Come Wander
ATV in the Ottawa Valley

Renowned as the Whitewater Capital of Canada, the Ottawa Valley is home to more than 900 lakes and 4 major river systems, all beckoning you to explore. Leave the mundane behind and experience a world of adventure in a region made for discovery.

Stories

A Beginner’s Guide to Bikepacking in Ontario’s Highlands

Bikepacking is a natural next step for those who love both cycling and camping, it truly is human power for the win. Over the past few years, Ontario’s Highlands has emerged as a bikepacker’s paradise with good reason: the rail trails are plentiful, you can choose between serviced front country or secluded backcountry camping options, […]

Show Your Pride: 3 Ontario’s Highlands Pride Events to Celebrate Inclusivity

Ontario’s Highlands is showing its pride this summer! Our communities are bringing out the rainbow flags and getting ready to celebrate Pride Month (and longer) with all the rainbow-coloured bells and whistles. Celebrating pride in Ontario’s Highlands means smaller, more intimate events that give you a totally different Pride experience. Celebrate diversity and inclusivity at […]

4 Ways to Connect with the Land

This content is part of the broader Our Connections campaign, and is intended to broaden the understanding of Indigenous peoples, their cultures, and their histories in Ontario’s Highlands. The next time you are outdoors, take a moment to stand and truly feel of the land beneath your feet. If you concentrate really hard you may be […]

Connecting to the Land and Algonquin History: Amber Hein

This content is part of the broader Our Connections campaign, and is intended to broaden the understanding of Indigenous peoples, their cultures, and their histories in Ontario’s Highlands. On my mother’s side, I am Algonquin Anishinabek, an original inhabitant of Turtle Island, known today as North America. The traditional homelands of the Algonquin people are the […]

How to Give Back to the Land

This content is part of the broader Our Connections campaign, and is intended to broaden the understanding of Indigenous peoples, their cultures, and their histories in Ontario’s Highlands. – Amber Hein is Algonquin Anishinabek, an original inhabitant of Turtle Island, known today as North America. Read her perspective on how to give back to the land […]

Educate Yourself About Indigenous People and their Cultures

This content is part of the broader Our Connections campaign, and is intended to broaden the understanding of Indigenous peoples, their cultures, and their histories in Ontario’s Highlands. Canadians are becoming more aware of the injustices perpetrated against Indigenous Peoples since settlers arrived on the shores of Turtle Island (North America). Still, many of us aren’t […]

Responsible Tourism: Be a Better Ally to First Nations peoples

This content is part of the broader Our Connections campaign, and is intended to broaden the understanding of Indigenous peoples, their cultures, and their histories in Ontario’s Highlands. Canada is home to more than 630 First Nations, representing over 50 sovereign nations with their own lands, culture, language, creation stories, language or dialect. With such a […]

12 Cutest Ontario General Stores

The highlight of a rural road trip is often the impromptu stop at a small town general store where you can find everything from pickled eggs to popsicles, and where penny candy begs for a sampling. General stores are a staple of the rural countryside in Ontario, peppered here and there in and between small […]

7 Ontario Festivals Happening Again this Summer

After a two-year hiatus for big, in-person events, we are so pumped to hear that many of our favourite festivals are finally happening again this year! These major community festivals and shows draw thousands of visitors and are looked forward to all year long as a chance to say hey to friends, meet new ones, […]

9 Awesome Bikepacking Routes in Ontario’s Highlands

Stepping into your local outdoor outfitter or bike shop last year to find nothing but empty shelves was a good indication that bikepacking, the activity that combines backcountry camping and off-road cycling, will be a popular option for an outdoor getaway this year. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran ready to take on multi-day tours or […]

Best Ontario #RoadTrips

Did someone say road trip? The mere thought of a road trip brings to mind the excitement of heading out on an adventure where you may not know where you will end up but you’re pretty sure the getting there will be half the fun. When you head out for the day the options are […]

5 Relaxing Wellness Staycations to Find Your Bliss

If you have been feeling the impact of the past couple of years and all the stress it’s brought with it, we have good news for you. There is no better time to connect with yourself, family, or friends, than on an Ontario summer staycation. This year you can staycation and save up to $400 […]

Boat, Sun and Play: 5 Family Staycations for All Ages

Anyone who has ever travelled with kids will tell you the getting there is sometimes not so much fun. There are only so many times you can hear “Are we there yet?” before you really want to be at your destination. This is why a staycation is the perfect solution for a family vacation! When […]

5 Wild Staycations to Get Back to Nature

When was the last time you spent time in nature, not just passing through, but really immersed in the natural world? Spending time away from the hustle and bustle of modern life gives you a new perspective on this complex and beautiful environment. All of a sudden the emails don’t seem to matter and your […]

5 Romantic Escapes to Fall in Love All Over Again

A romantic escape is just the thing to ignite a little passion and bring you closer together as a couple. This summer, you can snuggle to your heart’s content and save at the same time with the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit which offers tax credits of up to $400 per couple. So there’s no excuse […]

8 Big Attractions in Ontario

Are you the type to pull over when you see a comically large roadside attraction, or a picture-perfect spot to snap a few shots? Amateur photographers and Instagrammers alike can agree that a giant ice cream cone, a massive mural adorning the side of a building, or a full-size replica of a jet plane are […]

Short and Sweet Spring Walks

Spring has sprung and we are all more than ready to get outside and stretch our legs with a refreshing spring trek. The best spring walks not only keep our feet dry but if we’re lucky we might catch a glimpse of the first buds of the season, and maybe a bird or two. Get […]

High Water

Each year, the spring thaw transforms leisurely meandering rivers, creeks, and streams into turbulent and powerful forces of mother nature. Fascinating to watch, this exciting display of rushing water can occupy you for hours at a time and is the perfect place to have a picnic lunch while taking in the show. This spring, take […]

Accommodations for the Adventurous

Adventure seekers know that after a day spent on the road, trail, or water, giving it everything you’ve got, you’re looking for more than just a place to crash. You want an accommodation that’s central to all the activities you are planning, is a little bit edgy and invites you to push yourself just a […]

Epic Ontario Whitewater Thrills and Spills

Whitewater calls to the adventurer in all of us, inviting us to test our limits with adrenalin-pumping excitement as we dip, twist, and turn over roaring rapids. In the hands of experienced guides, whitewater is not intimidating; it’s adventure sporting at its best, safe yet exhilarating, the ultimate do-it-yourself outdoor adventure where you decide your […]

Retro Campers, a Geodesic Dome, and other Fun Places to Lay Your Head

Why sleep in a boring old hotel when you can turn your overnight into an experience all its own? We love discovering new places to lay our heads and the more unique the better. These are the places that are so fun they just make the experience so much better. Whether it’s a super cute […]

8 Small Towns Within One Hour from Ottawa

When spring comes around and the messy winter weather is in the rear-view mirror, many of us are struck with an itch to get out for a drive and explore someplace new. If you live in Ottawa or eastern Ontario, the small towns of Ontario’s Highlands make for a perfect day trip destination; these eight […]

5 Rail Trails for Gravel Cycling Adventures

Gravel cycling is all the rage these days and it’s no wonder – ideal for novice to experienced cyclists, gravel biking has just the right balance of challenge and accessibility. At the heart of gravel biking are the rail trails, defunct railways that have been converted for recreational purposes. With minimal exposure to traffic, these […]

Short and Sweet Spring Walks

Spring has sprung and we are all more than ready to get outside and stretch our legs with a refreshing spring trek. The best spring walks not only keep our feet dry but if we’re lucky we might catch a glimpse of the first buds of the season, and maybe a bird or two. Get […]

Sweet Maple Escapes

Discover sweet places to stay for maple adventures in Ontario this spring.

Celebrating Women in Business in Ontario’s Highlands

In today’s world we must consciously strive to reduce and eliminate the biases that colour the world and our interactions within it. Here in Ontario’s Highlands, we imagine a gender equal world, free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination, where women are free to celebrate their successes and find support for their struggles. On International Women’s […]

Mad About Maple

Maple syrup isn’t just for pancakes. Celebrate Canada’s iconic sweetener in all its forms in Ontario’s Highlands.

Bike Adventures in Ontario’s Highlands

Trends come and go in the cycling world, but idyllic rail trails, challenging gravel routes, and rugged mountain bike trails never go out of style. Locals have known for years that Ontario’s Highlands is a cyclist’s paradise, with all of the above and then some.   Whatever bike routes you are searching for, we have it. […]

Responsible Tourism: Being Where the Wild Things Are

Is there anything more thrilling and rejuvenating then venturing out into our wild places to connect with ourselves and nature? As photographer and conservationist Art Wolfe said; “It is in the wild places, where the edge of the earth meets the corners of the sky, the human spirit is fed.” And lucky us, we have […]

Go Deep into the Wild Places

When you head into the wilderness in winter you step into a world completely foreign to our “real world.” Gone is the din of traffic or the hustle of everyday life. Here, you are welcomed by a vast silence interspersed with the faint and distant call of a chickadee, the soft plop of snow falling […]

Getting Started Ice Climbing

Ice climbing is an activity that invites you to go deeper into the wild places where it’s just you, your gear, your climbing partner, and your own sense of adventure. Climbing calls to those who want to try something new, want to learn something, and just want to feel the cool breeze of the great […]

Ultimate Après-Ski Experiences

Meet up with friends after a day well spent on the slopes or on the trails. Discover these top places in Ontario’s Highlands to celebrate the Apres Ski!

Local’s Take: A Winter Escape Somewhere in Calabogie

Local’s Take is a series highlighting the staycation experiences available close to home. The experiences featured in this series were hand curated to highlight fun insider spots in our region. Use these stories as your launchpad to create your own staycations in Ontario’s Highlands.  Local: Amy From: Lanark County Travelling: Ottawa Valley There are those among us who spend their […]

Breaking Boundaries with Remote Ice Climbing in Haliburton Highlands: Lorne Foisy

“Our rock is Canadian Shield, it’s old, it’s covered in lichen, you have to wander through the woods to find it. But the way I describe Ontario climbing is adventure climbing, it’s kind of the whole deal.” – Lorne Foisy, Elements Guiding Lorne Foisy didn’t grow up climbing rock walls like Tommy Caldwell, and doesn’t […]

Ontario Snowmobile Loops & Trips

*When wandering in Ontario’s Highlands, please be aware of any local travel restrictions and guidelines. Vaccine passports accompanied by photo identification are currently required to enter some businesses.  If you have been longing to cruise along snowy trails where the winter forest towers over you and the rush of the frosty wind fills your ears, this is the year […]

Rev Up the Romance for Valentine’s Day

Have you ever noticed how many Valentine’s Day proposals there are each year? Nicholas Sparks’ movie The Notebook may have been set in the south, but up here in the great white north we know that some of the best opportunities to inject a little romance come in winter. When you’re chilled, snuggling closer is […]

Have Tax Credit, Will Travel

So you’ve heard about the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit and are wondering how you can save 20 per cent in accommodation expenses on your next Ontario getaway? Join the club! This year will surely go down in history as the year of the staycation for Ontario residents, and here in Ontario’s Highlands we couldn’t be […]

25 Awesome Places to Claim Your Ontario Staycation Tax Credit in 2022

You don’t need to get on a plane to relax on a sandy beach, be pampered at a spa, or experience a one-of-a-kind outdoor adventure in all four seasons. From luxury accommodations to rustic retreats, and minimalist getaways, Ontario’s Highlands has your dream staycation spot waiting for you. If you heard about the new Ontario […]

Responsible Tourism: Stay Safe, Be Respectful in Winter

Believe it or not, winter is my absolute favourite season to get outdoors and hike! The trails are little more quiet, there are no bugs, and you don’t have to get up as early to catch an incredible sunrise.  If that’s not winning, I don’t know what is. The caveat of course, is that you […]

Become a Winter Lover

So you say you love the outdoors? But do you love it no matter the time of year? Falling in love with the outdoors is easy when it’s warm and sunny, but it’s a little harder to get similarly enthused when the wind is cutting through you like a knife, your eyes are smarting, and […]

Snowy Walks and Cozy Nights

If you’re not into the adrenalin rush of downhill skiing or the technical nature of cross country skiing, but still want to get out and get moving outdoors, snowshoeing can totally be your sport. We kind of think that snowshoeing is one of the great underappreciated of winter sports – you don’t need a lot […]

The Skinny on Fat Biking and Other Extreme Winter Sports

*When wandering in Ontario’s Highlands, please be aware of any local travel restrictions and guidelines. Vaccine passports accompanied by photo identification are currently required to enter some businesses.  If you were sad to pack away your bike for the winter, are lamenting the loss of beautiful weather for an early morning run, or regretting all the days you could […]

Go Cross-Country

Glide over fresh snow on these cross-country ski trails near you.

Winter Camping (yes, it’s a thing)

*When wandering in Ontario’s Highlands, please be aware of any local travel restrictions and guidelines. Vaccine passports accompanied by photo identification are currently required to enter some businesses.  You waken to the sound of new snow drifting onto the top of your tent or cabin, landing light as a feather one snowflake at a time. The world is hushed […]

Shinny Rinks and Sledding Hills

*When wandering in Ontario’s Highlands, please be aware of any local travel restrictions and guidelines. Vaccine passports accompanied by photo identification are currently required to enter some businesses.  The hill spills beneath the runners of your toboggan, plunging into a darkness made even deeper by the sparkle of snow beneath the moonlight. Your nose is cold but your mittened […]

5 Real-Life Holiday Movie Sets

If you ever want to feel like you’ve stumbled onto the set of a holiday movie, the charming towns of Ontario’s Highlands are the place to be. Seriously, our small towns are so picturesque, they’re often used as the set for Christmas movies. Feel the holiday cheer for yourself when you visit these spots that […]

Light Up the Holidays

When the holiday decorations go up in December the whole world begins to shimmer with magic. Every car ride or stroll is filled with wonder as we drink in the night filled with sparkling holiday lights of all colours. For the next month or longer, villages, hamlets, and towns in Ontario’s Highlands will be lit […]

Responsible Tourism: Building Connections

*When wandering in Ontario’s Highlands, please be aware of any local travel restrictions and guidelines. Vaccine passports accompanied by photo identification are currently required to enter some businesses.  Is there any better feeling of aliveness than the way we feel when we connect to ourselves and others? Connections give us a grounded, joyful sensation of awareness and interaction that […]

How to Strengthen Your Connection to Yourself and Others

*When wandering in Ontario’s Highlands, please be aware of any local travel restrictions and guidelines. Vaccine passports accompanied by photo identification are currently required to enter some businesses.  Let’s face it, we live in a pretty disconnected world. Especially over the last year and a half, we’ve begun to connect primarily through digital media like social media, cell phones, […]

Connected to People: Ro Nwosu

“My calling is to help people, to help them see the way they move is so unique to who they are.” – Ro Nwosu What do you get when you take the rich Nigerian and maritime cultures, pepper in a dash of Valley, a twist of determination, and combine? You get a people loving, community […]

Keep Calm and Drink Local Wine

*When wandering in Ontario’s Highlands, please be aware of any local travel restrictions and guidelines. Vaccine passports accompanied by photo identification are currently required to enter some businesses.  Rumours are flying about the prospect of a wine shortage this winter, thanks to unprecedented drought in California combined with a destructive gypsy moth infestation here in Ontario. We’re trying not […]

Holiday Gift Guide for Him

Let’s face it – men can be tough to buy for at Christmas, so why make it any harder on yourself? If your guy is someone whose answer to “What do you want for Christmas?” is “Nothing.” Or “I don’t know, whatever.” we’ve got you. Browse our curated list of gift ideas that men will […]

Holiday Gift Guide for Foodies

If there’s one thing that makes one want to celebrate, it’s food. Doesn’t a slice of rich chocolate cake just call out for candles to mark a special occasion? And who can resist the lure of an expertly frothed hot cocoa, complete with grated nutmeg or cinnamon? Good wine, rich beers, and perfectly cured meats […]

Holiday Gift Guide for Outdoor Lovers

We all have that one person on their list, someone who values spending time outdoors and adrenalin-filled adventure more than tangible things. Give them the choice and they’ll choose speeding through raging whitewater over a holiday sweater, or a long grueling hike capped by a phenomenal view over yet another scarf. These are the adrenalin […]

Holiday Gift Guide for Her

Do you hear that? Concentrate really hard and you may be able to hear the faint sound of holiday music tinkling in the background, the squeak of boots on new fallen snow, and the rustle of wrapping paper accompanied by the muted screech of Scotch tape. It’s happening: The season of giving is inching closer, […]

Find Your Zen

If you have been feeling a little tight around the shoulders, are sleeping a little less deeply, or just generally feeling stressed, we have good news. There is no better time to connect with yourself, family, or friends, than right now. After such a momentous year, what we all could use right now is a […]

Brighten the Darkest Months

*When wandering in Ontario’s Highlands, please be aware of any local travel restrictions and guidelines. Vaccine passports accompanied by photo identification are currently required to enter some businesses.  When the days start getting shorter and the sun becomes something you crave more than chocolate, you know you are entering into the darkest months of the year. It can be […]

5 Cozy Ontario Retreats

*When wandering in Ontario’s Highlands, please be aware of any local travel restrictions and guidelines. Vaccine passports accompanied by photo identification are currently required to enter some businesses.  If the road is calling to you for one last foray before the world transitions from green to white, the time is now. Solidly in the fall season, the month of […]

3-Night Cross Country Edible Adventure

Food is the great uniter – it brings people together and provides a social context to feed our spirit as well as our bodies. And isn’t it true that a gathering of family and friends can only be enhanced by the accompaniment of really good food (and vice versa)? This fall, we invite you to […]

Meteor Showers, Big Planets, and Other Celestial Happenings this Fall

*When wandering in Ontario’s Highlands, please be aware of any local travel restrictions and guidelines. Vaccine passports accompanied by photo identification are currently required to enter some businesses.  Fall is the perfect time for astronomy lovers to explore the night skies no matter where you are, but especially in Ontario’s Highlands, known for some of the darkest skies in […]

Shiver-Worthy Spooky Spots

There’s something lingering in the air throughout October, leading up to the culmination of all things spooky on its final day – Halloween.   October starts with the summer’s lush canopy of green bidding a final farewell through a stunning display of vibrant colours. When the leaves die off and settle as a multi-coloured blanket on the forest floor, and the fog rolls in over the lakes and […]

Food for Thought: Responsible Tourism Through Food

Raise your hand if you’re all about snacks while hiking, camp meals on the fire, or cabin feasts with friends? (we’re going to go ahead and assume that your hand is up because all these things are awesome). Plant life contributes to the ecosystem, meals are the cornerstone of communities, and packing the right food […]

A Cheese Lover’s Guide to Ontario’s Highlands

What makes cheese something we crave so much? Is it the slightly salty flavour, or because it’s the ultimate comfort food? Whatever the reason it’s a fact that cheese added to pretty much any dish only makes it better. No matter where you are from, cheese has played an important role in our gastronomic evolution. […]

Top 7 Comfort Foods and Where to Find Them

*When wandering in Ontario’s Highlands, please be aware of any local travel restrictions and guidelines. Vaccine passports accompanied by photo identification are currently required to enter some businesses.  When was the last time you bit down into something so warm and rich, cheesy and flavourful that your heart said “thank you!” and your belly said “more please!” The best […]

Cycle Through Fall

*When wandering in Ontario’s Highlands, please be aware of any local travel restrictions and guidelines. Vaccine passports accompanied by photo identification are currently required to enter some businesses.  In my humble opinion, there is no better time than fall to hop on my bike and hit the roads, gravel, and trails of Ontario’s Highlands. I don’t have to worry […]

Fall Studio Tours, Theatre, Maple, and More

*Wander safe, wander local. Check your region’s local health guidelines before heading out. The summer may be over but that doesn’t mean the party has to stop. Events that take place in fall are in many ways even more amazing than summer events – there are no bugs, the weather is more reasonable, and we’re all eager […]

The Best Fall Canoeing

Discover these top lakes and rivers in Ontario’s Highlands to discover the beauty of fall colours from a canoe.

5 Fall Drives to Enjoy with the Windows Down

*Wander safe, wander local. Check your region’s local health guidelines before heading out. In fall you aren’t looking for a highway experience, you want to cruise the backroads and kick up the leaves into a whirlwind behind you as you pass. The best fall drives will you past spectacular scenery to small communities, perfect picnic spots, and […]

15 Cutest Small Towns

What do you get when you combine cute shops and restaurants housed in heritage buildings with enticing waterfront or a dash of strollable parks? You get totally adorable small towns that make the perfect road trip destination.  Whether you’re in it for the food, need some retail therapy, or are seeking natural wonders like towering […]

5 Spectacular Summer Daytrips

As we head into the last few weeks of summer this is the time to break out the daytrips and make the most of the nice weather. As a short, doable experience within a few hours drive from home, daytrips are like little mini holidays, without the airfare. Whether you live in Ottawa or Toronto, […]

Cycling the K&P: 100 Kilometres from Calabogie to Sharbot Lake

In 2020, my friend Tanner and I set off on an epic bike trip travelling from Sharbot Lake to Calabogie on the K&P and Ottawa Valley Rail Trail (OVRT). This was a 330-kilometre counter-clockwise loop that we planned to tackle in three days. We called this loop the Choo Choo Loop and you can read […]

Responsible Tourism: Respecting Nature’s Soundscape

When you hike, is it to experience nature? Perhaps catch up with friends? Whether if it’s one or the other – or maybe both! – nothing trumps taking a pause to listen to nature’s ‘music’. There is beauty is listening to bird songs, frogs’ choruses, and the wind through the trees. In fact, it’s an […]

Best Highway 60 Hikes

So, you’re ready to hit the road. The King’s Highway 60 is calling your name – and who could blame you? The vistas on this route are stunning, from the Ottawa Valley to the Madawaska Valley. Every kilometre is a captivating experience. It may seem like you could cruise forever on this roadway, but everyone […]

7 Rockin’ Patios for Live Music

*Wander safe, wander local. Check your region’s local health guidelines before heading out. Live music and patios go together like yin and yang, salt and pepper, peanut butter and jelly, or….well, you get the picture. When you’re dining on a patio with a band playing beside you, your food tastes better, the night stars are brighter, and […]

Find Inspiration in Ontario’s Highlands

*Wander safe, wander local. Check your region’s local health guidelines before heading out. We all want to be able to make beautiful music, paint stunning works of art or write beautiful prose, but if it were easy, everyone would be doing it, wouldn’t they? It’s fair to say that fostering creativity is difficult to achieve in a […]

Summertime Happenings: 8 Local Events to Celebrate Summer

It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to gather in person, and the moment we’ve all been waiting for is finally here. If you have been missing gathering with friends and family to watch a live performance, dance under the stars, watch a play, try a new watersport, or just hang out together, […]

Local’s Take: 3 Cabin Nights & Rafting in the Ottawa Valley

Local’s Take is a series highlighting the staycation experiences available close to home this summer. The experiences featured in this series were hand curated to highlight fun insider spots in our region. Use these stories as your launchpad to create your own staycations in Ontario’s Highlands.  Local: Gabriel Rivett-Carnac From: Ottawa and the Valley Travelling: Ottawa […]

Wild and Wonderful Waterfalls

If there’s one thing we can agree on it’s that few of us will turn down an opportunity to see a waterfall. Whether it has something to do with the mesmerizing whitewater cascade or the white-noise that comes with it, a waterfall is a universal attraction. It can be the reason for a hike or […]

Get the Most Out of a River Experience

*Wander safe, wander local. Check your region’s local health guidelines before heading out. Getting to know a river is almost like embarking on a wet and wild love affair. You forge a connection, learn everything you can, and then strengthen it over time. Sounds like a relationship, doesn’t it? The connection you have with a body of […]

Secret Swimming Holes

*Wander safe, wander local. Check your region’s local health guidelines before heading out. Shhh…we’re not supposed to tell you about these swimming holes…some of them don’t even have names and you may never find them without a map, but we understand that when it’s 40 degrees out with the humidity and the public beach is packed the […]

7 of Ontario’s Best Paddling Routes

This summer is the year to be on the water, to cast off on an epic paddling adventure that will take you along winding rivers, past shorelines crowded with towering trees, and where the ripples on the water draw you forward with each pull of the paddle. If you have been yearning to feel the […]

3 Fun Itineraries for Water Play

*Wander safe, wander local. Check your region’s local health guidelines before heading out. The game is on to make the most of summer 2021 and the winner gets to spend the summer soaking wet and grinning from ear to ear. Are you up for the challenge? It goes without saying that the best warm-weather activities centre around […]

Local Faves: Best Ice Cream

In the dog days of summer, when the sun is relentless and the humidity won’t cut you a break, there’s nothing more refreshing than an ice cream. Not only are our favourite frozen treats delicious, but they have the added bonus of helping regulate our temperature on a hot, sticky day. Scientifically proven or not, […]

Responsible Tourism: Discover the Benefits of Local Travel

When was the last time you discovered a local landmark or business that you didn’t know was there? In Ontario’s Highlands, we have some amazing spots and experiences that you might be surprised to hear about. For example, did you know the longest canopy boardwalk in the world is located in Haliburton Highlands? Or that […]

Dear Dads, We Love You

Tell Dad how much awesome he is this Father’s Day with a little local love from these places in Ontario’s Highlands.

Perfect Picnic Spots

*Wander safe, wander local. Check your region’s local health guidelines before heading out, Whether it’s a throwback to simpler days when a weekend picnic was a full day adventure or a need to connect with nature, having a picnic is something we universally enjoy. Spreading your picnic blanket on the ground and lounging while you nibble on […]

3 Ways to Play on the Ontario Water Trail

*Wander safe, wander local. Check your region’s local health guidelines before heading out. Spending time on the water gives the world an almost magical feel. The minutes drift past at the pace of the current around you, and the sun slows the passage of time to a trickle. You are hyper-aware; you are present. When you’re on […]

This Fry’s for You

Challenge accepted: Take on the Great Potato Abundance of 2020 and put a dent in the local potato population.

Cocktails at Home: 5 Cool Summer Drinks

Lounging on your balcony, patio, or deck sipping a yummy cocktail while the sun warms our face tells us we have finally arrived at the pinnacle of all summer experiences – cocktail season. We have to admit, we really do love a good cocktail, and we know the best drinks are made with care using […]

Ice Cream and Skiing: Meet Laurent Coulibaly from Cafe Laurent, Burnstown

If you travel through Burnstown during the warm summer months, you will probably take note of a line-up of cars parked outside what has become one of the most sought-after ice cream shops in the region: Café Laurent. Here, Laurent Coulibaly makes his delicious ice creams from scratch, and is dedicated to revolutionizing the ice […]

A True Bru-Master

Meet Marc Bru, owner of Square Timber Brewing Company who is taking beer to the next level in Pembroke, Ontario.

For the Love of Mom

From the day we burst into the world, mothers mean safety, warmth, and unconditional love. Mothers are almost superhuman, virtually able to leap tall buildings in a single bound and cure all ills with the sweep of a hand. Moms know when you need a hug, when you need to be left alone, and are […]

Spring Refresh

It’s something we dream of all winter – that magical moment when the sweet spring sun touches our skin for the first time, and the whole world feels bigger and brighter. This is when we peel back the layers we’ve piled on for the winter months and for the first time get a full glimpse […]

9 Sweet Summer Treks

These days the warm weather is telling us summer is here and we don’t need to be told twice to get out and embrace the outdoors. The best summer hikes not only take us into the wild places but if we’re lucky we might catch a glimpse of some wildlife and take in the rushing waters […]

Chocolate Pairings to Fall in Love With

*Wander safe, wander local. Check your region’s local health guidelines before heading out.  Valentine’s Day may be over but that doesn’t mean our chocolate indulgence has to end. Is there even such a thing as too much chocolate? We think not. For true chocolate lovers, every opportunity to sample a new artisanal chocolate is reason to rejoice. […]

5 Ideas for a Romantic Valentine’s Day (at home)

*Stay home, stay safe. This article contains experiences you can have at home or that conform with current stay-at-home orders. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, but unfortunately this year brings with it new challenges.  You can’t go out to dinner, you can’t go see a movie, and many of the typical Valentine’s Day […]

Thinking of Camping in 2021? Read This.

The ground may be covered by snow right now, but we’re dreaming of the warm weather and the camping season to come in the wild places in Ontario’s Highlands. Camping reservations have recently opened at provincial campgrounds across Ontario and if last year was any indicator spots will book up fast. You can book a […]

Coming Home

Discover the story of Sarain Fox and her journey home to the Ontario’s Highlands, relieving memories of ice fishing and snowmobiling along the way.

Jigging Through Ice

*Wander safe, wander local. Check your region’s local health guidelines before heading out.  You slip and slide your way across the ice, your arms laden with fishing gear, excitement building at the thought of the unscripted day ahead. Tucked amidst your gear is a warm blanket, a thermos of something rich and delicious, and a carefully packed […]

12 Gifts of Christmas (Online)

The holiday season is coming, and it’s the season for giving. You might be the type to start planning early, or the kind who is motivated by pressure, not even beginning your shopping until the 11th hour. Whichever you are, we’re here to help get the ideas flowing with a list of online gifts that […]

Recharge in the Snow

Disconnect from the everyday with a snowmobile trip through Ontario’s Highlands.

Cheers to the Holidays

Get into the holiday spirit this month with these mixologists and craft drink producers in Ontario’s Highlands.

Get on Board with Charcuterie

*Wander safe, wander local. Check your region’s local health guidelines before heading out.  You’ve heard the word and maybe you’ve even seen Instagram pics of colourful charcuterie boards, and if you’re lucky you’ve sampled this meaty treat yourself (in case you wondered, it’s pronounced shahr-ku-tuh-ree). Charcuterie is originally a French word that literally translates to […]

Find Your Hygge Here

*Wander safe, wander local. Check your region’s local health guidelines before heading out.  You nestle into a soft cocoon of blankets while curled up on the couch, the fire casting its flickering glow onto the faces of friends or family as you share comradery and conversation. You clasp a warm mug in your hands, the […]

Discover Historic Accommodations in Ontario

Spend the night in historic accommodations to take yourself to way-back-when, and get into the spirit of the community you’re visiting. These inns have stories to tell of the people who lived and breathed inside their walls.

Local Love: 9 Local Gift Ideas You Can Order Online Today

‘Tis the season – for shopping. Yes, the leaves may have barely fallen from the trees but the jack-o-lanterns will shortly be switched out for ornaments and holly and the days are numbered before the holidays are here live and in person. This year when planning your shopping to-do list, we have two words for […]

Embrace the Norwegian Concept of “Friluftsliv”

Friluftsliv (free-lufts-liv): Free air life *Wander safe, wander local. Check your region’s local health guidelines before heading out.  If you’re worried about being stuck indoors this winter, the Scandinavians may have the solution with this hard to pronounce and consonant-filled word: friluftsliv. Loosely translated, friluftsliv means “free air life,” a concept that was coined by […]

After Turkey Burn

*Wander safe, wander local. Check your region’s local health guidelines before heading out.  Thanksgiving dinner is something we dream about all year long – the perfectly roasted turkey dishes up with cranberry sauce, potatoes and veggies, and often paired with more than one glass of wine or a cold pint of beer or cider, not […]

Tales of Wilno: Exploring Canada’s Oldest Polish-Kashub Settlement

Wilno is a land with stories to tell – many stories, in fact. If the hamlet could talk, it would tell you tales of first settlers, church fires, bustling railway lines, and hockey games played on the outdoor rink. Known as Canada’s first Polish/Kashub settlement, Wilno is the place where settlers from Poland/Kashubia first laid […]

Celebrate All Things German this October

Oktoberfest brings to mind a crowded beer hall filled with large Germans shouting ‘Prost!’ and knocking thick beer steins together with gusto. But is this an event or a cultural celebration? We would argue the latter, and not just because we are looking for an excuse to drink beer and eat schnitzel. This year will […]

Finding Good Medicine on Thunderbird Mountain

Having a guide can turn an everyday hike into the most amazing adventure. Although I’d hiked on my own in the past, making the hike with Tim Yearington of Bird Mountain Journeys wove together a story that allowed a deeper connection and different outlook on nature and history. It gave me a greater outlook on […]

Tiny Cabins, Yurts, and other Glamping Getaways

So you’ve seen the Instagram posts of friends or family seated around a rustic campfire, enthusing on the beauty of nature and a rugged camping experience, but you’re thinking “That’s totally not for me?” Hey, don’t sweat it, you are not alone. Camping isn’t for everyone, and who says it should be? If everyone were […]

Haunted Walks and Hair-Raising Ghost Tours

Have you ever wandered through an older building and felt the hair raise on the back of your neck, and not been sure why? It may be you are sensing something that others aren’t, some spooky aftereffect from a historical wrongdoing or the ghostly pinings of a disgruntled spirit. Many small communities in Ontario’s Highlands […]

Cozy Up to Fall Camping

So you’re not ready for camping season to end? Here’s a tip: It doesn’t! Just because the summer is over doesn’t mean we need to head indoors, when it comes to camping experiences, fall is where it’s at. Fall camping is an entirely different (and some would say better) experience from summer camping. Sure it’s […]

Cider Season

Find these cideries on your next road trip through Ontario’s Highlands to discover a refreshing way to toast the apple harvest with a cold cider.

With Love, to the Ottawa Valley

From the rushing waters of the Petawawa, Madawaska and Ottawa rivers to the unspoiled woodlands of Algonquin Park, the Ottawa Valley is a sultry enchantress, enticing us with adventure. Renowned as a world-class whitewater destination and for the challenges found in its rugged hills and lush dales, the Valley pushes us to do more, live […]

Feel Like a Kid Again

Remember when your whole summer was devoted to swimming, playing, catching frogs, and finding adventures? At one time, this was an entire season fueled by ice cream, Freezies, and hot dogs. August always felt so short, and by the time it rolled around you’d scramble to finish your summer bucket list, savouring each shortened day […]

Your Guide to COVID-19 Safe Travel in Ontario’s Highlands

This year the key to exploring is to keep it local; this is the time to explore our own backyards, and the regions close to home that have so much to offer us in the way of exhilarating outdoor experiences, fantastic food and drink, and blissful relaxation. If you’re exploring a new corner of Ontario’s […]

Hidden Gems Along Letterkenny Road

If you never thought that a simple road could spark your curiosity, initiate historical debates AND bring out your inner geologist, then you have obviously never been introduced to Letterkenny Road. Connecting the hamlets of Brudenell and Quadeville, this fully paved settlement road winds around pristine lakes, and leads you to a prized rose-quartz quarry. […]

Meet Me at the Drive-in

“Stranded at the drive-in, branded a fool What will they say Monday at school?” – Danny Zuko, Grease We could think of worse things than being stranded at the drive-in with Danny Zuko this summer! Maybe it’s because of the 1950s movie Grease, or maybe it’s just because it’s an awesome experience, but there’s something […]

Get in Step

April Verch, fiddler, singer-songwriter and step dancer extraordinaire teaches the basics of stepdancing.

Date Night In

You don’t need to leave the house for a romantic and locally inspired experience. Bring date night home with these four romantic experiences.

An Ode to Summer

A throwback to summers gone past, with inspiration for this year’s adventure.

An Ode to Poutine

Discover these chip trucks and their classic dishes, located throughout Ontario’s Highlands.

Just Show Up

Hit the water and take advantage of these easy kayaking and canoeing opportunities in Ontario’s Highlands.

Summer Brews

Take a trip around Ontario’s Highlands to these micro-breweries to discover your perfect summer beer.

Exhale and Unwind

Experience a slice of farm life at Dwyer’s Farmhouse in the Ottawa Valley.

Discover Hidden Gems

Feed your curiosity and explore the diverse geology of Ontario’s Highlands at these Recreational Geology locations.

Before the Lake Wakes

Wake up lakeside with a steaming cup of coffee from a roastery in Ontario’s Highlands.

Baking with Beer

Great beer makes great food. Check out some great recipes to bake with beer with Chris Thompson from Whitewater Brewery Co.

Just Breathe

Discover the beauty of mindfulness and allowing yourself to Just Breathe.

The Great Pizza-Off

Chow down on artisan wood-fired pizza at any of these gems across Ontario’s Highlands.

Perfect Picnic Spots Near Ottawa

Discover these perfect picnic spots throughout the Ottawa Valley and Lanark County on your next road trip just outside of Ottawa.

Get Hooked

Expert fishing guide Sebastian Kowalczuk shares his secret fishing spots where you’re guaranteed a good catch.

Pause for Pi Day

Celebrate Pi Day with the best pie at these bakeries in Ontario’s Highlands.

Breaking Bread

Gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian – dine with confidence at these 10 Ontario’s Highlands restaurants. Your belly will thank you.

Family Play Days

Hanging around the city in the dead of winter is tough. This is when you yearn to get away from the slush, pack the car and head out for an almost-spring getaway, with family in tow. Get out of Ottawa with a road trip to Ontario’s Highlands where the snow is pristine and sparkling, and […]

Bask in Romance

Add a little romance at one of these nine intimate Ontario retreats.

New Year, New You!

Winter events across Ontario’s Highlands that will help you keep your New Year’s Resolutions.

The Best Baked Goods

Discover some of the best bakeries in Ontario’s Highlands and their tasty treats.

Shine at Giving this Holiday Season

Today’s craft markets are full of fresh, hip products made by creative and talented makers. This holiday season, go above and beyond by picking up handmade items with a story to tell at one of these Ontario holiday markets.

Daily Dose of Nature

Discover these places in Ontario’s Highlands that allow you to get out into nature, benefiting your mental and physical health.

The Perfect Scoop

Discover these top ice cream stops across Ontario’s Highlands to keep cool this summer on your road trip.

Golf, Eat, Sleep, Repeat

Discover these 5 golf courses in Ontario’s Highlands, perfect spots for your next golf escape.

Summer Music Festivals

From rock to folk, these Ontario’s Highlands summer music festivals will keep you coming back year after year.

Strawberry Fields Forever

Discover these top ways to enjoy the strawberry season, when you let these farm-fresh berries shine on their own or in a variety of treats.

Art in the Summer

Celebrate creativity at art festivals across Ontario’s Highlands this summer.

Namaste Outside

Breathe the fresh air at outdoor yoga workshops and events near Ottawa, Ontario.

Farm Fresh Finds

Indulge your taste buds this summer with these 5 local finds at Farmers Markets through Ontario’s Highlands.

3 Cheers for Mom

Discover ways to give a mom a Mother’s Day to remember, with gift ideas that go above and beyond.

SUP with that View

Grab your SUP board and take in the beautiful views at these 5 places in Ontario’s Highlands.

An Escape into Nature

Find your connection with nature and each other during a cabin getaway at Deacon Escarpment in Renfrew County.

Valentine’s Day Treats

Treat that special someone this Valentine’s Day to a gift of sweets at one of these top places.

Where Am I?

Make fresh tracks along premium snowmobile trail, the RAP Tour Loop.

Winter? Bring it!

Discover your love for the season with a classic Ottawa Valley winter.

Where Am I?

Discover Calabogie Peaks Resort, a well-known gem, through new eyes.

One Last Ride

Watch JR Alli’s video and see what he discovers when he allows himself to just wander.

Get Your Hands Dirty

Find out where to appease your creative side on this Creative Cruiser road trip.

An Action-Packed Weekend

Read how Will Tang from Going Awesome Places raced muscle cars and experienced thrills on the rapids with whitewater raftering in the Ottawa Valley.

Whitewater Rafting as a Family

Read about how one family took on whitewater rafting on the Madawaska River and why they can’t wait to do it again.

Where Am I?

Devour an Ottawa Valley tradition and feel your taste buds rejoice with Wes’ Chips in Arnprior.

Top 4 Summer Treats

Top 4 summer treats that are worth the stop on your next Ontario’s Highlands road trip.

Hidden Gems

Seven charming museums in Ontario’s Highlands.

Parks Worth the Admission

Visit these 8 Ontario Parks’ campgrounds in Ontario’s Highlands and discover why they are worth the admission.

Raging the Rapids

SUP Instructor Courtney Sinclair takes her passion for paddle boarding to the whitewater.