Come Wander

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 Highlands for the first time or returning for yet another visit to some of your favourite places, here’s some information to get you started before exploring some of the most beautiful, exciting, friendly, and welcoming places in Canada.

Wander Local

This year is the year to wander safe and wander local. Check your region’s local health guidelines before heading out to make sure you are conforming to your region’s travel restrictions.

Plan Ahead

If you’re a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of traveler this is not the year to be heading out to wing it. Take the time to prepare for your trip by checking with businesses you are planning to visit and make sure they are open, and what their hours are.

Our businesses are working hard to keep you and all their other customers safe, and that means some businesses may have reduced hours or services. This situation is constantly changing, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead, make a phone call or send an email.

Mask Up

There are some things you just don’t leave home without these days! While in Ontario’s Highlands, please keep in mind that masks in indoor spaces is now mandatory. Whether you’re heading out for a day trip or an overnight getaway, be sure to bring a mask, hand sanitizer/disinfecting wipes, gloves, or anything else you may need to keep yourself and others safe during your travels.

While many businesses offer free masks to customers, it’s always a good idea to bring your own just in case.

Be Confident in Your Care

When you book a vacation in Ontario’s Highlands, you can rest easy knowing you are in good hands. Our operators are doing everything they can to keep their visitors safe while maintaining the strict protocols required by the province of Ontario for retailers, restaurants, and accommodations. For bed & breakfasts and hotels, staff will be cleaning and disinfecting rooms according to new industry protocols. Some accommodations are offering no-contact check-in options.

Camp With Confidence

National and provincial parks as well as private campgrounds are now open across the province and throughout Ontario’s Highlands. If you will be camping during your visit be sure to plan ahead and ensure there is a space reserved for you, and be as self-sufficient as possible. Bring your own hygiene and sanitation products as well as enough food for your camping bubble.

Nature Loves You.  Love it Back

When we venture into the wilderness, please remember to Leave No Trace and pack out what you pack in. Stay on hiking trails and don’t litter. Be kind to the natural places that are giving us so much pleasure right now! We want the outdoors to welcome us back again next year in the same condition in which we found it this year.

Discover that Lesser Known Gem

We tend to gravitate towards the tourism hotspots – the well known parks, trails, restaurants and shops that we see every year. This is the year to go out and explore the local places you may not always get to visit (or may not even be aware of). Discover your new favourite picnic spots, accommodations, and restaurants – get of the beaten path to see your region or community through new eyes. This is the time to discover that lesser known gem you will remember for a lifetime.

Stop the Spread

As with any type of activity now, it’s important to make sure you are doing everything you can to prevent contracting or spreading COVID-19. Be sure to follow safety protocols like physical distancing, frequent hand washing, wearing a mask when physical distancing isn’t possible and keeping within your social bubble. And most importantly, if you or a family member has symptoms, please stay home.

Support Local Business

In Ontario’s Highlands our businesses are happy to see you! You can show your support for the local business community by purchasing their goods and services and spreading the word about businesses who are doing an awesome job.


Thank you for wandering with us this year and trusting us to take care of you. Happy wandering!


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 […]

Finding Beauty in the Everyday: Meet Rosemary Leach, Almonte Artist

The community of Almonte has a habit of creating and fostering artists, a trend that’s perpetuated in the work and life of Almonte artist, Rosemary Leach. Rosemary and her husband, Jake, originally hail from Toronto and Peterborough, respectively, and intentionally went looking for a community with an unhurried pace in which to settle down when […]

Virtual Classes and Workshops You Can Do Right Now

Have you heard the expression “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!”? COVID-19 may have already resulted in a lot of lemonade, but now is not the time to give up. If you’re hunkered down at home, we have just the thing to inspire your mind and expand your horizons (and no, it doesn’t mean […]

The Evolution of Art: Wendy Wood, Haliburton Artist

Haliburton artist, Wendy Wood, has lived everywhere from Kapuskasing to the shores of Lake Erie, but says nothing can compare to the creative atmosphere in Haliburton, particularly when it comes to fostering art and artists. “There’s a little bit of everything here,” Wendy explained. “The art school here draws everybody…you have top-notch teachers then people […]

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 […]

Local Love: 9 Local Gift Ideas You Can Order Online Today

‘Tis the season – for shopping. Yes, the leaves may have barely fallen from the trees but the jack-o-lanterns will shortly be switched out for ornaments and holly and the days are numbered before the holidays are here live and in person. This year when planning your shopping to-do list, we have two words for […]

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 […]

Shiver-Worthy Spooky Spots

There’s something lingering in the air throughout October, leading up to the culmination of all things spooky on its final day – Halloween.   October starts with the summer’s lush canopy of green bidding a final farewell through a stunning display of vibrant colours. When the leaves die off and settle as a multi-coloured blanket on the forest floor, and the fog rolls in over the lakes and […]

Haunted Walks and Hair-Raising Ghost Tours

Have you ever wandered through an older building and felt the hair raise on the back of your neck, and not been sure why? It may be you are sensing something that others aren’t, some spooky aftereffect from a historical wrongdoing or the ghostly pinings of a disgruntled spirit. Many small communities in Ontario’s Highlands […]

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 […]

Big Attractions in Ontario

Are you the type to pull over when you see a comically large roadside attraction, or a picture-perfect spot to snap a few shots? Amateur photographers and Instagrammers alike can agree that a giant ice cream cone, a massive mural adorning the side of a building, or a full-size replica of a jet plane are […]

Ground to Glass

Discover how four craft drink makers harness Mother Nature’s flavours to elevate their beverages in Ontario’s Highlands.

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 […]

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 […]

Dark Skies, Starry Nights

Have you ever wondered about the mysterious realm outside our planet? Maybe you’ve wanted to roam the galaxy, travel among the stars, and get a new perspective on the universe. For now, stargazing is as close to it as us ‘average humans’ can get! Luckily there are still places to getaway, where the view of […]

Get in Step

April Verch, fiddler, singer-songwriter and step dancer extraordinaire teaches the basics of stepdancing.

Exhale and Unwind

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

Discover Hidden Gems

Feed your curiosity and explore the diverse geology of Ontario’s Highlands at these Recreational Geology locations.

Shine at Giving this Holiday Season

Today’s craft markets are full of fresh, hip products made by creative and talented makers. This holiday season, go above and beyond by picking up handmade items with a story to tell at one of these Ontario holiday markets.

Art in the Summer

Celebrate creativity at art festivals across Ontario’s Highlands this summer.

3 Cheers for Mom

Discover ways to give a mom a Mother’s Day to remember, with gift ideas that go above and beyond.

Batter up!

Get a behind the scenes look into the world of baseball at Sam Bat.

Get Your Hands Dirty

Find out where to appease your creative side on this Creative Cruiser road trip.

The Creative Cruiser

I’m a Creative Cruiser. I wander with a desire to feed my curiosity, to follow my passions, and to grow from my discoveries.

Where Am I

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

Hidden Gems

Seven charming museums in Ontario’s Highlands.

Where Am I?

Visit the Petawawa Heritage Village, where you can step back in time and explore the lives of those who wandered long ago.

Where Am I?

Discover a rich history and an even richer geology at the Beryl Pit in the Ottawa Valley.

Where Am I?

Discover breathtaking beauty blasted from the Earth at Marmora Mine in Ontario’s Highlands.

Locals Know Best: Art & Culture

Discover the best spots to learn about the vibrant culture and hidden gems in Ontario’s Highlands through the locals themselves.