A true treasure found in Ontario’s Lennox & Addington County, the village of Bath makes for a history-rich day trip from its neighbouring towns, and naturally, we’ve put together a great list of things to do in Bath Ontario.
If you search for a town named “Bath” you may also come across the city in England by the same name. This is no coincidence, however. Initially, the village’s name was Ernestown, but in 1819 it was renamed after the city of Bath in England.
But this day trip guide is all about the town in Ontario, so let’s discover the best Bath activities.
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History of Bath in Lennox & Addington County
- Bath is one of the oldest communities in Ontario, with the United Empire Loyalists settling there in 1784. The small settlement began with a sheltered harbour and road connections to Kingston, which helped the economy grow and flourish for many years.
- Although it’s still a small place, the population of Bath has increased from the original four families that settled in the village all the way to 2154 people. Today, Bath is a part of Loyalist Township, which also includes Amherst Island, Amherstview, Odessa and Wilton.
- Interesting fact: The late Gord Downie (the inspiration for my Kingston weekend getaway) was born in Amherstview, Loyalist Township.
Where is Bath, Ontario?
Bath, Ontario is located in Lennox & Addington County. You can find it in the Loyalist Township, right on the edge of Lake Ontario.
The village is just 2.5 hours from Toronto by car. Although the closest towns are Kingston (±25 minutes away) and Greater Napanee (also ±25 minutes away). So, if you are looking to visit Bath on a day trip, it’s best if you’re coming from Kingston or Napanee.
If you’re coming from Kingston, you simply need to get onto Bath Road and continue along the shores of Lake Ontario until you reach the village of Bath.
From Greater Napanee, you can get on County Road 22 and then turn onto County Road 7. From there, you simply continue straight until you reach Bath Road – and you’re in the town.
What to do in Bath, Ont for a Day
There is plenty to see, do, and discover in and around the village of Bath. Even with just a day to spare, you can easily hit all of the top attractions here. Take a look at this suggestive guide on how to enjoy a Bath, Ontario day trip.
Explore the Best Village of Bath Attractions
The Lodge Coffee House
Since it’s less than a 30-minute drive from either Kingston or Napanee, you’ll easily be able to reach town before breakfast. So I’d suggest you stop off at The Lodge Coffee House and try their fresh coffee (made with 100% “Bath” water) and a muffin or sandwich.
Books on Main
After you have a full tummy, make your way to Books on Main, which is right next door, so you can park your car and stroll at your leisure. The bookshop is independent and owned by two local families. You can browse through the collection of books and board games, and pick up something to take home if you like.
Lakeside Studio Gallery
If you continue up Main Road, from the bookstore, you’ll find Lakeside Studio Gallery. We had a lovely chat with the owner here. Her name is Sarah and she and her mother and sister own this gallery, as well as the one next door.
Currently, you can find the work of 10 artists from Bath, as well as a few from Napanee and Kingston. Next door, you’ll find woodwork all done by Sarah’s mom, and the quilting work is done by her sister.
Once you’ve enjoyed taking in the wonderful creations and the gallery, take another short walk up Main Road until you reach Fairfield-Gutzeit House. This is one of the oldest houses in Bath, dating back to 1796. The once-extravagant home has turned into a museum and will begin offering tours in 2022.
Visit Amherst Island
Take a Ferry from Millhaven
After taking in the sights of Bath, it’s highly recommended that you drive the 3 minutes to Millhaven to catch a ferry to Stella, on Amherst Island. These ferries leave Millhaven every half-hour from 6 am to 1 am every day. The ride to Stella is only 20 minutes long.
Discover Amherst Island – Things To Do In Bath Ontario Bonus
The Back Kitchen
Landing on Amherst Island, you’ll soon discover why this is considered such a cultural heritage gem of Ontario. Near the ferry dock, you’ll find The Back Kitchen where you can grab a famous burger for lunch.
It’s important to note that they employ the teens and the younger generation who live on the island, giving them their “first job. In addition, every Saturday, they drop a different flavoured, delicious doughnut with a limited supply. Rumour has it that they run out pretty quick – maybe start your day here instead 🙂
Neilson Store Museum
From the ferry dock, your first suggested stop is the Neilson Store Museum. This museum offers a deeper look into the island’s history and how it came to be the community today. There is a gallery as well and a gift shop stocked with handcrafted items. Again, you can take the 8 – 10 minute walk or drive for a minute.
Next, drive 10 – 15 minutes to the other side of Amherst Island to reach Topsy Farms. This is a working sheep farm where you can visit the animals, buy 100% Canadian wool goods, and stock up on other eco-friendly products. There are also workshops, walking trails, and kayaking available at the farm.
Irish dry stone walls
Amherst Island is home to the largest concentration of Irish dry stone walls in all of Canada. This is another piece of the island’s history, making it an essential sight while here. You can find the stone walls across the island, and there are often events surrounding these walls. One must-see event (if you’re in town for it) is the Dry Stone Canada Festival.
Sand Beach Wetlands Conservation Area
Before leaving the island, you really must visit the Sand Beach Wetlands Conservation Area. This island beach is small but stunning and worth a stop, even if just for a breath of fresh air and a photograph or two.
Finish the Day Back in Bath
MacKinnon Brothers Brewing Company
Once back on the mainland, you can choose to fuel up with dinner before heading home at either MacKinnon Brothers Brewing Company or J & P’s Family Restaurant. Or, stop off at both for the whole experience!
Visit Bath – Ontario, Canada
Bath, Ontario, might seem small, but it’s the perfect size for a fun day trip. There is so much history and heritage to discover and friendly locals and some fantastic food.
Ideally, you want to have a car to make this Ontario road trip, so gather a group of friends or pile the family into the car and get ready to make some memories. Head on over to the Lennox & Addington County website for more information on Bath and the rest of the County.