When it’s frosty outside and the ground is covered in a soft blanket of fresh snow, gliding through the forest behind a horse (or two) can make you feel like you are flying. Sounds are muffled as you sit cocooned in the magic of the moment, with nothing to break the stillness beyond the soft “whuff” of your horses’ breath as they trot.

Whether your sleigh is drawn by horses or tractor, a sleigh ride in Ontario’s Highlands is an old-fashioned wintry experience that will take you into the region’s untouched forests like no other. This is one of the best ways to experience Ontario’s Highlands diverse landscape, without making you shiver.

Bundle up and head out for these memory-making experiences that will keep you warm when the air turns frosty. The Carpenters would approve.

Sing ‘O Christmas Tree’ in Pakenham

Location: Pakenham, ON
When: Mid-November to December 24
Time: Mon to Thurs: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Fri: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sat and Sun: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Contact: 613-256-3029

This is a two-for-one old fashioned holiday experience for the whole family. Bundle up on a tractor-drawn wagon ride over hills and fields to select and cut down your very own Christmas tree at Cedar Hill Christmas Tree Farm. They even provide the saw! When you arrive back at the farm shop, you can warm up by the fire with a delicious cup of hot cocoa while your tree is wrapped up for the trip home, and watch little ones tobogganing in the twilight.

Be Merry:

Take a side trip to the 1840s General Store to pick up some home-baked goodness. If you still have shopping to complete, the charming small town of Almonte is just a short drive away.

A Ho-ho-holiday Adventure

Location: Beckwith, ON
When: November 19 to December 23
Time: Thurs and Fri: 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Sat and Sun: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Mon to Wed: Closed
Contact: 613-253-0086

This fun, holiday-themed adventure park is a family tradition in the making! Bring the whole family to Ian’s Christmas Adventure Park for a scenic wagon ride out to Ho Ho Lake, and then cozy up to the campfire with a free cup of hot chocolate. An on-site skating rink and sliding hill offer the perfect winter activities for adrenaline seekers, young and old. Don’t miss Santa’s woodland workshop, or a stroll down Candy Cane Lane to see the night lights. This year they are offering a zip-line for children and movie nights!

Be Merry:

Pick up those last few gifts to complete your list in downtown Carleton Place. Browse the one-of-a-kind items in The Dress Shop on Bridge Street or  a fresh holiday bouquet from The Blossom Shop.

Sleigh Rides for Sweethearts in Bancroft

Location: Bancroft, ON
When: December to April, upon request
Contact: 613-332-5423

When the world is carpeted in a blanket of snow is when Rockfield Farm is just gearing up for the season. Cozy up with a sleigh ride in a sled made for two, for a swoon-worthy romantic winter adventure. Local operator, Cecil Andrus and his team of Belgian horses take guests to a secluded forest glen where couples can warm up by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate and are left together to bask in the romance of the moment. Talk about an #Instaworthy romantic experience! By appointment only. Each sleigh ride will only include members of your family or social bubble.

Be Merry:

Find fun items like Fusion paint, home decor, and delicious preserves at The Old Tin Shed in Bancroft.

Family Time in Renfrew

Location: Renfrew, ON
When: January to April, upon request
Contact: 613-432-0544

An old fashioned family farm experience awaits at Whalen Family Farm near Renfrew. Sit back and cozy up beneath a warm blanket during a ride through a wintry maple bush. The experience at Whalen Family Farm is a chance to get outside and do some sledding, cross country skiing or snowshoeing (BYO, sleds, skis or snowshoes). This is the perfect experience to share with family and friends to celebrate the season.

Be Merry:

Cap off a day spent in the great outdoors with a shopping excursion in downtown Renfrew. 

Horse-drawn Sleigh Rides at Littlebrook Farm

Location: Littlebrook Farm, Madoc
When: From first snowfall to last
Contact: 613-473-2043

Glide through century farm and sugarbush on a 150-year-old Quebec sleigh and drink in the sights and sounds of the forest in winter. Make arrangements with the owners to have a picnic out in the forest or warm up with a bonfire and hot cocoa before sleighing back to real life. You'll fall in love with the team of Canadian geldings, Guinness and Cocoa.

Be Merry:

Pick up picnic fare from Madoc Dairy Restaurant to enjoy while snuggled around a roaring bonfire. 


Sleighing with Dogs

We couldn’t resist! This may not be horse-drawn, but it’s still technically a sleigh ride! If you love the romance and magic of a horse-drawn sleigh ride, consider running with the pack on a dogsledding adventure at Winterdance.

Make Sweet Trails at Fulton’s

Location: Fulton's Sugar Bush & Maple Shop
When: February 18 to April 16, 2023
Contact: 613-256-3867

Combine a sweet maple experience with the magic of a sleigh ride at Fulton’s Sugar Bush & Maple Shop and explore the rugged terrain of Lanark County’s hardwood maple forests. On weekends you can set off on a horse-drawn sleigh ride along forested trails in the maple bush. There’s plenty of room to cozy up in these cheery red sleighs. While you're waiting for your turn, sample maple taffy, hike the trails, or learn more about maple syrup production.