Kincardine Home of Kincardine Scottish Pipe Band
Kincardine has much for visitors to discover. Remembering its Scottish heritage, Kincardine’s famous century-old Pipe Band marches downtown on summer Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. Huge throngs of people march with the band, which returns to Victoria Park for a concert following the parade. Golf is also big with four courses in the area. Some of the most challenging fairways can be found at Ainsdale Golf Course, which maintains an automated irrigation system. Its sister course, Somerhill Golf has a tidy 9 holes tucked into rolling landscape south of Tiverton.
Lake Huron’s beautiful shoreline provides boating, swimming, and its newest draw, surfing! From Stand-Up Paddle Boarding, Kite Surfing or Long and Short boarding it, Kincardine happily boasts being named one of the top 9 destinations to surf in Canada! Fresh water, awesome waves and hot showers just a half block from the downtown, are just a few lures for its growing surf culture.
Kincardine prides itself on maintaining many beautiful gardens and parks. The showpiece Rock Garden (end of Durham Street at the lake) is site to many weddings, and also the gateway to Lovers Lane, an intimate beachside trail that heads north from the garden. Lampposts stylishly light the Station Beach Boardwalk in the evenings, providing a nice promenade with historical interpretive plaques. The Rotary Sand ‘n Slide Playground is a popular attraction for children at the south end of the boardwalk on Station Beach. Geddes Environmental Park is located off Queen Street, just north of the bridge; home to a butterfly garden, Peace Labyrinth and walking trails that connect with the River Walk to the Lighthouse. The Kincardine Trails branch out from the Geddes Park Trailhead with 13 km of pathways for hiking, biking and nature observation. The Davidson Recreation Centre has sports facilities, a playground and a splash pad.
Kincardine has splendid examples of Victorian heritage architecture. Pick up a copy of the Heritage Walking Tours brochure at the Kincardine Visitors’ Centre for a self-guided tour. Old fashion lampposts, walkways, flowerbeds and murals provide a charming streetscape along Queen and Harbour Streets. The Walker House Heritage Centre stands opposite the Lighthouse as the town’s oldest building. It hosts historical exhibits and events during summer.
The Kincardine Lighthouse was built in 1880 with a 24-metre high, octagonal tower. The white frame building has a bright red lantern with a balcony, and its light is visible for 20 km. A museum inside the building depicts the local marine heritage with early photographs of the harbour. The museum is open daily in July and August. A huge anchor from the schooner Ann-Maria that sank offshore, rests nearby. The wreck is visible near the south pier on Station Beach.
A story is told of a ship that was guided safely into harbour during a storm by the sound of bagpipes from shore after a worried passenger onboard played a lament on his own pipes. The legend continues on summer evenings when the Phantom Piper pipes the sun down every evening (except Saturday) at dusk during July and August. The best view of the Lighthouse is from Walker’s Lookout bridge.
The Kincardine Centre for the Arts houses the Victoria Park Gallery displays of various media by many talented, local artists. The adjoining Scougall Gallery exhibits superb local historical photographs from the early 1900’s. The Centre is also home to professional summer theatre, Bluewater Summer Playhouse as well as the local Kincardine Theatre Guild. Both groups deliver quality theatre performances collectively, year round.