Lanark County

The Maple Syrup Capital of Ontario, Lanark County is made up of small towns, cottage communities and beautiful, hilly landscapes. Only an hour drive southwest of Ottawa, the area has become a popular day trip destination for many locals and visitors from the nation's capital.

Amid the beauty, there is much to do and see, with museums, historic landmarks, shops of many kinds, delightful dining and outdoor opportunities for adventure. Nearly all the townships in Lanark were named for British military and public figures during the era of early settlement of the area in the late 18th century and early 19th century.

To learn more about all there is to see and do in Lanark County, scroll down or visit the area’s tourism website.

Where is Lanark County?

Lanark County is located in northeast Ontario. The Lanark County line is approximately 80 km west of Ottawa.

You can reach various points within Lanark county via multiple means of transport and multiple cities across Ontario. Fly into Ottawa and rent a car. There is bus service, as well, from Ottawa’s Tunney Pasture Bus Station. 

Things to Do in Lanark County

This region is known as a shopping and staycation destination all year long.

While you explore Lanark County, be sure to stop in at one of the many sites along the Maple Trail. Each destination on the build-your-own-maple-adventure offers a chance to enjoy the truly Canadian delicacy of maple syrup with restaurants, cafes, sugar camps, shops and events. 

The historic five-span stone Pakenham Bridge was built in 1903 by Scottish masons from Ottawa and made from stones from a local quarry. 

Nature lovers will want to visit the Purdon Conservation Area located in Lanark Highlands. Enjoy an easy stroll along the boardwalk through rare fen wetland and witness the nation’s largest colony of Showy Lady Slipper orchids, typically blooming between the third weekend in June to early to mid July. 

For history buffs, the Middleville and District Museum welcomes visitors with fascinating exhibits. The site includes an 1830s settlers’ log cabin and an 1861 two-story stone school where an extensive collection of local artifacts and genealogical and archival records can be viewed. While there, you’ll see a horse-drawn carriage hearse, dugout canoes, and live demonstrations of cheese and maple syrup production. 

Lanark County Neighbourhoods & Districts

There are nine communities within Lanark County that you may wish to visit. Each community has its own distinct vibe, with many welcoming visitors with charming cottage community expressions. 

Mississippi Mills

Stroll along the Almonte Riverwalk, enjoy British ale and take in the many picturesque vistas around town, as well as the Pakenham Bridge.

Lanark Highlands

You’ll find scenic vistas of rolling hills in the Canadian Shield terrain, maple syrup products, and plenty of spots to stroll through picturesque hamlets.

Carleton Place

A river community filled with beautiful historic sites and waterfront activities.


Dubbed the ‘Lilac capital of Ontario,’ this peaceful community provides visitors with natural wonders, landmarks and beautiful farms to explore.

Drummond/North Elmsley

Bordered by the Mississippi River to the Northwest and Rideau Waterway to the south, this community welcomes boaters with historic hamlets and stunning views of waterways.


The ‘Wildflower Capital of Ontario’ offers vast farmlands and homesteads, panoramic vistas and fabulous bird watching opportunities in a quiet atmosphere of peace.

Smiths Falls

Smiths Falls is located at the centre of the Rideau Canal waterway, and celebrates more than 100 years of railroad history in its community and culture.


Perth is known for its historic buildings and quaint heritage streets filled with boutique shops, cafes and eateries.

Tay Valley

Tay Valley welcomes visitors to enjoy its rich history, rocky shorelines and pristine waters and forest lands.

Things to Know About Visiting Lanark County

Whether you’re still in the planning stages or you’re already on your trip to Lanark County, it’s nice to learn what the locals know about the area.

Little-known fact

The county is one of the top centres of maple syrup production in Ontario and describes itself as "The Maple Syrup Capital of Ontario".

When to visit

Seasonal Maple Sugar Camps are open from mid-February to mid-April or when the sap is running. 

Where to snap a great Instagram pic

Tour the murals in Carleton Place and find the perfect colour combination for that vibrant Instagram post that will get hundreds of likes.

Favorite local gem

Head to Pakenham for the historic Five-Span Stone Bridge spanning the Mississippi River. Built in 1903, this is the only bridge of its kind in North America.

Last updated: September 7, 2021

Looking for Ontario travel advice?

Our experts are here to help you plan your perfect trip. Call or book today.