Our family embarked on a lovely adventure through Ontario's Highlands. Our two kids always have a way of slowing down our pace in a way that allows us to be in the present moment. It was an opportunity to explore with a renewed perspective and rekindle the enchantment of summer. 

Our first stop of the trip was Abbey Gardens, a community driven space where everyone of all ages can gather, learn about sustainable living, listen to music, hike and shop locally.

We checked out their heritage breed ponies and chickens, toured their beautiful gardens, visited the food hub and were lucky enough to be there during the farmers market.

Their gardens are stocked with growing herbs and vegetables that they use to make their own in-house frozen & ready-to-go meals. We decided to grab some locally made frozen food and snacks to bring back with us for dinner at H2H Cottage Co.; this included some cupcakes, a frozen gourmet pizza, a chicken pot pie, and some asparagus from the farmers market. We even bought some coffee roasted right at the food hub.

When we arrived at H2H Cottage Co., it immediately offered us a serene escape, nestled among the treetops with a stunning view of Kennisis Lake. There were so many lounging areas outside that we enjoyed, accompanied by the melodious songs of birds throughout the day.

It felt unreal to be elevated among the treetops, where birds glided past us at eye level. This perspective provided us with a fresh and captivating view of the highlands, unveiling their beauty in a way we had never seen before. Being on the deck had us mesmerized from sunrise to well past sunset, where a celestial spectacle mirrored the lake’s surface.

I cherish the excitement of exploring with the kids, but the quiet moments where I can hear my own breath are just as special. We also enjoyed our time by the dock listening to the loons, playing in the water and taking in the warm summer sun on our bare skin.

We took advantage of the canoe for a sunset ride (Graham doing most of the paddling while I kept the kiddos entertained). Cuddling Kingsley in my arms while Remi played on the bottom of the canoe was a magical moment. 

After a long day of activities, we worked up an appetite and had dinner from the meals we got at Food Hub. The dining space had a beautiful wooden table with views of the lake which made our dining experience surreal.

Graham and I woke up at 5:30 am to watch the sunrise, enjoying a rare moment of solitude. Savoring freshly ground local coffee and cupcakes made it even more special. The sunrise was truly unforgettable and will be a memory we will look back on for years. 

On our second day, we did a day trip to Bancroft, the Mineral Capital of Canada. We perused through some precious stones at Lakeside Gems before hiking a very big rock over at Eagle’s Nest Park. Remi loved being so high up in the Osprey carrier, touching all the trail markers as if it were a game. 

The short hike took us to a number of awe-inspiring views overlooking Bancroft. 

We made a stop at Boshkung Smokehouse for their exceptional burgers and specialty poutines. After a day of being out in the sun, it was just what we needed to regain our energy.

We checked out the Haliburton Highlands Brewery to try out their local beer. We decided to sip on them at the lake while teaching Remi to fish. Graham was thrilled to reminisce about his cherished childhood memories of fishing at his own family cottage. 

At dusk, we made s'mores by the firepit, which nearly sent Remi into a sugar coma, yet he managed to fall asleep shortly after. The stars that evening were exceptional.

In the morning, we fueled up for the day at Kosy Korner which offers classic breakfasts in a diner-type atmosphere. The food was great and they have unlimited coffee refills which was a bonus.

On route to our next experience, we spotted two baby foxes by the roadside, nursing from their mother. I couldn't help but relate her experience to mine with Kingsley, who often chooses the most unexpected moments to feed during our trips.

We arrived at Barnum Creek Reserve for a Forest Bathing walk with Jen, from Finding Your Way Adventures. The two-and-a-half hour experience felt like one hour even at the slow intentional pace we were walking.

It was an experience of self-discovery and connection to the world all around. Jen gave us prompts along the way with invitations to speak about what we noticed and how we felt. It was really nice to share in the experiences of others. This was a special time connecting to self while Kingsley slept peacefully in my carrier, and Remi watched curiously from above Graham’s shoulders. Jen even made us a lovely tea from plants she foraged on our walk. 

We loved our trip through the Highlands and had so much more we wanted to do. We're already planning our next adventure.



Agnes Wywrot

Agnes is a documentary wedding and family photographer focusing on the authentic moments in life. When she’s not working, she is raising her two kids, Remington and Kingsley, in the Haliburton Highlands. Agnes is curious, empathic and always up to try something new. Her and her husband love traveling and are currently building their dream home by the river. Instagram handle: @Northern_wildflower