Come Wander

For a small community, Wilno is full of rich Polish history and charming personalities. I find myself wandering through the Town often and am excited to share my recent experience visiting Wilno.

With Wilno being the first Polish settlement in Canada, it seemed only fitting to visit the Polish Kashub Heritage Museum & Skansen first. There are many historic buildings to wander through and my favourite was the log shed display building, as there were neat old farm tools on display. The interactive buildings at the museum helped me learned about Polish Kashubian cultural heritage. The farm log house had many fascinating items, which belonged to some of the first settlers. Some items I thought were most intriguing were the handmade rocking chair, wood stove and antique plates.

My next stop was The Wilno Craft Gallery, which was surprisingly full of all types of art. Owner, Ann, told me all the pieces are Canadian, and most are made by local artists. There was jewelry, pottery, homemade candles, woodwork, hand bags and so much more. It is a must see stop, which will be sure to wow you. I couldn’t help but buy a dip bowl in the shape of a canoe, and a bee’s wax candle. You will be sure to feel the charm of Wilno after talking to Ann; she even told me stories of the old days.

I wandered into the locally famous Wilno Tavern. The food is homemade with a Polish theme. I ordered the pierogis and cabbage rolls, and was not disappointed. If you are not sure which item from the menu you want, you can look on the calendar for their Polish Buffet night. Every Tuesday night for as far back as I can remember they host Blues Night Jam. If you want to see hospitality and a great show at its finest, Blues Night is just that. The tavern has been the centre of the community for decades offering everyone travelling through a welcoming atmosphere.

Feeling well fed, I wanted to wander through more of Wilno. I knew there were two places to visit with an incredible view. I found myself at the St. Mary’s Church, the oldest Polish Parish in Canada. I was in awe with how stunning the church looked. When I turned around the view of the hills was magnificent.

I drove down the road a little further to find myself at Canada’s first Polish settlement. Though I’d already eaten, I was thinking it would be a great spot to stop and enjoy lunch with a view. There are also stories of Polish history throughout the site. One story spoke about the first settlers arriving in 1864 and establishing a thriving agricultural community.

There are other stories to be heard, but you will have to go to Wilno to know them. Wilno is a gem of the Ottawa Valley that everyone passing through needs to stop at to enjoy the views, heritage, culture and hospitality.


Cider Season

Find these cideries on your next road trip through Ontario’s Highlands to discover a refreshing way to toast the apple harvest with a cold cider.

Wandering the Festival of Small Halls

Discover all the small halls throughout the Ottawa Valley, Lanark County, and Hastings County that will host a performance for the Festival of Small Halls in 2019.

An Ode to Poutine

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

The Great Pizza-Off

Chow down on artisan wood-fired pizza at any of these gems across Ontario’s Highlands.

Before the Lake Wakes

Wake up lakeside with a steaming cup of coffee from a roastery in Ontario’s Highlands.

A Delicious Day Trip

Sip & Savour your way through the best food and drink spots in Lanark County.

The Perfect Scoop

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

Exhale and Unwind

Experience a slice of farm life at Dwyer’s Farmhouse in the Ottawa Valley.

Strawberry Fields Forever

Discover these top ways to enjoy the strawberry season, when you let these farm-fresh berries shine on their own or in a variety of treats.

Farm Fresh Finds

Indulge your taste buds this summer with these 5 local finds at Farmers Markets through Ontario’s Highlands.

Pause for Pi Day

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

Winter Jams

Warm up your winter with good music and good food, together, at the Sharbot Inn & Crossing Pub, in Sharbot Lake, Ontario.

Valentine’s Day Treats

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

Moo-ve Over, Vodka

Discover Vodkow, the new beverage from the Dairy Distillery causing a stir in Almonte, Ontario.

The Best Baked Goods

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

A Day in Ormsby

Discover why Ormsby Ontario is worth exploring on your next road trip.

A is for Apples

Meeting cider kings and discovering great things in Hastings County.

Concerts with a Community

In September each year, the spirit of community comes alive all across Ontario’s Highlands when the Festival of Small Halls rolls in.

Roam If You Want To

Follow along with Chris from Travelling Mitch as he wanders through Haliburton Highlands and Hastings County on the Rustic Roamer Road Trip.

Ground to Glass

Discover how four craft drink makers harness Mother Nature’s flavours to elevate their beverages in Ontario’s Highlands.

5 Senses of Nature

Leave the city behind and immerse yourself in the natural charm of Ontario’s Highlands.

Where Am I?

Devour an Ottawa Valley tradition and feel your taste buds rejoice with Wes’ Chips in Arnprior.

Where Am I?

Discover the big things happening in the small towns along the Rideau Canal.

Top 4 Summer Treats

Top 4 summer treats that are worth the stop on your next Ontario’s Highlands road trip.

The Rustic Roamer

I’m a Rustic Roamer. I wander to discover authentic moments, to embrace the spirit of locals, and to understand the stories of the communities and countryside that I visit.

Where Am I

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

Maple Mania

Discover one writer’s quest to discover what makes Lanark County so sweet with Maple Mania.

Life is a Highway

Two wanderers explore 135 kilometres of hidden gems in Hastings County.

The Ultimate City Escape

Explore these three ways to escape the city, slow down, and absorb rural life in Ontario’s Highlands.

My Hometown: Haliburton

After years of travel, read the story of why Emily returned to Haliburton to officially call it her home.

Journal of a Foodie

Take a journey through Ontario’s Highlands on a road trip that will satisfy your inner foodie.

Summer Brews

Take a trip around Ontario’s Highlands to these micro-breweries to discover your perfect summer beer.

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.

Good Food, Great Company

The Good Food Tour, a delectable walking tour in Almonte the showcases a story and the local flavours.