Wed. Nov 29th, 2023
How to use Ferris Provincial Park as a base camp to explore Northumberland County

Ferris Provincial Park is a hidden gem in southeastern Ontario, just two hours east of Toronto.

It is best known for its pedestrian suspension bridge with panoramic views of Trent River Gorge and Ranney Falls.

It is also conveniently located in Northumberland County. This region is full of fantastic restaurants, rich cultural experiences, entertainment, beaches, and fantastic outdoor adventures.

And that makes Ferris the perfect base camp to explore it all. Here’s why you need to visit this region:

Your base of operations: Ferris Provincial Park

More than 150 campsites are available at Ferris’ two campground loops, Valleyview and Bedrock.

Two people setting up a tent.

Valleyview Loop has electric campsites and is located on a wooded drumlin. Bedrock Loop also has electric campsites available for RVs and is a short walk to the playground and day-use picnic areas.

Ferris Campgrounds offer three conveniently located comfort stations, including one on Valleyview Loop with showers.

Did you know Ferris has a new fenced and off leash dog? Pet exercise area? Dog lovers, rejoice!

What to do in the park

At Ferris, you can explore more than 10 km of trails that take you through forest and riverine environments.

The Ranney Falls Trail follows the original road to Ferris Provincial Park before returning along the river. Here you will find the suspension bridge that overlooks the Ranney Falls of the same name.

In autumn, the Ranney Falls Suspension Bridge takes visitors through a forest of red, yellow and orange trees displaying the iconic colors of the season. Check out the Fall Color Report before visiting to ensure you have a chance to see this unique sight.

trail map

The Drumlin trail system takes you through mature mixed forests, small wetlands, and seasonal streams that have developed into two elongated hills called drumlins.

Destination: Northumberland County

It’s surprising how quiet life becomes just two hours from the city.

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Northumberland County is home to several small, quiet communities, including Cobourg (nickname: “Ontario’s Feel-Good Town”), Port Hope, and Campbellford.

Drone shot of forest on top of a mountainPhoto: ©Northumberland Tourism

It is bordered to the south by Lake Ontario and to the north by Lake Rice, and the Trent-Severn Canal links them.


Campbellford is the closest settlement to Ferris, an eight-minute drive away.

Drone shot of Campbellford town center and seafrontCampbellford Centre. Photo: ©Northumberland Tourism

And that’s good news for you, because the city offers clothing boutiques, gift shops, antique stores, specialty food stores and groceries, all highlighted by unique restaurants.

Actual shot of a lock.Photo: ©Northumberland Tourism

In the normal summer months, Campbellford hosts several festivals, including the Incredible Edibles Festival or the Campbellford Seymour Fair.

Or visit one of Westben’s concerts at The Barn to enjoy live music performances.

Warkworth and Hastings

The nearby communities of Warkworth and Hastings offer further opportunities for discovery, just over 20 minutes each from Ferris.

Spoiled by seven picturesque hills, Warkworth is both a farming community and an arts centre. Two signature events in Warkworth are the Maple Syrup Festival and the Millennium Trail Lilac Festival.

Drone shot of Hastings seafrontHastings, Ont. Photo: ©Northumberland Tourism

Nearby is Hastings, which has a picturesque center with a variety of shops, services and places to eat.

The community sits on the banks of the River Trent, meaning you can spend a day boating, fishing, or swimming in the water.

Cobourg and Port Hope

Cobourg and Port Hope are the two largest communities in Northumberland County. Both are just over an hour from Ferris, making them great day trip destinations.

Photo of the town hall in downtown Cobourg.Coburg Center. Photo: ©Northumberland Tourism

Cobourg exemplifies the open, small-town feel. Here you can enjoy unique architectural monuments and excellent shops, restaurants, galleries and theaters.

The city has an active and diverse waterfront.

Drone shot of Cobourg HarborCobourg Harbor. Photo: ©Northumberland Tourism

You can spend a day relaxing on the fine white sand of Cobourg Beach or watch the sailboats go by at Cobourg Marina. Both are just minutes from restaurants, cafes and pubs (how good would ice cream be right now?).

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Downtown Port Hope. Photo: ©Northumberland Tourism

Many areas of Port Hope’s old town, including the downtown commercial core, remain little changed since the days of Queen Victoria, and are carefully preserved by the town’s residents.

Like a time capsule, Port Hope captures the flavor of small-town Ontario in the late 19th century.

Bridge over a river with downtown Port Hope in the backgroundDowntown Port Hope. Photo: ©Northumberland Tourism

Port Hope is now known as a dining destination, with many restaurants offering locally grown produce on their menus.

Outdoor experiences

There is no shortage of access to the outdoors in Northumberland Country.

two cyclists on a dirt roadCycling the Trans-Canada Trail. Photo: ©Northumberland Tourism

You may want to cycle the The Great Trail (formerly known as the Trans-Canada Trail) section of Northumberland. It is a 37km stretch that runs between Ferris and Hastings with spectacular views all along the way.

Alternatively, try the Trent River Truckin’ Cycle Route. On the 64km route you’ll explore Warkworth, Campbellford, the locks along the Trent-Severn Canal and the stunning Ranney Gorge.

Paddling the Trent-Severn Canal is also popular. Northumberland is one of the only areas in Ontario that allows you to paddle through a system of locks and canals.

two people canoeing on the canalPhoto: ©Northumberland Tourism

Of course, Presqu’ile Provincial Park is also home to Northumberland County. Presqu’ile was created for walking and its views of Lake Ontario attract walkers year-round.

lighthouse on the beachPeninsula Provincial Park

With its flat terrain, the park is also ideal for cycling.

Other local trails and conservation areas offer opportunities for hiking and bird watching, including Seymour Conservation Area, Goodrich Conservation Area, and more.

And finally, because Ferris can’t offer swimming in the park, there are several local places where you can take a dip: Campbellford Pool, Seymour Conservation Area and Crowe River Conservation Area.

To discover more about the area, visit Northumberland Tourism.

Ferris Provincial Park It is 1.5 hours from Kingston and just over 2 hours from Toronto. Visit our online booking service to book your visit to Ferris and Northumberland County today.