You don’t need to travel around the world to experience the feeling of pure awe that comes with standing face-to-face with something so remarkable, it almost seems surreal. Less than an hour from Ottawa, the 7 Wonders of Lanark County are a local spin on the original list of wonders that will inspire and surprise you.
While each location is worth a visit on its own, we recommend grabbing your favourite friends and turning this fun learning experience into a road trip to Lanark County, the Maple Syrup Capital of Ontario (you can read some tips for doing that, here. Follow this easy driving map and explore together to the backdrop of spectacular maple trees, which would make a great eighth wonder, if you ask us!
The Stops on Your “7 Wonders” Route
Five-Span Stone Bridge – Pakenham
Built in 1903, this one-of-a-kind bridge was constructed by Scottish stonemasons who used locally quarried stone. Five stone arches with piers stretch 82 metres across the Mississippi River and make a spectacular view from the riverbank. The bridge is believed to be unique to North America and around the world – with the exception of Russia.
St. Peter Celestine Church – Pakenham
This Roman Catholic Church is the only known church in Lanark County to be built in the French Classic style. St. Peter Celestine’s preserved Classic Italianate interior of elaborate paintings, faux marble finishes, and statuary collection is remarkable to see in person – and only two other churches within Canada have also retained these original decorations. Climb the church’s bell tower for a far-reaching view of the Mississippi Valley.
Mill of Kintail – Mississippi Mills
Visit the Mill of Kintail, the restored studio and home of the great Canadian artist, philosopher, and physician Robert Tait. Located in the town of Mississippi Mills, this 152-acre conservation site along the Indian River acts as a museum showcasing Tait’s work in sculpture, his teachings in physical education, and other memorabilia from his life.
Blueberry Mountain – Lanark County
Trek to the summit of Blueberry Mountain for a stunning view of the natural forests and wetlands that stretch for more than 500 hectares below. Located within the Alba Wilderness of the Lanark Highlands, Blueberry Mountain is a wildlife sanctuary to numerous plant and animal species and a natural gem within the community.
Showy Lady’s Slippers Orchids – Purdon Conservation Area
The lady slippers in Lanark Highlands spread far and wide across the grounds of the Purdon Conservation Area. This cluster of more than 10,000 flower plants is the largest orchid colony in all of Canada. The flowers make quite a stunning site in mid-June and July when they are in full bloom. The Conservation Area features boardwalks, viewing areas, and educational signage to further enrich your experience.
Silver Queen Mica Mine – Murphys Point Provincial Park
The Silver Queen Mica Mine operated between 1903 and 1920 and produced an abundance of mica, feldspar, and apatite. The tunnel mines burrow 60 feet deep into the earth and were hand-dug by local farmers looking to make extra income. Located in Murphys Point Provincial Park, you can visit the mine during summer months on a guided, interpretive tour.
Stewart Park – Perth
This five-acre, luscious park area in Perth, Ontario, was once home to a Scotch distillery. Today, tourists and locals can enjoy a day in Stewart Park surrounded by maple trees, lavish gardens, and the sound of the Tay River. We’ve saved this spot as the final destination on the Seven Wonders of Lanark County tour so you can relax and contemplate the many remarkable sights you’ve just seen.
Ontario’s Highlands Insiders
Knowledgeable in uncovering hidden gems, making fresh tracks, embracing new perspectives, and disconnecting from the everyday, this group of experts is happy to share their wisdom with you. With a passion for local stories, a love of delicious food, and a thirst for unrehearsed days, this team is made up of creative minds and wandering souls.