As fall sweeps across the region, leaving beauty in its wake, the communities across Ontario’s Highlands are inspired to gather and celebrate in the best way they know how to – autumn festivals. Whether it’s coming together to explore the fiery forests during a hike, marvelling at the wonders of the sky above, dancing to your heart’s content, or embracing the spookiness that lurks this time of year, there is truly a festival for all tastes.
We’ve rounded up our suggestions for both indoor and outdoor festivals and events taking place across Ontario’s Highlands this fall so you too can celebrate, no matter the weather.
Location: Various shows across Lanark County, the Ottawa Valley, and Hastings County
September 13-September 30, 2018
Experience an unforgettable night as big music fills a small hall and you become one with the crowd around you –dancing your heart out, singing at the top of your lungs, and laughing with new-found friends – at this music festival that celebrates the tiny cherished spaces that give Ontario’s Highlands so much of its warmth, culture and charm.
Location: Haliburton Highlands
September 20-23, 2018
Tired of hiking solo? This is a festival like no other, with over 2000 people lacing up their hiking boots to take part in over 90 guided hikes across the beautiful Haliburton Highlands. Nature-lovers and wanderers of all types will find a unique event that stands out from an everyday hike, with a variety of hikes that incorporate art, culture, heritage, walking through the clouds or foodie (yes, please!) experiences.
Location: Lennox & Addington Dark Sky Viewing Area
September 14-15, 2018
Starts about an hour after dusk
Discover the mystery and beauty of the night sky during a laser-guided tour in a location that’s known for being one of the best places in Ontario for an uninterrupted view of the stars, the Dark Sky Viewing Area. Not only will you get a chance to learn about our galaxy by getting a closer look at the stars through an on-site telescope, but you’ll be guided by Joe Gilker, a professional astrophotographer (how cool is that job?). Note: this event is weather-permitting.
Location: Petawawa Heritage Village
October 31, 2018
5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
If a haunted house gives you goosebumps, imagine an entire haunted village! At the Petawawa Heritage Village, you’ll get to experience all the fun of being in a spooky, heritage town that takes you back to Canada’s settlement era while also experiencing Halloween at its best. Beware of the haunted happenings in the old school house onsite and keep an eye out for the ghost in the Molson house. With trick-or-treating at each building, a bonfire at the trapper cabin, and a costume contest, this is a spook-tacular evening for all ages.
Photo Credit: David Irvine
Ontario’s Highlands Insiders
Knowledgeable in uncovering hidden gems, making fresh tracks, embracing new perspectives, and disconnecting from the everyday, this group of experts is happy to share their wisdom with you. With a passion for local stories, a love of delicious food, and a thirst for unrehearsed days, this team is made up of creative minds and wandering souls.