Come Wander

*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 ever there was a time to embark on a road trip to inspire rest and self-discovery, it is now. After a challenging year and a half we could all use a little break to slow down and reconnect with ourselves and others, to ground ourselves in what’s most important in our lives.

It’s time to take a deep breath, hold it, and then exhale.

We invite you to embark on a journey of renewal and restoration, on your own or with someone special, and commit to your own health and wellness. Set off on a voyage of self-discovery to replenish your body and spirit in Ontario’s Highlands.

Day One

The most stressful thing about this adventure will be packing the car. As you pull away from the curb feel the stress begin to melt away, and let your breath out slowly and mindfully. You are dedicating this time to yourself.

Start Here: Haliburton

Start your journey in the village of Haliburton, deep in the forest of Haliburton Highlands. Here, nature offers a peaceful and restorative ambiance. Haliburton forest, sculpture forest,

What to Do:

  • Tour Haliburton Sculpture Forest to immerse yourself in art and the outdoors at the same time. Breathe deeply of the peace and inspiration here.
  • Book a massage or treatment at Wind in the Willows Spa in Haliburton.
  • If the weather conditions are right, a Snowga class that combines yoga with snow will calm your mind and pinken your cheeks at the same time.
  • Stop for lunch at Castle Café where the food is wholesome, healthy, and also delicious. If you are looking for vegan or gluten-free you’ll find it here.

Time Spent Here: Plan to spend three-to-four hours here, depending on what experiences you are able to book. There is plenty to see and do right in Haliburton and we want you to take your time and unwind.

End Your Day: Eagle Lake

The scenery around Eagle Lake is phenomenal, and the lake is the perfect setting to look out over as the sun sets. Reserve a room with a view at Sir Sam’s Inn & Spa (and maybe a fireplace, too!).

What to Do:

  • Check in to Sir Sam’s Inn & Spa and take a few minutes to unwind curled up beside the in-room fireplace.
  • Experience their thermal circuit, a 45-minute experience designed to unwind your body and your mind.
  • Dine at Twin Fires, the on-site restaurant, and select a wine to accompany your meal from their extensive wine cellar.

Time Spent Here: You can wander the resort at your leisure.

Day Two:

Waken refreshed and ready to deepen your exploration into your connection with yourself and others. Take some time in the morning to ground yourself before setting off for your next destination.

Start Here:  Eagle Lake

Wake up late and luxuriate in your room – remember that you are in no rush on this trip! After enjoying a hot breakfast and maybe a spa treatment or two.

Next Stop: Bancroft

Bancroft is a roughly one-hour drive from Sir Sam’s, and here you will find one of the premiere destinations in which to unwind, Grail Springs Retreat Centre for Wellbeing. Here you can continue your journey to explore the quiet spaces of your mind and body.

What to Do:

  • Check into Grail Springs and after settling into your room, stretch your legs with a walk to the meditation labyrinth to spend some time there.
  • Visit the sauna and outdoor and cold tubs to rejuvenate yourself.
  • Book a spa experience like a soothing facial or hydro-therapy bath or steam tent.
  • Savour a vegan and health-focused meal in Grail Springs’ on-site restaurant.

Time Spent Here: Spend the rest of your day and evening rooting yourself in time and space here.

Day Three

Don’t be in a rush to leave Grail Springs – take your time to waken and stretch your mind and body before heading to your next destination. If you are able to spend an additional day here, you will get even more benefits.

Start Here: Bancroft

Waken early and head down for an awakening yoga class at Grail Springs. This is the perfect way to balance yourself before beginning your day. After checking out, take some time to explore Bancroft before you head to your next destination.

What to Do:

Time Spent Here: Plan for an hour and a half in Bancroft proper. Take your time and smell the flowers!

Next Stop: Combermere

Combermere is a small community roughly 45-minutes north-east of Bancroft, en route to Perth. Plan to stop here for lunch or a mid-afternoon break to refuel and clear your head.

What to Do:

  • Enjoy a hearty meal at Heartwood Restaurant where everything is fresh and they dish up unique and healthy dishes. (pro tip: try one of their Buddha bowls).
  • Crooked Slide Park is located about three kilometres from Combermere and is a good place to stretch your legs before making the trip to your next stop.

Time Spent Here: Plan for a solid couple of hours to eat and breathe some of the sweet fresh air in Combermere.

End Your Day: Perth

The next leg of your trip is a little longer – but worth the drive. End your day in the heritage town of Perth where you can get in some last-minute shopping before the shops close and before checking into your room at the Perth Best Western Parkside Inn & Spa.

What to Do:

Day Four

Waken at Parkside Inn & Spa and linger in your room in peace and stillness before heading down to breakfast at the onsite restaurant, The Locks. Head for home, relaxed and invigorated.

Looking for more inspiration for connecting to people in Ontario’s Highlands? Click here  or read the stories below.

Connected to People: Ro Nwosu

Find Your Zen

Strengthen Your Connection to Yourself and Others

3-Day Journey of Self Discovery

 

Stories

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 […]

Snow Man: Andrew Twigg Meets Winter Head on in Frontenac County

When the snow blankets the ground for the first time each year it’s immediately clear there are two kinds of people in the world: those who huddle warmly indoors, and the ones who wrap themselves up and plow boldly outside, eager to experience winter’s harshest offerings. Andrew Twigg is one of the latter. For Andrew […]

Go Cross-Country

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

Light Up the Holidays

*Wander safe, wander local. Check your region’s local health guidelines before heading out.  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 […]

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, […]

3-Day Journey of Self Discovery

*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 ever there was a time to embark on a road trip to inspire rest and self-discovery, it is now. After a challenging year and a half we could all use […]

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 […]

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 […]

Secrets to Unforgettable Edible Experiences

Do you remember a meal when after you’ve eaten the last bite you told yourself (and probably others) that it was “the best meal you’ve ever had”? This is often a holiday meal you and your family talk about for years and years, but can also be a quick and easy meal you enjoyed with […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Best Fall Canoeing

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

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

*Wander safe, wander local. Check your region’s local health guidelines before heading out. 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 […]

Local’s Take: 3-Day Wellness Retreat in Hastings County

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: Nathan and Jessica Rogers From: Stirling, Hastings County Travelling: Hastings County Exploring in […]

Local’s Take: 2-Day Cabin Disconnect in Haliburton Highlands

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: Danielle Meredith From: Haliburton Travelling: Haliburton Highlands From the turn into the driveway, […]

Local’s Take: Paddle, Cycle and Stargaze in Lennox & Addington

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 staycation in Ontario’s Highlands. Local: Rob Plumley From: Lennox & Addington Travelling: Lennox & Addington I’m pretty fortunate […]

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 […]

Translating the Vibe in Haliburton: Nick and Benton

“In every season, Haliburton is inspiring – the pace, vibe and cottage feel creates the perfect setting for creativity.” ~ Nick Russell & Benton Brown, Haliburton musicians Picture this: You are at the cottage seated with friends and/or family around a roaring bonfire, the low murmur of voices competing against a chorus of crickets 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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

*Wander safe, wander local. Check your region’s local health guidelines before heading out. 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 and the freedom it offers through physical distancing. The best summer hikes not only take us into the wild […]

Mad About Maple

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

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 […]

Finding Your Wolf Spirit at the Haliburton Wolf Centre

Have you ever had a pivotal moment in your life? One event that stands out to you and makes your path in life clear? My moment came to me in the form of a wolf as black as the night, with golden eyes that seemed to peer into my soul. Not many people can say […]

Winter Stargazing: A Christmas Star, Meteor Shower and Northern Lights

*Wander safe, wander local. Check your region’s local health guidelines before heading out.  While many of us are tucked up in cozy comfort in the night hours, the intrepid astronomers among us head outdoors to drink in the starry night skies. Stargazing in winter may be a wee bit nippier but it definitely brings the best rewards, […]

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.

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Artist’s Way

Who says art can only be found in big galleries or urban showrooms? To find fantastic local and Canadian art you need to head to the places that inspire artists to create, and Ontario’s Highlands is among the most beautiful places in Ontario (in our humble opinion). Beyond the inspiration found in the rugged hills […]

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 […]

With Love, to Frontenac County

Now more than ever we are drawn to our community, and the places that help us to unwind and get outdoors. To get away from the crowds and reconnect with our roots. Frontenac County tempts us to sit back, unwind and check into vacation mode, to rediscover a world of countless lakes and a region […]

With Love, to Haliburton Highlands

We are so lucky to come from a place that has it all: phenomenal views, rugged landscapes, abundance of trails, and infinite opportunities for recreation, all enticing you to leave your comfort zone and step into the wild. Here, endless forests meet cool, clear lakes and rivers to create incredible vistas that reach out to […]

With Love, to Lanark County

Lanark County is a land of sweet contrasts, where dense forests of sugar maple border lush, green fields and you’re as likely to come across a cyclist as a farmer on one of the region’s winding roads. Urban and rural unite here to create a region that’s as colourful and varied as the patchwork quilt […]

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 […]

With Love, to Lennox & Addington

Known for its pristine wilderness, incredible views and rugged natural spaces, the majestic beauty of Lennox & Addington speaks to the wanderer inside us all. From the craggy peak of Mazinaw Rock at Bon Echo Provincial Park to the starry skies overhead, there is wonder waiting to be discovered here, a vivid reminder of how our […]

With Love, to Hastings County

The deep lakes and meandering rivers here are ripe with life, both on land and in the water. This land is known as a region rich with minerals, and we haven’t forgotten how our communities were settled by the gold rush, where miners flocked, eager to delve into the earth to unearth its riches. Thick […]

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 […]

Go Backcountry

You waken slowly in the early morning, the high-pitched warble of birdsong drifting lightly through the trees overhead. The sky is faintly brightening with the coming of dawn, and the natural world is gradually blossoming to life. Around you there is no trace of human activity, no murmurs of voices, clanging of dishes, or whir […]

Live the Yacht Life

Live the lifestyle of the rich and famous – for a week, anyway – with a Le Boat cruising staycation.

Just Show Up

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

Exhale and Unwind

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

Pampering at Home

Pamper yourself with a little self love with this recipe for an at-home spa day from Wind in the Willows Spa in Haliburton, Ontario.

Before the Lake Wakes

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

Just Breathe

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

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.

The Hottest Views

Soak up incredible views and beneficial side effects across Ontario’s Highlands.

Bask in Romance

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

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.

Mindful Moments in Nature

Live in the moment and tune into yourself at one of these 6 nature spots in Hastings County and Haliburton County.

Golf, Eat, Sleep, Repeat

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

Namaste Outside

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

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.

A Silent Ski Cross Country

Take a break to recharge your spirit and relax your mind while cross country skiing in the snow-covered woods of Silent Lake Provincial Park.

The Serenity Seeker

I’m a Serenity Seeker. I wander at my own pace, searching for a way to unwind and reconnect with myself and with the people who matter most.

Where Am I

Explore the sweet moments and ageless beauty of Perth, Ontario.

Bit by Serenity

An expert traveller’s advice on how seek serenity and embrace a slower pace in Ontario’s Highlands.