With a historic windmill, old canal system, shipwrecks, a major port, riverfront camping, Edwardsburgh Cardinal’s waterfront is as fascinating as it is scenic. As you leave Prescott, make sure to turn south onto Windmill Road to visit The Battle of the Windmill National Historic Site. It is only .3 km off the Trail and a wonderful place to take some Canadian history, enjoy a picnic, take in the views and use the stairs and path that lead down to the riverfront. Initially built as a windmill in 1832, the red-roofed stone tower was converted to a lighthouse and became operational by 1874, remaining in service for over a century.
Heading along the HWY 2, check out two additions to Ontario’s craft alcohol industry– King’s Lock Craft Distillery and Windmill Brewery. On the south side of the HWY 2, you’ll see one of the St. Lawrence River’s premier port facilities. The Port of Johnson hosts an annual Port Day when the public can tour the fascinating facility.
Immediately east side of the port, stop for a bite to eat at the Bridgeview Dockside Restaurant and Patio.
Traveling along County Road 2, you’ll come to the Village of Johnstown, the site of the Canadian terminus of the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge, which runs south to Ogdensburg, NY. Unfortunately, neither cyclists nor pedestrians are permitted to cross this bridge. There is talk about running a pedestrian/cyclist ferry between the two cities.
East of Johnstown is Cardinal, a quaint village dating back to the 1790s. Its heritage is still visible in its old buildings and the remains of the historic Galop Canal, which runs along Cardinal’s waterfront. Cardinal is also the final resting place of the Conestoga, a historic sunken vessel- one of many in the area- making Cardinal a popular spot for divers. A short detour south brings you to Cardinal Legion Waterfront Park, where you can pick up something at the canteen, and ride the scenic cycling trail (unpaved but hard-packed surface) right by the St. Lawrence River.
Future plans- In 2020-work began on Phase 1 of the Cardinal Riverfront Park re-development project.