Campbellford, Ontario: What to Do & Where to Stay (2023)
Are you looking for the best things to do in Campbellford, Ontario for your next vacation?
Campbellford is a charming Eastern Ontario town situated in Northumberland County. Nestled in the heart of Trent Hills and at Lock 11/12 of the Trent Severn Waterway, Campbellford is one of Ontario’s small towns that booms with travelers in the summer season.
If you’re planning a trip to this charming part of cottage country, keep reading to discover what this small town is all about. We’ll cover the area’s main attractions and activities and recommend some of the best restaurants and places to stay for a relaxing getaway.
Town of Campbellford in Northumberland County
Campbellford is located along the Trent Severn Waterway, a 386-kilometer-long canal route that connects Lake Ontario to Georgian Bay. The waterway was originally built in the early 19th century for transportation and trade, but today it is primarily used for recreation.
For many visitors to Campbellford, seeing the locks and getting out on the Trent River are a highlight not to be missed.
While Campbellford’s population is only around 4,000 yearly residents, its population easily multiplies each summer. Campbellford is one of Ontario’s small towns that city-dwellers from Toronto and the GTA choose to flock to for a slower pace of life and proximity to trails, lakes, rivers and waterfalls.
Attractions & Things to Do in Campbellford
If you’re considering vacationing to Campbellford, then this list of top attractions and things to do should definitely be on your radar. It may be a small town, but there are some pretty cool sites worth checking out!
1. Get a Selfie with the Giant Two Dollar Coin
The most unique attraction in Campbellford is the Two Dollar Coin Statue, located in Old Mill Park along the river. This statue is literally a giant replica of the Canadian two-dollar coin (Toonie)! Visitors to Campbellford will often take a selfie with the statue as a fun and quirky way to commemorate their visit.
The giant Toonie statue is Campbellford’s most popular landmark and is worth seeing during your stay!
Fun Fact: The Two Dollar Coin Statue was constructed in 2001 as a way to commemorate Brent Townsend, who created the coin’s iconic polar bear image while staying in Campbellford.
2. Visit Ferris Provincial Park
If you’ve got your sights set on camping or hiking in Campbellford, then you’ll want to focus your visit around a stay at Ferris Provincial Park. Located on the edge of the Trent River Gorge, Ferris Provincial Park has over 150 car camping sites, including lots for both tent camping and trailers.
The park has over 10 km of hiking trails, including a loop trail along the river gorge where you can catch awesome views of Ranney Falls and the suspension bridge that spans across the river.
You can get out on the water for fishing, kayaking or canoeing on the south end of the park (downstream from the falls), but swimming isn’t an option here. Instead, you can travel to nearby Crowe Bridge Conservation Area (10 minutes) or Hastings Beach (15 minutes) for outdoor swimming.
3. Ranney Gorge Suspension Bridge
We were pleasantly surprised to find out that Campbellford has a pretty exciting suspension bridge over the deep gorge of the Trent River. Getting a head-on view of Ranney Falls while feeling the swaying floor of the bridge below you is pretty exhilarating. In our minds, walking along this suspension bridge is a must-do activity here!
Tip: If you want to walk along the suspension bridge without having to pay admission to the park, drive to the Suspension Bridge Parking outside of the park, and the bridge is right there. Alternatively, you can access the bridge along the hiking trails in the park.
Westben is a unique and vibrant arts organization located in Campbellford, Ontario. Its mission is to bring people together through music and the arts, and to provide a platform for local and international artists to showcase their talents.
Westben was founded in 1999 and has since become a well-known destination for music lovers and theater enthusiasts, and home to many incredible performances each year.
One of the main attractions at Westben is the Barn Concerts series. The Barn is a beautiful, rustic building that has been converted into a concert hall. The space is renowned for its incredible acoustics, and has hosted a wide range of musicians, from classical and jazz to folk and world music.
In addition to the Barn Concerts, Westben also hosts a variety of other music events, such as jazz concerts, outdoor concerts, and special events featuring local musicians. Concerts take place in the open-air barn as well as on the outdoor stage, and even around the intimate setting of the outdoor campfire pit.
When planning your visit to Campbellford see if you can catch a concert at Westben and experience the truly unique experience this rural performance venue has to offer.
5. Dooher’s Bakery
You don’t have to spend long in Campbellford to find out that one of the highlights of the town is the family-run business of Dooher’s Bakery. Attracting visitors from all over the area, this sweet spot has a long history of serving its community since 1949, and sees no slowing down in sight.
Stock up your cottage with delicious homemade donuts, cookies, cinnamon buns and so much more.
6. Healey Falls
Drive 10 minutes north of Campbellford near Lock 16/17 for an up-close view of Healey Falls along the Trent River. The waterfall itself is only about 10-20 meters in height, spaced out over a series of small steps. That said, the crest of the falls is over 100 meters wide, and when the river is flowing, the falls are rushing!
There is a dam at the top of the falls, along a walkway overhead. While we aren’t a fan of the look of the dam, there’s still something peaceful and thrilling about a waterfall, regardless!
7. World’s Finest Chocolate Factory Outlet Store
Want something sweet to do during your trip to Campbellford? Well, you’re in luck, because there just happens to be a factory outlet store filled with discounted prices on all sorts of chocolates. Bet you didn’t expect to find that in small town Eastern Ontario!
8. Empire Cheese Factory
If you’re a cheese lover, a visit to the Empire Cheese Co-op in Campbellford is a must-do activity during your stay. The co-op is one of the oldest cheese factories in Ontario, having been in operation for over a century.
The factory produces a wide variety of cheeses using traditional open-vat processes. The milk is locally-sourced and the cheese contains no additives, preservatives or flavorings. There is a retail store onsite where you can purchase your favorite cheeses and other local products at great prices.
A visit to the Empire Cheese Co-op is a fun and delicious way to experience the local culture of Campbellford. Whether you’re a cheese connoisseur or just looking for a unique and tasty activity, a visit to this historic cheese factory is sure to be a memorable experience.
9. Attend a Festival & Events
Attending a festival or community event in Campbellford is a great way to make yourself at home in the town. There are several events throughout the year, each with its own unique character and attractions.
From music and food to arts and crafts, here’s a look at some of the regular festivals and events you can expect in Campbellford and the surrounding Trent Hills area:
✔️Canada Day Celebration at Old Mill Park
✔️Westben Summer Concert Series
✔️Incredible Edibles Festival (July)
✔️Campbellford-Seymour Agricultural Fair (August)
✔️Crooks Rapids Country Music Festival (August)
Top Restaurants in Campbellford
There are some great places to eat in this charming, tourist town. Some of the best restaurants in Campbellford have great outdoor patios and even waterfront views. Here’s a look at some of our recommendations:
🥗The Dockside Bistro
The Dockside Bistro is a charming and cozy restaurant located in Campbellford. The menu features a variety of delicious dishes made with locally-sourced ingredients, such as fresh seafood, burgers, salads, and more.
You can expect a warm and inviting atmosphere, with friendly staff, excellent service and fully accessible seating. The restaurant also has a lovely outdoor patio with scenic views of the Trent River, making it a perfect spot for a relaxing meal or a romantic evening.
Antonia’s Bistro is an upscale Italian restaurant located in the heart of downtown Campbellford. This restaurant has a charming and cozy atmosphere, but its main attraction is its delicious and beautifully presented dishes. If you’re looking for an intimate setting and spectacular cuisine, Antonia’s Bistro is one of your best picks.
🍺Capers Tap House
Capers Tap House in Campbellford is a trendy casual restaurant that offers a wide variety of menu items and features local wines and craft brews. The menu features fabulous dishes made from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, such as burgers, pizzas, salads, steaks and more.
You can expect a lively and casual atmosphere, with friendly staff and excellent service. The restaurant is set in a heritage home converted to a restaurant, and features a garden patio and modern rustic feel.
Where to Stay in Campbellford
When it comes to places to stay in Campbellford, you won’t find chain hotels, but rather independent inns, bed and breakfasts and vacation rentals.
Wingfield Inn & Gardens Countryside Resort
If you’re planning a wedding, family reunion or large event in the area, we recommend Wingfield Inn & Gardens vacation home, located 10 minutes from Campbellford. This countryside property features three beautifully-decored homes that together can accommodate up to 30 people.
We stayed at Wingfield Inn & Gardens during our stay in Campbellford, complimentary of the owner. We loved the amount of care and attention that went into renovating and decorating each room, and were impressed at the work they put into the gardens onsite.
Each home also has a kitchen, bathrooms, and living areas that truly enhance your stay and make it easy to unwind.
Wingfiled Inn & Gardens is best booked for large groups looking for a property to enjoy together.
The Water’s Edge Inn
For a boutique inn experience right along the Trent Severn Waterway, book The Water’s Edge Inn. Rooms are styled with luxurious, modern decor and feature waterfront views.
An excellent Bed & Breakfast in Campbellford is Emilyville Inn, located in one of the town’s charming, historic homes. Rooms are decorated with a tasteful mix of modern and historic style, and guests enjoy a complimentary breakfast with their stay.
Where is Campbellford, Ontario?
Campbellford is a small town located in the heart of Northumberland County in Ontario. It is situated along the banks of the Trent River, approximately 2 hours east of Toronto and 1.5 hour west of Kingston.
Campbellford is also conveniently located along the Trent-Severn Waterway, a historic system of canals and waterways that connects Lake Ontario to Georgian Bay. The town is easily accessible by car, with major highways including Highway 401 and Highway 7 running nearby.
Other Trent-Severn Trail Towns Near Campbellford
There are several other charming towns along the Trent-Severn Waterway near Campbellford, making for great day trips or excursions during your stay.
Warkworth, located just 15 minutes south of Campbellford, is a quaint and historic village with lovely shops and restaurants to explore.
Hastings, a 15-minute drive west, is another charming town known for its excellent fishing and boating opportunities.
Heading north is the town of Havelock, which hosts the popular Havelock Country Jamboree music festival every year (though with the state of the world in recent years, it hasn’t been running).
To the west, you can explore the city of Peterborough, the area’s largest urban hub.
Many people choose to spend their summers traveling by boat through the locks along the whole length of the Trent Severn Waterway. They will stop at the various small towns along the way and experience some of the most charming locations in Ontario along the way – an adventure that sounds absolutely thrilling!
Getting to Campbellford
If you’re traveling to Campbellford, chances are you’ll be taking either Highway 7 or the 401, depending on where you’re coming from. Once you exit either highway, you’ll be taking paved country roads to get to the town.
Distance from Toronto to Campbellford: 2-2.5 hours
Distance from Ottawa to Campbellford: 2.5 hours
Distance from Peterborough to Campbellford: 45 minutes
Distance from Brighton to Campbellford: 30 minutes
Driving from Toronto to Campbellford
Take Highway 401 East towards Brighton, until exit 509. Then take County Road 30 north to Campbellford.
Alternately, you can take Highway 407 East out of the GTA, then merge onto Highway 115 towards Peterborough. Continue on Highway 7 east of Peterborough.
Take County Road 38 south to Highway 2, then follow Highway 2 through the town of Hastings. Turn right onto Bridge Street in Hastings, until you reach County Road 35 outside of town.
Follow County Road 35 until it meets County Road 30, where you turn right and follow it into the town of Campbellford.
Campbellford is also a great detour along the way if you’re traveling between Ottawa and Toronto, as it’s located almost exactly halfway between both cities.
Looking for another great Eastern Ontario small town? Check out Sharbot Lake in Frontenac County, just 1.5 hours east of Campbellford.
Wrap Up: Visiting Campbellford, Ontario
Visiting Campbellford is a wonderful experience for those looking for a peaceful and picturesque getaway in Eastern Ontario. With its charming small-town atmosphere, beautiful natural surroundings, and surprisingly interesting attractions and activities, this small town has a lot to offer its seasonal visitors.
Whether you want to explore the town’s historic sites, sample delicious local cuisine, or simply relax and take in the peaceful riverfront views, Campbellford is a great small town to explore!