Come Wander

*Wander safe, wander local. Check your region’s local health guidelines before heading out.

The beauty of Algonquin Park doesn’t end at the South Gate. Close to the southern border of Algonquin Park, the area around Harcourt and Kennebec is a beautiful untamed region that attracts hundreds of visitors each year on their way through to Algonquin Park or to explore the area in its own right.

Here, the forests are vast, the lakes are deep, and the wilderness calls to you to come and explore. Whether you are staying in Algonquin Park near the South Gate, or love the area and want to explore more, there is plenty to keep you occupied in this neck of the woods.

Experience

Outdoor experiences in this region are plentiful, and no wonder – the area’s beauty is the reason why Algonquin Park South Gate sites are among the most popular camping locations in Algonquin Park. If you are camping in Algonquin Park or just exploring the region and looking for a day trip, these excursions will be a nice way to get closer to nature.

Paddle Excursions

Deep Roots Adventure can help you launch your water adventure with one of their pre-booked experiences  like their Car Camping Package, or the popular High Falls Paddle, Explore & Dine. If you just want to rent a boat or Stand Up Paddleboard, they can take care of that for you, too!

Horseback Trail Riding

Try horseback riding through the rugged wilderness of Haliburton Highlands with a guided trail ride with South Algonquin Trails. Book by the hour or by the ½ day or day for a guided experience where they provide everything you need (including the horse). They also offer overnight trail ride experiences, where you will enjoy a three-hour trail ride through Algonquin Park and then stay right at the lodge at the end of the day.

Disconnect

Have a spiritual experience with Spirit of the Waterfalls, delivered by Gaia’s Den, a 74-acre property with a private creek leading to three waterfalls. Choose a two-hour guided experience that invite you to disconnect and reconnect with yourself and nature, together. If you’re not into a guided experience but want a nature experience, you can wander on your own on the property (two-hour maximum, and admission by donation). Schedule your experience by calling 705.448.1346.

Sleep & Stay

At the end of the day you don’t need to go home, extend your visit with one of these overnight accommodation options.

This cottage resort is a nature lover’s destination. The shallow Elephant Lake means the shoreline and lake is home to a wide variety of species. Book one of their nine cottages and head out on the lake to try your hand at fishing, or relax on shore and watch the sunset over the water.

If you’d like a little more luxury, the Algonquin Eco-Lodge has the look and feel of a European mountain lodge, and is situated in some of the most beautiful wilderness in Haliburton Highlands. While you’re there, book one of their Algonquin Park guided excursions.

Stay in one of this campground’s four cottages or pitch your tent on a wilderness or serviced campsite. Group sites also available.

These cozy cabins will be just the place to lay your head after a horseback ride on one of the South Algonquin Trails.

Refuel

Isn’t it true that food always tastes better when you’re outdoors and pleasantly exhausted from a day spent being active? If you find your appetite is making a roaring appearance, pick up something hearty and delicious to refuel from these spots.

This one is a little further away, but you won’t mind the trip when you bite into the delicious, gooey goodness of a homemade butter tart.

If you’re looking for a burger that will almost be more than you can handle, this is where you’ll find it. Bring your appetite, because you’ll need it.

In this country store you’ll find a little bit of everything to replace what you left behind. Check out their extensive wine selection, a pleasant surprise in this remote location.

This is the place to pick up some barbecue fare for the campsite (or at home).

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 […]

Educate Yourself About Indigenous People and their Cultures

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. Canadians are becoming more aware of the injustices perpetrated against Indigenous Peoples since settlers arrived on the shores of Turtle Island (North America). Still, many of us aren’t […]

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 […]

Explore Algonquin’s South Gate

*Wander safe, wander local. Check your region’s local health guidelines before heading out. The beauty of Algonquin Park doesn’t end at the South Gate. Close to the southern border of Algonquin Park, the area around Harcourt and Kennebec is a beautiful untamed region that attracts hundreds of visitors each year on their way through to Algonquin Park […]

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 […]

Local’s Take: The Joy of Yurting 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 staycation in Ontario’s Highlands. Local: Ardith Racey From: Hastings County Travelling: Hastings County If recent times have kindled […]

Cycling the OVRT: Smiths Falls to Arnprior

I love setting goals on the bike; It seems like this happens on a micro and macro level constantly. The first 50-kilometres, then the first century, the first overnight. On the ride, you have these little checkpoints. Energy bars, swims, coffees, calories, hours in the saddle, kilometres in a day. It’s a constant. This became […]

Wild and Wonderful Waterfalls

If there’s one thing we can agree on it’s that few of us will turn down an opportunity to see a waterfall. Whether it has something to do with the mesmerizing whitewater cascade or the white-noise that comes with it, a waterfall is a universal attraction. It can be the reason for a hike or […]

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 […]

Carving her Course on the Madawaska: Stefi Van Wijk

“The river is where I’m my best self. It doesn’t care who I’m pretending to be.”- Stefi  Van Wijk, avid paddler. It’s no exaggeration to say that water is in the blood for whitewater paddler, instructor, and paddle school manager, Stefi Van Wijk. Most days Stefi looks like she’s coming straight off a paddling trip […]

3 Fun Itineraries for Water Play

*Wander safe, wander local. Check your region’s local health guidelines before heading out. The game is on to make the most of summer 2021 and the winner gets to spend the summer soaking wet and grinning from ear to ear. Are you up for the challenge? It goes without saying that the best warm-weather activities centre around […]

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 […]

Making Really Good Cheese: Meet Jeff and Jenna Fenwick, Back Forty Cheese

Pull off the gravel road that leads to Jeff and Jenna Fenwick’s small Frontenac County farm and you are greeted with a quintessential small farm scene: a cozy farmhouse, rustic barn, small orchard and garden. The setting on the shores of the Mississippi River is pastoral and idyllic. At first glance it may appear that […]

A True Bru-Master

Meet Marc Bru, owner of Square Timber Brewing Company who is taking beer to the next level in Pembroke, Ontario.

For the Love of Mom

From the day we burst into the world, mothers mean safety, warmth, and unconditional love. Mothers are almost superhuman, virtually able to leap tall buildings in a single bound and cure all ills with the sweep of a hand. Moms know when you need a hug, when you need to be left alone, and are […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Maple Linguist

Laurel Cook reflects on life in Lanark County, Ontario’s Maple Syrup Capital.

Top 4 Summer Treats

Top 4 summer treats that are worth the stop on your next Ontario’s Highlands road trip.

Hidden Gems

Seven charming museums in Ontario’s Highlands.