, allow you to take off your shoes and feel the cool water between your toes. Elevate the moment by first visiting Scoops Ice Cream up the road and enjoying a cone as the sun sets.