From wine tours to mysterious lakes and burial grounds, a getaway to Prince Edward County is like a trip to another world. Country homes and vineyards are nestled in lush greenery and surrounded by water on all sides. Numerous species call this island home and you’re likely to meet some of them during your nature experience in Prince Edward County.
Travellers can reach Prince Edward County via the historic Loyalist Parkway. The Loyalist Parkway was constructed after the American Revolution in the 18th century and today runs through Prince Edward County. As soon as you glide into the county you’ll discover there are a whole bunch of things to do in Prince Edward County.
What to do in Prince Edward County, Ontario
Prince Edward County Wineries
Wine tours have to be at the top of the list of things to do in Prince Edward County. A decade or two ago wine connoisseurs were tripping over themselves singing the accolades of Italian wine and French wine, but that’s all changed. These days Canadian viticulture is getting top marks for some of the best wine in the world. Prince Edward County isn’t just any winery region, it is home to almost 40 wineries that produce everything from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to dessert wines.
In fact, Prince Edward County is recognized as one of three viticultural areas in Ontario by VQA Ontario Appellations of Origin.
- Get more more Ontario travel ideas:
Popular Wineries in the County
- Some of the most well-known wineries in the area include:
- Norman Hardie Winery
- Rosehall Run Vineyards
- Casa Dea Estates Winery,
- Sandbanks Estate Winery
- Casa Dea Estates provides a full Italian menu with wines for your summer getaway this year.
Many of the aforementioned places have been featured in international wine news. Prince Edward County wineries have numerous events throughout the year like food and wine pairing events as well as wine tours. You can take a guided bicycle tour from winery to winery to taste wines and sample yummy charcuterie boards. This is a fun adventure, but just remember you will have to be careful as you’re going to be operating a bike while on the wine tour. Check out the Local Tour for wine tours around Prince Edward County.
Millennium Trail Adventures
One of the best ways to explore Prince Edward County is to get on the roughly 50 km long Millenium Trail. The trail runs around the county so there are many places you can get on and get off the trail. You get a chance to see everything from wetlands to farms to wineries and pubs while being serenaded by an orchestra of Prince Edward County bird species. If quiet is one of the things you’re searching for then you’ll find that on the Millenium Trail too. You can enjoy pure tranquillity as turtles and toads quietly accompany you on your walk or bike ride around the winding paths of Prince Edward County.
The Millennium Trail starts in Carrying Place and ends in Picton
Millennium Trail Wildlife
Also, don’t forget to check out the heron nests along the trail and watch out for beavers and chipmunks. In fact, you’ll have to be careful not to step on those chipmunks as there are chipmunk holes along the county trail and the little guys love popping their heads out at the most inopportune times.
The Wellington on the Lake Golf Course and the Picton Golf and Country Club is also located along the Millennium trail, so watch out for flying golf balls too. If you end up staying in Prince Edward County for a couple of days, you can take the Millennium trail and have a new adventure each time as there are many things to see and do all around the island.
The LeVescounte Mounds located near the lower Trent River as well as mounds near the southern shores of Prince Edward County are believed to be ancient burial grounds. In addition to human bones, archaeologists have found copper pans and jewelry in the excavated sites. Some people who have visited the site of these mounds have described feeling a sense of complete stillness in the areas surrounding the mounds. There are numerous places to visit in Ontario, but this is one of the few where you can get up close and personal with mysterious ancient formations.
Lake on the Mountain
It’s a mystery for Ontario visitors and locals alike, Lake on the Mountain sits close to 60 meters above the Lake of Ontario but seems to have no direct water source. The most puzzling thing is that the lake has a year-round flow of fresh water and yet geologists can’t explain where that freshwater is coming from. Prince Edward County has a lot of attractions but this lake has to be one of its most mysterious. The Mohawks call it the Lake of the Gods as it seems it is the Gods themselves that send that water up into this mountain lake. You’ll have to check it out for yourself and come up with your own theory.
While we’re on the subject of libations, let’s not forget about Prince Edward County breweries. In fact, the county has a strong brewing history as almost half of the island grew barley crops for beer less than a century ago. These days the breweries in the area have gotten a little fancy so you’re not just chugging a pint on your getaway, but rather you get to experience craft beer and food pairings. In keeping with the Prince Edward County community feel, many of the pubs will offer you a tasting flight of beer from their brewery partners. That way you get a taste of the whole county in one place.
- Breweries in Prince Edward County:
- Lake on the Mountain Brewing Company
- Parsons Brewing Company
- Prince Eddy’s Brewing Company
There is just something different about the taste of an apple when you’ve picked it yourself. However, many of us don’t get to do that because we live in cement cities. However, if you’re headed the Prince Edward County way you’re in luck. The county is home to many orchards where you can pick your own apples as well as buy handcrafted products like apple cider, pickles, and relishes.
Picton is the area you want to visit to get to the heart of apple orchard country. Picton is home to more than a half dozen orchards where a variety of apples are grown. Not only can you pick apples, but some orchards provide other activities too. At Campbell’s Orchards, you can explore a maze, get wagon rides, and even pet farm animals at the petting zoo. Over at The Big Apple, you can nosh on cookies and other baked goods at their bakery, and visit their candy store and gift store for some souvenirs.
Kinsip Distillery Maple Whiskey
Maple syrup is a gift from the gods and when you pair that taste with whiskey, you get a maple whisky flavor that’s out of this world. There aren’t many distilleries that have opened the way for the public to come in. So you will be happy to know that you can visit the Kinsip House of Fine Spirits for tastings. The distillery is famous for its maple syrup whiskey, however, there are many things for you to enjoy in their tasting room. You can try all sorts of locally made spirits like vodka as well as bitters too. And once you’ve chosen your favorite, you can get a whole bottle to take home and share with those that didn’t get to visit Prince Edward County with you.
Lavender is known for its therapeutic qualities like helping with relaxation and sleep while countering fatigue and anxiety. You will probably smell Prince Edward County Lavender Farm before you see it. The farm, located in Hillier, grows many types of lavender for both medicinal uses as well as culinary. You can walk the purple fields and then shop for lavender essential oils, soaps, and creams as well as lavender teas, and chocolates.
Bed and Breakfast Destination
If you want to get the full therapeutic value of being on a lavender farm, then you might want to spend the night at The Lavender Farm Bed and Breakfast. That night might give you the best sleep you’ve ever had. A visit to this place can help change your state of mind from negative to positive thanks to the positive qualities associated with the scent of lavender. You may even be able to check out their lavender festival if you go at the right time, you’ll have to contact them to find out more details on that.
If you’ve ever read books like Anne of Green Gables, then you’ve likely wondered what going to school in a Canadian school house would be like. Well, you can stop wondering and visit Schoolhouse 77 in Picton to get a feel for what students felt like in the Canada of a century ago. Schoolhouse 77 is a one-room schoolhouse that was originally built in 1875.
It has been restored and is now home to a small market where visitors can buy farm produce, antiques, and local handmade products. If you’re a cyclist, you’ll be happy to know you can find basic bike repair tools at the schoolhouse in case you have some trouble while you’re out biking the Millenium Trail.
If you appreciate the beauty of glass art, then you’re going to want to visit the various glass artist workshops in Prince Edward County. Handmade glassworks are becoming more difficult to find these days, but the art is alive and thriving in the county. For those that love the intricacy of stained glass, a visit to Pete’s Stained Glass Studio in Milford is in order.
You can check out his gorgeous custom stained glass panel pieces. However, if glass jewelry and dishware are more your thing then Lala Land Glass Studio in Bloomfield might be worth a visit. If you’re a collector of blown glass, Bloomfield Glassworks located in Wellington is worth checking out. for its unique and colorful bowls, vases, and plates. Call ahead to find out when the artist will be at work so you can watch him blow the glass himself.
Canada is known as the Great White North, and that’s why many visitors are surprised to learn that Canada has warm beaches. And some say the best of Canadian beaches can be found in Prince Edward County and more specifically in Sandbanks Provincial Park. Sandbanks Provincial Park is home to three of them. Sandbanks Outlet Beach is great for families to visit as it has shallow waters for the kiddoes to play in.
Dunes Day Beach at the park is gorgeous thanks to those dunes, something you don’t see often in the Canadian landscape. Just outside of Sandbanks Provincial Park is Wellington Beach, which is smaller than the other beaches and provides a more intimate experience. North Beach Provincial Park has its own sandy destinations. The area has paved trails and also a large area for people to picnic in. Regardless of which beach you choose, you’re going to find a calm atmosphere as the region attracts mostly families and couples.
Prince Edward County Arts Trail
Prince Edward County is a destination for art lovers. Watch out for the blue Arts Trail signs around Prince Edward County to find galleries and connect with local artists. The county attracts some of Ontario’s best artists who have chosen a life on the island. You can see the county’s inspiration in their work, which is why many visitors end up being art buyers after a visit to the galleries. See more here.
Water Activities in the County
If you enjoy water sports, then you might want to head to Prince Edward Bay for a bit of kayaking. You can also take kiteboarding, windsurfing, and sailing classes at different venues around the island. Check out the Prince Edward County Website here for the best places to go kayaking in the county.
You can head to Westlake Willy Waterpark which is fun for both adults and kids alike. It’s a large inflatable water park with areas for picnicking.
Boat Tours and Fishing
If you want to participate in a more relaxing activity on the water, then there are plenty of boat tours to be had. There is something spectacular about being out on that water just as the sunrises as well as when it sets. There are a variety of fishing and angling charters available if you want to spend a peaceful morning fishing Lake Ontario.
Prince Edward County is very popular for bird watching due to the sheer number of bird species you can find there. Some of those species include the Blue Jay, Song Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, Turkey Vulture, Red-breasted Merganser, American Goldfinch, Great Horned Owl, and the Sandhill Crane just to name a few. If you’re an avid bird watcher, then grab those binoculars and head out, you’re bound to see a few bird species you’ve never seen in real life before.
Visit Local Farmers’ Market
To get a real taste of Prince Edward County, you’re going to want to check out the Wellington Farmers’ Market. The market provides you with a single place from which you can check out goods from all over the island including wines from any vineyard that has partnered with the market. You’ll find everything from baked goods from artisan shops to hand-crafted jewelry and antiques.
Jumping off from the farmers’ market, you can take a cooking class where you learn about farm-to-table cooking from someone local and familiar with the gourmet food available in the region.
There are a ton of things to do in Prince Edward County like visiting the Crystal Palace for a concert or checking out the mysterious Lake on the Mountain. You can follow that up with some delicious local wine.
You can spend a day in Prince Edward County by walking the Millenium Trail and visiting the wineries along it.
You can visit spirits producers, wineries, and breweries in the winter in Prince Edward County as well as go skating.
Sandbanks Provincial Park is found in Prince Edward County. Sandbanks Vineyard can also be found in the county.
The Final Word
As you can see, there are plenty of things to do in Prince Edward County which is why this makes for a perfect day trip from Toronto. If you want to tour more than a single vineyard, it might be a good idea to spend the night at a cute rental cottage. If you have any comments about this blog post, we would love to hear from you. And if you’ve got comments on your personal favorite place in the county, please share with us and we’ll pass it on to our readers.