Come Wander

The farm-to-table movement is sweeping across restaurants and kitchens across Ontario, and seeing farm-fresh, local ingredients as the star of each meal while supporting sustainable food production. What you may not know is that craft drink makers across Ontario’s Highlands are taking this one step further by incorporating local resources into mouth-watering beverages; something we like to call ground to glass.

Wander through Ontario’s Highlands’ rolling countryside, soak in breathtaking natural views, and discover the passion behind our producers as you delight your palate with local flavours during a visit to one of the following.

Naturally Flowing Spring Water at Cartwright Springs Brewery

Taking locally-made to a whole new level, this craft brewery uses the natural water from an artesian spring located on the property, just 15 metres away, in each and every brew. Take in the sight of the spring water flowing out of the ground at four litres per second beside Cartwright Springs Brewery before sampling the beer made from that very water. Other Ontario’s Highlands breweries use locally sourced grains in their beer, for a true farm to table product.

Suggested Food Pairing: Cartwright Springs Bewery is along a backroad and feels wonderfully secluded in nature, but don’t let your tummy worry as food is not far away. Onsite is a freezer chock full of pasties from The Great British Pasty & Pie Co., made just 15 minutes away in Arnprior.

Mineral-Rich Soil at Potter Settlement Artisan Winery

Located on the southern edge of the Canadian Shield, the area is certainly not known as wine-country, but the unique mineral-rich geology of the land creates the perfect terroir for flavouring grapes and is the secret weapon behind the award-winning wines crafted by Potter Settlement Artisan Winery. Book a tour and let owner, Sandor, walk you through the history of the winery as you sample these unique wines.

Suggested Food Pairing: If you have the opportunity to book a night at Black River Retreat, we have two words: do it. Not only will you get exclusive use of this wilderness property to soak away your worries in a hot tub or take a leisurely paddle in a kayak, but you’ll also have your own personal chef. We’d recommend bringing along some wine from Potter Settlement to make this an absolute perfect evening.

Locally-Milled Grains at Top Shelf Distillers

With barley, rye, and corn from Ontario growers being milled just around the corner at Dodds & Erwin into a fine flour-like powder for distilling, Top Shelf Distillers is passionate about sourcing ingredients locally for its fine spirits. Stop in for a tour to learn more about the distilling process, pick your favourite moonshine flavour, and sample their gin and vodka.

Suggested Food Pairing: With such a variety of spirits made, there are certainly a large number of cocktail combinations, but for a true Canadian pairing, we’d have to suggest grabbing a barbecue sauce from Shamrock Gardens in Almonte and firing up the ‘cue when you get home. As the name infers, the Maple Moonshine Barbecue Sauce has Top Shelf’s own maple moonshine in it.

Fresh from the Farm Ginger at Kings Mill Cider

Taking locally sourced seriously, the Ginger and Hopped Ginger ciders at Kings Mill Cider not only take a unique twist on a classic drink, but also use ginger grown only seven-kilometres down the road at Small Spade Farm. Nestled amidst rolling farmlands along a back-country road,  this small home-based cidery celebrates local flavours in each and every bottle. If cider is one of your favourite fall drinks, Ontario’s Highlands has more than one you can explore for more farm-to-table goodness.

Suggested Food Pairing: We’re big fans of apples and cheese. For the perfect pairing here, we’d suggest upgrading your cheeseboard to a full-blown charcuterie board with just a couple extra stops – all within five kilometres of the cidery. Stop into the Buff Stuff Store at Ontario Water Buffalo Co. to pick up some summer sausage and buffalo milk cheeses, then head to The Apple Store up the road to finish your board off with Maple Dale Cheese.


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.