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Parks, Trails, Playgrounds and Outdoor Activities

Our area is rich with lakes and beautiful scenery that all contribute to memorable vacation experiences.

Plan to enjoy the beauty of the fall colours, serenity of new fallen snow away from the slush of the city, extensive trails for summer and winter activities, assortment of unique shops, nearby restaurants and experiences all within easy reach.

The region which is part of Ontario's Highlands offers a broad range of activities. For outdoor 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 and 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.

Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing -To make the most of our spectacular snowy winters, stray on your snowshoes or cross-country skis and enjoy the outdoors.




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 Ontario Parks. 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 Highway 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.Useful Websites:

  • Friends of Algonquin Park

  • Ontario Parks (for reservations)

Geocaching....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.

Visit: Object


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

Golf Clubs

Horseback Riding

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, Ontario K0L 1C0

Phone: 613 334-6628

Horseback Riding


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

Helpful Links



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

Paddling Routes

Rentals & Sales


Top 22 Things to do in Hastings Highlands

  1. Algonquin Provincial Park - 78km from Hastings Highlands

  2. Madawaska Kanu Centre - 24.1 km from Hastings Highlands

  3. Winterdance Dogsled Tours - 37.7 km from Hastings Highlands

  4. Eagles Nest Lookout - 16.9 km from Hastings Highlands

  5. Trips & Trails Adventures Outfitting - 16.8 km from Hastings Highlands

  6. Lake St. Peter Provincial Park - 14.8 km from Hastings Highlands

  7. Madawaska Art Shop - 3.4 km from downtown Maynooth

  8. Papineau Public Beach - 13.9 km from downtown Maynooth

  9. Mountain Creek Ranch - 11.7 km from downtown Maynooth

  10. The Bancroft Mineral Museum - 18.4 km from Hastings Highlands

  11. Riverside Park - 18.3 km from Hastings Highlands

  12. Art Gallery of Bancroft - 18.7 km from Hastings Highlands

  13. Booth's Rock Trail - 51.2 km from Hastings Highlands

  14. Bancroft Brewing Co. - 18.7 km from Hastings Highlands

  15. Bancroft Village Playhouse - 18.8 km from Hastings Highlands

  16. South Algonquin Trails - 21.4 km from Hastings Highlands

  17. Spruce Bog Boardwalk Trail - 55 km from Hastings Highlands

  18. Silent Lake Provincial Park - 35.9 km from Hastings Highlands

  19. Thomas P. Murray Recreational Trails - 27.7 km from Hastings Highlands

  20. Grumblin' Granny's - 34.3 km from Hastings Highlands

  21. Crooked Slide Park - 29.2 km from Hastings Highlands

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.

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.

Picture of walking trail in forest

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