Come Wander
Fish on ice after ice fishing

You slip and slide your way across the ice, your arms laden with fishing gear, excitement building at the thought of the unscripted day ahead. Tucked amidst your gear is a warm blanket, a thermos of something rich and delicious, and a carefully packed cooler with goodies to keep you cozy all day.

Ice fishing brings a time for thoughtful contemplation, of stopping to breathe and bask in winter’s silvery silence. This may be the only type of wandering in which you stay put, but can still go far. Whether you’re catching and releasing, or are determined to catch your dinner, here’s where to go and what to do to get you started in Ontario’s Highlands.

Haliburton Highlands (~200 km from Toronto)

Haliburton is known for its many lakes and rivers, chock full of fish species like bass, lake trout, and panfish, just begging to be hooked. Bring your own ice hut and gear or rent from a local outfitter. You can even rent a snowmobile and explore the region from a snowy perspective. See if you can catch the well-known Haliburton Gold trout, found only in Haliburton.

The Experience:

If you like to stay toasty, The Pines on Boshkung Resort has you covered. Enjoy jigging for pickerel and trout next to a wood-burning stove in a fishing hut, then warm your toes in front of the fire as you prepare the day’s catch in one of their fully equipped waterfront cottages. The stunning views and spectacular sunsets over Boshkung Lake are the perfect backdrop for this incredible ice-fishing experience. Daily rate includes the heated hut, parking and gear transportation.  Fishing equipment rental is also available.

A short two-hour drive takes you from the hectic pace of the city of Toronto to a natural wonderland. Buttermilk Falls four-season resort features nine fully equipped cottages and is the perfect base from which to experience the best of ice fishing. Enjoy fishing in warm luxury in one of their heated rental huts, complete with bait service. Splurge on one of their ice fishing packages and enjoy two nights accommodations at a reduced rate.

Celebrate winter at Ogopogo Resort on Mountain Lake, known for its whitefish and lake trout populations, and also a haven for pickerel. Fish huts are only a short walk from the cottages, so it’s easy to take a break when you get tired. When the shadows lengthen at the end of the day, you can turn relax in warm comfort in one of their one, two, or three-bedroom cottages featuring gas fireplaces, BBQs and full kitchens.

Let Sandy Lane Resort be your home away from home during your fishing adventure. Rent a fish hut and other equipment and cozy up at the end of the day in front of a wood burning fireplace while you look out over the frozen vista on Halls Lake. In the evenings you can unwind in the resort’s game room, glide over a natural skating rink, or careen down a toboggan hill. Rent a cabin featuring an outdoor hot tub for a soak with a view.

Hastings County (~220 km from Toronto)

When the weather turns frosty, on the ice is the place to be in Hastings County. This is when fishermen head to Stoco Lake, part of the Moira River system that runs between Madoc and Tweed. Stoco Lake is well known as a popular muskie fishery, which has allowed other species like walleye, black crappie, or smallmouth or largemouth bass to flourish.

The Experience:

Located south of Madoc, Moira Lake Fish Hunt Rentals provide portable huts or family sleeper huts for rent, and they will even offer a short fishing lesson to make sure your first fishing experience is stellar. Rentals include a fire with extra wood, live bait, fishing gear, cooking and dining supplies, and anything else you could imagine as needed for the adventure. Get hooked (pun intended) on ice fishing with this all-inclusive experience.

If you have your own ice fishing gear, or will be renting some you can take advantage of this unique accommodation option – a yurt experience! Outfit for your adventure at Chris’ Live Bait (see below) and at the end of the day spend the night in a cozy yurt in a private forested area that comes complete with a wood stove to help you warm up at the end of the day. This will be a photo-worthy experience!

Before you head out on the ice, stop by Chris’ Live Bait just outside of Marmora and make sure you are well equipped for a successful fishing adventure. This is a one-stop shop for everything to do with fishing, hunting and the outdoors. You’ll find everything you need to get out on the ice here, including warm gear to keep you cozy on the ice. Offers day/season fishing licenses.

Ottawa Valley (~150 km from Ottawa)

More than 900 lakes and four world-class river systems will call you onto the water in the Ottawa Valley. This is a region jam packed with fishing opportunities, only a short drive from Ottawa.

The Experience:

Situated on the shores of Lake Clear, Sandy Beach Cottages are the perfect distance from Ottawa for a weekend ice fishing getaway. All cottages come equipped with wall furnaces and everything you will need for the weekend. Don’t worry about coming home empty handed from this ice fishing getaway, Lake Clear is known for amenable fish more than willing to be hooked. Guests can purchase their ice fishing package and receive transportation to and from the lake.

Located near Renfrew, Irish Creek Outfitters offers gear and ice hut rentals, and an overnight sleeper hut that could be the ultimate ice fishing experience. Spend the day fishing and instead of trekking back across the ice in the evening you can cozy up right in the hut. As you sleep you may hear fish moving through the frigid waters below you, waiting for you to drop your line again.

If you’ve ever wondered what a fishing derby is, find out at the Cobden Ice Fishing Derby the first Saturday in February. Taking place on Muskrat Lake near Cobden, this is where you can give ice fishing a try in a fun environment, or watch as teams compete for more than $20,000 in prizes. In 2020 the event is celebrating their 10th year, which is pretty awesome.

Stories

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 […]

Hidden Gems Along Letterkenny Road

If you never thought that a simple road could spark your curiosity, initiate historical debates AND bring out your inner geologist, then you have obviously never been introduced to Letterkenny Road. Connecting the hamlets of Brudenell and Quadeville, this fully paved settlement road winds around pristine lakes, and leads you to a prized rose-quartz quarry. […]

Meet Me at the Drive-in

“Stranded at the drive-in, branded a fool What will they say Monday at school?” – Danny Zuko, Grease We could think of worse things than being stranded at the drive-in with Danny Zuko this summer! Maybe it’s because of the 1950s movie Grease, or maybe it’s just because it’s an awesome experience, but there’s something […]

Live the Yacht Life

Live the lifestyle of the rich and famous – for a week, anyway – with a Le Boat cruising staycation.

Date Night In

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Dear Dads, We Love You

Tell Dad how much awesome he is this Father’s Day with a little local love from these places in Ontario’s Highlands.

An Ode to Summer

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

This Fry’s for You

Challenge accepted: Take on the Great Potato Abundance of 2020 and put a dent in the local potato population.

An Ode to Poutine

Discover these chip trucks and their classic dishes, located throughout Ontario’s Highlands.

High Tea Fit for a Queen

Make a high tea that’s fit for a queen using Tea & Cake’s secret scone recipe and how-to.

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.

Chocoholic Fudgy Cake (Yes, Please!)

Rich, velvety chocolate, whipped ganache, creamy frosting…chocolate cake is the ultimate in old-time comfort foods. Ignite a passion for chocolate with this recipe from Hummingbird Chocolate Maker.

Cooking with Cider

A frosty glass of crisp cider may be the perfect accompaniment for patio sipping, television watching, dock sitting, or just hanging out in the warm, lemony spring sunshine, but did you know it also happens to be a fantastic and versatile ingredient for cooking? For Margaret Van Helvoort and Kees Morsink there is no bad […]

Chocolate Marshkebabs DIY

Easter is just a bunny hop around the corner and dreams of chocolate are filling the minds of children – and adults, too. A chocolate treat is the perfect way to sweeten your spring, and when it comes to this dark delicacy, the folks at Perth Chocolate Works are the experts. Since opening their doors […]

Just Breathe

Discover the beauty of mindfulness and allowing yourself to Just Breathe.

The Great Pizza-Off

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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.

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 […]

Pause for Pi Day

Celebrate Pi Day with the best pie at these bakeries in Ontario’s Highlands.

Best Pancake Breakfasts

Escape the city for a hearty meal with pure maple syrup at these top places for pancake breakfasts in Ontario’s Highlands.

Sweet Maple Escapes

Discover sweet places to stay for maple adventures in Ontario this spring.

Go Cross-Country

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

Bask in Romance

Add a little romance at one of these nine intimate Ontario retreats.

Jigging Through Ice

You slip and slide your way across the ice, your arms laden with fishing gear, excitement building at the thought of the unscripted day ahead. Tucked amidst your gear is a warm blanket, a thermos of something rich and delicious, and a carefully packed cooler with goodies to keep you cozy all day. Ice fishing […]

New Year, New You!

Winter events across Ontario’s Highlands that will help you keep your New Year’s Resolutions.

Make a Toast (in Hastings County)

Tour craft drink producers for a chance to meet the makers, and get the inside story on what inspires them to make and sell their product. Oh, and sample delicious brews, too!

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!

Cheers to the Holidays

Get into the holiday spirit this month with these mixologists and craft drink producers in Ontario’s Highlands.

The Best Baked Goods

Discover some of the best bakeries in Ontario’s Highlands and their tasty treats.

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.

Shine at Giving this Holiday Season

Today’s craft markets are full of fresh, hip products made by creative and talented makers. This holiday season, go above and beyond by picking up handmade items with a story to tell at one of these Ontario holiday markets.

Discover Historic Accommodations in Ontario

Spend the night in historic accommodations to take yourself to way-back-when, and get into the spirit of the community you’re visiting. These inns have stories to tell of the people who lived and breathed inside their walls.

Expert Tips to Catching Fish

As an angler who is passionate about exploring new waters, I’m grateful to live in a region that has endless options! Whether you’re shore fishing, venturing out by boat, kayak, or canoe, there are bass fishing opportunities for everyone here in the Ontario’s Highlands region. I’ve put together a list of my five favourite bass […]

The Perfect Scoop

Discover these top ice cream stops across Ontario’s Highlands to keep cool this summer on your road trip.

Buffalo Thrills

Discover good food and great memories at the Ontario Water Buffalo Company.

Summer Music Festivals

From rock to folk, these Ontario’s Highlands summer music festivals will keep you coming back year after year.

Art in the Summer

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3 Cheers for Mom

Discover ways to give a mom a Mother’s Day to remember, with gift ideas that go above and beyond.

An Escape into Nature

Find your connection with nature and each other during a cabin getaway at Deacon Escarpment in Renfrew County.

A Winter’s Break

Sometimes what we need is a little technology detox to spend a little less time with the screens in our lives and a little more time with the people who matter most.

Valentine’s Day Treats

Treat that special someone this Valentine’s Day to a gift of sweets at one of these top places.

Winter? Bring it!

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

Where Am I?

Visit Winterdance in Ontario’s Highlands and discover a love of winter from some of its biggest fans.

Where Am I?

Discover Calabogie Peaks Resort, a well-known gem, through new eyes.

Concerts with a Community

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Where Am I?

Stand tall and marvel at the views from the top of historical attraction, the Dorset Lookout Tower.

Where Am I?

Step back into nature at the Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve to celebrate sustainability in this unique place.

The Memory Maker

I’m a Memory Maker. I wander to celebrate traditions with loved ones and create lasting memories. I enjoy visiting the same place, annual festival, or seasonal tradition year after year.

Where Am I

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

Where Am I?

Mazinaw Rock, a hidden gem in Ontario that’s ironically, hard to miss.

Parks Worth the Admission

Visit these 8 Ontario Parks’ campgrounds in Ontario’s Highlands and discover why they are worth the admission.

Finding Imperfect Moments

Sometimes it is the imperfect moments that matter the most. Become inspired to roam without the burden of worrying about everything going according to plan.

A Different Kind of Detour

Take the road less traveled through Ontario’s Highlands to these unique festivals that are sure to leave a lasting impression.