The region which is part of Ontario’s Highlands offers a broad range of activities. For outdoors enthusiasts our lakes and wilderness offer watersports, paddling, hiking, ATVing and snowmobiling (District 6), biking, fishing, hunting, camping, and more.
We have a very active arts community, numerous festivals and events, live theatre nearby, unique shops and restaurants.
Lakes and Rivers – Our region features a host of large and small lakes and rivers. Larger lakes all feature boat launches.
Access to Algonquin Park (alternate entry point tips)
If you’re looking to get away from the busy HWY 60 corridor, there are a handful of alternate Algonquin Park entry points easily accessed from Hastings Highlands. Make Hastings Highlands your home base for trips on the trails and lakes of this spectacular provincial park.
- Kingscote Lake /Peterson Rd Access Point – From this entry point you will find hiking, mountain biking, paddling and backcountry camping. Permits for this access point are available at Pine Grove Point. Be sure to make your booking at www.ontarioparks.com. From this entry point you can access Kingscote Lake via Kingscote Lake Rd immediately opposite Pine Grove Point on Elephant Lake Road. To Access the Byers Lake Mountain Bike Trail or the High Falls Trail from this entry point, you will need to travel North and East from the Pine Grove Point approximately 2km on Elephant Lake Road (becomes Peterson Road). The sign for entry to the parking lot is only visible when approaching from the west.
- Hay Lake Access Point – From Hwy 127, 9.9 km south of Hwy 60, follow the McRae-Hay Lake Road (gravel) west for 4.6 km, keeping to the left, to the public boat launch on the east shore of Hay Lake. A 4 km paddle brings you to the boundary of Algonquin Park. Permits and other information are available at the East Gate.
- Shall Lake Access Point – From the village of Madawaska on Highway 60, follow the Major Lake Road (paved, then gravel) northwest for 26.2 kilometres (crossing the hydroelectric transmission corridor) to the Access Point Office (where you buy your permit) located on the Opeongo River between Farm and Crotch Lakes.
- Galeairy Lake Access Point, Whitney – At Whitney, 5.6 km east of the East Gate on Highway 60(past the bridge), turn south on Post Street and continue 0.2 km (past the liquor store) to Ottawa Street. Turn left on Ottawa Street and follow it for 0.5 km to the second junction, turn right and follow a short gravel road to the public boat launch on the east shore of Galeairy Lake. Permits and other information are available at the East Gate.
- Aylen Lake Access Point – From Hwy 60, 11.8 east of the village of Madawaska, follow the Aylen Lake Road (gravel) north for 7.8 km, turn left crossing over a dam and continue 0.4 km, turn right and proceed 0.3 km to the public boat launch on the SW shore of Aylen Lake. Permits for this Access Point are available at the East Gate.
Artists and art lovers who visit Hastings Highlands have come to know the area as an enclave for vibrant cultural expression among the hills and trees. With Maynooth’s history of hosting Group of Seven painters and inspiring artists such as David Milne and Tom Thomson, contemporary local artists and arts audiences still attach great importance to the expression of our connection to nature, innovation, and sensuality through painting and other art forms.
Arts Routes and Studio Tours
Ontario’s Highlands are home to many talented and innovative artists. When the leaves start to turn, head to the hills and explore the studios of local artists and artisans showing their work. Studio Tours in Bancroft/Hastings Highlands and in the Madawaska Valley include painters, stained glass artists, potters, jewelers, sculptors, textile artists, chocolatiers, and more.
- Art Gallery of Bancroft
- Madawaska Art Shop
- Hastings Highlands Public Library (Cultural Corner)
- Sunrun Café
- Old Peterson Road Gallery
- Saidie’s Pottery
- Foxfire Gallery, Gifts and Antiques
Organizations and Clubs
- A Place for the Arts
- Algonquin Arts Council
- Bancroft Arts and Crafts Guild
- Bancroft Theatre Guild
- North Hastings Quilt Club
Retreats, Residencies, and Studios for Artists’
- Owl Ridge Acres Retreats and Residencies
- Hillsview Farm and Studios
- The Hybla Residency
- Bliss Retreat (Haliburton)
- Madawaska Art Shop
- Foxfire Gallery, Gifts and Antiques
- Old Peterson Road Gallery
- Saidie’s Pottery
- Toadestone Craftworks
- Dock Road (Herschel)
- North Baptiste Lake
- Old Diamond Lake Road
- Salmon Trout Lake Road
- Graphite Lake
- Hinterland Beach
- Big Point Papineau Lake
Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing
Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing – To make the most of our spectacular snowy winters, strap on your snowshoes or cross-country skis and enjoy the outdoors.
- Ontario Trails Snowshoeing
- Ontario Trails Crosscountry Sking
- Bonnechere Tour Trail
- Opeongo Hills Nordic Ski Club
- Fen Lake Ski Trails
- Hybla to Graphite Trail
- Opeongo Heritage Trail
- Silent Lake Provincial Park
Gear Rental & Lending
The clean lakes and shimmering rivers of Hastings Highlands offer many angling opportunities in all four seasons. Whether you’re after the unique-to-our-area Jewel Lake Trout or fishing for Bass or just looking for some peace and quiet out on the water we have what you’re looking for.
Licenses & Regulations (Website)
Get your fishing licence, regulations and all the information you need to get a start
- For members of Aboriginal communities
- Canadian Tire in Bancroft
- Linkie’s General Store and Gas Bar in Lake St Peter
- Makin’ Waves Marine
- Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Fishing from a Boat
- Huts, Regulations, Safety
- Safety Tips from Outdoor Canada
- Red Cross Safety Tips
- Facts About Ice Fishing
- Fishing limits, size restrictions and catch and release
- Ontario Rural Landowner Stewardship Guide (PDF)
Where to Fish
Gear and Supplies
- Maynooth Gas Bar
(gear and fresh, locally caught bait), 32987 HWY 62, Maynooth 613-338-3015
- Linkie’s Gas Bar and General Store (gear, worms, licenses), Lake St Peter
- Canadian Tire, Bancroft
- Mad Outdoors, Barry’s Bay
Join the Worlds Largest Treasure Hunt
There are millions of geocaches hidden around the world, there are probably some near you right now. Get the free Official Geocaching app and start finding them.
Bancroft Ridge Golf Club (Website)
Bancroft Ridge Golf Club offers a great experience for all levels of golfers. With spectacular views of the Eagle’s Nest, and the majestic York River running through the property, picturesque ponds and winding streams, Bancroft Ridge is one of cottage country’s most scenic courses.
30 Nicklaus Drive,
Bancroft, Ontario K0L 1C0
Phone: (613) 332-4653
Put your feet in the stirrups, grab the reins and see the beauty of Ontario on horseback.
Ride the Wilderness (Website)
Our Public Horseback Riding Stable offers affordable trial rides 1-3 hrs in length with a scenic 3 hour ride to a crown lake, crossing water on the way, being our most popular trail ride. Gentle, well trained horses, high quality tack, small private tours, and knowledgable guides makes us a great destination if you want to explore the Algonquin Park area by horseback!
239 East Lake Road, Maynooth Ontario K0L 2S0
Phone: 613 338-2330
Mountain Creek Ranch (Website)
Mountain Creek Ranch is nestled in one of the scenic valleys in the Highlands of Eastern Ontario. Thousands of acres await your discovery on one of our trusted horses or ponies.
Here at Mountain Creek we strive to make your experience both memorable and very safe.
146 Buckhill Road, Bancroft, On K0L 1C0
Phone: 613 334-6628
Every fall our wild northern highlands attract people from far and wide to join the hunt. Popular game in our area: Grouse, Moose, Bear, Deer and Wild Turkey.
Ministry of Natural Resources (Website)
Everything you need to know about hunting licenses and regulations can be found on the Ministry of Natural Resources website
Purchase your License
- Tentative start dates for hunting seasons
- Where to hunt in Southern Ontario
- Wildlife Management Unit Maps
- We are in WMU 57 (PDF)
Deep Roots Adventure
- Deep Roots Adventure’s goal is to provide all the skills and tools needed for individuals, families, groups, and youth to become capable and confident in the wild.
- Check out Deep Roots Adventure for Upcoming Trips & Events, including our popular High Falls Paddle, Explore & Dine, as well as the Paddle, Plein Air and Dine!
- Book online watercraft and equipment rentals, along with the ability to pre-purchase retail item and supplies such as dehydrated or freeze dried camping food, fuel and more!
Places to Eat, Stay and Shop
- Memories Tea Room and Bakery
- Porterville Dinner – Lake St Peter
- Spectacle Lake Lodge
- Sun Run Café
- Cafe BC
Cottage/Resorts/Short Term Rentals
- Airbnb Hastings Highlands
- Algonquin Ecolodge
- Arlington Hotel
- Belcast Cottages
- Birchcliff Lodge
- Chickadee Lodge
- Camp Makwan
- Camp Ponacka
- Delmar Cottages
- Footprints Resort
- Group of 7 Cottages
- Madawaska Lodge and Restaurant
- Mink Lake Retreat
- Musky Bay Resort
- Oatka Bay Cottages
- Trails Edge B & B
- Sand Bay Camp
- Silver Birches
- South Shore Cottages
- Sunrise Cove
- West Pines
- White Pine Cottages
- Birds Creek Farm Supply
- Maple Leaf Country Store and Gas
- Maynooth General Store
- Route 62 (General Store)
- Lake St Peter Hardware and Building Supply
- Linkie’s Store
Whether you are looking for a white water adventure or a serene paddling experience a trip to Hastings Highlands places you at the rocky heart of many unique and exquisite locations.
Where to Paddle
- Algonquin Park
- Baptiste Lake
- Bark Lake
- Kamineskeg Lake
- Lake St Peter
- Madawaska River
- Mink Lake
- Papineau Lake
- Papineau Creek
- York River
Rentals & Sales
- Trips and Trails
- Barry’s Bay Outfitters
- The Portage Store
- Opeongo Outfitters
- Algonquin Bound
- Algonquin Outfitters
- Madawaska River Rentals
- Madawaska Art Shop (sales only)
During the Winter Season outdoor ice skating Rinks are available for your enjoyment:
- Maynooth Rink-not ready for use yet
- Lake St. Peter Rink –not ready for use yet
- Birds Creek Rink-not ready for use yet
If the sign at the rink states ‘Closed’, please stay off the ice and allow time for the surface to freeze.
Starting with the Hastings Heritage trail, our region is rich with trails, both motorized offering all season trekking and non-motorized exclusively for the use of bicycles, walkers, horseback riders.
- Snow Country Snowmobile Region OFSC District 6
- North Ontario Travel – ATV
- Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs
- Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs – Trip Planner
- Ontario Trails – Snowmobiling
- Mapleleaf Snowskimmers – Facebook
- Mapleleaf Snowskimmers – (OFSC D6 Website)
- Eastern Ontario Trails Alliance (EOTA)
- Paudash Trail Blazers (OFSC D2 Website)
- Peterson Pathfinders (OFSC D6 Website)
- Haliburton ATV Association HATVA