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Best Hikes in Canada: Where to Find Them

From the east to the west, we’ve picked the best hikes in Canada with incredible views that will suit both beginners and advanced hikers alike.

Canada is home to some of the most lush, scenic hiking trails the world has to offer. From easy walks to challenging trails with steep climbs, there is no shortage of hikes to get you enjoying the great outdoors:

Bruce Peninsula National Park (Ontario)

The Bruce trail is home to some of the best hiking trails in Ontario including Toberory

The Bruce Trail, Canada’s oldest and longest footpath, starts in Queenston and ends in Tobermory, Ontario, where you’ll also find the Bruce Peninsula National Park. If you live in Ontario or are planning a trip there, this park offers some of the best hiking trails near Toronto.

Of the many trails to choose from, the one leading to the Overhanging Point is a popular trail that takes you to the infamous Grotto. You’ll also come across the Lion’s Head Trail where you can overlook the clear turquoise waters of Georgian Bay.

The Flowerpot Island Trails are also a great option for hiking in Ontario. You’ll see the historic light station and the natural rock pillars that resemble flowerpots. You may encounter some rocky terrain and steep stairs, giving these trails more of a moderate hike rating.

The Bruce Peninsula is also home to great cottage and cabin rentals near the park. Make it a trip for the entire family and enjoy one of the best hikes in Canada!

Cape Breton Highlands National Park (Nova Scotia)

Cape Breton offers some of the best hiking trails near Halifax

The Cabot Trail is known as one of the best scenic drives in Canada. It’s also known for its great Canadian trails along the east coast.

If you’re planning a road trip along the trail, you’ll want to make a stop at Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Known for its highlands and ocean views, the park is open year-round. There are 26 hiking trails, each with its own incredible and unique viewpoint.

For an easy, but unforgettable hike, you should consider the Skyline Trail. This popular trail is a 7.5-kilometre loop that is open year-round and has boardwalks set up to protect the surrounding ecosystem. During your hike, you may even catch a glimpse of a moose, bald eagles, bears and various bird species!

If you’re planning a scenic road trip around The Cabot Trail, check out some one of the many cottage rentals you can stay in along the route.

Algonquin Provincial Park (Ontario)

Agonquin is home to the best hiking trails in Ontario

For more hiking trails near Toronto, Algonquin Park is easily one of Ontario’s most popular parks and one of Canada’s oldest provincial parks. It has a variety of walking trails that are open year-round with different levels of difficulty. If you’re an advanced hiker, there are also several multi-day treks and portages available.

If you’re up for a challenge, Centennial Ridges Trail is a 10.4-kilometre loop with steep slopes and rocky terrain. That said, it provides a breathtaking view of the trees and lakes. It’s known for being one of the best hiking trails in Ontario during the fall season as the leaves change colour.

For an entry level hike, Bat Lake Trail is a great family-friendly option. While walking along the 5.8-kilometre loop, you’ll see a variety of ecological features and may even encounter a moose.  

Planning a trip to the area sometime soon? There are plenty of cottages and cabins to stay in that are only a short drive to the park trails.

Kootenay National Park (British Columbia)

Discover the best hikes near vancouver

Located in southeastern British Columbia, Kootenay National Park is open year round with over 25 trails that span from easy to difficult. You’ll take in incredible views of the Canadian Rockies while hiking any of these trails.

For an easier hike, you’ll want to start with the popular Marble Canyon Trail. The 1.6-kilometre walking trail is connected with several bridges. Look down and you’ll see an incredible view of the gorge beneath you. Another popular short hike to consider is Juniper Trail, which is 6-kilometres in length and takes about 2 hours to complete.

A popular half-day hike is Stanley Glacier. Moderate in difficulty, the 8.4-kilometre hike takes about 3 hours to complete. You’ll come across a fire swept forest during your trek, as well as waterfalls, wildflowers and even fossils!

If you’re an advanced hiker looking for a challenge, the Rockwell Trail is a world-renowned multi-day trek. The elevation changes make it a more difficult hike, but offer incredible views of the Rockies.

Need a place to put your feet up after a full day of hiking? There are lots of vacation rentals to choose from in the Kootenays.

Fundy National Park of Canada (New Brunswick)

The Bay of fundy has some of the best best hikes in canada

Home to the world’s largest tides, Fundy National Park is a must-visit destination along Canada’s east coast. With 29 trails available, hiking is one of the most popular activities at the park. Ranging from easy to difficult trails, you’ll take in views of the Acadian forest, waterfalls and coast.

For shorter and easier walking trails, Dickson Falls is a popular and kid-friendly route to take. The 1.6-kilometre loop runs through a forest with boardwalks available for parts of the trail. While the trail is short, you’ll come across beautiful waterfalls and great lookout points.

A must-see trail is the Moosehorn to Laverty Falls Loop, which is a combination of the Moosehorn and the Laverty Falls Trail. The combined trail is a 2.54-kilometre trek and is well suited for novice hikers. Like the name implies, you’ll take in incredible views of the waterfalls during your trek. Plus, you can take a dip in some of the water holes!

If you’re looking for a trail that encounters beaches, Point Wolfe Beach Trail is a short, yet beautiful hike through rock beaches. This beach trail may even whet your appetite to see more beaches in the province. Luckily, we have a list of some of the best beaches in New Brunswick!

If you’re thinking of visiting New Brunswick, we’ve got plenty of cottages available that will make planning your trip a little easier.

La Mauricie National Park (Québec)

Wondering were are the best trails with waterfalls near me?
Les Cascades Hiking Trail by Steven Clack is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

With 150 lakes and several ponds, La Mauricie National Park is found in the Laurentian mountains, which serves as the perfect backdrop for your next hiking adventure. Open year-round, there are also trails available for snowshoeing in the winter.

Les Cascades is a popular and easy trail that is only a 2-kilometre loop that takes about an hour to complete. Cool down by taking a dip in one of the cascading streams. The family-friendly trail also offers designated picnic areas. We recommend visiting from June to October for the best trail experience.

For a slightly more challenging trek, Les Falaises Trail is highly recommended with great lookouts over Wapizagonke Lake. This trail is a 3.8-kilometre loop that can be completed in about 2 hours.  

Both trails are a part of the Saint-Mathieu sector trails, which are offer easy to moderate hikes. If you’re seeking difficult trails for advanced hikers, head over to the Saint-Jean-des-Piles sector trails. You’ll encounter more demanding and rugged terrain on these trails, such as Lac-du-Pimbina.

Looking for nearby accommodations after going on one of the best hikes in Canada? Stay at one of the many chalets available to rent so you can unwind after a challenging hike.

Confederation Trail (Prince Edward Island)

If you are looking for easy walking trails, visit the Confederation Trail in PEI

Built on an abandoned railway line, the Confederation Trail in Prince Edward Island is now a popular Canadian trail to hike or cycle in the summer, and snowmobile in the winter. While you take in the province’s views on the well-maintained trail, you’ll cross several pink bridges and pass many orchards and farms.

The rolled stone dust trail starts in the town of Tignish and ends in the community of Elmira. While the trail is 435-kilometres in length, most visitors only do a small portion of the famous trail.  

For coastal views, you’ll want to walk from Saint Peters Bay to Morrell, which is 11.7-kilometres and trails through farmland. Greenwich Dunes Trail is 4.8-kilometres long and is an easy and popular trail that also offers coastal views. The floating boardwalk is definitely one of the highlights along this trail, which goes over a pond. It has picturesque views of the dunes, as well as the plant and bird life. At the end of the boardwalk, you’re treated to a beautiful sandy beach!

Other trails to consider are the North Cape Nature Trail, Greenwich Hiking Trails, and Cavendish Grove Trails. All offer different views of the province, including the agriculture, beaches, sand dunes and cliffs.

Haven’t ventured out to the east coast yet? Consider a trip to Prince Edward Island where there are lots of cottages and beach houses available. Plus, we’ve got some great travel tips for you while you’re there!

Banff National Park (Alberta)

Discover day hikes in banff lakes

We’d be remiss if we didn’t include Canada’s oldest national park on this list, Banff National Park, which offers over 1,600-kilometres of maintained trails that are best hiked from July to mid-September.

The Lake Agnes trail is known for being one of the best Banff day hikes and is relatively easy to complete. Located in the Lake Louise area, the distance is 3.4-kilometres in one direction and a 2.5 to 3 hour round trip. Treat yourself to some tea at the famous Lake Agnes Tea House, which was built in 1901 and serves over 100 varieties of tea.

One of the most scenic hikes at the park is the Plain of Six Glaciers trail. The hike is 13.8-kilometres long and takes about 4 to 6 hours to complete. Not only is it very accessible to hikers, but also provides stunning surrounding views of peaks and glaciers, including the Victoria Glacier.

During the fall season, you’ll definitely want to do a hike to Larch Valley. You’ll hike above Moraine Lake through a larch forest where the needles turn to a beautiful golden colour. You’ll also get a breathtaking view of the Ten Peaks.  

Enjoy views of the mountains while staying at one of the many vacation rentals near Banff National Park. You can also find other great activities in the area on our list of the top 10 things to do in Banff during the summer!

Gatineau Park (Québec)

Try the Pink lake trail for one of the easiest hikes in Canada
Pink Lake by Laila Goubran is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

For a variety of accessible nature walks, Gatineau Park is a great hiking destination. While it’s located in Québec, the park is a popular getaway for Ottawans, since it’s only a 15-minute drive north from the city. It offers 165-kilometres of hiking trails and tends to get busier during the fall, thanks to the vibrant colours of the changing leaves. Peak times to visit the park are from April to November.

The Pink Lake Trail is a popular, moderate hike that is 2.5-kilometres long and takes about 1 hour to complete. While it may be called “Pink Lake,” the lake is actually a clear turquoise colour that draws in lots of visitors. There are stairs and boardwalks along the trail, making it an easier hike.

If you don’t mind getting wet, Lusk Cave Trail brings you to a marble cave that you’re free to explore. Due to the water levels within the cave, your shoes are bound to get wet, so bring a pair of water shoes along if you’re planning to enter the cave. The entire trail is about 10-kilometres and takes around 4 hours to complete.

Gatineau Park is known for having several lookout points to appreciate the fall colours. Champlain Lookout is one of the most popular views in the park and the trail itself (Champlain Trail) is only a 1.1-kilometre loop. Another route to consider is Luskville Falls Trail. The 4.5-kilometre trail is extremely challenging due to rocky steep hills, but offers two incredible lookout points –  the Lusk Lookout and the Pontiac lookout.

If you’re planning to visit the park from further away, you can stay at one of the many vacation rentals in the Gatineau Park area.

Garibaldi Provincial Park (British Columbia)

Take in the view with this hiking trail near vancouver

For some of the best hikes near Vancouver, Garibaldi Provincial Park has over 90-kilometres of established hiking trails and is perfect for more advanced hikers seeking multi-day treks. Located in Squamish, the park is only a 1 hour and 45 minute drive from the city. There are five trailheads that lead into the park: Diamond Head, Black Tusk / Garibaldi Lake, Cheakamus Lake, Singing Pass, and Wedgemount Lake.

For one of the most scenic views of Garibaldi Lake, you’ll want to consider a trek to Panorama Ridge with two main trailheads that lead to it. Rubble Creek trailhead is considered the more popular route, since it’s more scenic and slightly shorter at 30-kilometres. Once you reach Panorama Ridge, you’ll get a panoramic view of Garibaldi Lake, Black Tusk and the Helm Lake area.

For shorter trails to Panorama Ridge, the trek from Garibaldi Lake to Panorama Ridge takes 2 hours one way at a distance of 5-kilometres, and offers views of the lake, as well as the Sphinx and Sentinel Glaciers. The hike is marked as moderately difficult.

Looking to spend the night? From cabins to guesthouses, there are plenty of rental options to consider in the surrounding area between Whistler and Squamish.

Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland and Labrador

Some of the best hiking trails in Canada are in Newfoundland's Gros Morne National Park

If you plan on hiking in Newfoundland, Gros Morne National Park is the perfect spot to find many scenic trails. With over 100 kilometres of trails within the park, hikes can range from half-hour strolls to demanding day hikes. A site of raw natural beauty, the park is world-renowned for its geology and has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The trails will have you passing by beautiful fjords, cliffs, waterfalls, beaches, and much more!

For an easy hike that the whole family can take part in, Tableland Trail is a popular spot that takes about 1 hour to complete. The entire hike is 4 kilometres in length along an old road with minimal elevation. It’s a great starting point, since it’s at the base of the mountains and one the rare places where you’ll see the earth’s mantle exposed. 

One of the most popular trails in Gros Morne National Park is Green Gardens Trail. The 10 kilometre hike takes about 3 to 4 hours to complete (round trip). The trail takes you along the coastal shoreline with incredible views of sea stacks, coves, and beaches with lush cliff-top meadows. You’ll also find yourself walking through wildflower meadows and forests. You may even spot a flock of sheep during your hike!

Want one of the most iconic views in Canada? You’ll want to head out on the Western Brook Pond trail. It’s arguably the most scenic hike in Gros Morne National Park with an unforgettable view of cliffs and mountains as far as the eye can see. It takes only 1 to 2 hours to complete this 6 kilometre hike, and is definitely worth every step. 

For more information and great trail options, you’ll want to check out this link.

Planning a trip to Newfoundland and Labrador? Consider staying in one of the cottages or beach houses with beautiful views that the province has to offer. 

Exhausted after going on one of the best hikes in Canada? Dust off your shoes and unwind when you find your ideal vacation rental on CanadaStays!

Travel Canada: Best Things to do in Prince Edward County

Prince Edward County, affectionately known as ‘The County’, is an island on Lake Ontario that’s much loved by travellers and locals alike. It’s a place of historical significance in the Loyalist movement — following the War of 1812, Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. MacDonald, called this place home for a time. 

The Canadian heritage that lives on in Prince Edward County continues to draw history buffs, though in more recent years the island has made itself a new claim to fame – wine!

Wine touring is one of the most popular things to do in Prince Edward County. In 2000, there was only one single winery there, and now there are over 40. Wine tasting may be the most popular activity in Prince Edward County, but you won’t be able to resist the restaurant scene, even if you’re not a foodie.

With the expansion into wine, its great beaches, new culinary initiatives, hip boutiques and a growing art scene, we think Prince Edward County is one of the best weekend getaways near Toronto.

When to go

What to do in prince edward county ontario?

Prince Edward County comes alive in summer, with visitors and locals taking advantage of the perfect wine touring weather. Many people like to bike the flat landscape of the island, and the long stretching backroads and vineyards make for great scenery while you enjoy the summer sun. In addition to the scenery, you’ll find historic sites and Canadian heritage points of interest as you explore by bike or in a wine tour van. 

The fall also has great things to do in Prince Edward County, as the many vineyards and farms are ready for harvest. You’ll also be met with fantastic changing leaves and all sorts of local fall celebrations. Not to mention that the cooler weather makes it a great time to spend a little time indoors – Prince Edward County has so many quirky boutiques, art galleries and restaurants. 

Summer:

Sand banks is the best thing to see in prince edward county

Explore the county

One of the best things to do in Prince Edward County is visit Sandbanks Provincial Park. The park’s main draw are the stretches of pristine shorelines and sand dunes up to five stories high. Dunes Beach, which made it onto our list of the best beaches in Ontario, is where you’ll find the largest sand dunes. The park is also a great place to go hiking – try the Cedar Sands Nature Trail or the Woodlands Trail to explore some of the inner parts of Sandbanks Provincial Park.

Tip: If you’re visiting Sandbanks on a peak summer weekend, you’ll want to go first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon to be able to get in as the parking lots fill up quickly.

If you’re looking to get out on the water, Prince Edward County is surrounded by over 500 km of shoreline, so you can be sure to find boating activities and sailing charters. County Sailing Adventures offers group or private sailing cruises just off the shore of Waupoos, or you can rent your own at Pontoon Boat Rentals on the West Lake near Sandbanks Provincial Park.

Back on land, try your hand at antiquing–Prince Edward County is known for its antique and vintage boutiques. There are over a dozen shops with various specialities. We love The Local Store in Bloomfield, which is in an old fashioned barn that features the works of local artists in addition to antiques. FRUgal and Company in Picton is also a great stop, especially if you’re looking for some whacky and retro oddities. 

If you happen to be in Prince Edward County in early July, check out the Lavender Festival at Prince Edward County Lavender. You’ll find live music, crafts, face painting and other activities for the family. Even if you can’t make it to the festival, a visit to the rows of lavender any time during their summer harvest season is a relaxing way to spend the day.

Before you head home for the night, you can’t miss a stop to the Mustang Drive-in. This old-fashioned movie park is sure to make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. But not to worry, they screen all the new blockbuster hits and some selections for kids as well. 

Cycling:

cycling is one of the most popular activities in Prince Edward County

Because Prince Edward County is made up of mostly flat landscapes, it is great for cycling. In addition to its already perfect landscape, the Millenium Trail has nearly 50 km of cycling routes for riders to take advantage of. Cars are not allowed on most of the trail, so this one is really for pedestrians and cyclists! 

Many of the best Prince Edward County wineries can be accessed by this trail, so people embark on guided or self-guided cycling wine tours for a day of activity. The County Wine tours offers guides, or you can rent a bike for around 30-40$ a day from companies like Bloomfield Bike Company and County Bike Rentals. Be sure to reserve one in advance to avoid disappointment. 

Many of the wineries are clustered around the sections of the trail near Wellington, but there are quite a few other routes as well. Try the Park Route to get to Sandbanks Provincial Park or the Cressy Loop near Picton.

Wineries:

What are the best wineries in Prince Edward County?

Because of the limestone-rich soils in Prince Edward County, the region has become a Designated Viticultural Area, which means the county produces a lot of wine! In summer, wine touring on bike is one of the top things to do in the area. Have you ever done a wine tasting in a barn? The County is known for its rustic but hip vibe, and the wine tasting is no different. Most wineries have a tasting room and offer tastings for $5 or free with the purchase of a bottle. 

Looking for the best wineries on the island to add to your tour? Every winery in Prince Edward County offers unique wines and delicious food options for pairing. Here are just a few of our favourites: 

If you’re looking to please a diverse foodie audience, head to Hinterland Wine Company for sparkling wines, oysters and a selection of the The County’s top food trucks.

Hillier Estates, Closson Chase and Grange of Prince Edward Winery should also be in your list. They are all on beautiful rustic properties, with the latter offering some gourmet goodies (including everything you need for an outdoor picnic on the grounds!)

The largest of the wineries in the area is Sandbanks Winery, which offers a large selection of wine as well as regular and “enhanced” tastings in a lovely outdoor setting that you don’t want to miss.

If you’re not a biker, or if your party plans to do more than a little bit of wine sampling, book transport with one of the many Prince Edward County wine tours.

Local tip: There is more to Prince Edward County than just wine! Visit Kinsip House Of Fine Spirits, a hip distillery on a beautiful Loyalist style property, for their handmade spirits like vodka, gin and rum. Their tasting room is open 7 days a week in the summer. Make sure to try their signature maple whiskey.

Live Music

If the warm weather makes you feel like putting on your dancing shoes, go head out to enjoy some Prince Edward County live music. The Agrarian Bistro in Bloomfield serves brunch, lunch and dinner, and also has a speakeasy downstairs with live music on weekends. The Acoustic Bar and Grill offers pub fare and local beers on tap with musical performances most weekends. For a late night on the town, grab your tickets for a barn party at the Hayloft Dance Hall. It’s the only late night party in the area and evening shuttles run to and from the venue from several towns.

For all things jazz, make time to go to the Jazz Fest in August. From classic to modern sounds the PEC Jazz Festival has gained a reputation as the true Jazz lovers festival. The week-long event brings more than 100 musicians every year from home and abroad.

Fall

prince edward county weather in the fall is to enjoy

Celebrate the harvest

While the weather starts to cool down, fall is a great time to explore the wineries of Prince Edward County.

This time of year, the grapes and many other regionally grown produce are ready to be harvested. Many vineyards, like Stanners Vineyards and Cape Vineyards, host grape harvesting parties. More often than not, volunteers can get a hot lunch or some complimentary wine to sip on while they help harvest the grapes from the vines.

Sandbanks Winery also has a Harvest Festival with grape stomping, vineyard tours, live music, fresh juice tasting and delicious food. Then, in late November, join the Wassail The County bus tour to join participating vineyards in celebrating the end of a hard work’s year. Get ready to sing!

Fall is the right time of year for other harvests too. There are many U-pick orchards and farms, so grab yourself a basket and load up on some of the freshest local produce Ontario has to offer. Stop at Campbell’s Orchards for apple, tomato and pumpkin picking!

Local Tip: the region’s claim to fame is wine, but there are some great cideries around too. Visit The County Cider for an apple orchard tour and delicious tastings.

Fall into the season

If you love fall colours, Prince Edward County has great foliage that can’t be missed. Go for a bike or car ride to experience the changing leaves. 

If you’re there before October 14th, visit Lake on the Mountain Provincial Park for some the most scenics views you’ll take in while on Prince Edward County. This lake is a mystery to many as there is no logical reason for its location and constant flow of clean water with no apparent source. Go for the fall views over Picton Bay and the great picnic spots – we promise you won’t be disappointed!

As you’re driving around the County, take in the region’s Loyalist architecture. Explore the historic sites and old-fashioned barns along Loyalist Parkway/Highway 33. Most have been converted into venues for more modern day use, such as the beautiful purple barn at Closson Chase Winery or the Hayloft Dancehall.


For the little ones in your group, Prince Edward County offers some exciting activities and not-so-spooky fun. A special Prince Edward County tradition is Scarecrowfest in Picton, where participants get to make their very own take-home scarecrow. To go on with the seasonal fun, visit Pumpkinfest in Wellington, which was featured on our list of Canada’s best fall festivals for Halloween-themed floats, animals, live music, vintage cars, tractors and, of course, pumpkins. The weigh-in contest has seen giant 1000-pound pumpkins! 

Festivals:

Ever had the itch to go to an old-fashioned county fair? Visit the Milford Fall Fair, which has become a tradition as the homecoming fair celebrating the end of WWII.

The Ameliasburgh Fall Fair kicks off with a Mainstreet parade and the Picton Fall Fair is packed with carnival rides and indulgent snacks. You’ll find classic rustic fair offerings like homemade pies, crafts, agricultural demonstrations and live animals. A carnival visit is one of everyone’s favourite things to do in Prince Edward County!

For music lovers, apart from the previously mentioned Jazz Fest, the country has two other major music festivals: Sandbanks Music Festival and the Prince Edward Chamber Music Festival. Make sure to check them out if you are visiting in September.

If you’re more of a foodie, check out TASTE Community Grown, one of the county’s most anticipated food gatherings, featuring over 50 vendors in a repurposed airplane hangar. Another great way to experience the flavours of the region is CountyLicious, a celebration where some of the best restaurants in Prince Edward County put forward prix fixe menus featuring their most impressive dishes. 

Winter:

Visiting Prince Edward County in the winter?
Dunes by Martin Cathrae is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Winter Wonderland:

Because Prince Edward County is mainly flat terrain, cross-country skiing is the winter sport of choice for most visitors and locals. Sandbanks Provincial Park has over 10 km of cross-country routes, and a fresh blanket of snow turns the Millenium Trail into the perfect ski trail. Rent some skis or snowshoes and explore!

Local tip: You can also pair your cross-country experience with wine tastings at Three Dog Winery or Sugarbush Vineyards, which offer their property to ski-toting visitors during the winter. 

Some visitors also find a lot of enjoyment simply walking along the water during winter. Popular places like Sandbanks Dune Beach and Wellington Rotary Beach are more or less deserted in the winter, so a visit to see the icy shores can be a surreal experience.

Another popular winter pastime in Prince Edward County is ice-fishing. The region prides itself on being the “Wall-Eye Capital of the World”, and you’ll also have an easy time catching some large-mouthed bass. Give it a try if you’re looking for unique things to do in Prince Edward County. Be sure to book a guide: you’ll want to go with professionals if you’ve never done this before to ensure the ice is safe to stand on.

Holidays:

If you’re in Prince Edward County for the holidays, you’ll get the chance to experience some small-town holiday magic. Each year at the beginning of December, Santa Claus comes to town. Bring your little ones to Picton Main Street for the Santa Claus Parade. The following week, the young and the young at heart can see Santa again and a reenactment of the Dr. Seuss Who-ville Christmas ceremony at the Who-ville Parade.

The whole family can also enjoy some holiday fun for a good cause at the Festival of Trees. This craft fair offers baked goods, local produce, entertainment and over 200 fully decorated trees up for a silent auction. All the profits go towards local healthcare initiatives.

Warm your spirit

If you’ve come to Prince Edward County during winter, you will probably find that many (but not all!) of the smaller wineries don’t have tours, and tasting rooms don’t open as often as they do in the summer. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t fun things do in Prince Edward County. Winter is a great opportunity to hunker down in one of the many breweries for something to warm your soul. 

Try Midtown Brewing Co. in Wellington for a fun beer tasting experience. You can pair a flight of French, German, and Belgium beers with a meal made by chef Neil Dowson. In Picton, be sure to stop at Parsons Brewing Co. for a pint in a rustic setting.

A fan favourite is Grandpa Miguel’s, Coffee Stout or if you’re a fan of kitsch, visit Prince Eddy’s Brewing Company. Their two-storey tasting room is decked out in Hawaiian decor. For a brew with a view Lake on the Mountain Brewing Co is a classic. Their location near the beautiful Lake on the Mountain Provincial Park makes it stand out experience.

Spring:

Prince edward county in may things to do

Art

It’s no secret that the art scene in Prince Edward County is special. Many artists have come from other Canadian cities to join in on the established art presence, propelling its growth. The best way to explore the scene is to follow the Prince Edward County Arts Trail. This trail connects artists and art lovers together. Follow their map to find all the professional art studios and special galleries in town. 

Plan a visit to the Oeno Gallery, located on-site at Huff Estates winery. They have some very impressive outdoor sculpture art and works by members of the famous Group of Seven. 

Your art pilgrimage won’t be complete until you visit the historic Regent Theatre on Main Street, Picton. This Edwardian style opera house is one of the last still standing in all of Canada. The Regent Theatre Foundation has painstakingly restored the building to its original glory and maintained it since. The theatre screens a variety of films, from blockbusters to indie flicks. On stage, live performances and musical events are regularly held, making it a community centre for the arts.

Restaurants: 

Countylicious comes back in the spring. Just like in the fall, participating Prince Edward County restaurants select their best dishes and offer them at a fixed price. It’s a fun way to try out some new dishes from Prince Edward County’s best restaurants.

In Wellington, make a stop at the Grace Enid Cafe for lunch or breakfast. This place serves lovely baked goods and breakfast fair, made from recipes owner Enid uses for herself at home. For a fancy night out and a classy lakeside meal, check out the Drake Devonshire.

Over in Picton, try the Vic Cafe. Their motto is “where fun meets fresh” and they definitely live up to it. From Monday to Saturday, you can enjoy all-day breakfast and add a pint with it if you so desire. If you’re looking for hearty pub food, the County Canteen is your best bet. If you’re still hungry for dessert, Crepe Escape offers creative crepes made with fresh and local ingredients. Sit down or take your crepe on the go as you explore Main Street.

In Bloomfield, Flame+Smith is highly rated and considered to be more of a fine dining experience. You’ll find some fabulous steak and seafood on their menu. The Saylor House Cafe is a great stop for coffee and an afternoon treat in a rustic but chic shed from 1875.

Local tip: Most Prince Edward County restaurants are small and their kitchens close around 9 pm, so you’ll want to make reservations in advance, or go early to make sure you get in. If you’re stuck looking for late night eats, the popular Drake Devonshire offers dining until later in the evening.

Local Food

Visit the farms in Prince Edward County

An absolute must-do is to try some Prince Edward County cheese! Start with a visit to the Black River Cheese Company. This historic dairy has roots running back to 1901. It’s located on a nice property by the water in Milford, and you won’t want to miss their famous maple cheddar. Another stop on the dairy visit is Fifth Town Artisan Cheese. Their facility resembles a bunker and they specialize in goat and buffalo cheeses.

As the snow is melting, there are plenty of maple related things to do in Prince Edward County. There are a dozen sugarbush farms in the area for you and your family to visit. Local businesses also celebrate Maple in the County, a two-day festival where you can taste ciders, baked goods and all sorts of sweet and sticky goodies.

The vineyards begin to grow their grapes during the spring, so keep an eye out for wineries that start their tours. You can also take advantage of the Terroir on the Move Passport, offered in the spring. The $50 passport gets you unique tasting experiences at 6 selected wineries. 

Nature

Springtime brings forth a few festivals in Prince Edward County that are sure to please kids and nature lovers. Check out County Pop, a mini-music festival held at the Crystal Palace in Picton. This fest has tons of activities for kids, like the Little Rock Room, where they can try out musical instruments and feel like a rockstar.

This yarn-themed festival might seem like an odd choice, but they have fuzzy fibre friends like alpacas, sheep, and rabbits to visit with, and little ones under 12 have free admission.

The Spring Birding Festival is a big draw for bird enthusiasts. The Little Bluff Conservation Area is the best spot to see migratory birds. If you want a guide for your birding, check out all the services available during the festival through the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory. 

Local tip: To see some of the hidden beauty of Prince Edward County, sign up for the annual Waterfalls Tour. Over two days, you can join the Picton Rotary Club on a hike to two rarely seen waterfalls. Both are on private property, but visitors are granted access for a small donation to the Rotary Water Project. Bring your hiking boots and your camera.

How to get there

Whether you’re flying in or living in Central Canada, you can reach the County by car. It’s about a 3 hour drive from Ottawa and Toronto, or 5 hours from Montreal. If you don’t have one, you’ll definitely want to book a car to explore the island as there is no public transport or efficient taxi service in the area.

If you’re coming from Toronto or if you’re okay with going a little bit out of the way, stop at The Big Apple for apple-themed everything. Goodies, games and animals make it the perfect pitstop. You can get there by taking Highway 401 about an hour outside of Prince Edward County.

Where to Stay

The County is made out of several big communities, or wards, with the most popular being Picton, Wellington and Bloomfield.

As hotel options are limited in the area, there are many great choices for rentals in Prince Edward County. If you want to stay in town, you can find whole home rentals as well as bed and breakfasts around the key towns.

If you’re partial to the beautiful lakeside scenery, get a cottage or a Loyalist style house near the water. Luckily, you’ll find that all of the County is reachable for exploration no matter where you choose.

Whatever you’re into, CanadaStays has Prince Edward County rentals for any kind of vacation.

Travel Canada: Best things to do in PEI

With its rolling green fields, gorgeous beaches and world-class seafood, there is never a shortage of things to do in PEI, Canada’s smallest province. A Prince Edward Island vacation is bound to relax and refresh you!

Named for Prince Edward — rather romantically known as the Father of the Canadian Crown — this quaint paradise by the sea has cultivated a unique, laid-back culture. Islanders enjoy their picturesque lighthouses, open beaches, and delicious local cuisine — and so do visitors!

PEI’s festivals, events, beaches, and laid back atmosphere are calling. To help you plan your trip, we’ve put together our top things to do in PEI!

Getting to Prince Edward Island

 Visit PEI over the bridge or on the ferry

Prince Edward Island is a 450 000 km2 island in Canada’s Atlantic and while it’s not completely isolated, when you see PEI on a map, you might find yourself asking how do you get to Prince Edward Island?

By Ground

If you’re on a road trip with the family, detour to New Brunswick to find the Confederation Bridge. Spanning 13 km — the longest bridge over icy waters in the world — Confederation Bridge is the only way you can drive to PEI. While the drive is just a short 10 minutes, nervous drivers can have a bridge employee drive for them with the Apprehensive Driver Service.

By Sea

If you’re not in the mood to drive, between May and late December you can visit PEI by ferry. In the summer, live music and food make the 75-minute passage into a fun primer for the rest of your PEI sightseeing!

By Air

The Charlottetown Airport, north of PEI’s capital, ferries in visitors from further away. Two of Canada’s biggest airlines make frequent stops between Charlottetown and Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, or Toronto.

Feeling like even more beach fun after seeing our favourite beaches near Toronto? Flying from Toronto is only about two and a half hours.

The Best Time to Visit PEI

 Visit PEI during peak seasons for the best things to do in PEI

Prince Edward Island is beautiful any time of the year — but it really shines in the summer and fall.

Visit PEI between June to August for prime tourism time! Warm weather and just the right amount of breeze make for endless summer beach days. With the ferry active and the sun shining, visitors from all over Canada make their way to PEI in the summer.

Don’t like crowds? You can tour Prince Edward Island in just a few hours. Enjoy all the summer sun and fun away from the crowds on PEI’s more secluded beaches (more on that later!).

During the fall there are plenty of things to do in PEI. Locals and tourists move off the beaches and onto the golf courses to hit the links. If you thought Prince Edward Island was like a picturesque painting in the summer, you’ll love it even more in the fall. Beyond lush golf courses, turning leaves make for beautiful hikes.

Fall is also festival season in PEI — foodies should visit the island come autumn.

Things to do in PEI

 Looking for what to see in PEI? We have some ideas!

Beach Days

Prince Edward Island boasts 23 beautiful beaches. With PEI’s size, it’s possible to visit every single one on your trip!

Hitting the sandy shores is one of the most popular things to do in PEI, however, not all of the beaches are supervised; if you’re travelling with young children, be sure to check that your chosen beach has a lifeguard on duty.

Check out the supervised Greenwich Beach in Prince Edward Island National Park to see the largest sand dunes in PEI. An extensive trail system and a floating boardwalk gives you a choice between relaxing on the beach or getting out on a hike.

Local tip: Craving a quieter beach day than the ultra-popular Cavendish Beach? Take a trip to Thunder Cove Beach, one of PEI’s hidden gems. Visit in the morning to see the fragile natural sandstone structures in the best light.

For an unforgettable experience on one of the best beaches in PEI, head to Singing Sands Beach in Basin Head Provincial Park and hear the sands sing as you stroll across them. Or visit North Rustico for a day of deep sea fishing with a local outfit.

You can’t talk about PEI’s shoreline without mentioning its many lighthouses. Thirty-five are still active out of a total of 63 structures. If you are driving around the island, make your road trip a fun and cultural drive by stopping at each one of them! PEI’s lighthouse society offers a map with all the lighthouses location as well as the story behind each structure.

Local tip: The Souris East Lighthouse allows visitors on the balcony during tours.

See and Shop

Visiting Anne of Green Gables land is one of the best things to do in PEI

Anne of Green Gables, Prince Edward Island’s most famous fictional character, has a permanent home at PEI’s Green Gables Heritage Place. As an open-air Anne of Green Gables Museum, Green Gables Heritage Place features a replica of Anne’s home, a Sunday picnic, and more.

If you can’t get enough Anne, there is also Avonlea Village, one of our favourite places to see in PEI. Built to resemble the fictional village from Anne’s adventures, Avonlea village features shops, restaurants, and historical sights. You can see the historic schoolhouse and church, as well as replicas of homes and shops from Victorian-era PEI.

Local tip: Avonlea features a Cows Creamery, a local PEI creamery that makes award-winning milk and cheese. Stop in for a bite of some of Prince Edward Island’s most popular frozen treat!

Near Avonlea in Cavendish, take the kids to Shining Waters Family Fun Park,PEI’s favourite water park. Waterslides, splash pools, tasty treats, and a surf coaster will entertain visitors all day. Head here as a family or if you’re looking for PEI date ideas.

The capital of PEI, Charlottetown City, also has two picturesque shopping spots you should put on your itinerary: Peakes Wharf and Victoria Row. On the Peakes Wharf boardwalk, browse local shops and stop in at cafes on the water. At Victoria Row, a preserved Victorian-era street mall, you can browse the wares of local artisans.

Autumn Outdoors

There is no lack of things to do in PEI during autumn!

Fall — particularly early fall — is peak golf season for PEI’s beautiful golf courses. Golfing enthusiasts will want to play Links at Crowbush Cove, designed by famous Canadian architect Tom McBroom. Golf right by the water surrounded by beautiful green and blue views.

Local tip: Confident golfers looking for a challenge should play Dundarave at the Rodd Brudenell River Resort.

While you’re outdoors, take a hike to see the beautiful changing leaves. Every fall, PEI’s lush greens change to rich reds and golds as the weather cools off. Locals recommend Robinsons Island, with its easy-going hiking trail making a ring around some of the best tree viewing spots on the island.

You can also hop on a bike and spend a day on the Confederation Trail. Built after the Prince Edward Island’s railway was abandoned in 1989, the trail stretches across the island and runs through a number of quaint island villages.

Food and Festivals

After you’ve explored all the things to do in PEI, you’ll be hungry. Luckily, the island is known for delicious coastal tastes — especially lobster!

During the fall in PEI, festivals celebrate local fishing roots. Between the end of August to early October, Islanders host the annual Fall Flavours Festival. Local chefs and celebrity guests serve up gourmet dishes and local favourites for festival goers.

Local tip: Chef Michael Smith — a famous Food Network chef — lives in PEI and has been known to make an appearance! You can also visit FireWorks, his wood fire-only restaurant at the Inn at Bay Fortune.

At the end of September, the Prince Edward Island Beer Festival takes place as part of Fall Flavours. Visit PEI’s beer celebration to see demonstrations on the craft of brewing beer, listen to live entertainment and taste samples of local beer.

Local tip: Love the art of brewing, but going to miss the Beer Festival? There are a number of charming wineries and distilleries on the island. Many of the family-run producers offer tours and tastings — call ahead and you might be able to get a private tour.

Mid to end of September is Shellfish Festival time in PEI. Live music entertains seafood lovers as local catches of lobster and oysters are served up fresh. In addition to delicious dishes, there are competitions throughout the festival! Visitors and festival goers compete to shuck the most oyster and more.

Where to Stay in Prince Edward Island

 Find a vacation rental after you explore all the things to do in PEI
Long River, PEI – Property #p640214

With so many things to do in PEI all over the island, you might be wondering where is the best area to stay? Luckily, the small size of the island means renting a cottage on one end of PEI still gives you access to everywhere else!

Charming Charlottetown has a number of cottages and condos for staying in PEI’s busiest metropolis. We recommend finding your favourite vacation rental downtown Charlottetown if you’re travelling to PEI with friends.  

The Cavendish region, while still popular, is a little more laid back than Charlottetown. A vacation rental along the coast in New Glasgow or North Rustico puts the cherry on top of a memorable family vacation to Prince Edward Island.