Hearken back to a simpler time in Hastings County with its salt-of-the-earth farming roots and relaxed pace of life.
From the winter wonderland in its northern boreal forests to the fertile farmlands and communities in the south, Hastings County covers a broad geographic landscape, steeped in history. Explore ancient rocks and minerals from one of the richest geological sites in Canada. Or dig for more contemporary treasure in a local antique shop, filled with their own stories to tell. The more you explore, the more you will fall in love with Hastings County.
To learn more about all there is to see and do in Hastings County, scroll down or visit the area’s tourism website.
Where is Hastings County?
Hastings County is found in Eastern Ontario. It stretches from Belleville on the Bay of Quinte in the south to the edge of Algonquin Provincial Park in the north.
Belleville provides a great starting point for your travels in Hastings County. You can fly to Toronto or Ottawa and travel by train to Belleville in less than 2 hours. From Belleville, you can reach many townships by car and bus via a few major roads and highways. The 401 corridor passes through Belleville and the TransCanada Highway #7 through Madoc, while Ontario Highway 62 travels North-South right down the middle of the county.
Things to Do in Hastings County
The secret to Hastings County is to take it easy. Enjoy it. Soak it up. Relax and embrace the natural goodness of the rural lifestyle.
Hastings County is rich in farmlands and matching farmhouse bed-and-breakfasts. The southern region is surrounded by rich farmland and many small towns. Here there is a balance between urban and rural living, giving you wide open spaces with the option of artisan and antique shopping in nearby townships. Wind your way along the backroads and discover gorgeous cafes for your own Hot Beverage Tour.
A touch more rugged (but keeping with our creature comforts), ‘glamping’ is a fun compromise between the old-school farmhouse and the more adventurous campgrounds. Glamping, also known as ‘glamorous camping,’ is growing in popularity across Hastings County. It offers the best of both worlds: close proximity to the woods without the hassle of setting up tents or sleeping on the ground. Many glamping sites are also located near farms and cheese factories, giving you quick access to the legendary Hastings County produce.
If and when you want to stretch your legs, there are many outdoor trails to explore at your own pace. The cool crisp air in the boreal forests of the north will keep you fresh and alert. You wouldn’t want to miss the spectacular waterfalls hidden away in Egan Chutes, about 15 km east of Bancroft. Or closer to the Bay of Quinte, you can take the Central Hastings Heritage Loop, a picturesque trail through the villages of Madoc, Stirling and Tweed. Find your way in nature and relax at the pace of Hastings County.
Hastings County Neighbourhoods & Districts
Hastings County is the second-largest county in Ontario. It includes 14 member municipalities and two cities. It’s the perfect getaway for those looking for a ‘little break’ from their busy lives. As the rugged north slowly blends into the rural and urban south, you can see the change from town to town. Our favourite highlights include:
The mineral capital of Canada is a hidden gem for ‘rockhounding’ enthusiasts.
Has some of the most pristine lakes in the county, making it very popular for swimming, fishing and nature photography.
Located on the shore of the Bay of Quinte, Deseronto is the gateway to Hastings County. Join a walking tour and discover the historic downtown area and its characteristic architecture.
Nearby Faraday Lake is a popular fishing spot for lake trout and small-mouth bass. So good, you can almost guarantee dinner.
A natural wonderland with plenty of outdoor activities to keep you warm. From fishing to snowmobiling, there is something for everyone.
Surrounded by dense forests, the township is made of smaller villages and hamlets, making an enjoyable bike-ride through the area.
Tudor & Cashel Township
To the east of the township is Weslemkoon Lake, a favourite place to get away from it all and famous for the little lighthouse in the northern end.
Marmora & Lake Township
Embrace the slower pace and follow the equestrian trails. There are riding schools around Marmora with horses to match your ability and pace.
For the history buffs, start with the Stirling Grand Trunk Railway Station and follow their museum tours.
East of Belleville is the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, an opportunity to learn more about Indigenous culture in the area.
If you are looking for a hiking trail without the motorized participants, check out Nellie Lunn Park. A beautiful 40 hectare park approximately 4 km south of the township.
Things to Know About Visiting Hastings County
Whether you’re still in the planning stages or you’re already on your trip to Hastings County, it’s nice to learn what the locals know about the area.
Almost 90% of all types of minerals found on earth are located in North Hastings, so Bancroft, known as “The Mineral Capital of Canada” is a major destination for recreational rockhounding enthusiasts.
Don’t forget to pack
Great place for winter activities
Where to snap a great Instagram pic
McGeachie Conservation Area comprises over 200 hectares of natural wilderness for you to explore. Take a hike around Steenburg Lake or get a glimpse of the homestead that’s been on the property for 150 years.