Local’s Take is a series highlighting the staycation experiences available close to home this summer. The experiences featured in this series were hand curated to highlight fun insider spots in our region. Use these stories as your launchpad to create your own staycation in Ontario’s Highlands.
Local: Amy Hogue
From: Lanark Highlands
Travelling: Frontenac County
If there were one thing on my daughter’s and my bucket list it’s planning a multi-day cycling trip, but as relatively new cyclists, this can be intimidating. I didn’t feel comfortable tackling the logistics of planning my route, accommodations and coordinating meals for our first time in the saddle for a long distance, which is why I was so excited to have Rockhill Bed and Breakfast and Frontenac Trail Tours help me to realize our dream this summer.
Situated on the lake by the same name, the community of Sharbot Lake is a cottager’s paradise, although as I learned it also has a thriving local community, and was my first choice for a staycation. My daughter and I had a girl’s weekend away that was the perfect opportunity to enjoy each other’s company and rediscover the region. We connected with the owners of Rockhill Bed and Breakfast and Frontenac Trail Tours, and with their guidance we planned the perfect weekend cycling staycation in Frontenac County.
Our hosts, Greg and Arlette, have a sweet setup at Rockhill Bed and Breakfast. Perched at the top of a hill overlooking Sharbot Lake, the B&B is in a beautiful stone home, just a stone’s throw from the beach in Sharbot Lake. Greg and Arlette also own Frontenac Trail Tours, a complementary business that helps guests coordinate logistics for cycling trips.
Our room had its own private balcony and connecting washroom – with a bidet! – and we were really comfortable. It’s a toss-up whether relaxing on the balcony at the end of the day was better than sitting around the bonfire watching the sun set. Arriving back at the B&B at the end of our ride (our host was happy to pick us up) to find a multi-course meal being prepared for us was the perfect touch, and so delicious!
What to Bring: You won’t need to bring much here as the B&B has pretty much everything you could want for a relaxing getaway. There is even soap, shampoo and conditioner available! Bring a swimsuit and towel, and don’t forget a camera to snap some shots of the awesome view from the B&B.
What to Expect: Expect to walk away as friends with your hosts and be planning your next visit.
Cycling the K&P Trail
The K&P Trail extends approximately 180-kilometres from the City of Kingston through Frontenac, Lanark, and Renfrew counties. This phenomenal trail was the reason for our stay here, and we were not disappointed.
The K&P is the perfect experience if you are a novice cyclist (as we were) because of its flat terrain, but it would also be good for those more experienced since you can get pretty far pretty fast once you get going. It’s often used for multi-day trips as it passes through communities where you can spend the night.
We cycled a more than 30-kilometre loop that took us on the K&P and on some public roads as well. The scenery here was fantastic, so beautiful, with lots of rolling terrain and farmlands. On the K&P proper it felt like we were pedaling through a green tunnel of shady foliage. Greg from Rockhill B&B came to meet us with a picnic lunch when we stopped for a rest at a local roadside beach. Thanks Greg!
What to Bring: If you value your behind, don’t forget your bug spray as the deer flies were pretty aggressive while we were pedaling. Sunscreen is also necessary. Bring a cell phone to orient yourself if you go off the K&P. The K&P is a gravel surface so make sure you are riding the appropriate type of bicycle to tackle it.
What to Expect: Expect to push yourself (if you choose, and depending on your course) and fall in love with the scenery in this part of the province. You should be prepared to encounter four-wheelers and ATVs on the trail as it’s a multi-use trail. You’ll be pleasantly exhausted at the end of the day, and ready for a full delicious meal, prepared for you at Rockhill B&B.
Food and Drink
Rockhill B&B served a wonderful multi-course meal that we inhaled after our ride (seriously) and a full breakfast, but we also walked the five minutes from the B&B to Cardinal Café to get an iced coffee and some ice cream treats from their take-out window. Their patio was awesome to relax on after our long ride and rest our legs. The café also has lots of baked goods on offer that looked delicious, too, but the day was hot and our priority was to cool off.
After we demolished our sundaes (seriously, we did) we walked down to the beach in Sharbot Lake and were blown away by how beautiful it was. The sun was at a low point on the horizon and the beach was peppered with small groups and families enjoying the summer weather. We walked down again in the morning after breakfast at the B&B and enjoyed a coffee while looking out over the lake. Afterwards we made the short drive to Seed to Sausage and sampled handmade cured meats, and picked up enough meat to stock the fridge for a while.
What to Bring: If you want to take a dip in the lake at Sharbot Lake, bring your swimsuit and towel with you. The wind was pretty high when we were there, so dress accordingly.
What to Expect: You may find you’ve wandered into a Norman Rockwell painting, but don’t worry, this is just Sharbot Lake.
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