During my introduction to Peterborough I had already been exposed to many different places and activities that make this mid-size city 90 minutes east of Toronto an attractive getaway destination. I had started my day off with a visit to the Peterborough Farmers Market, then had lunch on Hunter Street and went on a cruise to see one of the city’s biggest attractions up close: the Peterborough Liftlock, an engineering marvel from 1904. In the afternoon I had a chance to learn about the history of the canoe and its world-wide permutations at the Canadian Canoe Museum.
I got a great introduction to the history of the canoe
As I came out of the museum, a major downpour was showering the city and I drove back to the Golden Pathways B&B in the middle of a thunderstorm. Cora Whittington, my B&B hostess, was planning to take me to a special place: a private riverfront retreat that is part of the Whittingtons’ 195 acre property. So we hopped into the truck and in the pouring rain we started driving down the country lanes that have been the inspiration for the name of the Golden Pathways Bed and Breakfast. Cora occasionally takes some of her bed and breakfast guests down to her riverfront hideaway, but they also have a chance to take a walk on some of the many trails around their huge piece of land.
The Golden Pathways B&B in better weather
From a paved lane we turned onto an unpaved forest road and I realized that a 4×4 vehicle was definitely necessary to cover this rough terrain. Cora opened two gates so that we could access her private retreat right on the Otonabee River. She explained that this particular forest has many old pines, and one day she and her husband decided to take one of the big pine trees, get it cut up into planks and construct a rustic cabin with their own wood on the waterfront.
Some of the cattle on the Whittington family farm
The Whittingtons’ waterfront retreat has a horseshoe pit and an outdoor sitting area. The cabin itself has no electricity and is equipped with four bunkbeds which the family uses occasionally when out-of-town visitors come over for a rustic get-together. Not only was the wood for the cabin harvested right on the property, the windows came from another old building and were recycled.
Gorgeous outdoor terrace at the Golden Pathways B&B
Various books about bird, flower and plant species adorn the cabin since Cora’s husband has a background in natural resources and they both enjoy identifying the wildlife and the flora that surrounds them in their serene country getaway. The rain was now coming down in sheets, and it was a real shame I did not get to see the Otonabee River waterfront in good weather. As the river is part of the Trent-Severn Waterway, all sorts of pleasure craft usually travel through here. But in this miserable weather no boating enthusiasts were to be seen. But I could definitely picture this being a great place to come down and enjoy a quiet Sunday afternoon.
Cora Whittington inside her rustic cabin
Cora and I drove back to the bed and breakfast where I got to relax a bit before we headed out for our evening program. A bit later Cora packed me back into the truck together with two folding chairs, because we were planning to attend an outdoor concert later this evening. But our first stop was actually for dinner.
The riverside patio of the Holiday Inn in downtown Peterborough
My local expert Cora took me to the Holiday Inn right on Little Lake in downtown Peterborough. Although part of a big chain of hotels, the Peterborough Holiday Inn has carved a unique niche for itself with its scenic waterfront location, its large patio that overlooks the Otonabee River, and its fine dining restaurant that uses local ingredients wherever possible.
Many local farmers participate in the Kawartha Choice Farm Fresh initiative