Come Wander

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 let our minds roam free.

We all need some time and space to Zen out, and allow our stresses to slowly uncoil from inside.

This is your time to take a deep breath – hold it – and then exhale slowly. Let the pressures and worries of today’s crazy world drift away as you sink into a peaceful yoga practice, relax with a massage, or be mindful in nature. If you’ve lost your Zen, or just temporarily misplaced it, find it again in Ontario’s Highlands with one of these five wellness experiences you can experience safely.

Find Peaceful Warrior

Is it even possible to hold onto stress and anxiety after a quiet and intimate yoga practice? We think not. Find peace and relaxation with a three-day yoga retreat at Madawaska Kanu Centre (MKC) in Hastings County. MKC’s Creekside Riverside Yoga Retreat

Join Nathan and Jess from Creekside Yoga as they guide you through daily yoga practices meant to help you find your Zen, no matter where it’s been hiding during these stressful days. After the day’s practice you can wander MKC’s wooded retreat to soak up some nature before ending the day with a nourishing meal and cozy sleep in one of MKC’s on-site cabins.

Inside Tips:

  • If the weather’s warm, bring a swimsuit and take a dip in the nearby Madawaska River.
  • MKC is Feast On certified, which means each meal you’re served is guaranteed to be fresh, local, and delicious.

Discover Equine Love

Animals are lucky enough to be in an almost constant state of Zen, if only we could be the same! A few hours spent in the company of a horse teaches us about honesty, self-discovery, and communication. Soak up some of the unique energy animals have to offer at Abbey Gardens with one of their guided hikes that includes – you guessed it – the sweetest equines ever.

Explore the world from a pony perspective where the horses are the teachers – learn how Abbey Gardens uses two Ojibwe horses, Wawasum and Akoozi (along with their mini-horse sidekick, Flapjack) to teach lessons about life and Zen through A.P.P.L.E. (Abbey Gardens Pony Powered Learning Experience). Join Abbey Gardens for a Friday Pony Trek in your social or family bubble and embark on your own self-discovery . Please note pre-registration is required.

Insider Tip:

  • While you’re at Abbey Gardens, why not do your weekly grocery shopping at their food hub, where you’ll find a wealth of locally sourced products ranging from beer to baked goods.

Find Good Medicine

Hiking isn’t always about getting in a workout, and these days it’s nice to slow down and reconnect with our spiritual roots. Book a tour of Bird Mountain with an Algonquin-Métis thunderbird (traditional bird shaman), Tim Yearington.

Tim calls this finding good medicine on the path out in nature. As you hike up Bird Mountain, allow yourself to be led by nature to find the answers to the big questions about life, love, and learning. Connect with the earth and the sky and discover the sacred nature of the natural world and our role within it.

Insider Tips:

  • Tim’s hikes are accessible for most people; check in with him before booking an experience if you have any concerns about accessibility.

Be Mindful in Nature

Join yogi and forest therapy guide, Donna Raetsen, for a spiritual awakening in Haliburton Highlands. Hosted by Yours Outdoors, the Soul Wander is a three-hour experience that will explore your connection with the natural world. Move and walk gently with the earth and let the connection rejuvenate you.

Insider Tips:

  • Enhance your outdoor Zen experience with a relaxing wander through the nearby Haliburton Sculpture Forest.
  • Yours Outdoors offers a range of wellness and educational oriented experiences to choose between. Visit their website to see even more options.

Destress and Reconnect

If the stress has been building up over the past few months, it’s time to catch up on some relaxation. Destress and reconnect with a Grail Springs Retreat Centre package that will take care of your every need from the moment you step over the threshold, including luxurious accommodations, guided nature experiences, plant-based meals, yoga, meditation and more. Feel the weight lift off your shoulders without having to think about anything but your own self-care.

If you’re looking for a spa experience, Haliburton Highlands’ Wind in the Willows Spa will make you feel beautiful and pampered, from head to toe. Enjoy a couple’s massage, a soothing facial, or one of their body treatments for a full day of bliss.

Insider Tips:

  • Check out Grail Springs’ meditative thermal circuit while you’re there.


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 –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.

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

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 […]

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.

Treat Mom at Home

A mother’s hands do a lot for us throughout our lives, from washing dishes to drying tears, and deserve a little break. Treat mom with this DIY home spa experience or purchase a take-home kit with everything you need in it.

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.

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.

Mad About Maple

Maple syrup isn’t just for pancakes. Celebrate Canada’s iconic sweetener in all its forms in Ontario’s Highlands.

Go Cross-Country

Glide over fresh snow on four cross-country ski trails near Ottawa.

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.

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.

Glamping in the Wild

Experience Glamping and reconnect with your loved one at Elements Outdoor Hotel, located in Renfrew County.