Sights & Attractions

Eagles Nest

A local treasure with interpretive hiking trails & spectacular, panoramic vistas.

The Eagles Nest is a prominent natural landmark in Bancroft, Ontario, and a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. This impressive cliff offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape and the town of Bancroft, making it a must-visit location for both locals and tourists.

Situated in the Canadian Shield region, the Eagles Nest rises approximately 120 meters above the town, providing a stunning vantage point to observe the vast expanse of the York River Valley and the dense forests that surround it. The area is rich in biodiversity and offers visitors the opportunity to witness various bird and animal species in their natural habitat.

The Eagles Nest features a well-maintained trail system, which allows hikers of varying skill levels to explore the area at their own pace. The hike to the summit is moderately challenging, but the reward of panoramic views makes the effort worthwhile. The trail is also suitable for snowshoeing during the winter months, offering a unique perspective on the beauty of the region.

In addition to its natural appeal, the Eagles Nest holds historical significance for the area, as it served as a lookout point for Indigenous peoples and early settlers. Today, it remains a popular spot for outdoor activities, such as hiking, birdwatching, and photography. The Eagles Nest is a testament to the pristine beauty of Bancroft, Ontario, and continues to captivate visitors with its awe-inspiring views and rich history.

Eagles Nest – An Algonquin Story, an experiential trail installation funded & built by in part by the Government of Canada, tells the story of the Algonquin presence in Bancroft, as well as highlighting a variety of ecosystems & wildlife in the area.

Eagles Nest Park is owned by the Town of Bancroft and maintained by the Stewards of Bancroft Eagles Nest Park Inc. non-profit organization. This natural preserve is made possible through the support of the Project Committee, Bancroft Trails Committee, Bancroft Area Stewardship Council, the Algonquins of Ontario, Kijcho Manito Madaouskarini Algonquin First Nation, Bancroft Field Naturalists, donations by local businesses and financial support from the Town of Bancroft, Hastings Highlands Hilly Hundred, Freymond Lumber Ltd., Bancroft Lion’s Club & many community volunteers.

Shawashkong

Shawashkong is the traditional Algonquin name for the York River.

The Shawashkong (York River) is located near Bancroft, Ontario, Canada, and serves as a vital natural attraction in the region. Flowing from Algonquin Park, it eventually joins the Madawaska River, passing through various landscapes such as forests, wetlands, and rocky terrains. The river is an essential freshwater source and provides a habitat for numerous fish species, including walleye, smallmouth bass, and northern pike.

Recreational activities around the Shawashkong are abundant, attracting both locals and tourists. These activities include canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and hiking along the riverbanks. In addition, the river offers opportunities for wildlife observation and photography, as it is home to various animal species like beavers, otters, and birds.

Efforts have been made to conserve the river and its surroundings, ensuring that future generations can enjoy its beauty and natural resources. The local government and community members work together to maintain the river's health, protect wildlife habitats, and promote sustainable recreational activities. Overall, the Shawashkong remains a vital part of the area's identity, providing residents and visitors with an array of outdoor activities and opportunities to connect with nature.

Hastings Heritage Trail

Hastings Heritage Trail stretches from the Trent Canal almost to Algonquin Park.

The Hastings Heritage Trail is a 156-km, multi-use recreational trail that follows the route of a railway line that once linked Lake St. Peter in the north & Glen Ross in the south. 

The Trail welcomes hiking, cycling, horseback riding as well as the use of selected recreational vehicles. The Trail is open year-round with many access points along the route, including several in the Town of Bancroft as it winds its way beside the Shawashkong (York River).

Algonquin Park

A beloved destination for outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, and wildlife observers.

Algonquin Park, established in 1893, is the oldest provincial park in Ontario, Canada. Spanning over 7,600 square kilometers, the park's vast wilderness offers a diverse range of ecosystems, including deciduous and coniferous forests, wetlands, and numerous lakes and rivers.

The park's breathtaking landscapes provide a serene backdrop for a variety of recreational activities throughout the year. In the warmer months, visitors can enjoy canoeing, kayaking, hiking, and fishing, with over 2,000 kilometers of canoe routes and more than 1,500 kilometers of hiking trails. For anglers, the park's waters are home to a variety of fish species, including brook trout, lake trout, and smallmouth bass.

The fall season in Algonquin Park is a particularly enchanting time, as the lush forests transform into a stunning display of vibrant colors. The foliage's metamorphosis from shades of green to a dazzling array of reds, oranges, and yellows attracts countless visitors who wish to witness this natural spectacle.

The park's diverse tree species, including sugar maple, red maple, yellow birch, and tamarack, each contribute their unique hues to the colorful tapestry. Typically, the fall colors peak between late September and mid-October, offering a relatively short but breathtaking window to enjoy the scenery. Photographers, artists, and nature enthusiasts alike are drawn to Algonquin Park during this time, captivated by the striking beauty of the autumn landscape.

Fall color enthusiasts can explore the park's various trails and viewpoints, such as the Centennial Ridges Trail and the Lookout Trail, which provide panoramic vistas of the kaleidoscopic forests. The experience of paddling through the park's serene lakes and waterways amid the vivid fall foliage is truly unforgettable, making Algonquin Park a premier destination for appreciating the splendor of the autumn season.

As the seasons change, Algonquin Park transforms into a winter wonderland, offering opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. The park's pristine beauty and tranquility attract visitors seeking a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Algonquin Park is renowned for its diverse wildlife, with over 50 species of mammals, including moose, beavers, and black bears, and more than 260 bird species. It is particularly famous for its thriving population of gray wolves and the hauntingly beautiful sound of their howls echoing through the forests.

The park also holds cultural significance, as it is located within the traditional territory of the Algonquin First Nation. The park's name pays homage to the Algonquin people, and efforts have been made to preserve and respect their cultural heritage and connection to the land.

In summary, Algonquin Park offers a unique and immersive experience for visitors, showcasing the stunning beauty of Canada's natural landscapes, diverse wildlife, and rich cultural history.

About Bancroft, Ontario

A year-round recreation destination.

Bancroft, a charming town in Ontario, Canada, is an ideal year-round tourist destination for those seeking a blend of natural beauty, outdoor activities, and rich cultural experiences. Nestled within the Canadian Shield, Bancroft offers a variety of attractions and recreational opportunities that cater to a wide range of interests, making it an appealing choice for visitors of all ages.

In the warmer months, Bancroft comes alive with outdoor enthusiasts, who flock to the region to explore its vast network of trails for hiking, mountain biking, and ATV riding. The York River and surrounding lakes provide excellent opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. Wildlife enthusiasts can enjoy birdwatching and observing native animals such as beavers, otters, and deer in their natural habitat.

As the temperatures drop, Bancroft transforms into a winter wonderland, offering visitors a range of cold-weather activities. The snow-covered landscapes provide the perfect backdrop for snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing. Local events, such as the annual Sno-drifter's Rally and Winterfest, add a festive touch to the winter season.

Bancroft's rich history as the "mineral capital of Canada" can be explored at the Bancroft Mineral Museum, while the Art Gallery of Bancroft showcases the talents of local artists. Various restaurants, cafes, and shops offer a taste of the town's unique culture and local flavors.

With its diverse array of attractions and activities, Bancroft is a year-round destination that caters to a wide range of interests. Whether visitors are seeking outdoor adventure, cultural enrichment, or simply a peaceful escape, Bancroft delivers an unforgettable experience.