Come Wander
Fall Scenic Driving Route

You can’t beat a North Hastings drive — unless you compare it to a North Hastings drive in the fall. There’s something adventurous and wistful about rolling over hills – unsure what you’re going to find. You’re weaving through forests that have been there since long before you, and are sure to be there long after. You’re discovering roads and places less travelled.

Luckily, North Hastings has 14 scenic routes through the north of the county so you can capitalize on the experience without having to plan your day away.

Hillsview Heights (55 km)

Did you know North Hastings is speckled with one-room, old-timey churches filled with spirit and history? The Hillsview Heights route takes you to some of these local spots, from Maxwell Settlement to the pioneer home of Lawrence O’Marra before stopping at Musclow Hall, Bethel United Church and Hybla Zion Church. You’ll also stop at Salmon Trout Lake Scenic View, the former Monteagle Township Office, Monteagle Valley Lookout, McAlpine’s Farm, Annelee Acres and Graphite Bible Camp. It’s heavy on the history with a handful of breathtaking views.

Wilderness Way (60 km)

Water, water and a little more water for those who are missing their time on the beach as fall chills the waters. Stop at White Duck Lake, Lookout Park Road, Hinterland Beach and then search out a hidden scenic view. See Bark Lake Dam, Bells Rapids, Papineau Lake and weave around our best bodies of water down Bark Lake Road. This route includes bathroom stops en route.

Sunset Trail (70 km)

A little bit longer now – this route stops at one of my all time favourite North Hastings’ destinations; High Falls Dam.  Depending on the season, the dam can be rushing, powerful and intimidating, great to hype you up for an explorative hike, or it can be drizzling and trickling, peaceful background music for a lunch date. Head just a little north of Bancroft to pick up this route. See Moore’s Bridge, Redmond Bay, Baptiste Village, Sunset View, a favourite public dock, Old Grant’s Store, Old Diamond Lake Road, Highland Grove’s Old General Store, Elephant Lake Road, Kingscote Lake and Martin Wood Mill. Don’t forget Peterson Road and Little Lighthouse Lake.

Homestead Hills (50 km)

If you’ve a love for community, this is a great way to familiarize yourself with the locals in the north of the county. You’ll see the Faraday Community Centre, the original Faraday Community Centre, Wollaston Heritage Centre, the Wollaston Municipal Office and Visitor Centre and Coe Hill Fairgrounds. This is also a great route a little closer to Halloween. Check out both the Lower Faraday Community Cemetery, Trinity Anglican Church, St. Michael’s Anglican and St. Andrew’s United Cemeteries.

Nature’s Winding Trail (14.5 km)

This route is nice if you’re short on time. Keep an eye out for the blue telephone booth – a landmark that appears as quickly as it disappears when you’re rolling over the hills. It’s on a residential property no doubt owned by a Doctor Who fan. Stop at the Original Monck Road School House, Monck Road Cemetery, scenic vista, peruse Cardiff and the Cardiff Information Kiosk — is it a mosquito or a dragonfly, the verdict is still out! — before stopping at North Bay Beach.

Rapids, Rocks & Rallies (45.3 km)

Bancroft is the centre of North Hastings so this is an ideal route if you’re planning your trip with young children who can’t sit still for long periods of time. There are a bunch of stops close together here, including area staples such as Eagle’s Nest Scenic Viewing Platform and Hawk’s Watch. You will feel like you are driving straight up, and it will be bumpy but don’t worry, there is a parking lot at the top of this almost mountain. Make sure you get the kids out for some learning at the Bancroft North Hastings Heritage Museum. It’s also a great opportunity to nibble on the way with a stop at the Wattle and Daub Café when you’re at Riverside Park.

Cedar Ridge (33.8 km)

This route is meant for explorers! Load your bike or ATV into the back of your truck and drop them off to ride through North Hastings’ most loved trails. Try the Hastings Heritage Trail which is open year-round and follows an old railway line that connects Hastings County, or visit the McGeachie Conservation Area, which spans 500 acres on beautiful Steenburg Lake.

Not convinced there’s a route here for you? These trails haven’t even brushed the surface! Head to the North Hastings website for full details on these seven trails and find an additional seven to choose from. Happy trails!

Stories

Shine at Giving this Holiday Season

Today’s craft markets are full of fresh, hip products made by creative and talented makers. This holiday season, go above and beyond by picking up handmade items with a story to tell at one of these Ontario holiday markets.

Discover Historic Accommodations in Ontario

Spend the night in historic accommodations to take yourself to way-back-when, and get into the spirit of the community you’re visiting. These inns have stories to tell of the people who lived and breathed inside their walls.

Cider Season

Find these cideries on your next road trip through Ontario’s Highlands to discover a refreshing way to toast the apple harvest with a cold cider.

An Ode to Poutine

Discover these chip trucks and their classic dishes, located throughout Ontario’s Highlands.

The Great Pizza-Off

Chow down on artisan wood-fired pizza at any of these gems across Ontario’s Highlands.

Before the Lake Wakes

Wake up lakeside with a steaming cup of coffee from a roastery in Ontario’s Highlands.

A Delicious Day Trip

Sip & Savour your way through the best food and drink spots in Lanark County.

The Perfect Scoop

Discover these top ice cream stops across Ontario’s Highlands to keep cool this summer on your road trip.

Exhale and Unwind

Experience a slice of farm life at Dwyer’s Farmhouse in the Ottawa Valley.

Strawberry Fields Forever

Discover these top ways to enjoy the strawberry season, when you let these farm-fresh berries shine on their own or in a variety of treats.

Farm Fresh Finds

Indulge your taste buds this summer with these 5 local finds at Farmers Markets through Ontario’s Highlands.

Pause for Pi Day

Celebrate PI Day with the best pie at these bakeries in Ontario’s Highlands.

Winter Jams

Warm up your winter with good music and good food, together, at the Sharbot Inn & Crossing Pub, in Sharbot Lake, Ontario.

Valentine’s Day Treats

Treat that special someone this Valentine’s Day to a gift of sweets at one of these top places.

Moo-ve Over, Vodka

Discover Vodkow, the new beverage from the Dairy Distillery causing a stir in Almonte, Ontario.

The Best Baked Goods

Discover some of the best bakeries in Ontario’s Highlands and their tasty treats.

A Day in Ormsby

Discover why Ormsby Ontario is worth exploring on your next road trip.

A is for Apples

Meeting cider kings and discovering great things in Hastings County.

Concerts with a Community

In September each year, the spirit of community comes alive all across Ontario’s Highlands when the Festival of Small Halls rolls in.

Roam If You Want To

Follow along with Chris from Travelling Mitch as he wanders through Haliburton Highlands and Hastings County on the Rustic Roamer Road Trip.

Ground to Glass

Discover how four craft drink makers harness Mother Nature’s flavours to elevate their beverages in Ontario’s Highlands.

5 Senses of Nature

Leave the city behind and immerse yourself in the natural charm of Ontario’s Highlands.

Where Am I?

Devour an Ottawa Valley tradition and feel your taste buds rejoice with Wes’ Chips in Arnprior.

Where Am I?

Discover the big things happening in the small towns along the Rideau Canal.

Top 4 Summer Treats

Top 4 summer treats that are worth the stop on your next Ontario’s Highlands road trip.

The Rustic Roamer

I’m a Rustic Roamer. I wander to discover authentic moments, to embrace the spirit of locals, and to understand the stories of the communities and countryside that I visit.

Where Am I

Explore the sweet moments and ageless beauty of Perth, Ontario.

Maple Mania

Discover one writer’s quest to discover what makes Lanark County so sweet with Maple Mania.

Life is a Highway

Two wanderers explore 135 kilometres of hidden gems in Hastings County.

The Ultimate City Escape

Explore these three ways to escape the city, slow down, and absorb rural life in Ontario’s Highlands.

My Hometown: Haliburton

After years of travel, read the story of why Emily returned to Haliburton to officially call it her home.

Journal of a Foodie

Take a journey through Ontario’s Highlands on a road trip that will satisfy your inner foodie.

Summer Brews

Take a trip around Ontario’s Highlands to these micro-breweries to discover your perfect summer beer.

A Different Kind of Detour

Take the road less traveled through Ontario’s Highlands to these unique festivals that are sure to leave a lasting impression.

Good Food, Great Company

The Good Food Tour, a delectable walking tour in Almonte the showcases a story and the local flavours.