This summer, embrace the timeless moments that can only be welcomed and never planned. The stunning sunset that transfixes you until every drop of burning glory has disappeared, the awe-inspiring views that catch your breath…these are the moments that truly inspire you to Be. Here. Now. 

 Embrace the timeless moments and start planning your slow summer getaway using this 2-night, 3-day itinerary.

This itinerary focuses on one accommodation but there are many similar places to stay that would also work for your trip. For more options explore Buttermilk Falls Resort, Heather Lodge, or The Pines on Boshkung.

2-night, 3-day Slow Summer Getaway

Start Here: Madoc and Tweed

Madoc is one of those small communities that is worth a wander, especially if you aren’t on a tight timeline. Take your time here to explore the slower pace of small-town life and wander downtown to get a feel for the community, then head to nearby Tweed and do it all over again. 

• Connect with nature and history at the same time at O’Hara Mill Homestead    
Hidden Goldmine Bakery is a must stop for sweet treats and a cup of coffee that will keep you going for the reset of the day. You won’t regret snagging one of their famous butter tarts!    
• Pick up a six-pack of beer from 7/62 Craft Brewers to enjoy when you reach your accommodation.    
• Not far from both Madoc and Tweed is the beautiful winery, Potter Settlement Winery. Tour their stunning grounds and sample their award-winning wines.   
• Don’t leave Tweed without visiting North America’s Smallest Jail House

Hastings County
From Toronto: 210km • 2 hr 30 min From Ottawa: 195km • 2 hr 20 min

A trip to Madoc isn't complete without a stop to the Hidden Goldmine Bakery for a delicious cinnamon roll or butter tart.  Get a flavour for Madoc's gold rush history at this quaint bakery nestled on the historic main street.

Time Spent Here: You have a full day ahead of you but if you start early enough in the day you can count on a few hours in this area before moving on. 

Next Stop: McGeachie Conservation Area

Midway between Madoc and Bancroft sits a fantastic and little known 500-acre wilderness spot, McGeachie Conservation Area. This would make the perfect stop for a nature immersion or to stretch your legs en route. 

• Hike the five-and-a-half kilometre loop and pause along the way to do some birding or watch for wildlife. 
• Book a two-hour forest therapy session with Finding Your Way Adventure Company. This session will invite you to connect deeper with your senses to heighten the forest experience. It’s also a great way to capture those timeless moments spent in nature. 
• This is a good spot for a picnic – if you love Italian food, make the 15-minute drive north to The Barn Chefs in Coe Hill and pick up a wood-fired Italian pizza (Saturdays or long weekends only) or authentic charcuterie board. Some homemade pasta would make a great supper when you reach your accommodation.

Coe Hill
Hastings County
From Toronto: 230km • 2 hr 45 min From Ottawa: 245km • 2 hr 55 min

A visit to The Barn Chefs is well worth the visit to Coe Hill for their handcrafted Italian cured and cooked meats, sausages, fresh pasts, and ready-to-go meals, all locally sourced and sustainable.

Time Spent Here: Plan on at least two hours to hike the loop and not feel rushed, to let those perfect moments come as they may. Allow two or three hours for the forest therapy session. 

Next Stop: Bancroft

Known as the Mineral Capital of Canada, Bancroft is a treasure trove for rockhounders and for epic views that will catch your breath. Make Eagle’s Nest Park the centrepiece for your visit in Bancroft, a towering batholith that offers spectacular views of the town of Bancroft and the York River. 

• Feel time come to a standstill at Eagle’s Nest Park in Bancroft. Hike one of the six trails to fully experience the flora and fauna of the region, then end your experience drinking in the awe-inspiring view at the Hawkwatch viewing platform. 
• Visit the Bancroft Brewing Co. to sample a flight of their craft brews or pick up a six-pack at add to your stash to enjoy during your weekend. 
• Stop for lunch or dinner at the popular local eatery, The Granite. Their Granite Burger is a must try!
• If you love fresh fish, add For the Halibut to your list of stops. Their specialty is hand battered, golden fried haddock and chips. Dine on their patio overlooking the York River for the perfect mid-day pick-me-up. 

Hastings County
From Toronto: 245km • 2 hr 50 min From Ottawa: 220km • 2 hr 35 min

Bancroft, the Mineral Capital of Canada, is a rockhounders' dream. Must stop locations for all rock-lovers includes the Bancroft Mineral Museum and the Princess Sodalite Mine. Or take a trip down The Miner's Loop and walk in the shoes of miners long ago.

Time Spent Here: Take your time at Eagle’s Nest Park, but plan your stop here to leave enough time for the drive to your accommodation at H2H Cottage Co., on Kennisis Lake, a roughly one hour drive from Bancroft.

End Your Day: H2H Cottage Co.

This is your last stop for the day, and will be worth the wait. H2H Cottage Co. offers two luxury cottages in Haliburton Highlands, one on Kennisis Lake (your destination today) and one on Bitter Lake. Both invite you to slow down, take a breath, and experience a cottage getaway of yesteryear, where nature is the centrepiece.

• Settle in to the 2,500 square foot treehouse overlooking Little Kennisis Lake and the wilds of Haliburton Highlands. 
• Cook a meal to remember using the fare picked up from The Barn Chefs – this is where the homemade pasta will come in handy.
• Take out a paddleboard or kayak onto the lake to drink in the majesty of a sunset on the water while surrounded by nature’s magic.
• Watch the stars flare into brilliance one at a time while roasting marshmallows over a roaring bonfire. 

Time Spent Here: Enjoy your first night on Kennisis Lake! Feel time slow as you unwind from your journey and immerse yourself in the moment. 

Start Here: H2H Cottage Co.

Waken with the birds - literally - as the wild backdrop comes to life after its overnight slumber. 

• Settle onto the wrap-around deck with a cup of coffee and watch as the natural world wakens all around you. 
• Let time pass slowly or quickly, just be in the moment.
• Since the cottage is perched high in the trees this is a great opportunity for some bird watching. Watch as the birds flit to and fro completing their daily bird activities. 
• Make the three minute drive to Boshkung Smokehouse to pick up one of their breakfast or lunch specials to enjoy back at the cottage (or dine in). 
• If the day has slipped past you and you aren’t feeling cooking, savour a fine dining meal for lunch or dinner at Rhubarb Haliburton in nearby Carnarvon. 
• There are plenty of hiking opportunities just a short drive away, at Haliburton Forest & Wild Life Reserve or the spectacular views at Buttermilk Falls are worth a visit.

Time Spent Here: You can spend the whole day at the cottage or leave the afternoon free for some fun outdoor activities in nearby Harcourt.  

Next Stop: Harcourt

Located a roughly half-hour drive north-east of Kennisis Lake, Harcourt is so close to Algonquin Park that you can have many of the same experiences here, without having to enter the park. If you only have a few hours, or you want to spend the full day here, there is plenty to do without having to once check the time. 

• Throwback to an earlier life with a slower pace and book a horseback trail riding experience at South Algonquin Equestrian Trails. Select a trail ride ranging from a half hour to an exciting five hour experience and embrace “horse time.”
• If you are looking for an alternate accommodation for after your cottage stay, they also have on-site cottages to extend your visit here. 
• Unwind with a guided shamanic journey to private waterfalls at Gaia’s Den near Harcourt. Discover the Spirit of the Waterfalls with your guide Karen Warner, and embrace a new perspective on nature. 
• Thinking about dinner already? AM/PM Gourmet has make-at-home meals fresh or frozen for pick-up. This is a great way to “dine in” without having to fuss with cooking. 

Haliburton County
From Toronto: 250km • 3 hr From Ottawa: 255km • 3 hr 10 min

Time Spent Here: Expect to spend three or more hours in Harcourt, either horseback riding or with a Spirit of the Waterfalls experience. 

End Your Day: H2H Cottage Co.

This is a good time to slow it down and savour each moment of the last evening of your getaway. 

• Relax in front of a roaring bonfire while looking out over the lake.
• Go for a lazy swim in the lake and float on your back to bathe in the beauty of the moment.
• Take your pre-made meal out on the wraparound deck and watch the sunset over the lake. 

Time Spent Here: If time seems to stand still on your second night, resist the urge to peek at the clock. There is no rush here. 

First Stop: Haliburton

You won’t regret this being the last stop on your journey. You can spend as little or as much time here are you choose. Haliburton is known for its strong artist community, which is reflected in the number of arts-centred activities you'll find here. 

• First things first – stop for breakfast at Kosy Korner, an all-day breakfast and homestyle family restaurant located right in the heart of Haliburton. 
• In keeping with the theme for this getaway, you’ll want to visit Skyline Park in Haliburton to hold onto that sense of timeless wonder you have been experiencing since you started your journey.
• Wander through the Haliburton Sculpture Forest and get caught up in the outdoor collection of creations by Canadian and international artists. 
• For more local inspiration visit Rail’s End Gallery in Haliburton. 
Maple Avenue Tap & Grill is a local favourite that is worth a stop before you leave. 
• Turn back time at the Haliburton Highlands Museum and lose yourself in the local history of the region.
• Stop in at Abbey Gardens and pick up some fresh and local fare or pre-made meals while you’re there. Also check out the on-site Haliburton Highlands Brewing Company

Haliburton County
From Toronto: 215km • 2 hr 55 min From Ottawa: 285km • 3 hr 15 min

In addition to its' stunning scenery, Haliburton is home to a thriving arts community.  With plenty of galleries dotting the countryside, a must-visit is the renowned Haliburton Sculpture Forest, a unique outdoor collection of sculptures by Canadian and international artists.