oh dear... Lucille is holding a strawberry on her finger and smiling... kinda cute... well, on our way to the upper canada village, we dropped by a strawberry field so as to pick up bunch of strawberries... one basket costed C$ 5., so we just eat some right after we picked up... so sweet and chewy...^^
Road biking in general north of Kingston is fantastic, there's no shortage of low-traffic country roads to peruse at your leisure. The roads downtown/in the city kinda suck in terms of potholes and the general lack of bike lanes, but once you get up north of the 401 (major highway), the traffic drops right off and the shoulders widen just enough for 2 riders to ride side by side comfortably.
Routes include highway 2 to Gananoque, or highway 2 looping across Abbey Dawn Rd./Joyceville Rd./Middle Rd. to hwy 15 for a nice (approx) 20/30/35km ride. There's also an optional loop on Kingston Mills Rd that adds about 10k. Not particularly hilly, but there a few short ones scattered in there. (It's definitely not a mountainous area.) Riders can also take the ferry from downtown (free) to Wolfe Island and bike around the country roads there for a day, though there's not much to see but farms and Lake Ontario (still pretty though!). There's also a much longer ride up to Desert Lake in Sydenham, where terrain can get extremely twisty and hilly - great day ride if you're up for it, not sure on the distances.
Wind can be harsh in this area, and its direction can change quickly, it's not uncommon to fight a headwind in both directions if doing an out'n'back or loop. Rain bursts also known to come quickly. All routes listed above are fairly well travelled, but it's good to have tools if necessary. There's a number of good bike shops around, including Gears&Grinds, Cyclepath, TI Cycle (Gananoque), and Frontenac Cycle&Sport for all your equipment/tune-up needs. Source for Sports is not recommended at this time.
While there's no problem riding on ones own, there are group rides that go out as well, most notably from Cyclepath (6:16pm Thurs, 7:30am Sat as of 2007), the Kingston Velo Club, and various smaller groups about town. Riding morning/evening is probably best, it can get hot/humid at the height of the day. Riding season goes from snowmelt (~end of April) till snowfall (~November). Mountain biking in this area is non-existent in terms of both mountains and trails. Check out Brockville or Port Hope (Ganaraska) for better riding nearby (-ish, ~1-1.5h drive), or better yet, just suck it up and drive to Hardwood Hills. A good road bike can get you places here.
Royal Military College
The Royal Military College (RMC) opened its doors in 1876 to its first class of 18 young Canadians to be trained in all branches of military tactics. One of its most famous graduates, is the Canadian Astronaut, Chris Hadfield.
As a visitor, you are welcome to walk the grounds, with nice views of downtown Kingston and the St. Lawrence River. You can also tour a free museum which is open during the summer months, located in the fortified Martello Tower.
RMC is situated on Point Frederick just east of downtown Kingston. It is a historically significant as well as a beautiful location, overlooking the city, and the entrance of the St. Lawrence River to Lake Ontario.
Marine Museum of the Great Lakes
If you are interested in life on the Great Lakes and the art of shipbuilding, then you would enjoy spending a few hours at the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes. There are excellent artifacts on display here depicting the life of sailors and shipbuilders.
See the website for hours of operation and admission charges. The retired 3000 ton Coast Guard Icebreaker, the Alexander Henry is docked next to the museum and can also be toured.
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
This is my hometown, and my first love when it comes to cities. It has a lively downtown business and cultural center, and a decent nightlife largely because of its high student population for much of the year.
Kingston is home to one of the premier universities in Canada, Queen's University, and also hosts St. Lawrence College. The influx of students each year swells the population to this small city which normally is home to
around 147,000 people, and also brings welcomed fresh blood to the city's cultural scene.
The city is also known for its proliferation of prisons - within the city are Kingston Penitentiary, the former Prison for Women (which was the only exclusively female federal prison in Canada for a long time), Collin's Bay Penitentiary and Bath Correctional Facility. Within a short driving distance (a half hour tops) are Joyceville Penitentiary, Millhaven Penitentiary, and Quinte Correctional Facility.
There is a rich military tradition in Kingston, and today it is home to Canadian Forces Base Kingston and the Royal Military College.
Kingston was founded in 1673 by French settlers, who named the site Fort Frontenac, but was captured and demolished by British invaders at the end of the Seven Years War in 1758. A new settlement was founded by Loyalists to the British Crown who were fleeing the American Revolution. The town was actually capital of Canada from 1841 to 1844, but lost out to Ottawa as the latter was partway between Montreal and Toronto, and not quite as close to the possible invaders to the south, the USA.
Currently Kingston is a lively university town with gorgeous natural and architechtural beauty that is well worth a visit.
"A few worthwhile attractions"
Bellevue House - Home of Canada's first Prime Minister, Sir John A. MacDonald. I visited this place many a time as a child and young adult and it never failed to impress. The staff are helpful, courteous, and in period costume :-)
The Penitentiary Museum (located at the former Prison for Women)
An intriguing museum detailing prison life from the 1800's on. Display includes forms of punishment and restriant, inmate crafts, contraband and details of escape attempts, those which were successful and those which were not.
Old Fort Henry - British military base from the 1800's. Also was used as a prison camp for enemy merchentmen in the first and second world wars. This is definitely worth a visited. All parts of the fort have been restored to their former state, and the fort is manned by a 'British garrison' in period costume, and features military demonstrations, artillary firing (canons!) and many interesting guides tours with various themes (crime and punishment, the life of a soldier's wife, a victorian schoolroom lesson).
Link with further details: http://www.parks.on.ca/fort/home.htm
If you're going to shop in Kingston, it's best done on Princess Street, the core of the city. Many quaint, original shops can be found there, as well as the usual staples such as the Gap, Indigo Books and Sunrise Records.
Also worth checking out is Market Square, which features fresh farm produce and local arts and crafts on Saturdays from spring though fall, an antiques fair on Sundays during the same season, and outdoor ice skating during the winter, weather permitting.