Curiosity Room Collection Exhibit Ready for Curious Visitors

Did you know Ruthven Park National Historic Site has a new temporary exhibit on display?

Here is a sneak peek of what you will see when you enter the back room of the Thompson Mansion, the first stop on the guided tour that takes place in the building:

We are pleased to introduce the Curiosity Room Collection Exhibit. It was originally kept on the third floor of the mansion. Our Young Canada Works Building Careers in Heritage Intern Kelly Dixon worked hard to care for, rehouse, and display the collection to make it accessible to visitors through this special exhibit.

What else was found on the third floor of the mansion? Why did Col. Andrew Thompson and his brother Walter Wilson collect these materials? Where did everything come from? To learn the answers to these questions and more, pay us a visit and get up and personal with this intriguing part of the Thompson family collection!

From Victoria Day to Labour Day 2017, mansion tours take place 7 days a week every hour on the hour starting at 10:00 am; the last tour of the day leaves at 4:00 pm.

June 2017 Newsletter

Dear members and friends,

Summer feels like it is in full swing at Ruthven Park although the season doesn’t officially begin until Wednesday, June 21, 2017.

We hope you enjoy reading the June 2017 Newsletter, which can be downloaded by clicking the link in this post below. A special highlight in this edition of our newsletter is the temporary expansion of our team with four summer students. Welcome to Blake, Cassandra, Rachel, and Teresa!

June 2017 Newsletter

See you soon,

Ruthven Park staff


Fathers are FREE on Father’s Day!

In celebration of Father’s Day, Ruthven Park National Historic Site will offer free mansion tours to fathers on Sunday, June 18, 2017.

Why not make an afternoon of your visit? Our site has plenty to offer in addition to tours of our magnificent 1840s Greek Revival Mansion:

  • bird watching
  • picnicking
  • historic architecture (Gate House, Coach House, Carriage Way)
  • Edwardian Garden
  • extensive trails
  • the ghost town of Indiana
  • two historic cemeteries
  • views of the Grand River
  • and much more.

Discover Ruthven with Dad this Father’s Day!

Ruthven Park: The Perfect Starting Point For Hiking

This blog post was submitted by Sally Perkins.

Explore the Heritage and Beauty of the Grand River

The Grand River is the largest river in Southern Ontario, and the Lower Grand River Land Trust is just one of the many conservation areas along the banks of what was in 1994 declared a heritage river. This makes Ruthven Park an ideal starting point for explorers to undertake a longer adventure through this unique landscape. So, get your camping gear together, have a hearty breakfast and let’s take a look at some great hiking destinations and where you can stay along the way, as you venture out through Cayuga and on to your Grand River Adventure.

Hiking South

Most hikers choose to head south along the Grand River towards Port Maitland, where the Grand River flows into Lake Erie. The distance is about 35KM, so charge up your GPS system as it is a good day’s hike, and takes around 7-8 hours for anyone of reasonable fitness. However, you might prefer to take your time and complete the journey over two days, pausing to explore the unique beauty of the landscape.

Be sure to check out Rock Point Provincial Point at Dunnville, approximately three quarters of the way along, with its stunning views and flocks of wild geese. There is also a campsite here, making it a perfect place for an overnight stop.

North to Creepy Caledonia

Of course, you could go against the flow and instead hike north along the Grand River. A three mile hike from Ruthven Park brings you to the seemingly quiet town of Caledonia. With its historic toll house and its sleepy main street, it looks like any other town, but stay after dark, and you never know what you might experience on one of Caledonia’s ghost tours of the many haunted locations around the town.

Where to Stay

There are  2,500 campsites across eight parks, on the Grand River so you should have no difficulty finding the perfect place for an overnight stop. Of course, if you decide that you are missing your home comforts, there are also a number of inns, hotels and bed and breakfasts along your way.

If you are heading south from Ruthven Park, then you might wish to consider either Bruce’s Landing Campground as a first port of call. This family-friendly site is approximately a three hour hike away.

Heading north, there are campsites in Brantford, or if that is a little too far, a choice of bed and breakfasts in Caledonia.

National Tourism Week: May 28 – June 3, 2017

The staff of Ruthven Park National Historic Site wish our members, partners, visitors, and volunteers a productive and memorable National Tourism Week!

Tourism Week in Canada is a grassroots initiative that brings attention to the economic opportunity available to Canada through travel and tourism and the public policy challenges preventing the sector from capitalizing on those opportunities.

Tourism Week in Canada aligns tourism organizations, businesses and other partners from across the country around a common vision: a tourism sector unencumbered by government policies and recognized for its contribution to the Canadian economy.

– from the Tourism Industry Association of Canada website,

Ruthven is a well-known tourism destination in Haldimand County for locals and tourists alike. It is open during the busy summer tourism season 7 days a week, which offers non-local visitors plenty of flexibility for planning a trip here. With its unique offerings, Ruthven is able to attract tourists from outside its locality, which brings new dollars into the County and Southwestern Ontario region, encourages local spending, and highlights the surrounding community’s fascinating history and stories. Ruthven also hires summer students each year to better serve the volume of tourists coming to visit the site, whether it be for a mansion tour, a trail hike, a relaxing afternoon enjoying the Edwardian garden, or one of the site’s other excellent offerings. This gives the students valuable paid working experience that will assist them in furthering their future careers.

Although Ruthven has only been open for just over a week for the 2017 summer season, it has already hosted visitors from places as far away as Texas and California. Staff look forward to continuing to welcome visitors from all over the globe as the tourism season continues. Plan your visit today!

Summer Hours – May 20 to September 4

The Gate House: (office) open Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm, Saturday & Sunday 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. 

The Mansion: tours occur 10 am to 5 pm every hour on the hour with the last tour at 4 pm, 7 days a week. 

Contact Us:
Phone: (905) 772-0560 
Toll-free: (877) 705-7275

Mailing Address: 
243 Haldimand Hwy. #54,
Box 610
Cayuga, ON N0A 1E0