Our Circle Lake Ontario tour will take you on a spectacular journey featuring covered bridges, beautiful gardens, fertile wine country, towering waterfalls, narrow shipping canals, weathered lighthouses, stunning coastal scenery and incredible sunsets. From Toronto, take a side trip to St Jacobs Country before travelling down the Niagara River to Niagara Falls. Your journey takes you into New York State, following the Great Lakes Seaway Trail on the south shore of Lake Ontario to Cape Vincent, then on to the fabulous 1000 Islands and back into Canada. Continue your tour down Lake Ontario's north shore along the Ontario Kings Highway, stopping en route to explore the Bay of Quinte and Prince Edward County. End your vacation visiting some of Toronto's top attractions. Please note that travel into the USA on this itinerary is subject to the US driving fee.
1373km / 853mi
Start / End
Toronto / Toronto
Ontario, Mainland USA
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Route - 1373 km / 853 mi

Day Location Distance Duration
01 Toronto to Petersburg 106 km / 66 mi Approx. 1 hours and 15 minutes
02 Petersburg to St Jacobs (day-trip) 31 km / 19 mi Approx. 30 minutes
03 Petersburg to Niagara Falls 155 km / 96 mi Approx. 1 hour 40 minutes
04 Niagara Falls 237 km / 147 mi Approx. 3 hours
05 --
06 Niagara Falls to Golden Hill State Park 140 km / 87 mi Approx. 2 hours 25 minutes
07 Golden Hill State Park to Selkirk Shores (via the Great Lakes Seaway Trail) 256 km / 159 mi Approx. 3 hour
08 Selkirk Shores, NY to Ivy Lea, Ontario 216 km / 134 mi Approx. 2 hours 30 minutes
09 Ivy Lea to Kingston 104 km / 65 mi Approx. 1 hour
10 Kingston
11 Kingston to Prince Edward County 109 km / 68 mi Approx. 1 hour 15 minutes
12 Prince Edward County to Toronto 227 km / 141 mi Approx. 2 hour 15 minutes

Trip Details

Today you’re heading southwest on Highway 401 to St Jacob’s Country. Our recommended campgrounds for the next two nights are Country Gardens RV Park in Petersburg and Green Acre Park in Waterloo. These campgrounds are literally minutes away from St Jacobs Country, the Stratford Festival, hospitable Waterloo County and Cambridge outlet shopping.

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Plan to spend today exploring St Jacobs and surrounding area. Take a multi-media journey at the Visitor Centre in St Jacobs to learn about Mennonite settlement in the area.

Browse through the quaint village of St Jacobs, one of the best shopping locations in Ontario. You can find authentic Canadian crafts made on site, pottery, blown glass, weaving, decorations, women’s apparel and gift shops, antiques and quilts.

If you’re more into scenery than shopping, consider taking a 4 hour horse trek with Conestogo River Horseback Adventures. This tour is available weekdays only and passes through the village of St Jacobs before returning to Waterloo.

The historic kissing bridge at Montrose West is worth a visit. Only a short drive from St Jacobs, this red covered bridge is Ontario’s last remaining covered bridge. The bridge is often referred to as “The Kissing Bridge” because it is enclosed and the soft light provides a feeling of intimacy for the romantic.

Overnight at Country Gardens RV Park or Green Acre Park.

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Rejoin Highway 8 into Kitchener this morning then continue south-east on highway 8 to Sheffield. You’ll make a few stops before landing in Niagara Falls today.

You may like to visit the Art Gallery of Hamilton, home to a comprehensive collection of Canadian historical contemporary art, or the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, about ten minutes north of Hamilton on Ontario King’s Highway 2.

Hamilton could well be known as the city of waterfalls, boasting more than 100 waterfalls within the city’s boundaries. The landscape surrounding Hamilton is agricultural with orchards, berry farms, fresh vegetable farms and honey stalls dotting the countryside.

After leaving the Hamilton area, join Queen Elizabeth Way toward Niagara Falls. Leave the highway at Winona and visit the Fifty Point Conservation Area, a magnificent 80-hectare park on the shores of Lake Ontario.

Continue on to Niagara Falls, your destination for the next three nights. Our CanaDream Club partner campgrounds in Niagara Falls are Campark Resorts, Niagara Falls KOA and Jellystone Niagara Camp Resort.

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Spend the day exploring incredible Niagara Falls. Visit the Falls by foot or see them from a greater height, consider a helicopter sightseeing tour.  Visit the Welland Canal Viewing Centre at Lock 7 and watch large ships as they make their way through the locks connecting Lake Erie and Lake Ontario before moving on up the St Lawrence River and into the Atlantic Ocean.

The Daredevil Gallery at the Imax Theatre, Niagara Falls, offers fascinating stories of the history of Niagara and of the daredevils themselves.

When night falls, Niagara comes alive in a different way. Lighting illuminates both the Canadian and American Falls, and on selected days from mid May until mid October, you can view fireworks over the Falls.

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Leave the excitement of Niagara Falls behind you as you travel the Queen Elizabeth Way to St. Catharines for a visit and wander around the city.

After, drive out to Old Port Dalhousie and take a stroll along the Harbour Walkway. Pathways follow the shoreline, winding past historical sites and modern features, connecting Lakeside Park and the East and West Piers.

From Old Port Dalhousie, take Lakeshore Road to Niagara on the Lake. The town has a unique charm, including historic forts and monuments, grand mansions, golf courses, breathtaking parks and gardens and world-class wineries and vineyards. Niagara on the Lake is home to amazing wineries. Return to Niagara Falls and cross the border into the USA via the Rainbow Bridge. This will take you into the tourist district of Niagara Falls, New York where you can view the Falls from the American side.

There are a couple of private campgrounds about half an hour north east of Niagara Falls you may like to consider for your overnight stay. We recommend heading to Golden Hill State Park and staying here.

From Golden Hill State Park, follow the Great Lakes Seaway Trail signs to Ontario Beach before continuing on to Selkirk Shores today. Orleans County’s rural landscape with farm markets offers a taste of homemade fudge, u-pick fruit, pumpkins and wagon rides.

Stop in Rochester, the “Flower City,” and stretch your legs while you explore this city. Moving onto Fair Haven, where camping, fishing, antiquing, and golf is offered.

Overnight at Selkirk Shores State Park on Lake Ontario.

Continue your journey today along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail. The 17-mile Eastern Lake Ontario Dunes & Wetlands Area offers free access sites for bird watching, nature walks, lake viewing, kayaking, fishing and picnicking. At Sandy Island Beach, let the kids build sand castles, picnic on the beach, and enjoy a refreshing swim.

The Black River attracts white water rafters and kayakers if that interests you. The leisurely pace through the 1000 Islands/St. Lawrence River section of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail carries you to marinas, resorts, campgrounds and shoreline villages. Along the way, enjoy a sip of cold-hardy grape, fruit or onion wine at River Myst, Coyote Moon and other Seaway Wine Trail vineyards.

Tibbetts Point Lighthouse & Hostel stands an enduring sentinel overlooking the meeting of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River in Cape Vincent, NY.

After exploring 1000 Islands Park, continue north on US81 towards the Thousand Islands Bridge which will take you across the border into Canada. After crossing the bridge, take the Thousand Islands Parkway west and continue about 9km. Our recommended campground tonight is 1000 Islands Ivy Lea KOA Campground. CanaDream Guests will receive a discount at this campground.

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Today you’re heading to Brockville, the 1000s Islands and settling in Kingston, Ontario for the evening. In Brockville be sure to visit Fulford Place, a 20,000-square-foot, 35-room Edwardian mansion built between 1899 and 1901. The original grounds were designed by Frederick Olmsted of the Olmsted landscaping firm, which also designed Central Park in New York City. Fulford Place is now owned and operated by the Ontario Heritage Trust. There are lots of activities for children at the Brockville Museum and entertaining at the waterfront to explore.

No trip to the 1000 Islands would be complete without taking a boat cruise out among the Islands. Rockport Boat Line has a variety of cruises leaving daily during the cruising season from Rockport while Gananoque Boat Line’s cruises depart from Gananoque. Cruise times vary from one to eight hours and onboard commentary is available in many different languages.

If a flight over the 1000 Islands is more to your liking, check out 1000 Islands Helicopter Tours. They offer an alternative to the water tours but don't stop and they also offer a Kingston City Tour.

Our recommended campground tonight is 1000 Islands/Ivy Lea KOA, approximately 40km east of Kingston on the Thousand Islands Parkway.

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Kingston is nicknamed the "Limestone City" because of the many historic buildings in the city built from the local limestone. Spend the day in Kingston and surrounding area exploring including going to Wolfe Island.

Leave your RV behind and jump on the Wolfe Islander III, for a 20 minute trip to Wolfe Island. The ferry is free and runs from Kingston to Marysville approximately every hour from 7.15am to midnight. Once on the island rent a bike from Wolfe Island Bicycle Rentals and explore the island by pedal power.

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Travel along the charming Loyalist Parkway on Highway 33. The road ends at Adolphustown where a free ferry will take you across to the peninsula to Glenora and an abundance of farm-fresh products, wineries and beaches in Prince Edward County. The vineyards of Prince Edward County invite you to discover Ontario’s new wine producing region near the shores of Lake Ontario, surrounded by pastoral beauty and home to community artisans and music festivals.

Stop for a picnic lunch at the Rutherford-Stevens Lookout or Little Bluff. Take a trip out on Long Point Road to the Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area.

On the western side of the island you’ll find Sandbanks Provincial Park, where giant sand dunes and golden beaches form two of the largest freshwater baymouth sandbars in the world. Enjoy a easy hike and set-up camp here, or at a nearby campground the night.

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Spend more time today exploring Prince Edward County or take highway 64 from your campground to Presqu’ile Provincial Park before returning to Toronto. At the tip of the park peninsula you’ll find Ontario’s second oldest operating lighthouse and the original lighthouse keeper’s cottage. There are also hiking trails in the park ranging from one to four kilometres long.

After leaving Presqu’ile, continue west on the Ontario Kings Highway (Hwy 2) travelling to the seaside community of Port Hope before changing direction to parallel the 401 on its north side. You can continue on Hwy 2 if you wish or choose to keep to the coastline by taking Lakeshore Road as far as Bond Head.

The quickest way into Toronto from here is on the 401 which will take you past the cities of Oshawa and Pickering. If you still have plenty of time to get back to Toronto however, consider staying on Highway 2.

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