Adventures in Spring

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10 Spring Adventures to Have in Hastings County

The weather is getting warmer, and little green shoots are finally poking through the soil. It’s been a long winter but spring is here, it’s time to take advantage of the longer days to get back to more time outdoors. If you need some encouragement to get out there, keep reading. From whitewater kayaking to rocking out with Long Range Hustle, these 10 Hastings County adventures should awake you from that winter slumber. 

Hit the backroads of North Hastings  

Gas prices are high, but the free feeling of driving backroads with windows down may be worth it. Hastings has a bounty of off-the-beaten-track gems, but if you’re a history buff, check out the tailored road trips put together by the Hastings County Historical Society. Each trip is structured around stops at historical plaques, such as the one in Eldorado, the site of Ontario’s first gold mine. For more scenic trips, visit North Hastings’ interactive map for 14 routes with names like “Wilderness Way” and “Rapids, Rocks, and Rallies”.

Get splashed by a waterfall at The Gut Conservation Area 

With spring run-off and April showers, it’s high time for waterfalls in the region. Creeks and rivers are rushing right now, and that means falls like The Gut, near Coe Hill, are at their most powerful. This one is impressive no matter the time of year, but in the spring, the Crowe River rushes so hard through the gorge here that you’ll feel it in your chest before you even see the falls themselves. When you do descend through the forest trail and finally come across the beast, just sit down and let the sound envelop you.    

Have a pint on 7/62’s patio

Even a pint on a patio can feel like an adventure at this point, and Madoc’s 7/62 Craft Brewers is a good option. The outdoor area is well-spaced with picnic tables and well-covered for spring showers. The seasonal beers are always solid here, as are the core brews: Al’s Best Bitter, Madoc Dark, Hastings Canadian, Isolation IPA, and The Little Irish. 7/62’s snack game is great, too. You’ll find everything from pakoras to charcuterie, but you can’t go wrong with the Bavarian style pretzel served with warm tangy mustard dip.      

Whitewater kayak down the Madawaska River

You can’t write about adventures in Hastings County without mentioning Madawaska Kanu Centre (MKC), the first whitewater paddling school in the world. The mighty Madawaska River is at its mightiest in the spring, and MKC has a few options for getting on it, including five-day courses and weekend clinics. There are also shorter rafting trips in nine- and five-person rafts, as well as specialized options for women, kids, and seniors. If the river’s raging a bit too much for you, hit the café instead and take a hike along the river.

Eat pancakes at Trillium Ridge Sugarworks

The sap is also flowing fast this time of year, and maple syrup producers like Trillium Ridge Sugarworks are busy turning it into liquid gold. The North Tyendinaga sugar shack has been making organic, wood-fired maple syrup for over 40 years. They will be open for pancakes, tours, and maple syrup pickups through the first weekend in April. Brunch is available from 9 am to 2 pm every day and includes sausage, homemade maple baked beans, and unlimited pancakes covered in fresh, hot maple syrup. Reservations are required, so call ahead to 613-396-5141.

Go horseback riding near Algonquin Park

If you’ve always wanted to try horseback riding, but haven’t because of concerns about safety or scenery, check out Highland Wilderness Tours. Located just outside the eastern gates of Algonquin Park, the outdoor tour company has been around for over 20 years. Each of their horseback trips is one to three hours long and includes a mini lesson, guides, and quiet, dependable horses. The one-hour ride is on an easy trail that passes through woods and goes over one or two hills. On a two- or three-hour ride, you’ll traverse more hills and maybe even cross water.    

Hike and stay in a Yurt or Rustic Cabin at Silent Lake Provincial Park

Silent Lake Provincial Park is just west of Bancroft and is home to a large variety of trails from its three hiking trails with varying lengths and difficulty, to its 34km of cross-country skiing trails. When looking for a place to rest after a great day outdoors look to one of their 8-yurts or 10 rustic cabins that are available at the park all year round.

Fish for long nose gar in Stoco Lake

Need a challenge to kick off fishing season? Try nabbing the elusive long nose gar in Stoco Lake, near Tweed. These unique fish have torpedo-shaped bodies and elongated jaws that form a needle-like snout nearly three times the length of their heads. The five-kilometre-long Stoco Lake is shallow, which also makes it prime territory for walleye, black crappie, and bass. Stock up on bait and tackle at Chris’ Live Bait near Marmora or Fish & Co. in Madoc. For charters and excursions, head to Finaddicts Outdoor Adventures near Tweed.    

Take a tour with Thrillseekers ATV

If you are not afraid to get a little muddy and are looking for a fun and fast-paced ride through the wilderness around Marmora, check out Thrillseekers ATV, they offer guided ATV tours with all the equipment provided. They take you through the trails around Marmora, including along the Heritage Trail where you can take in the breathtaking scenery and view of the stunning Marmora mine.

Mountain bike around Marmora

The Hastings Heritage Trail is a four-season, multi-use trail that follows an old railway line for 156 kilometres. It’s a mecca for hikers, snowmobilers, and ATVers, but not every section is ideal for mountain bikers. Those near Marmora are an exception. Start off near the historic Marmora Mine, then hop on the trail south to Morrison Road. On your way back north, take a break at Callaghan’s Rapids Conservation Area, where two cascading waterfalls stretch across the entire Crowe River. Back in town, fuel up at Marmora Pizza Plus to plan your next adventure.   

Woman wearing a helmet on a bicycle travelling down a country road.

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Quinn's of Tweed

345 Victoria St. North Tweed, Ontario K0K 3J0

Visitors often ask about the building and it’s name, Quinn’s of Tweed. In fact, tradition dictates that we keep, with honour,  the name Quinn’s of Tweed, the original name of the store and building. The Quinn’s of Tweed building is one of the town’s oldest and most beautiful historic stone structures, dating back to the 1880s. The twelve foot walls allow us to hang paintings in the traditional French salon style. You’ll marvel at the craftmanship of the ash and maple staircase, the old bookeeper’s office, and the stained glass that brings one back to an era when a handshake and promise were as good as gold – today, we still believe in those principles.

gaylord hardwood flooring

228 Victoria St N, Tweed, ON K0K 3J0

Charles Frederick McGowan sold the lot in 1907 to William James Lawrence for $600.00. Shortly thereafter Mr. Lawrence erected the building which still stands there today. He conducted a furniture business until 1912, when he sold the property to the Traders’ Bank of Canada, which within the year, was taken over by the Royal Bank of Canada. It operated out of the building until 1942, when the war forced consolidations and closures due to a lack of tellers (men). The property changed hands a couple more times before local Tweed family, Gaylord Forest Products secured the property in 2003. Since then, they have evolved every inch of the interior into an experience. Each room throughout the building is a real life ‘showroom’ from top to bottom; you simply have to see it to believe it. The stairwell in particular holds a lot of history!

Marmora and Lake Inn

Come as strangers. Leave as friends.

29 Bursthall St, Marmora, ON K0K 2M0

Experience the charm of our 1906 mansion, nestled in the village of Marmora, Ontario, an historic town celebrating 200 years in 2021. The large and stately home was built by Ed Shannon for lumber baron Henry Reginald Pearce (known as “Reginald”) and his family, who purchased the lot for $200. It remained a private family dwelling for many decades and eventually was converted to a Bed and Breakfast by Chris and Lilly Boldly.

It now operates as Marmora And Lake Inn B&B and boasts beautiful, spacious bedrooms with quaint old-world craftsmanship for a luxurious stay. Onsite amenities include an exceptional indoor swimming pool, bubbler tub, infrared sauna, large screen SMART TV’s in each room, wireless internet access throughout, and generous sized gathering rooms. And being a small town, the pool is open to the community and friends for a nominal fee (pre-booking is required).

Our guests enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast including locally baked breads and pastries, yogurt and fresh fruit, an extensive beverage and tea/coffee bar featuring a wide variety of flavours and blends. Great outdoor patio area for fair-weather relaxation and large private events.

Whether planning a romantic weekend for two, a small wedding, a family reunion or a week-long visit to bask in the natural beauty of the region, the Marmora And Lake Inn B&B will help make it a time to remember. (Please note that all bedrooms are on the upper levels and we don’t yet have accessibility assist.)