COUNTY DAYTRIPS | The Bath Edition

The first time in Prince Edward County we spotted a t-shirt that read ‘The County vs. Nobody’ and it hit home hard—we weren’t in the city anymore. 

When we started talking to people here, we knew it was true. Wineries lent their equipment to neighbouring vineyards, businesses hyped up their competitors to their customers—you don’t have to look further than our own virtual market to see the love chain of County shout outs from one stall to another. It was clear that as long as other businesses shared our philosophy (do something great and do it well), we would make sure we could all succeed together.

So in this County spirit, we wanted to make some recommendations for the hidden gems outside of PEC that share our local sensibility, the “County Adjacent” micro-hoods that make for great adventures and memories.

Some are off the beaten path, some are niche stretches in larger towns—but if you’re in PEC for a few days and want to explore over the bridges and further afield, you just might want to check out our new “County Daytrips” series. 

First up is the darling village of Bath, just over the Glenora Ferry, by Lake On The Mountain on the east side of the County. 

The Glenora Ferry

A free car ferry that crosses the Picton Bay connecting Prince Edward County to Adolphustown. The ferry takes 15 minutes to cross and runs at 30-minute intervals year round and 15-minute intervals in peak season. 

Exiting the ferry, the Loyalist Parkway is a scenic drive along the lakeside and it’s one straight road all the way to Kingston. Even better, the route actually becomes the Bath Main Street that has the first three of our four stops on this daytrip.

 Cruising along the parkway is heaven on a sunny day and we recommend keeping your windows down and blasting Frank Sinatra—but this is your day trip, so you can choose the tunes. Bath’s historic downtown is tiny, but charming as anything and has that same “hip and hard-working” vibe that we love about the County. 

When you reach Main Street, find a spot to park and walk these first three destinations.

The Lodge Coffee House

#376 Main Street, Bath

The Lodge Coffee House, Prince Edward CountyThe Lodge is Bath’s one and only café and this very pretty ‘coffee house and more’ is a community staple for both locals and visitors. Owner Cassandra Rendell has an incredible ability to bring people together, so her position at the head of the local coffee hub, just makes sense. It doesn’t hurt that her from-scratch baked goods spectacular and regularly raved about across social media, and the locally-made gift items and treasures, from locally knitted straw cozies to lighthearted witty coffee mugs (“Made from Bath water”) are impossible to leave behind. 

“We’re planning on keeping our takeout window rolling as it’s the perfect way to grab a drink and snack while you’re out perusing the cute new shops in the village,” says Cassandra. “We’re also opening up our backyard patio, a beautiful greenspace off the main street so customers can enjoy lunch amongst the ivy and umbrella of mature trees.”

Stop here to enjoy high quality espresso-based and artisan tea beverages, an assortment of baked goods and freshly prepared sandwiches, soups and salads—from local produce wherever possible.

 “Bath is truly an incredibly special place,” she adds, “full of beauty and history. I chose to invest here four years ago because I felt an incredible sense of community within the people, and saw so much potential in what our little village could be. Now we have an incredible group of businesses that show just how great Bath is!”


Books On Main #368 Main Street, Bath

Their tagline is “Books and games are better in Bath” and if we lived in Bath we would also make bath jokes all day long. Seriously, though, this bookstore is straight out of a small town’s literary dream. 

Locally-owned and independent, Books On Main sells new and bargain books, board games for kids and grown-ups, punctuated by local artisan products. “Our goal is to provide a space for enthusiastic readers and game-players to meet, discuss and discover with like-minded locals,” share the owners. 

The book shop is owned and operated by two local families—the Lloyds and the Ellingwood-Naglers who met as neighbours and bonded over their shared love of books and board games. “What really amazes me about Bath is the creativity and talent of our community members. We have a steadily growing selection of books by local authors and our walls are filling up with artwork from talented locals,” says Andrew Lloyd

Summer programming is in planning as the bookstore aims to increase local events. Expect readings and signings by local authors, a board game club and a book club—with both virtual and real life meetings as Covid protocols allow.

“I can see the Lakeside Studio Gallery, just across the road. The Lodge is just two buildings down,” Andrew continues, “and I’ve been known to abandon the shop for a regular Americano!”


The Lakeside Studio Gallery #363 Main Street, Bath

Lakeside Studio Gallery Owner paints in the studio
By Kassandra Melnyk Photo

“Bath is an incredibly welcoming place and it’s a really exciting time to be starting a business here,” says Sarah Anderson, artist and owner of The Lakeside Studio Gallery. “The village is thriving and there seems to be a bubble of entrepreneurial energy. I’m grateful every day that I chose this place and have found myself surrounded by the warmth of this little community on the lakeshore.”

The Lakeside Studio Gallery is something special. Officially, it “offers visitors an immersive opportunity to connect with original art created by local emerging artists and to see a working artists’ studio,” but unofficially, Sarah herself is the beating heart at the centre of the gallery. Her life story, her own work, her ability to curate a lovely collection all speak to what makes Lakeside so totally compelling. 

All of the paintings featured in the gallery are created locally by artists who are in the early years of their careers. Their works span acrylic, alcohol ink, oil on canvas, mixed media and more and explore nature’s power to heal, the beauty in the ordinary, beauty standards, intuitive painting and more. 

“We also offer some reproductions of original works for sale and are happy to connect visitors with the artists for custom commissions,” explains Sarah who works on-site and loves to talk about her work and creative process with visitors.

Open Wednesday through Sunday for the Summer, the gallery is small, so we can only welcome five visitors at a time and masks are mandatory. We’re hoping to be able to host painting classes in the summer when we can be outdoors. Stay tuned!

“From the front door of our building you can see the Lodge Coffee House and Books on Main,” says Sarah. “You can also see the road that leads to MacKinnon Brothers. It’s a small town and you can really come, park once, and explore the whole village.” 

Now you’re ready for the last stop on our Daytrip, take a left at the lights (the only ones in town) and another left (if you hit the train tracks, you’ve missed it) onto County Road 22 and you’re there.


MacKinnon Brothers Brewing #1915 County Road 22

MacKinnon Mug at the festival“This land is where our ancestors settled 230 years ago, and we feel a really strong connection to this place and to the farm,” says Ivan MacKinnon, one of the original brothers and co-owner of MacKinnon Brothers brewery. “We want to share a piece of our history with the visitors that pass through here.” 

MacKinnon Brothers is the biggest of the Bath businesses on our County Daytrip. Located on a bicentennial family farm, the brothers grow the hops, wheat, and barley that they use to brew the beer that’s captivated a number of hearts—both rural and beyond. “Our ancestors settled in Upper Canada in 1784 and through the generations built a thriving farm,” says Ivan, whose kids represent the 9th generation of their family in Bath. “We decided to add another element into the mix: a farm-based brewery. We’ve renovated century-old barns and planted hops and malting barley in the surrounding fields. The character and history of this place shines through in every glass.”

The programming lineup at the farm this season is everything we all want in our farm-to-tallboy experience: distanced pints on the farm every Friday to Sunday until October, Old Style Barbecue slinging on-site fare to complement the beer and local music, and ‘Yoga at the Farm’ with local yoga teacher Isabelle Desnoyers, who has been leading weekly yoga classes and workshops at Mackinnon Brothers since 2017. “Iz hosts every Wednesday evening and Sunday morning,” says Ivan and if this fits into your daytrip sched, you can book it ahead of time right here.

One of the region’s most beloved annual events is the ‘Back to the Farm: Beer and Music Festival’. In past years, 5000 people have come together to celebrate live music, beer, cocktails, great food and good times. “It embodies the spirit of the local community in a send-off to summer and is also our way of saying “thank you” to hospitality staff for another amazing year working together,” Ivan says.

The MacKinnon Brothers Concert Series is their most anticipated event undertaking. With a new outdoor stage, the brewery hopes to host a concert series throughout the summer and into the early fall of each year. Watch their stall, site and socials for updates and announcements!

From the top of the tallest building on the MacKinnon farm, you can see the waterfront that runs along Bath’s beautiful main street and the whole stretch of your daytrip tour, before reverse engineering your lakeside cruise back to the Glenora Ferry, this time departing from Adolphustown and heading back to our beautiful County.


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