Cottage Life in Lanark County
This summer we decided to do something different, so instead of doing a few days trip visiting various Ontario attractions, we rented a cottage in the beautiful Lanark area for a week.
We are quite familiar with Lanark County from our past visits and we planned our trip to include the near-by towns of Perth, Almonte, Lanark and Balderson, so once we get tired of enjoying the quiet atmosphere of the cottage life we could switch to some luxurious town features.
Perth and area are full of historical buildings that are also high class accommodations; one of our favourites is Perth Manor Boutique Hotel – well worth staying in for unique experience in any season; fine restaurants such as The Stone Cellar (innovative and fine cuisine), Fiddleheads (upscale pub menu) and Maximilian (European cuisine). The restaurants gets busy during summer months, so make reservations.
Perth Gold Course is Canada’s oldest, was founded in 1890. They have some of the loweest rates in Ottawa Valley; the course has two distinct nines and now offers a shortened round of 12 holes for those short on time! You will also find ProShop, Spike Lounge and Banquet Hall – a perfect spot for the special event!
Hard to believe it, but just about 15 minutes drive away you will find forested areas around the lakes full of fish, quite sand beaches and clear quite waters perfect for boating, canoeing and swimming on a hot summer day.
The Clyde River Runs 40 kilometers from Clyde Lake to The Mississippi River near the Village of Lanark. Canoeing can be an exciting whitewater experience, or a leisurely paddle depending on your desire… no motor boating and no camping.
We are lucky to have a wonderful friend living in the area and thanks to their advice we were fortunate to see the most beautiful places in the area. There was so much to see and enjoy that we took a lot of pictures…
Now, for the first part – a cottage on Clyde River – a bedroom with a view, cozy living room, all the comfort in traditional style and picturesque setting…
The house even has a name “Dolly’s Cottage” after the previous owner. The owner changed but the name remains and reminded me some grandma’s cottage, bringing back childhood memories…
Simple interior – three bedrooms, living room, full bathroom, kitchen and veranda with greatoutdoor space where we spent most of our time.
The kitchen is fully equipped with electric range, all necessary tools, pots and pans, fridge and microvawe oven. Just bring groceries…
In the living room we found a lot of board games for all ages and some books…
In the morning the first rays of the sun dance on the water and create wonderful reflections on the branches of the trees that bent over the river… on the surface one could see the circles made by the hungry fish – best time to prepare fishing rods!
We found fishing supplies in the small shed next to the cottage and set up on the dock…
If you are wondering- “How is the fishing there?” – here is the quick answer -“Amazing!” You can even see them play in the water…
We caught a couple and had fried fish for lunch. Small tips for beginners – you should be careful not to get too close to the trees to avoid your lines get caught; and better go fishing in the morning when the fish is hungry, and before the water gets warm and the fish goes deeper…
In the evening we set up the fire to roast some fresh farm sausages, bake potatoes and later, for desert – marshmallows… After the forest and river sink in the night it becomes quiet… except crickets – my favorite of all good night song!
The area has a very diverse nature – birds, big and small animals, trees and various wild flowers – many times we took walks around the area to enjoy the fresh air and sounds of the nature. We loved to observe the chipmunks picking walnuts and numerous birds coming to the feeder all day. One morning we saw a family of deer just steps away grazing in the field.
During the week only two of about 9 or 10 cottages were occupied and those were at a good distance, so we could enjoy full privacy and tranquility. Just a quick note – there is no WiFi in the cottage, which allows to completely disconnect from the busy city life. You can always drive about 10 minutes to the nearest Lanark Village library, not far from there one can also find a “Pretty Goods Groceries” – bread, milk, snacks, great home baking and pet food.
Wheeler’s Maple Syrup in Lanark
As part two we should mention that Lanark County is well known for its Maple Syrup production, and most popular is Wheelers’ just about 20 minutes away – where you can enjoy the freshly made pancakes with original Maple Syrup; there are other items on the menu as well. The place is worth visiting due to large collection of the Syrup production history, tools and equipment… and don’t forget to bring home some fresh Maple Syrup.
Mississipi Textile Museum in Almonte
After relaxing for a few days we drove to Almonte, a beautiful town just 20 minutes away, which is the birthplace of James Naismith, the inventor of basketball. In Almonte we visited the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum. They had two exhibits going on at that time, the puppets of Noreen Young and the History of Weaving.
Noreen Young, for those who may not know, was a puppeteer on CBC television for many years from late 60s. She has had many different TV shows, her most famous being “ Under the Umbrella Tree” which ran on CBC from 1986 to 1993. She has won many awards and prizes for her work, her most prized being the Order of Canada.
After Museum visit we went to Café Postino for lunch. The name speaks for itself – the restaurant is located in the vintage Post Office in the downtown Almonte.
The owners Steve and Claire Falsetto bring decades of the high culinary experience to their customers – the blend of tourists, business people and locals coming to enjoy Italian cuisine, excellent service and ambient atmosphere.
On the way back to the cottage we stopped over at Balderson Store. Here you can find handcrafted furniture, great variety of household items and in the other part of the building – cheese. Back in 1881 local dairy farmers decided to create a cooperative to produce local Cheddar Cheese in the small building known as Balderson Corners Cheese Factory. So don’t forget to buy some for breakfast! They also sell some good ice-cream too…
Later, when we were back to the cottage it rained… so we stayed indoors and played some board games that were generously kept in the cottage for this kind of evening. The thunderstorm brought such a well desired freshness to the air, taking away the sticky heat.
Next morning we went on the canoe trip to see the waterfalls. 45 minutes later we hear the sounds of gurgling water… we jump in – so refreshing!..
On the way we saw other cottages along the river bank, some animal quickly hiding in tall grass, and schools of tiny fish running away from the paddle.
Rowing back to the cottage took less time – thanks to the currant! Quick lunch and we start packing… We enjoyed our cottage life and we’ll love to come again…