Haldimand County is a mostly rural municipality in Southwestern Ontario that’s blessed with over 80 km of Lake Erie shoreline, as well as the Grand River, which runs through it and empties into Lake Erie. Caledonia, Cayuga, Dunnville and Port Maitland are some of the key communities located along Haldimand County’s river banks.
The Grand is one of the nation’s few designated Canadian Heritage Rivers, popular for paddling, nature viewing and fishing. Due to the abundance of catfish or ‘mudcats’ in this section of the Grand River, Dunnville’s mascot is a mudcat named ‘Muddy’.
To learn more about all there is to see and do in Haldimand County, scroll down or visit the region's tourism website.
Where is Haldimand County?
Located on the Niagara Peninsula, Haldimand County is an easy drive from several urban areas including Toronto, Hamilton and Niagara Falls.
Highway 403 is a major thoroughfare just minutes north of Haldimand County that runs west towards Highway 401 and London.
The city of Hamilton is just a short drive north while the Niagara Region is just a short drive east, where there are three key border crossings: Buffalo/Fort Erie, Niagara Falls and Lewiston/Queenston.
Things to Do in Haldimand County
Lake Erie and the Grand River are two defining natural features in Haldimand County that provide ample opportunities for outdoor recreation, but there are also several charming communities and cultural gems located in this area. It’s the perfect combination for a cycling, motorcycling or driving road trip.
Explore the beautiful Grand River by kayak, canoe or raft and try your luck at catching the big one on Lake Erie. Portions of the Trans Canada Trail wind through Haldimand County, offering scenic trails and pathways for a scenic stroll or for a more intense day hike.
Rock Point Provincial Park is located on the north shore of Lake Erie. It’s known for the exposed fossils of a coral reef embedded in a limestone shelf dating back to over 350 million years ago, and loved for the kilometre-long sandy beach, viewing platform above the sand dunes, its two kilometre hiking trail and the fall monarch butterfly migration. The park offers over 150 campsites with amenities such as water taps, comfort stations and laundry facilities. Selkirk, a smaller provincial park in Haldimand County, features the Wheeler’s Walk Trail, a boardwalk across marsh and wetland.
A number of notable cultural sites and museums are worth a visit in Haldimand County. Ruthven Park National Historic Site in Cayuga, for example, is a well preserved mid-19th century Greek revival, villa-style country estate on 1,500 acres along the Grand River. Tour the mansion and its gardens to learn about the five generations of Thompson family that once lived there. Another architectural attraction is the Cottonwood Mansion Museum, an Italianate style red brick mansion built between 1865 and 1870.
Trainspotters and railroad enthusiasts will want to check out the local railway artifacts, displays and operating model trains at the Caledonia Grand Trunk Station. If vintage aircraft pique your interest, No.6 RCAF Dunnville Museum tells the story of the NO.6 service flying training school built to train fighter pilots in WWII, through vintage aircraft and memorabilia on display.
History buffs are invited to visit Wilson MacDonald Memorial School Museum, dedicated to preserving the history of rural education, the heritage of the surrounding community, and the memory of poet Wilson Pugsley MacDonald. Step into a classroom of 1925, when the Union Jack waved over the schoolhouse, classes started with “God Save the King”, and penmanship was practiced using straight pens and black ink.
Haldimand County Neighbourhoods & Districts
Haldimand County consists of several small towns and hamlets including:
Enjoy boutique shopping, cafes and restaurants and loads of Grand River views.
Things to Know About Visiting Haldimand County
Whether you’re still in the planning stages or you’re already on your trip to Haldimand County, you'll appreciate what the locals recommend around the county.
Hagersville was the birthplace of Neil Peart, drummer of the iconic Canadian rock band Rush, and Jay Silverheels who played Tonto in the 1950s TV series The Lone Ranger.
Where to snap a great Instagram pic
With Muddy, the world's largest mudcat! This iconic 50-foot long statue of the “Big One” is located in Centennial Park at the western entrance to Dunnville.
Favourite chocolate shop
Where to find great local art
Where to go for a drink
Where to enjoy a milkshake
Where to get a great cup of coffee
Favourite Fish ‘n’ Chips spot
Last updated: April 12, 2022