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Discover a True First

woman using a jacquard loom

Peterborough & the Kawarthas is rich with unique and authentic cultural and historical experiences that can’t be found anywhere else. This list of things to see and do is sure to inspire, and guaranteed to help you discover a true first.

Bucket List 

Tour the largest collection of canoes, kayaks and paddled watercrafts in the world 

Spanning the country from coast to coast to coast, The Canadian Canoe Museum’s outstanding artifacts will let you “See Canada by Canoe!”

An engaging, family-friendly museum with more than 100 canoes and kayaks on display. Visitors will enjoy interactive, hands-on galleries, a scavenger hunt, model canoe building and puppet theatre for children.

View the largest known concentration of aboriginal rock carvings in Canada

Deep within a forest northeast of Peterborough is the largest known concentration of Aboriginal rock carvings in Canada. Carved into the white marble rock face hundreds of years ago, the 900 petroglyphs depict turtles, snakes, birds, humans and other images. Hiking trails meander through surrounding forests, wetlands and rocky ridges. Be sure to explore The Learning Place interpretive centre.

Petroglyphs Operating Hours Daily 10:00 am – 5:00 pm (No vehicle access after 4:30pm. All vehicles must exit before gates close at 5:30pm). The park is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays in the spring and fall with the exception of Holiday Mondays.

See two of only a handful of authentic Jacquard looms that can be viewed in North America 

Lang Pioneer Village nestles the shores of the Indian River and boasts a fully-operational Grist Mill and a newly designed Weaver Shop which houses one of only a handful authentic Jacquard looms on display in North America. Lang Pioneer Village is the perfect location to retreat from the hustle and bustle of modern living and enjoy the pleasures of an era gone by.

Established in 1967, Lang Pioneer Village Museum is an outdoor museum that features over 25 restored and recreated buildings typical of a small 19th-century village. Costumed interpreters roam the picturesque village demonstrating the life and trades of a settler in the 1800’s. Many of the buildings were relocated to the Village from within Peterborough County in order to preserve the region’s history.

Explore 100 years of Peterborough’s history captured in a collection of more than 400,000 photos  

Just up the hill from the Lift Locks, the Museum’s ever-changing interactive exhibits, exciting programs, nationally-significant collections and warm, friendly atmosphere make this the perfect stop for families, residents and visitors alike.

Admission to the Museum is by donation.

Make a Memory

Suggested stops:

Plan for a picnic:

Or skip lunch & go straight to dessert, try the Buttertart Tour!

Attend a traditional First Nations Pow Wow 

Aboriginal history is alive and well in Peterborough & the Kawarthas, most obviously at Petroglyphs Provincial Park. There, art left behind by the Algonquins is still very visible, carved on a bare rock face. These sacred depictions of turtles, snakes, birds and people are the largest known collection of rock art in Canada.

Descendants of those ancient artists still live in our region, notably at the Hiawatha First Nation on Rice Lake and the Curve Lake First Nation on Chemong and Buckhorn lakes.

In fact, local aboriginal bands are keen to preserve their cultural and artistic traditions and often invite visitors to join in.

  1. Curve Lake First Nation Pow Wow
  2. Hiawatha First Nation Pow Wow
first nation powwow

Step into the shoes of a voyageur  

Peterborough is the birthplace of the modern canoe and the home of paddling wisdom. The sparkling waterways here have been paddled for ages by the Anishnaabe First Nations, and adventurers like Samuel de Champlain, or modern-day voyageurs who choose the Kawarthas’ for the wealth of day paddles and all-season backcountry possibilities. Now, it’s your turn.

people in a large canoe