With a population of 3,533 Bobcaygeon is located on the Trent-Severn Waterway in east-central Ontario. Incorporated as a village in 1876 the economy was initially based off the lumber trade but has since moved to a tourism base supported by the influx of cottagers and tourists that flood to the area in the summer and early fall months.
Whenever I so much as see the word “Bobcaygeon” Gord Downie’s voice starts up in my head with a melancholy twang about the constellations revealing themselves one star at a time. It make me feel feelings about summer swims and fall campfires. I really love Bobcaygeon, this is how I would spend my perfect weekend there:
1. First thing’s first, get yourself to Kawartha Dairy. With eight locations in Ontario and their foray into stores around the province you might have tasted some of their ice cream before, but there’s something special about grabbing a cone or a shake from their flagship location in Bobcaygeon. If you’re going on a weekend get ready for a line as their sweet treats are near and dear to the hearts of locals and cottagers alike who have been visiting the dairy since the 50’s. My advice? Grab a chocolate peanut butter milkshake made with chocolate milk. I’ve been getting the same thing every summer for my entire life and have yet to get bored!
2. If you’re looking for a place to stay for the weekend check out Viamede Resort on Stoney Lake. Built in 1885 Viamede is deeply entrenched in the history of the area even earning the nickname “the old lady of the Kawarthas”. There is an abundance of activities you can participate in at the resort from hiking trails and boat rentals to spa treatments.
3. One of my favourite things about the Bobcaygeon area is the beauty of the environment which really encapsulates Ontario cottage country. You can take all of this in on one of the Stoney Lake Boat Cruises. There are a few different cruises to choose from ranging from two to five hours long. Going around Stoney Lake you’ll be able to relax on the deck while taking in the granite outcroppings and wind whipped trees that make you feel like you’ve been dropped into a Group of Seven painting.
4. It might seem a bit weird to visit cottage country and go to a movie theatre but bear with me here. Highland Cinemas has put the magic back into going to the movies with old world decor like velvet curtains and old-school plush theatre seats. This 550 seat cinema actually has more seats than the town it calls home and is built in the owners home. Come and see a movie or just walk through their film museum which houses period costumes and old cameras from the golden era of film. As an added bonus Highland Cinemas takes care of 27 abandoned cats, so you might be able to get some cuddles in before you catch your movie!
5. At some point during the weekend you should stop by Kawartha Country Wines. As the first and only winery in the area Kawartha Country Wines produces both fruit and grape wines that you can try at their on-site tasting bar. They also have a retail store where you can pick up some tasty tidbits from local artisans and producers to take a taste of the Kawarthas home with you!
6. If I’m being honest with you the last step in my perfect Bobcaygeon weekend would be to visit Kawartha Dairy again for another milkshake. I need my fix to carry me over until my next visit!