7 Things To Do In Cornwall & SDG Counties If You Love Fall Vibes
From biking and brews to witches and pumpkins, you're in for an awesome autumn.
Fall has wrapped its big, warm, woolly blanket around Ontario, and it's well into the season of pumpkin spice, crackling fires, chunky sweaters and, of course, Halloween.
If you're one of the many Canadians who can't get enough of those autumn vibes, you'll probably love a getaway to Cornwall and the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry (together known as SDG Counties). Plus, this St. Lawrence River escape is just over an hour's drive from Ottawa or Montreal.
From pumpkin patches, boutique wineries and colourful, wooded trails to historic landmarks with local charm at every turn, this region has so many things to do it can be tough to know where to start. To help you plan your itinerary for your next eastern Ontario getaway, here's a handful of the activities on offer in Cornwall and SDG Counties.
Raise A Glass At A Local Winery Or Brewery
Address: Various listed at Cornwall Tourism and at SDG Counties
Why You Need To Go: Whether you're into craft brews or prefer to sip vino in a boutique winery, you can toast to the perfect fall getaway with friends, family or your S/O at one of the many breweries and vineyards in the region.
Rurban Brewing offers flights and samples of its many beers, including the signature Cornwall Golden Lager. If wine is more your jam, check out the historic Stonehouse Vineyard that dates all the way back to 1792. This eighth-generation family-run winery offers tastings at its picturesque five-acre property near Lochiel, in the Township of North Glengarry.
Bask In The Glow Of Pumpkinferno
Price: $20 (kids 4 and under get in free)
When: 7-10 p.m. until October 17; 6:30-10 p.m. from October 18 to October 31
Address: Upper Canada Village
Why You Need To Go: At Pumpkinferno you can wander through more than 7,000 hand-carved, glowing pumpkins and mesmerizing themed installations, like Clown Town, Enchanted Forest and Area 51.
Now in its 10th year, Pumpkinferno has become a favourite fall activity for locals and visitors alike. Head off on a self-guided tour through Upper Canada Village to take in the autumn magic.
Take A Hike & Soak Up The Scenery
Why You Need To Go: There are many beautiful trails in Cornwall and SDG Counties where you can enjoy some exercise, fresh air and scenery, all while appreciating the gorgeous changing colours of fall. Guindon Park, a 500-acre park in Cornwall's western limits, is full of winding trails, ponds and trees for a taste of nature close to the city.
One trail, in particular, that's worth a visit is Cooper Marsh. Located in South Glengarry, this route goes through one of Ontario's important wetlands. Follow the boardwalk to secluded ponds and viewing platforms where you can spy some of the area's 130 species of birds.
Tour Fall Foliage Via Bike
Price: Free (BYO bike)
Address: 200 Water St. E., Cornwall, ON
Why You Need To Go: Why not bring your bike and cruise Cornwall and SDG Counties on two wheels? History buffs will be able to check out historical SDG landmarks along the way, like the site of the Battle of Crysler's Farm, St. Raphael's Ruins or the Lost Villages Museum.
The area offers many gorgeous cycling routes, including a popular section of Ontario's 3,000-kilometre-long Waterfront Trail. The 40-kilometre Cornwall/SDG Counties section goes to Upper Canada Village and connects nine tiny islands in the St. Lawrence River via the Long Sault Parkway.
Get Spooked At Acres Of Terror
Price: From $25
When: Various dates and times until October 31
Address: Cannamore Orchard, 1480 County Rd. 32, Crysler, ON
Why You Need To Go: Once Cannamore Orchard's pick-your-own apple season ends, the property is transformed into an unforgettable Halloween adventure. Known as the Acres of Terror, this spooky experience features four attractions to put the scare in you.
Hop on the Spooky Wagon Ride, explore the Spooky Village, make your way through the Fog Maze or fight your fear in the House of Terror. If you don't want to miss out on this classic fall festivity, be sure to book in advance.
If you're looking for something closer to town, check out The Cornwall Ghost Walk in Downtown Cornwall. Experience one of Canada's largest indoor haunted walks and help raise money for charity at the same time!
Tour Cornwall With Your Palate
Price: Food tours start at $40
Address: Book online to confirm meeting or pickup location
Why You Need To Go: If you're in Cornwall on a Saturday, bring your appetite and some comfy shoes, 'cause you won't want to pass up a delicious adventure with Cornwall Food Tours. What's more, for every booking, the business donates $5 to Baldwin House, Cornwall's local women's shelter.
On the afternoon walking tour, you and your pals will have the chance to try homemade food and drinks at seven local eateries. Brunch more your style? No problem. You can book a basket full of must-try Cornwall foods to pick up, which comes with everything you need for the perfect fall picnic – even a bottle opener!
Immerse Yourself In The Local Arts & Culture Scene
Address: Various listed here
Why You Need To Go: Cornwall and SDG Counties are home to a rich arts and culture scene with galleries, playhouses and live music venues. Performing arts fans can check out The Port Theatre, which offers live events, movies and music year round.
Inspired to make your own art instead? Try out some ceramics or pottery at Creation Workshop in Cornwall or learn to blow glass at Priest's Mill Art Centre in Alexandria.
You can also visit the Upper Canada Playhouse, where you see live music, professional plays and stand-up performances by artists from all around the country.
These activities barely scratch the surface of what Cornwall and SDG Counties have to offer. Whether you're travelling with friends, family, your partner or solo, you can plan your perfect getaway to this charming region that's just an hour away from Montreal or Ottawa.
To start planning your next trip, check out the official tourism websites of Cornwall and SDG Counties. For travel inspo, check Cornwall out on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. SDG Counties can also be followed on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.
Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.