Come Wander
Joni Cabin at Cabinscape

The first thing you’ll notice about Cabinscape’s Joni Cabin is the silence. And the second thing you’ll notice is the noise. This 128 square foot cabin is enveloped in nature and it doesn’t take long before you hear the gentle rustling of leaves. Soon after comes the steady hum of insects, soothing rather than intrusive. A flock of blue jays gossip insatiably with one another and, come nightfall, the hoots and calls of an owl pierce the sky. A branch cracks in a nearby tree but the perpetrator is never seen. And late in the evening the haunting howl of a coyote – or is it two? – carries across the forest.

There is no doubt that this is the ultimate private nature escape, the perfect hideaway for Serenity Seekers exploring Ontario’s Highlands. A tiny house whose minimalist lines, modern architecture, and warm wooden accents wouldn’t feel out of place in the Stockholm Archipelago, the Joni Cabin is rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation in one compact package. As the smallest (and I dare say the cutest) cabin in Cabinscape’s roster, you’ll experience environmentally friendly, off the grid living at its finest. And it couldn’t be cozier or more comfortable!

I was instantly smitten with the Joni Cabin’s ingenious hidden storage and carefully considered floor plan. For instance, the airy top bunk doubled as a snug reading nook thanks to handy shelves laden with throw blankets, popular best sellers, a jaunty potted philodendron, and even a tiny personal fan for keeping the temperature just right. The cleverly designed kitchen offered a sturdy collapsible step stool hidden between the wall and the fridge, just the thing for the vertically challenged traveller to retrieve pantry staples and mixing bowls. A generous, deep sink earned its stripes during post-pancake scrubbing and was a welcome relief from the tiny, unserviceable sinks often found in cabins and RVs. A modern barbecue, with all the necessary tools needed to prepare a summer feast, stood on the roomy deck, which served as centre stage for the squabbling blue jays positioned high above, ever vigilant for dropped crumbs.

Tiny house living was relatively hassle free, considering that Joni Cabin is smaller than the average hotel room. Clean lines, bright windows, and restrained decor kept the space from feeling crowded or claustrophobic, while the ‘garage door’ style retractable window lifted out of sight to transform the patio’s bar and the cabin’s eating nook into one continuous large surface. It was the perfect spot for creating a barbeque supper on par with anything we’d made at home and, come morning, it was an ideal buffet for pancakes, fruit, orange juice, and French-press style coffee.

If you’re ready to put the “seeker” into Serenity Seeker and you can tear yourself away from all the reading, writing, cooking, and cuddling, you’ll find a world of possibilities await. The first is the onsite Lookout Trail, a beginner-friendly hike that leads you through the woods to a spectacular vista that looks all the way to Ottawa’s Camp Fortune ski resort. The second is the onsite brewery, which makes Joni Cabin unique among the Cabinscape properties. Cartwright Springs Brewery’s proprietor Andre makes for the ideal welcome party, offering delicious beer samples and local advice with equal generosity. The beer at Cartwright Springs is unlike anything in the area, utilizing local ingredients such as haskap berries and cocoa nibs from regional favourite Hummingbird chocolate. They even sell a beer ice cream, a delicious component for making floats with their in house stout!

Last but not least is the charming community of Pakenham, home to plenty of nature walks and quite a few opportunities to replenish burned calories. Ice cream was a reoccurring theme of our visit and the local shop Scoops delighted us both by being open early in the morning and also for having a fantastic selection of old classic and new flavours. And if you’re keen on exploring further afield – and can pull yourself away from the gorgeous cabin – so many wonderful opportunities await you in nearby Carleton Place and Almonte. In Carleton Place, the zen like calm of the Mahogany Spa and the long menu of luxurious services will leave you in a state of pampered bliss – and the nearby Black Tartan Kitchen will make your stomach equally happy! In historic Almonte, the lovely and accessible river walk helps you step back in time and soak up the town’s charm. Meanwhile, for a slightly more urban experience, the shops and cafes of Mill Street can keep you busy for hours.

If you’re in love with nature, Cabinscape’s Joni Cabin will soon become your new best friend. But, more importantly, if you’re more tepid in your affections when it comes to the great outdoors, this tiny house will offer you comfort, encouragement, and peace of mind.

Stories

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 […]

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 […]

Go Cross-Country

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

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Find Your Zen

It’s been a heck of a year, hasn’t it? If ever there was a year to test your capacity for resilience, it would be 2020. After such a momentous year, what we all could use right now is a little “me time” – a little pampering, and a little bit of peace and quiet to […]

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.

The Church Couple

Meet Donna and Cam Dillman, owners of Circa 1894 B&B in Lanark County.

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.