Hastings County is the second largest county in Ontario. As well, it is the second longest stretching almost one hundred and sixty kilometres from north to south. This vast area encompasses a variety of terrains which have impacted settlement patterns. The northern two-thirds of the county is covered by the ancient rocks of the Canadian Shield. As a result, the settlement is sparsely settled. The southern third portion is located in part of the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Lowlands. This is the site of most towns and farming developments. An escarpment passing through Hungerford, Huntingdon, Rawdon, and Marmora townships marks the southern limit of the Canadian Shield.