Come Wander

What’s your favourite flavour of cycling? Do you prefer digging in off-road, pedaling hard for speed and distance, or just a light taste with a short meander? A bike ride can be what you want to make of it, which is part of the fun, isn’t it?

Haliburton Highlands’ varied terrain calls cyclists to explore on two wheels: roll over hills and down roads flanked on both sides with lush forests, along quiet roads that lead you past charming small towns. On your bike it’s just you, your determination, and the ground beneath you, propelling you forward.

Whether you are looking to pump out a short 20-kilometre loop on a scenic trail, a guided tour that will inspire, or a relaxing amble through a small community, Haliburton Highlands can be your cycling destination, close to home.

For Thrill Seekers – Mountain Biking

Best for: Thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies (or those just wanting to give it a try)
Distance:
23 kilometres
Feel your heart race while you fly over hills and berms and careen around corners on one of Sir Sam’s Ski & Ride’s 23-kilometres of rugged trails. If you’re really into the adrenaline rush, take the ski lift to the top of the hill and challenge yourself on a downhill course that will keep your heart racing for hours afterwards. You can rent a bike on-site at Sir Sam’s or bring your own.

Tip: Reward yourself for your hard work with a cold brew at Boshkung Social in nearby Minden, and enjoy a light meal on their outdoor patio.

Inspiration Meets Perspiration – Guided Tours

Best for: Side road adventures at a slower pace
Distance: 
Between 16-and-25-kilometres
Pump up your creativity as you pump your legs with one of two tours offered by Yours Outdoors. The Pedal Your Arts: Gears for Guilford is a full day cycling tour that leads you through West Guilford. Wander between artist studios and meet the artists who capture the beauty of the Highlands. Break for lunch at the FeastON certified Rhubarb Restaurant and dine on a delicious lunch served on the shore of Mirror Lake. Tickets can be purchased from Yours Outdoors.

Tip: If one day isn’t enough to satisfy your craving for art and cycling, the Pedal Your Arts: Tour du Village will immerse you in a creative and active world for three solid days.

Grind that Gravel – Off-Roading

Best for: Experienced gravel bikers or newbies looking to see what all the fuss is about
Distance:
26 kilometres
Gravel biking is all the rage these days, and a fun way to see fantastic scenery while getting in a good workout at the same time. Challenge yourself on one of Haliburton Forest & Wildlife Reserve’s trails– you can even try the route for the popular 8 Hours of Hurtin’ in Haliburton cycling event (this event is full for this year, but you can give the route a go anyway). For a lighter route, try the I.B. & O. Rail Trail from Haliburton to Ritchie Falls for a level 30-kilometre out and back – perfect for younger riders.

Tip: Riding on gravel is hard work and you will have earned a little pick-me-up at the end of the day. Pick up a bite to eat from Baked & Battered in Haliburton and cap it off with a cone made with Kawartha Dairy ice cream from Cool Licks just a few feet away.

Go the Distance – Longer Loops

Best for: Cycling fast and hard
Distance: 65 or 100-kilometre loops
Cycle Haliburton has mapped dozens of routes, but a good one that’s perfect for a half-day on the road is the Haliburton-Tory Hill-Wilberforce-Haliburton loop, which stretches 65 kilometres in total on mostly paved roads. If you want to challenge yourself even further, try the Haliburton Highlands South Loop that’s a slightly more challenging 109 kilometres.

Tip: Cap off your long ride with a feast of champions at Maple Avenue Tap & Grill in Haliburton. Their menu ranges from Asian cuisine to traditional comfort foods, but all will hit the spot after a long day on the road.

Cycle Back in Time – Historical Loops

Best for: Side road adventures at a slower pace
Distance: Between 16-and-25 kilometres
Cycle a 16-kilometre Prospector Trail Loop between Wilberforce and Harcourt and explore the side roads while traversing the terrain early prospectors and miners would have experienced in the early-to-mid-1900s. The Homesteader Trail Loop is 25-kilometres on side roads on a route that mirrors that of the first pioneers and early homesteaders to the area.

Tip: Plan to end your day in Harcourt at Algonquin Cookhouse, where they specialize in prime rib dinners complete with Yorkshire pudding, mashed potatoes, and all the fixings. It will make your ride worth the effort!

Stories

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 […]

Beer, Butter Tarts & Burritos (By Bike)

Could this be Ontario’s tastiest bike route? A natural backdrop of Canadian Shield, shimmering lakes and lush Crown land forests surround you as you pedal down a 50/50 mix of quiet paved roads and gravel rail trails that traverse a series of communities. These small towns and rural hamlets are now known for art and […]

Cycle Through Fall

In my humble opinion, there is no better time than fall to hop on my bike and hit the roads, gravel, and trails of Ontario’s Highlands. I don’t have to worry about overheating, nor will I find myself pushed to my limit while trying to outrun a swarm of deer flies for 20 kilometres (true […]

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 –no bugs, […]

The Best Fall Canoeing

Discover these top lakes and rivers in Ontario’s Highlands to discover the beauty of fall colours from a canoe.

Best Highway 60 Hikes

So, you’re ready to hit the road. The King’s Highway 60 is calling your name – and who could blame you? The vistas on this route are stunning, from the Ottawa Valley to the Madawaska Valley. Every kilometre is a captivating experience. It may seem like you could cruise forever on this roadway, but everyone […]

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 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 […]

Feel Like a Kid Again

Remember when your whole summer was devoted to swimming, playing, catching frogs, and finding adventures? At one time, this was an entire season fueled by ice cream, Freezies, and hot dogs. August always felt so short, and by the time it rolled around you’d scramble to finish your summer bucket list, savouring each shortened day […]

Cycle Haliburton

What’s your favourite flavour of cycling? Do you prefer digging in off-road, pedaling hard for speed and distance, or just a light taste with a short meander? A bike ride can be what you want to make of it, which is part of the fun, isn’t it? Haliburton Highlands’ varied terrain calls cyclists to explore […]

Bikepacking in North Frontenac

Imagine a weekend of backcountry camping in a quiet forest just a few hours from Ottawa or Toronto. As you settle down at camp, you think back to the fresh moose tracks you saw earlier that day and the amazing swim you had when you stopped for lunch. The scenery feels familiar but something’s different. […]

Your Guide to COVID-19 Safe Travel in Ontario’s Highlands

We are happy to see that fall is in full swing here in Ontario’s Highlands, and even happier now that we have seen the lifting of many restrictions here in Ontario. After months of staying home we are eager to get out and stretch out legs and imaginations in a region made for discovery. This […]

Secret Swimming Holes

Shhh…we’re not supposed to tell you about these swimming holes…some of them don’t even have names and you may never find them without a map, but we understand that when it’s 40 degrees out with the humidity and the public beach is packed the hunt is on for the perfect swim spot. Those in the […]

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 […]

An Ode to Summer

A throwback to summers gone past, with inspiration for this year’s adventure.

Just Show Up

Hit the water and take advantage of these easy kayaking and canoeing opportunities in Ontario’s Highlands.

Highway 7 Hikes

Stretch your legs by exploring these nature hiking trails along Highway 7.

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.

Spring is Calling

Hanging around the city when the scents of spring are tantalizingly tickling your nose is tough. This is when you yearn to get away from the slush, pack the car and head out for an almost-spring getaway to the countryside, where baby animals, maple syrup, G-rated fun, and fresh air are calling. Get out of […]

Spring Break

The sun is warm, the air smells like spring, and the birds are singing their special warm weather songs. It’s official; spring has sprung. After a long Canadian winter, spring getaways are a time-honoured tradition for families here in the great white north, and haven’t we earned a little fun in the sun? This is […]

Winter Just Got Awesome

Learn to climb or brush up on your skills with an epic ice climbing adventure at SOIceFest 2020 in Maynooth, ON.

Ultimate Après-Ski Experiences

Meet up with friends after a day well spent on the slopes or on the trails. Discover these top places in Ontario’s Highlands to celebrate the Apres Ski!

Fall in Love With Winter

Unique winter experiences in Ontario’s Highlands that will give you something to brag about.

Climb a Wall of Ice

Challenge yourself to reach new heights with an ice climbing adventure at these places across Ontario’s Highlands.

Embrace the Dog Days of Winter

If you can’t beat winter, join it with an epic dog sledding excursion through some of the most beautiful forests in 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.

Batter up!

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

Where Am I?

Climb to new heights at the Medeba Ice Wall and enjoy the unique view from the top.

Where Am I?

Make fresh tracks along premium snowmobile trail, the RAP Tour Loop.

Winter? Bring it!

Discover your love for the season with a classic Ottawa Valley winter.

One Last Ride

Watch JR Alli’s video and see what he discovers when he allows himself to just wander.

An Action-Packed Weekend

Read how Will Tang from Going Awesome Places raced muscle cars and experienced thrills on the rapids with whitewater raftering in the Ottawa Valley.

Whitewater Rafting as a Family

Read about how one family took on whitewater rafting on the Madawaska River and why they can’t wait to do it again.

The Freedom Finder

I’m a Freedom Finder. I wander with speed! I seek out opportunities to make fresh tracks, blaze new trails, and get my adrenaline pumping.

Where Am I

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

Recharge in the Snow

Disconnect from the everyday with a snowmobile trip through Ontario’s Highlands.

All Terrain, All the Time

Pack your saddle bags and press the throttle for an ATV adventure like no other in Ontario’s Highlands.

Raging the Rapids

SUP Instructor Courtney Sinclair takes her passion for paddle boarding to the whitewater.

Hair-Raising Drives

Explore roads of Ontario with these drives that make you reach for your hairbrush.

Roads Worth Riding

Plan your next motorcycle ride along the hand-crafted roads of Ontario’s Highlands. Wind around vast lakes, to fill up on culinary delights, and converse with friendly locals.