Southeastern Ontario is defined by The Great Waterway--the St. Lawrence River and the eastern end of Lake Ontario. The region's history is rich and storied, and the limestone cities, trophy fishing, enormous sand dunes, pristine Canadian Shield forests, and endless backroads will leave your head spinning at the range of things to see and do.
Kingston and the Land O' Lakes
The region's historical character is nowhere more evident than in Kingston, home of Canada's first prime minister. The city's limestone architecture creates the sense that you are within the grounds of a castle or fort. This impression is further strengthened at Fort Henry, a major historical site of the war of 1812. And the fascinating Penitentary Museum is well worth visiting with its displays of ingenious escape attempts. Even the roads themselves are steeped in history. The Loyalist Parkway leading west of Kingston yields multiple reminders of the struggles that individuals faced to retain ties to Great Britain. For the modern motorcyclist, the parkway serves up a gorgeous ride where a guard rail is the only thing separating your bike from the sparkiling waters of Lake Ontario. The views are spectacular, and there are countless stops for food or sightseeing along the way. And back in Kingston, the food and drink opportunities seem endless.
The Brew Pub serves high-quality pub fare and has a selection of its own tasty microbrews, and a few blocks north at Chez Piggy you can treat yourself to fine-dining (non-hawg riders are welcome too!). For a unique experience take the ferry to Wolfe Island take a ride around its scenic shores. Before you head back to the mainland be sure to stop at the Wolfe Island Grill.
Riding north of Kingston takes you first through rolling farm land where fields of lilacs bloom in the spring and then to a region aptly dubbed "Land O' Lakes." Pie Lovers should access this aquatic paradise via the village of Yarker where you will find the Waterfall Tea Room. And if you didn't get your fill of history in Kingston, head north along the Rideau Heritage Route which takes you past hand-cranked locks, and then into the twisty roads that weave between the thousands of lakes.
Prince Edward County
West of Kingston, Prince Edward County and the Bay of Quinte are vacation destinations par excellance! Notable rides can be organized around wineries, country galleries, Picton-area attractions, and natural features surrounding Sandbanks Provincial Park. Near Picton, Lake on the Mountain and the Bird House village are worthwhile and weird stops. And while you're at Lake on the Mountain take a break on the patio at The Inn for a perfectly-cooked meal. If you chosse to stay the night there, you'll find they have an excellent bar. The crown jewel of the area, though, is surely Sandbanks Park. The flat land surrounding it gives you panoramic views of farm fields and wineries intermingled with glimpses of blue from the lake. Lighthouses, piers, beachfront shanty villages, and lazy forests shading the road around the long paved bends are common sights. And of course there's the Park itself. For more information, check out "Prince Edward County - A Motorcyle Rider's Paradise."
The Thousand Islands to Cornwall
The Thousand Islands is a world-famous chain of islands extending east from where Lake Ontario meets the St. Lawrence river. The islands are known for world-class fishing, breathtaking scenery, and unique boating experiences. A few of the islands hold huge castles. Boldt Castle is accessible for tours. The Thousand Islands can be enjoyed from a motorcycle on The Thousand Islands Parkway. Hugging the shore of the St. Lawrence, this true gem of a road rides high up on bluffs overlooking the river to plunge right down to the water's edge. At the western end of the parkway is Gananoque, a popular vacation destination for Canadians and Americans alike. There are dozens of beautiful B&Bs at which to stay, and even more places to eat. Muskie Jake's is an old watering hole where you might have the opportunity to overhear weathered anglers trading fish tales.
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Recommended Accomodations: Gananoque Inn & Spa