Exploring Hastings County with the Kids This Summer

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June 01, 2023

When it comes to kids, I’ve learned a few things over the years. They love getting dirty, they love food, and they love to explore! So, getting out there this summer and exploring Hastings County would be a great way to spend some quality family time together.

If you’re not sure where to start, I get it. Hastings County is packed full of amazing places and experiences so it can be overwhelming. Luckily, we’ve explored all kinds of places in the area and below are a few great ideas to start exploring. Go ahead, use this as a family summer bucket list!

O’Hara Mill Homestead

We’ve been to O’Hara Mill Homestead a few times for a few different activities and our boys had a blast every time! We were there for Heritage Day one year and had the opportunity to see Pioneer demonstrations, go on a horse and wagon ride, and we checked out all the old buildings. We were also there for a maple event and had pancakes, sausage, and maple taffy. Check out their website for a full list of upcoming events!


Conservation Areas

Hastings County is full of beautiful conservation areas to explore. McGeachie Conservation Area in Gilmour has 18 kilometres of walking trails to explore and is on our list to check out! We also love the HR Frink Conservation Area in the neighboring Bay of Quinte, and Vanderwater Conservation Area. We actually saw a group riding the trails on horses at Vanderwater, and we also read the map wrong and took the really long way around one visit. The boys still remember it as the “time we walked for waaaaay too long”. But hey, memories, right?


If you’re a family that loves camping, you’ve got lots of options in Hastings County. We’re surrounded by lakes, rivers, and all kinds of provincial parks and campgrounds just waiting to be explored. We have friends who love to camp, and they raved about Lake St. Peter Provincial Park. Other favourites in the area include Bon Echo, Bancroft Campground, Bear Ridge Family Campgrounds, and Stoco Lake Lodge – who are well known for their ‘glamping tents’ right on the lake.

Lake St. Peter Provincial Park: https://www.ontarioparks.com/park/lakestpeter

Bon Echo: https://www.ontarioparks.com/park/bonecho

Bancroft Campground: http://www.bancroftcampground.ca/

Bear Ridge Campgrounds & Cottages: https://www.bearridgecamp.ca/

Stoco Lake Lodge: https://stocolakelodge.com/

Stirling Festival Theatre

For those who are into the arts, check out the Stirling Festival Theatre. They have The Rocky Horror Picture Show running throughout July, and they also have Theatre Camps for the kids this summer. Check out all the details on their website.


Tyendinaga Caverns & Caves

If you haven’t experienced the Tyendinaga Caverns & Caves with the kids yet, I highly suggest it. It’s Ontario’s largest known natural cavern and it was a pretty cool experience. We showed up just after opening and were part of the first tour and we all had a great time. Plus, it’s super chilly down there so it’s a great way to stay cool on a hot summer day.


Madawaska Kanu – mkc.ca

For more great places to explore this summer with the family, stay tuned to the Hastings County blog or the Hastings County social media pages.

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