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Pre-Planned Trip curated by Jim Byers and inspired by Berry Jam, Petroglyphs and Canoes: A Tasty Visit to Peterborough & the Kawarthas

It’s Worth the Hike to Peterborough & the Kawarthas

24 Hours
A forest and body of water

Breakfast at Two Dishes

Two Dishes Cookshop in Peterborough is one of the top-rated restaurants in the region for breakfast, as well as for lunch and dinner. If it’s on the menu, try the beef brisket hash. Look for sizable portions and home-made baked goods, as well as great coffee. You might find a line-up at popular hours, so be prepared.

Warsaw Caves

You can work off some of your meal with a hike at the marvelous Warsaw Caves Conservation Area and Campground, where you’ll find glorious slabs of dark, ancient rock and caves to explore. There are several trails you can try. One of them leads to a terrific look-out spot high above the winding Indian River, which is great any time of year but truly spectacular in autumn. They also have a lake with a nice beach for swimming, and you can rent canoes or kayaks or set up a camping spot (by reservation).

A Cosmic Lunch

Spice things up a bit with some Asian/Thai cuisine from Cosmic Charlie’s in Peterborough. Try the Pad Thai with shrimp or a curry dish. Vegetarians will enjoy the Tofu Singapore Noodle dish, and everyone will want a bite of mango cheesecake for dessert.

Petroglyphs Provincial Park

This is one of the top public parks in Canada I’ve been to. The petroglyphs are carvings etched into ancient limestone; work performed between 600 and 2,000 years ago by Indigenous Canadians. Known as “The Teaching Rocks,” they are the largest known concentration of Indigenous rock carvings (petroglyphs) in Canada, with hundreds of carvings that feature everything from turtles and human figures to snakes and a spiritual being called a “nanabush” or “nanabozho”, with a human body and long ears like a rabbit. Visit the Learning Place Visitor Centre to discover the traditions of the Ojibway (Nishnaabe) people through the teachings of the medicine wheel. Check out bright blue/green McGinnis Lake – one of only a handful of meromictic (layers of water that don’t intermix) lakes in Canada. There also are great opportunities for wildlife viewing.

Take a Hike

There is a wide variety of great spots to take a hike in the region. One great choice is Peterborough’s section of the Trans Canada Trail, formerly known as the Trans Canada Trail. You can follow an old railroad corridor that goes straight through the city of Peterborough.

Dinner at Cassis Bistro

Cassis Bistro is a lovely spot in Lakefield. The menu features everything from steaks to fish to pasta, and they have a reputation for fine service and great specials. The emphasis is on fresh, local ingredients, so you can enjoy fine dining and a taste of Peterborough & the Kawarthas at the same time. They have regular Prime Rib specials on the last Sunday of each month, and on Thursdays, they do a “date night” special with dinner for two for just $60.

Overnight stay Overlooking Little Lake

There are plenty of country spots to try.  There are many seasonal and year-round resorts that provide the kind of quintessential Canadian experiences that have made the Kawarthas so popular with cottagers; everything from outdoor sports to places with a roaring fireplace and full kitchens so you can make your own meals. If you’ve got a family and if it’s getting to that cooler time of year, you can check out the Holiday Inn on the Peterborough waterfront. There’s an indoor-outdoor pool and whirlpool, plus a kids’ centre and recreation room, which makes this a great option for families. Just as important, you’re a short walk from more than 60 downtown restaurants.