As the weather slowly starts to warm up in Ontario, you may be looking for some fun activities to do with your families. Due to the unpredictable weather this time of year, taking a scenic drive is a fantastic way to safely get out of the house and spend some time with nature. In this article, isure has compiled a list of scenic drives specifically in Eastern Ontario for you and your family to enjoy.  

1. Ferguson Forest Centre, Kemptville 

Just south of Ottawa, right by the Rideau Canal, is a beautiful collection of public trails that are perfect for a walk or hike. The Ferguson Forest Centre in Kemptville includes a large variety of trails and paths, along with a 300-acre forest tree nursery. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, guided tours are not currently being offered, however all of the gravel paths and roads are open to walk, hike, cycle or ski, if the weather permits. There is also an off-leash dog park on the property, however dogs must remain on a leash outside of the dog park. This is a fantastic spot to drive to or to explore on foot. You can visit the Friends of the Ferguson Forest Centre official website for more information. 

2. Foley Mountain Conservation Area, Westport 

Overlooking the village of Westport, Ontario and Upper Rideau waterway is Foley Mountain. The conservation area around Foley Mountain is a great location to drive to and explore in Eastern Ontario. Featuring the beautiful Spy Rock scenic lookout plus a variety of trails, there is plenty to do and explore. The various trails are perfect for hiking or snowshoeing, however, the trails are not maintained in the winter, so be aware and cautious while visiting. At this time, the restrooms and indoor facilities are closed in the conservation area, but there is still plenty of beautiful scenery to explore. For more information and to check additional COVID-19 restrictions, be sure to visit their official website

3. The City of Almonte 

Originally a small mill village along the Mississippi River, Almonte, Ontario has developed into a quaint town with many shops and restaurants. Named after the Mississippi Mills, a collection of small townships in the area, Almonte offers trails both along the river on the Riverwalk trail and in the nearby Mill of Kintail Conservation Area. Visit Almonte’s official website for more information. 

4. Carleton Place 

Carleton Place is another small township along the Mississippi River. This quaint town has a variety of local businesses currently offering curbside pickup, along with a beautiful labyrinth behind the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum. The two local restaurants currently offering takeout options are The Good Food Company and the Smith & Barrel Pub at the Grand Hotel. Visit the town’s official website for additional information. 

5. Brockville 

Brockville, Ontario is a beautiful and quaint town located right by the St. Lawrence River. If you and your family are fans of cycling (and the weather permits,) consider bringing your bikes on this scenic drive. Brockville is one of the stops on the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, which in total spans 3,000 kilometres of Southern Ontario. Explore the eastern end of King Street by car, which includes a wide array of Victorian mansions to admire. The downtown core also includes a variety of local businesses and restaurants that you and the kiddos will enjoy. Visit the town’s official website for additional information.

6. Waterfront Trail, Kingston 

Although not an official trail, following along the St. Lawrence River (starting in Kingston) will bring you and your family to a number of beautiful scenic outlooks and plaques describing historical events. Start driving east from Kingston, and you will be able to catch glimpses of the Royal Military College, Fort Henry and the CFB (Canadian Forces Base). As you continue driving east alongside the St. Lawrence River, you will find many different historical sights and scenic views, including Fort William, Johnsville, home to the first courthouse in Upper Canada and the Battle of the Windmill Historical Site. Visit the official website for more information.

We hope isure’s list of scenic drives in Eastern Ontario helps to inspire your next family road trip! 

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