If you are looking for a getaway to the water, you should consider Rice Lake. Located in both Peterborough and Northumberland Counties, Rice Lake is a shallow lake that gets it’s name from the wild rice that grows there. It is a beautiful lake, ideal for camping and boating and there are several small towns surrounding the lake that offer sightseeing, shops, restaurants and other amenities. Whether you are looking for a day trip or a weekend away or a longer vacation, Rice Lake offers something for everyone, any time of year.
What to Do at Rice Lake?
Rice Lake is a fisherman’s dream. Because Rice Lake is so shallow, there are a large variety of fish in the water including panfish, yellow perch, bass, muskie and walleye, amongst others. Some of these fish are limited to specific times of years, while others can be fished all-year long.
If you are a recreational fisherman or one who prefers a bit of competition, Rice Lake offers something for everyone. In addition to plentiful fish, there are also plenty of opportunities for some old-fashioned competition. Every year, the Rice Lake Tourist Association holds a Big Fish Contest where the catches from the season are evaluated and at the end of summer, the title of biggest fish is awarded in several categories. In addition, there are other fishing contests held throughout the year such as a Walleye Tournament or Crappie Derby.
While, many people associate trips to the lake as a summer thing, and Rice Lake is bustling in the summer, there are options for all the seasons. For many fishing is a year-long activity and if that isn’t your thing, Rice Lake is great for biking (go cycling around the lake), hiking, with many nature and bike trails. It is also a great place for snowmobile enthusiasts and there are many snowmobile trails. During the month of January, enjoy a weekend trying kiteboarding.
There are also special events happening all year long. Whether it be the Harwood Waterfront Festival in July, the Roseneath Fall Fair in September, or Family and Fishing Fun in February. The area around Rice Lake includes several small towns and two reservations, Hiawatha and Alderville, and they offering something for everyone. The towns of Bewdley, Hastings, Roseneath, Bailieboro, Gores Landing, Keene and Harwood all have a variety of attractions, shops and restaurants if you are looking for something other than boating and fishing to help pass your time.
Bewdley is home of Rhino’s Roadhouse, which has been in service since 1988, and offers great food at a great price, only steps from the lakefront. On the other side of the lake, Hastings boasts a beautiful marina and plentiful fishing, as well as activities all year long including fishing derbies, classic car shows and farmer’s markets.
Roseneath is home to a historic carousel, which was built in1906 and has been in Roseneath since 1932 and it is open to the public on Sundays throughout the summer. The beautiful historic carousel is a fun destination for visitors with children or even those who are children at heart.
A trip to Bailieboro without a visit to Doo Doo’s bakery, which is home to award-winning pies and tarts and a stop on Kawartha-Northumberland’s Butter Tart Tour. Gores Landing is small, but quaint and offers some nice fishing and some spectacular views.
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Keene has lots to offers visitors, including a farmer’s market that runs from May to October, Lang Pioneer Village and Elmhirst Resort. While, Harwood is small, but for vacationers looking to get away from it all, there are cottage rentals which offer peace and tranquility.
For visitors with an interest in art, you can make an appointment and check out the Rice Lake Gallery, which focuses on Zimbabwean stone sculptures, or if you are interest in more Canadian art, you can check out the Smoke’s Gallery of Fine Art in Alderville.
If you are interested in learning a little bit more about the history of the area, you can start with a visit to Lang Pioneer Village Museum. With over two dozen furnished buildings, Lang Pioneer Village is a replica of a early Ontario pioneer village. Volunteers dress in costume and work the farm and the shops, giving visitors a glimpse into what life was life almost 200 years ago. Visitors to the village can book a tour ahead of time or wander the village at their own leisure. Either way, it’s a great way to get a glimpse into Canada’s heritage and to see how people used to live.
After learning about farm life 200 years ago, you can check out some of the local farms to see a glimpse of farm life today. Nelson’s Berry Farm in Keene is open seasonally and allows visitors a chance to pick their own berries in the summer and their own pumpkins in the fall. In the fall the farm also offers a corn maze for visitors to explore. If you want something different, Maple Ridge Farm in Roseneath offers tours of their Sugar Bush and maple processing area and a shop where you can buy some maple syrup as a souvenir of your trip.
Where to Stay?
One of the key parts of a vacation, is finding somewhere to stay and Rice Lack offers many options. The Rice Lake area has a variety of campgrounds, cottage rentals and resorts. Rice Lake offers something for everyone and a variety of accommodations depending on the type of vacation that you have in mind.
For people who are interested in camping, you should check out Golden Beach Resort, which includes a variety of options such as camp sites and RV parking sites. Golden Beach offers guests a variety of activities and amenities which include boat docking, sports, a hot tub, swimming pool and splash area, all with a beautiful view of the lake. It’s a great place to spend a weekend or a week, enjoying nature and the beautiful scenery and if the weather turns foul, you can escape to nearby Roseneath or Alderville and check out the shops and the local culture.
If you want to get the cottage experience, you can check out Southview Cottages which offers cottage rentals. The cottages are equipped with kitchens and are meant to be homes away from home. Southview is located close to Peterborough, so that you can escape into the city for a day and check out sites such as the zoo or perhaps catch a movie. However, there is also plenty to do without having to go very far. Not only is there a beach and marina, but there are is also a heated pool, a park, and many other recreational activities. It’s all the comforts of home with a few extra perks.
For vacationers looking for a bit more pampering, the Elmhirst Resort & Spa is worth checking out. Elmhirst is located 20 minutes from Peterborough on the shores of Rice Lake. You get the beauty of the lake, all while staying in deluxe accommodations and the chance to be pampered. Whether that means a trip to the spa for a facial or massage or maybe a visit to Elmhirst’s incredible wine cellar and a wine tasting or delicious Sunday Brunch at the Hearthside Dining Room, a trip to Elmhirst is guaranteed to leave you relaxed and feeling good.
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How to get to Rice Lake?
Located in both Peterborough and Northumberland Counties, and within 2 hours drive from downtown Toronto and 3.5 hours from Ottawa, this picturesque lake, with abundant fishing, and quaint small towns, makes a charming destination for those looking to escape city life, even if just for a little while.