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.

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.

3-Day Journey of Self Discovery

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. 

  • 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.
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.

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!).

  • 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.
Eagle Lake
Haliburton County
From Toronto: 266km • 2 hr 52 min From Ottawa: 298km • 3 hr 30 min

With a rich history in the Haliburton Highlands area, Sir Sam's Ski/Ride is every adventure's dream in both the summer and winter.  This picturesque ski hill overlooking Eagle Lake is perfect for mountain biking for every skill-level, with a walk-on, walk-off covered lift perfect for beginners.  You can ride, run, or hike over 100 acres of ancient Canadian Shielf and hardwood forest.

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

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.

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

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

Rise 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.

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.

  • 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.
Ottawa Valley
From Toronto: 316km • 3 hr 57 min From Ottawa: 182km • 2 hr 8 min

When in Combermere, stop at Crooked Slide Park, a reconstructed wooden chute that pours into Byers Creek like a small waterfall, originally used by loggers in the 1900s to deliver logs downstream.

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.

Lanark County
From Toronto: 320km • 4 hr From Ottawa: 85km • 1 hr 10 min

Perth is known as one of Ontario's prettiest towns, and once you visit you won't want to leave.  As a town older than Canada itself, it boosts over 100 designated heritage buildings, with boutique shops, specialty stores, and restaurants to suit your tastes.  Rent a canoe and explore Perth from water on the beautiful Tay Canal.

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.