Looking for a digital detox? Travel to Lennox and Addington and become one with nature and connect to the rural land.
For our accommodations, we chose Daisy Hill Bed and Breakfast out in Odessa which is part of the Lennox and Addington County. During our travels to Lennox, we were unfortunate to get a flat tire on the 401 Highway in Toronto, delaying our travels by nearly 3 hours. Once we arrived at Daisy Hill, we were welcomed by the friendly owner Deb who led us to our suite. Deb let us know that she had upgraded our stay to feature the romance package, which included chocolate covered strawberries and a bottle of sparkling wine. After being in a car for 6 hours this was exactly what my partner and I needed.
Our suite was spacious and overlooked a creek in the backyard. Our room had a cozy country feeling with fresh colours, soft floral fabrics and antique shop finds decorated throughout our room. There was every amenity you could ever want in a bed and breakfast and tiny details such as bubbles for the Jacuzzi, lilac flowers, scented soaps, and lit candles. It’s no wonder Trip Advisor rated the Daisy Hill 5 stars! The tiny details didn’t just stop in our suite though, throughout our stay, there were many thoughtful gestures.
Feeling quite grateful and tired, our bed draped in soft blankets and scented sheets was looking more and more appealing. After settling in, we opened up a window to listen to nature’s acoustics, poured ourselves a glass of sparkling wine, and toasted to what was sure to be, an amazing trip.
I must say, Deb really knows how to accommodate guests and make them feel special. The night we arrived we had the option to choose from a selected menu prepared by Deb. There were choices on what we would like to have for breakfast as well as what time we would like to have breakfast. I thought it was so wonderful to offer this to guests and it made our morning more enjoyable knowing that we could take our time (and sleep in longer). The choices for breakfast ranged from standard bacon and eggs to Belgian style waffles. On both days, we were treated to a delicious country style breakfast that was the perfect amount to get our day going.
Connect To The Land
Our first stop of the day was to Topsy Farms located on Amherst Island after a quick ferry ride. The ferry ride costs $9.00 for a round trip and showcases some incredible views. Topsy Farms started out as a commune with an emphasis on community and connecting to the land which later on evolved into a large sheep farm. Topsy Farms is a top producer of wool products and an attraction for visitors from around the area! As Topsy Farm has grown over the years, it maintains its integrity and beliefs to connect to the land.
Once we arrived at Topsy Farms, we were greeted by Jacob and his family with warm smiles and hugs. We were shown around the property and got to learn about some of the plans Topsy Farms has in store. It was exciting to hear about the expansion plans and it was clear to see the passion and genuine care that is used to keep Topsy Farms so resilient.
Instead of just learning the operations and touring the property, I was able to help out in the afternoon by feeding the lambs. Not a bad gig! From May to June, Topsy Farms welcomes visitors to the farm to help feed and care for the growing number of baby lambs. Anyone who has met me can attest to that fact that I love animals. It was not surprising how excited and eager I was to jump in and feed these cuddly friends. For some, it might seem overwhelming and intimidating to step into a stall with so many animals. But it’s joyous and rewarding to nourish such cute, energetic and playful little lambs. With well over ten baby lambs that needed love, care, and food, it was clear that my hands were definitely needed to help!
When visiting Topsy Farms, you must visit The Wool Shed which houses a large selection of high-quality wool products from the sheeps such as blankets, throws, sheepskin throws, beer cozies – you name it! The wool is shipped from the farm to Prince Edward Island where it is processed at the last remaining traditional woollen mills in Canada. This is definitely the spot to head to for authentic wool products! Sadly after a few hours, it was time for us to catch the next ferry.
Refreshing Pints At Mackinnon Brothers Brewing Company
After making our way off of the ferry, we headed over to Mackinnon Brothers Brewing Company for a refreshing pint. Mackinnon Brothers are like royalty in our region and have captured the hearts of craft brew lovers throughout the province. Their brewery uses hops, wheat, and barley grown in the fields surrounding the renovated barns that are breweries. I’m pretty familiar with their beer line ups, Red Fox Summer Ale is easily one of my favourites but I have never visited the brewery or attended the annual music festival ‘Back To The Farm’ (sigh, one summer it will happen!) Visiting the brewery was exciting because you get to sample beers that are not available anywhere else all while sitting comfortably in what use to be a chicken coop. We definitely picked up some of our favourites for the night.
On our way back to Daisy Hill, the sun was shining and was easy for us to decide that the rest of our afternoon would be spent lounging around. Deb has done an amazing job at turning her B&B into a rural resort. There were lots of cozy places to sit and relax before dinner with a glass of Red Fox to enjoy the silence and nature. If you’re up to being a little more adventurous Deb also provides access to her kayaks that you can take out to the creek.
Table For Two At The Waterfront River Pub And Terrace
For dinner, we headed to the Waterfront River Pub and Terrace in Napanee. It has been said that this is one of the oldest buildings in Napanee with traces going as far back as the 1850s.
The patio is definitely the main draw for this restaurant. The patio extends right to the Napanee river and is very spacious, offering a secluded amount of privacy. There’s also a terrace which would be lovely to sit and watch the river float on by. For an appetizer, we ordered the Drunken Prawns which was served in a cream reduction and crispy potato haystacks on top. It was definitely a big hit for us! For our main, I had the half rack of ribs and had kindly asked the server to ‘poutinize’ my fries. Alex had the crispy Duck Confit Salad, which came with a sweet homemade raspberry vinaigrette – the perfect companion to the duck. We were way too full to consider dessert which left me dreaming of the Peanut Butter Cup that was on the menu.
Do You Dare Go Underground?
The next morning after filling up on a delicious breakfast by Deb, we headed out for another day in Lennox and Addington. Our first stop was at Hell Holes Nature Trails and Caves.
As cheeky as the name is, there’s nothing satanic about this nature trail. At Hell Holes Nature Trails and Caves, you can venture on a 3.2km trail that crosses through a lush forest. The main attraction, however, is the hole in the ground and the cave it leads to. After making your way around the Devils Horsestable Cave, which gets you inside rock formations created in the glacial period, you come across the main event: the Hell Hole. The ‘Hell Hole’ cave can only be accessed by going down a ladder, descending 20 ft underground!
Without hesitation, I volunteered to go down first. As I made my way down, I made sure to keep my head up towards the sun shining in as I gripped my hands on the cold wet ladder. Once I made it down, I found the cave to be cool and refreshing, unlike the summer weather we were experiencing outside. For a moment it was pitch black and the opening at the top of the ladder seemed so tiny and far away. I quickly turned on my flashlight app on my phone before going into a panic thinking the predators from the movie The Descent were lurking nearby. After hiding out from the mosquitoes and the summer heat in the cave, we made our way through the rest of the trail. If there’s one hike that you do all year, let it be to Hell Holes Nature Trails & Caves, the natural beauty is truly breathtaking.
The Sweetest Escape
Our last stop for the trip was a bit further off the beaten path in Tamworth. At SpindleTree Gardens, you can wander through 20-acres of small to large enchanting English gardens. We were fortunate to get a full tour from one of the owners, Susan, who kindly took us around the incredible layout of the property. She pointed out to us her spring bulbs, rose gardens, rock gardens, a hedge maze and many more beautiful plants and flowers. You can’t miss out on the stone walls, waterfalls, and bridge. You don’t have to have a green thumb to appreciate all of the hard work the owners have put into this property over the years. Spending an afternoon at SpindleTree Gardens will leave you feeling tranquil and completely relaxed.
This concludes our trip to Lennox and Addington County. This summer, we challenge you to visit a destination in South Eastern Ontario you haven’t visited yet!