When it comes to beautiful spots to spread a blanket and have a picnic lunch, Lanark County can’t be beat. Scenic rural parks, pretty parklands, and wild spaces are found around virtually every twist of the road, inviting you to cop a squat and dig in.
Here, you’ll have the space to throw a frisbee or have a game of catch – even if your aim isn’t that great.
This summer we invite you to pack some water, sunscreen, and head to one of these top spots to laze the day away in the sun. Pick up a takeout picnic lunch or dinner on the way and you’re set for a physically distanced and safe experience in the Maple Syrup Capital of Ontario (maple syrup is optional).
Address: 137 John St., Carleton Place
Riverside Beach Park holds fun for the whole family. Dig in the soft sand of the beach while either watching the sparkling water of the Mississippi River or watching over the kids as they play in the park or on-site splash pad.
Picnic: Stop by The Good Food Company to grab a sandwich and sweet treat made with love using local ingredients. You can eat on one of the many picnic tables that litter the park, many of which are located under beautiful shade trees for some cool respite on a hot day.
Address: Old Slys Road, Smiths Falls
Lower Reach Park is known as one of Smiths Falls’ most popular parks, and it’s easy to see why. With five ball diamonds, four soccer pitches, an outdoor beach volleyball and 3-on-3 basketball court, three lit tennis courts and a walking/fitness trail you will have more than enough activities to keep you busy for a picnic and fun.
Picnic: Plan ahead and order a delicious, pre-packaged picnic lunch from PICNIC Smiths Falls, a takeout dining program launched in partnerships with the Town and participating restaurants.
Address: 4916 Kinburn Side Rd., Pakenham
Located right on the edge of the charming small town of Pakenham, your picnic here will give you an epic view of the turbulent rapids of the Mississippi River. Grab one of the many picnic tables here or bring a picnic blanket to spread out on the grass to drink in the sunlight. Enjoy the beautiful view of the rapids while you dine.
Picnic: Located right beside the bridge, 5 Span Spud’s chip truck is the perfect place to grab a bit to eat. If you are craving something sweet, Penny’s Fudge is located right across the street from the park and you can find over 50 varieties of fudge here. You can also make the five-minute walk to Scoops Ice Cream to satisfy that sweet tooth with a Super Sundae, their specialty.
Address: 182 Bridge St, Almonte
This beautiful park was donated by the Gemmill family on condition that it be turned into a park and planted with hundreds of trees, making it the perfect place for you to spend the afternoon under the sun. With a splash pad, play structures, tennis courts, skateboard park, soccer and football fields, basketball court and a ball diamond on-site, you won’t get bored here.
Address: Concession Rd. 8, Lanark Highlands
Enjoy a hike on the Ted Mosquin Highland trail that loops through an upland forest to a beautiful lookout. After you have worked up a sweat, enjoy your picnic lunch amongst Canada’s largest colony of Showy Lady’s Slipper Orchids (please note the typical bloom period for the Showy Lady’s Slipper Orchids is the third weekend in June to early-mid July).
Picnic: Pick up a hearty meal at the local’s favourite hotspot in Lanark Village, the Lanark Landing, known for their delicious homemade pizza, or take out from Fitz’s Fries, famously known around the region for their crisp and delicious fries.
Address: 41 Mill St, Perth
Considered the most distinctive landmark in Perth and making the list of most beautiful spots on numerous magazine articles, including one of the 7 Wonders of Lanark County, Stewart Park was donated to the town in 1947 by Mrs. Stewart in memory of her husband. With the mature trees that speckle the park and a meandering river that flows throughout, this park is the perfect place to relax the day away.
Picnic: Grab a quick lunch to go from Sunflower Bakery, and don’t forget to pick up their signature dessert, carrot cake! Choose from one of the many picnic tables across the park to eat your lunch and enjoy listening to the sound of the bubbling stream and the chatter of the birds.
Address: 2243 Elmgrove Rd., Perth
Head to Murphy’s Point for some fun under the sun at their main beach, Hogg Bay. The beach’s water is marked with buoys, and has a gradual drop-off so be careful if you are braving the chill of the water early in the season. Bring your beach toys and sunscreen and be ready for a day filled with sandcastles and sunshine. If you’re feeling adventurous, rent a canoe to explore the lake.
Picnic: Bring your lunch with you! Pick up a take-out lunch on your way to the park from O’Reilly’s Ale House in Perth – don’t miss ordering their famous sweet potato fries or one of their hearty yet deliciously light salads.
Address: 22 Craig St, Perth
This history-filled park is the perfect place to bring the kids for the day, and also teach them a little bit about our Lanark County history. Last Duel Park was named after the last and most infamous duel in Upper Canada, where Robert Lyon and John Wilson battled over the honour of Miss Elizabeth Hughes.
Picnic: Bring a takeout lunch from Fieldhouse in the heart of Perth and choose from a variety of homemade croissants, salads and sandwiches.
Address: 1319 9th Line, Carleton Place
Burn your meal off with some outdoor play on Beckwith Park’s beach volleyball court, the playground structure, one of the 12 soccer pitches, the lit soccer field or the lit baseball diamond. If you don’t feel like playing a sport, explore their three kilometres of walking trails and enjoy the scenery and the wildlife.
Picnic: Before heading to the park, make a pitstop at Freska Café & Eatery to pick up something delicious from their expansive menu items, many of which are vegan or vegetarian.