Prince Edward County, fondly referred to as “The County” is a vacation destination for thousands of visitors looking to discover all the beauty and wonder that this little island has to offer. Located approx. 2 hours east of Toronto and 3 hours east of Ottawa and Montreal the location is a central ‘meeting’ spot for may people. The population at last census count in 2016 was just under 25,000 full time residents but people visiting the County each year total more than 1,000,000 each year. The County is divided into 10 wards each with its their own unique offering from sand beaches and listening Lake Ontario waters to World class vineyards, craft breweries and gourmet food. A night of live music, shopping the local boutiques or a tour along the arts trail, there really is something for everyone in Prince Edward County.
A nostalgia to preserve the history of this Eastern Ontario town is ever present in the architecturally significant buildings that line the streets. The iconic Regent theatre, Shire Hall, the County Court House, Historic MacCauley House, and the Crystal Pallace are just a few of the buildings that represent the history of this Loyalist Town named after Lieutenant General, Sir Thomas Picton. The town of Picton is the activity hub for the County. A vibrant and active theatre community, large population of talented musicians and artisans and most recently an impressive and growing list of talented chefs have opted to Call The County Home. On any given night you will hear live music flowing from the many restaurants, pubs and craft breweries.
Nestled along the Loyalist parkway in central Prince Edward County is the quaint villiage of Bloomfield where time seems to have stood still. Historic homes boasting stunning loyalist architecture are set back along the tree lined streets. But don’t be fooled! The culture here is very much on trend. The offering includes boutique shops, incredible foodie joints, small batch ice cream and a world class spa. You will want to allow yourself an afternoon to explore this little slice of paradise.
A rich & vibrant community abundant with artist galleries, a glass blowing studio, craft brewery, restaurants, boutique shops and incredible accommodations. Wellington is home to the largest farmers market in the County held on Saturaday mornings from 8am – 1pm from May 16 thru October 10. A mix of farmers stands, fresh bread, artisans & crafters are set up along side a collection of pop up food stands. Think gourmet food truck style eats! Come hungry. Families love to grab food and enjoy at the adjacent park with epic pirate ship play structure while watching the waves of Lake Ontario crash along the shoreline.
Ah…the romance of Hillier. Whether you fancy renting a bicycle and exploring the Millennium trail or sipping wines at one of the 40+ wineries in the area you will absolutely fall in love with this region. Wine growers have discovered that the limestone rich soil offers a multitude of growing benefits similar to the growing conditions found in the french regions of Chablis, Burgundy, Champagne and Southern Rhone. Sip away but make sure you carve out some time to take in the intoxicating scents at the Lavender Farm and catch some waves at North Beach.
The bullseye of The County. Hallowell covers a lot of territory and is central to all the other County wards. To the south west is the famous sand dunes and the
camping and vacationing destination of West Lake. Boaters love the warm, calm water in West Lake, great for water skiing. To the North West Hallowell borders on Wellington and Hillier and is home to Kinsip Distillery and Carson Arthur’s Garden + Market. Venture back towards Picton along County Rd.1 and you’ll pass one of Canada’s few remaining Drive-In Theatre’s and more than a handful of must see antique shops & barns.
The Countys first born child. Before the micro breweries and vineyards, before the arts trail or the influx of talented chefs there was the Outlet Beach. The white sand beaches, shallow sand bars and sparkling blue waters of Lake Ontario had people lining up for miles (and still do). The vibe is fun and relaxed and after a day spent at one of the many beaches the entire family will feel rejuvenated and sun kissed. For nature enthusiasts a trip out to Point Petre Wildlife Conservation area is a must. Picnic along the shores, swim off the long limestone ledges and if you’re lucky you may spot one of the migrating blue and green winged teal or a hooded merganser.
Be prepared to have your senses fired up! South Marysburgh is one of the most beautiful drives you can experience in The County. Vistas that will have you pulling over for selfies at every twist and turn. The fresh smell of lilac bushes growing wild along the roadside and tiny farm stands at the end of long driveways (the kind that still believe in the honour system). Farm fresh eggs, local honey, organic vegetables, and baskets of garlic. Don’t forget a stop at Mariners Museum for some local nautical history and Black River Cheese for a bag of their squeaky cheese curds. *The only way to make a real Canadian Poutine*
Rollin’ down the highway…lookin’ for adventure. North Marysburgh is a photo taking, journaling type of adventure. Depending on where you’re jumping off point is you can grab a charcuterie board at Lake On The Mountain and take in the views of Glenora Ferry below or check out the natural curiosity of the Lake with it’s constant flow of fresh water and no apparent source. Head out Cressy way to explore the many apple orchards then stop by Fifth Town Artisan Cheese and enjoy a selection of cheese tastings. Continue on to The Cider Company known for their cider, wood fired pizza and outdoor seating area with views for miles. Next up is Waupoos Winery, blueberry picking, sailing charters…you get the point.
Located at the northern (or top) point of the County Sophiasburgh is known for the many generational farming homesteads and pastoral views. A trip to Big Island will have you surrounded with stunning water views and the avid sportsman (or women) can have a fishing or boating excursion arranged at BayCrest Lodge. If you’re looking for a slower pace of water travel you can head just down the road to ClearWater Kayaks. They have been manufacturing kayaks in the County since 1995 and love to have customers try out a kayak or stand up board right off their back dock. Getting to Sophiasburgh is easy via the Demorestville bridge at the northern most point of The County
Ameliasburgh encompasses a large area to the North West of the County and is the first point of entry when approached from the Wooler Rd Exit off Hwy401. The water views as you enter at Carrying Place are a tell tale sign that you HAVE ARRIVED. Campgrounds and beaches line the historic Loyalist Parkway and the smell of campfires are in the air. Rednersville Road has been one of the most sought areas to live for decades and it’s well worth a drive to see some of the gorgeous properties that have been built along the shores of County Rd.3. A stop into Campbells Orchards is a must for their fresh baked treats, local treasures and of course apples. As you make your way deeper into The County you can enjoy a visit to the Ameliasburgh museum and a stop by Roblin Lake, home to one of Canada’s most famous poets, Al Purdy.