Bobcaygeon in Ontario is an idyllic escape. Located just 2 hours northeast of the city, it has an enchanting waterfront, rich history, and vibrant community, making it perfect for a summer day trip.
Situated on three picturesque islands among the Kawartha Lakes, Bobcaygeon blends stunning natural beauty with a quaint, small town setting.
If the first thought that comes to mind is the Tragically Hip song of the same name, you’re not alone – there’s a reason the late Gord Downie crooned about the cottage country paradise.
Here are some of the best things to do and see in Bobcaygeon.
Grab a scoop at Kawartha Dairy
The 100% Canadian-owned Kawartha Dairy is headquarted in Bobcaygeon, and is a must-visit if you’re in the area. The iconic ice cream shop opened in 1937, and you can stop by for a scoop of over 40 different flavours.
Immerse yourself in history
Head to the Kawartha Settlers’ Village for a glimpse of how the earliest settlers of Bobcaygeon lived. You can walk through a living museum that showcases restored buildings dating back to the 19th century, or engage in interactive exhibits and demonstrations.
You can also visit the Boyd Heritage Museum, which looks at one of the most influential families and pioneers of the area’s lumber trade. The museum also hosts antique and art shows, and (if you’re feeling brave), a historical ghost walk.
Visit the historic canal system
Renowned for its connection to the Trent-Severn Waterway, stop by to check out Lock 32, was the first lock constructed on the Trent-Severn Waterway.
Bobcaygeon is also known as the Houseboat Capital of Ontario, where you can watch as they navigate through the lock and admire its engineering, or just stroll along the grassy areas by the water and take in the views.
Pick up local produce at the Farmers’ Market
Every Saturday during the summer months, the Bobcaygeon Farmers’ Market features a wide selection of fresh produce, locally made crafts, delectable baked goods, and much more.
The market vendors are all located within 100 km of Bobcaygeon, so you’re guaranteed to be supporting local. Stop by and pick up some treats or unique gifts if you happen to be in town on a weekend.
Head to the beach
Spend an afternoon at Bobcaygeon’s most popular beach, Bobcaygeon Beach Park. The park has sandy shores and shallow, clean waters suitable for swimming within a cordoned area.
There are also several benches and picnic tables to enjoy a bite, or recreational activities such as volleyball courts, playgrounds, and walking trails.
Shop and dine in town
Head to town to explore Bolton Street, a bustling area filled with charming boutiques, antique shops, and cozy cafes. Stop by the renowned Bigley Shoe & Clothing store, a local institution since 1911.
For a savoury lunch, head to the Grilled Cheese Hideaway, where you’ll find a variety of grilled cheese toppings to suit your palate. Or you can get dinner at Just for the Halibut, where they serve up casual fare and, of course, fish and chips.