A little tour is the perfect way to make the most of the season, to get outside, learn a little, and have photos and stories to share. Walking tours give you a chance to literally take to the streets and see the community from a different perspective, to wander down hidden alleys and to out of the way places and really dive into the culture and people there.
Little drives through small towns and heritage communities are goldmines for fun and little known facts – the types of details that really give a community character and invite you to get a sense of the people who left their mark there – but they’re also just a fun way to get out and explore.
With the change of the seasons upon us, there is still time to embark on a fun outdoor activity. Put on your walking shoes and hit the streets of Lanark County with these eight fun walking or driving tours.
Schoolhouses, Churches and Hamlets in Beckwith
Explore one of three Beckwith driving tours (or do all three!) that will lead you down quiet country lanes and tree-lined streets in the heart of Lanark County. The hamlet tour will take you through a roughly 80-kilometre route to charming small communities like Franktown, Giillie’s Corners, Scotch Corners, or Ashton (to name a few). If you’re more into church spotting you’ll love the church tour of historic churches, and if you want to learn even more about history of the region the schoolhouse tour will take you back to yesteryear and the one-room schoolhouses that raised generations of resilience in Beckwith.
Haunted Heritage in Carleton Place
Have you ever walked through a building and felt a chill run down your spine, without any explanation why? This may happen more frequently in Carleton Place than in many communities – Carleton Place has had its fair share of ghostly happenings, some of which have been verified by experts in paranormal experiences. Take some time to discover Carleton Place’ spookiest spots, and you’ll uncover exciting stories, incredible history, and maybe spot a ghost or two during your travels. If you’re not into spooky stuff, try one of their two self-guided walking tours – one loops over the river and the other features the downtown core.
Village Ramble in Lanark
Founded by Scots, Irish, English, and French, Lanark Village is a patchwork of cultural influences with plenty of historical tidbits to entertain. The Village of Lanark Heritage Tour will introduce you to more than 30 of the community’s architectural and cultural history, from milling and manufacturing to ecclesiastical influences.
Textiles and Traditions in Mississippi Mills
If you’ve already been to the picture-perfect small town of Almonte in Mississippi Mills and think that’s all there is to it, you couldn’t be further from the truth – there is much more to this small town than meets the eye. For example, did you know the community has an exceptional textile heritage? Tour downtown Almonte and find out all there is to know about the former “Manchester of Canada” on the Almonte historic walking tour. If you’re in the Pakenham area you’ll want to explore the village through the Village of Pakenham walking tour, and learn all about the first settlers who shaped this community.
Community Heritage in Montague
At only five kilometres, this little tour along Heritage Drive could be explored by car or by bike and offers the opportunity to spend some time at one or two Rideau Canal lockstations: Clowes Lock and Andrewsville. No matter how you choose to explore it, this route will give you an insider’s viewpoint of the settlement of the Montague region. Drink in the pastoral scenery of rustic barns and stone homesteads and imagine what the region would have looked like 200 years earlier when it was first settled. Nominated as a wonder of Lanark County, Heritage Drive runs from the southeast corner of Montague Township to the outskirts of the village of Merrickville.
Rocks and Minerals in Perth
You may not have heard that Perth is a geologically significant region but its reputation as such has been around for more than a hundred years, since amateur geologist Dr. Wilson set up his practice there in 1821. In fact, the relationship between the people who settled the area and the local geology tells us a lot about how this community was formed. Take a self-guided tour of the charming small town of Perth to see the geological evidence firsthand and learn about its geoheritage, from the Paleozoic to Precambrian eras.
Architecture Galore in Smiths Falls
As a crossroads for the railway, the Rideau Canal, and the highway, Smiths Falls has historically been industrial town. Major businesses like Frost & Wood, Canadian Northern Railway, RCA Victor, Hershey’s Chocolate and Stanley Tools left their mark in this community, not only through employment, but also through architecture. Wander through the town of Smiths Falls and tour 21 architecturally and locally significant buildings from a fresh perspective and stop to take a closer look at some of the buildings and the stories behind them.
Farms and Agriculture in Tay Valley
The combination of picturesque fields and rolling hills of Tay Valley make this region the perfect location for small farms to prosper. Here, farm stands can be found at the end of quiet country lanes and a farm tour will help you cross items off your grocery list. Ferrier’s Scotch Line Farm and Bowness Family Farm invite you to come and get the cream of the crop when it’s only hours from field to your hands. Pick up some freshly baked organic or gluten-free bread from Little Stream Bakery in the heart of Tay Valley as you tour through fall colours and pumpkin fields.