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 year the key to exploring is to keep it local; this is the time to explore our own backyards, 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 Ontario’s Highlands for the first time or returning for yet another visit to some of your most favourite places, here’s a list to get you started before exploring some of the most beautiful, exciting, friendly, and welcoming places in Canada.
If you’re a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of traveller, this year is not the year to be heading out to wing it. Take a little bit of 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.
While provincial guidelines mean businesses are able to open, there is a lot more to think about these days as a business owner. 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.
There are some things you just don’t leave home without these days! While in Ontario’s Highlands, please keep in mind that in some regions 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. Another thought is to stock up on any groceries or essentials you may need while you’re at home, to reduce the burden on the community you’re visiting.
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 have reopened 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
We’ve spent so many months yearning for the outdoors that now that we’ve been given the go-ahead we’re eager to start doing all the things that we’ve been dreaming about for so long. The risk of contracting COVID-19 in the outdoors is minimal, which gives us even more reason to get outside. 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
As visitors 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 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.
It’s been a heck of a year so far in 2020, but one good thing has come out of it: We are ready to appreciate our own communities and to explore our own backyard. Thank you for wandering with us this year and trusting us to take care of you. Happy wandering!