Welcome to ON2 The Lake Route; a straightforward course that follows the curves of lake Ontario and highlights the best towns to check out during your scenic route. Follow Lake Ontario’s Scenic Route from Bowmanville, Clarington to Lancaster while hitting the small towns that hold the most unique off-the-beaten-track experiences, one-of-a-kind eats, and natural wonders.
Unleash your inner kid and play hide-and-seek with the off-the-beaten-track experiences that are plentiful on this route.
The fall season is fast approaching so what better place to start our trip other than Clarington. This municipality is straight out of a Halloween Movie and its establishments typically reflect this as well. The four urban centres within Clarington are Courtice, Bowmanville, Newcastle, and Orono; each with unique and authentic adventure stops.
When driving through Clarington along Highway 2 check out Apples, Corn Mazes and Sweet Treats on The Weekend Route for a concentrated account of the best fall-themed off-the-beaten-track experiences, one-of-a-kind eats, and natural wonders.
Port Hope & Cobourg
Our next stop along the Lake Route is Port Hope and Cobourg which can be located by following Highway 2 along Lake Ontario.
Port Hope and Cobourg; minutes apart, are known for being Ontario’s most sought-after beach towns. Cobourg named “Ontario’s Feel Good Town” is home to the Cobourg Beach one of Ontario’s Natural Wonders. Appreciate Lake Ontario and the small-town charm Port Hope and Cobourg hold through The Lake Route.
Check out TWR Episode 2: Mountains of Schnitzel for an interesting take on Cobourg and Port hope while highlighting these lake towns off-the-beaten-track experiences, one-of-a-kind eats, and natural wonders.
The Bay of Quinte Region
Continuing on Highway 2 along the Lake the next stop on our route is The Bay of Quinte Region.
The Bay of Quinte Region situated along the northern shore of Lake Ontario and accessible by Highway 2 is known for its incredible sailing opportunities, fishing, wineries, and other off-the-beaten-track experiences. Within the region are the municipalities of Brighton (home to Presq’uile Provincial Park), Quinte West, Belleville, PEC & Greater Napanee, and Native Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory.
Check out The Bay of Quinte Partner Page on The Weekend Route for an extensive array of off-the-beaten-track experiences, one-of-a-kind eats, and natural wonders all situated within the Bay of Quinte. For an in-depth review of these experiences head over to The Weekend Route and watch “The Weekend Route – Episode 3: Islantis”. You can also check out Pizza, Patios, and Paddling in BOQ for curated locations. For more check out Pizza Gods of BOQ, or Pizza, Patios, and paddling for two blogs featuring these one-of-a-kind eats and adventures.
DETOUR!!! Hop off Highway 2 and right onto Lake Ontario. Take a quick ride on the Amherst Island Ferry and visit the illusive Amherst Island. Admire Lake Ontario from atop Amherst Island one of Ontario’s Natural Wonders and enjoy some of their many off-the-beaten-track experiences and one-of-a-kind eats. Check out our intern’s video “TWR – Episode 4: The Interns” for a logged day trip to Amherst Island.
Back on track, following Highway 2 once more, our next stop is Kingston! “The Limestone City”, Kingston is known for its 19th-century architecture and is by far one of Ontario’s best cities. Fun Fact: Did you know that Ontario’s first prime Minister John. A. Macdonald emigrated from Scotland and then lived in Kingston? The Bellevue House National Historic Site stands today as a way to commemorate his role in history.
Visit Kingston’s partner page on the weekend route for an expertly created list of Kingston’s off-the-beaten-track experiences, one-of-a-kind eats, and natural wonders.
How did we manage to once again get off track? Another ferry ride? Experience Lake Ontario from the beach at Wolfe Island a short ferry ride from Kingston’s dock. The Thousand Islands are a staple in visiting Ontario therefore there are many different ferries, click here for a detailed list of all the ferries accessible from the Lake Route. The off-the-beaten-track experiences, one-of-a-kind eats, and natural wonders are off the charts on this island. Get lost biking down the streets of Wolfe island with one of their bakery’s sweet treats in your hand or learn how to use watercraft from Wolfe island’s boat club. Whatever floats your boat, (was that too much?) Wolfe Island has it.
Check out “Kingston & Wolfe Island: Checking Off The “Day-cation” Bucket List” for a detailed recount of a perfect day spent on Wolfe Island.
Once again on Highway 2, we will next be visiting Gananoque which is recognized as one of Ontario’s most stunning waterfront communities.
Gananoque is the perfect retreat for art lovers, who have an appreciation for beaches, hikes, and sky diving. What’s even more intriguing is the folklore that blankets Gananoque. The Bulloch/Godfrey House is said to be the most haunted residence in all of Gananoque and is open as a Bed and Breakfast.
Check out Gananoque’s partner page on the Weekend Route for a full list of the haunts in Gananoque or other off-the-beaten-track experiences, one-of-a-kind eats, and natural wonders.
Continuing past Gananoque along Highway 2 you will reach the quaint town of Prescott with a population of only 4,000.
Calling all History lovers, Prescott is the place for you. With destinations like Fort Wellington and The Battle of the Windmills Historic Site there is an array of history for you to learn and indulge in. As well as history there are tons of beaches and waterfront trails available.
Check out Prescott’s partner page on The Weekend Route for more historical sites or other off-the-beaten-track experiences, one-of-a-kind eats, and natural wonders.
Take a guess what road we are on….if you said Highway 2 you would be absolutely correct! Our next stop is Brockville one of the best-hidden gems in Ontario.
This city while a tenth of the size of major cities like Kingston and Ottawa holds the same amount if not more off-the-beaten-track experiences, one-of-a-kind eats, and natural wonders. Visit Canada’s first railway tunnel at the heart of Brockville or their seriously beautiful harbour.
Check out Brockville’s partner page for a detailed list of the unique and authentic stops Brockville has to offer.
One-stop before Lancaster! Cornwall, an underrated city with an easily accessible island.
Cornwall is right along the U.S border and provides an easy way to cross over through the “Three Nations Border Crossing”. If you are interested in prolonging your trip check out all of the possible boarder crossings on the The Lake Route so you can cross into the States and visit our New York State locations. The St.Lawrence river runs right through Cornwall and is home to many bike routes and walking routes along the shore. Lake Ontario funnels right into the St. Lawrence river. Cornwall is home to many off-the-beaten-track experiences, one-of-a-kind eats, and natural wonders.
When you are in the area check out Cornwalls partner page on the weekend route to learn of all the most unique stops.
The final stop on our scenic ON2 The Lake Route is Lancaster. Lancaster is full of lush history and is definitely a great end to the ON2 The Lake Route.
Lancaster, a part of Glengarry County is home to the largest repository of historical records in Eastern Ontario. Their most interesting landmark is the St. Raphael’s Ruins which is the remnants of one of the oldest English Canada Catholic Churches; which burnt down in 1970. It is a beautiful spot to take wedding photos or simply visit for the history. Lancaster has many more off-the-beaten-track experiences, one-of-a-kind eats, and natural wonders.
Check out Lancaster’s partner page on The Weekend Route for a full list of Lancaster’s off-the-beaten-track experiences, one-of-a-kind eats, and natural wonders.
Shhh, I know the route was supposed to over at Lancaster but I couldn’t help myself. The SDG counties consist of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry (Home to Lancaster). The SDG Counties are accessible by Highway 2 as well if you go slightly past Lancaster.
Each of these municipalities are the perfect southeastern locations for those who enjoy lazing by the waterfront or hiking through nature. South Stormont is home to some of the coolest campsites in the world. The Long Sault Parkway Campgrounds are a series of 11 islands attached by a bridged road and provides the most unique camping locations. Check out the SDG Counties vlog to watch as two of our interns explore the parkway and their waterfront view from their tent. The Long Sault Parkway is just a preview for the thousand island region, where gothic mansions and outdoor activities can be found on each one of the 1,800 islands available. Check out The Thousand Islands Partner Page on The Weekend Route for the unique experiences waiting for you upon visiting.
For more off-the-beaten-track experiences, one-of-a-kind eats, and natural wonders in the SDG counties pop over to their partner page on the weekend route as well as the SDG Counties blog .
ON2 The Lake Route is the perfect curated route for those who want to appreciate the natural wonder that is Lake Ontario. The ten stops provided are easily accessible by following Highway 2 all the way through, by doing this you will have full view of Lake Ontario for the majority of the ride.
By following this preplanned route it is guaranteed that your trip along the water will be seamless yet unpredictable due the off-the-beaten-track experiences, one-of-a-kind eats, and natural wonders that these off the water towns have to offer.
For lots more off-the-beaten-track experiences, one-of-a-kind eats, and hidden gems only locals know about check out the ON2 The Lake Route Summer Route.
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