Whether you’re looking to get away from the city for the day or in search of an unforgettable weekend excursion filled with authentic discoveries – reconnect by disconnecting and visit Ontario’s Highlands. Wander our pathways and roadways, and discover the ultimate fall escape – complete with colourful landscapes, winding roads through quaint towns, cozy cafes and eateries, unique cultural experiences and people who are like friends – welcoming you home. Come wander Ontario’s Highlands, it’s a place that’s like nowhere else.
Fall time means harvest time, and there are so many rustic and real places in Ontario’s Highlands to enjoy the bounties of Mother Nature. Heritage House Museum in Smiths Fall will feature special harvest demonstrations, and closer to Christmas will host festive Victorian traditions. Award-winning Rhubarb Restaurant in Carnarvon is a great place to enjoy local harvest fare, including seasonal beers like 12 Mile Pumpkin Ale, brewed onsite by Boshkung Brewing Co.
If you’re looking for holiday gift ideas that will be as authentic and special as the people who made them, make weekend tracks for Ontario’s Highlands. Almonte is host to the Christmas in the Valley Artisan Show, November 7 and 8, where dozens of artisans, crafters and bakers feature handcrafted gift ideas. Downtown Carleton Place is where you’ll discover Ladies Night Out on November 19, a preholiday shopping event hosted by the BIA and downtown merchants. And Heritage House Museum features their 34th annual Art Show & Sale, daily starting November 7.
Enjoy a fall hike and marvel at the unique outdoor collection of sculptures by Canadian and International artists at the Haliburton Sculpture Forest in Glebe Park. Or enjoy a beautiful wilderness walk in the Haliburton Highlands on the back of a tall, strong horse through a horseback riding experience with South Algonquin Trails. Then gather around a fabulous Minden maple latte at Up River Trading Company and swap stories of the day.
Our region features great fall festivals and rollicking events unlike anything anywhere else. Take the Rally of the Tall Pines, November 27 and 28 in Bancroft, where turbocharged, four wheel drive small cars drive flat-out down treacherous forest roads lined with tall trees and loud fans. Or head to the Ottawa Valley and enjoy a Rural Ramble, set against the beautiful backdrop of Autumn colours, sights and smells, where fossil hunts, self-guided tours and giant pumpkin weigh-offs are just a few of the experiences that await.
There are so many intimate, friendly museums in Ontario’s Highlands to feed your inner curiosity seekers. Enter Matheson House Museum and you experience the world of the 1840s, home of the award-winning Perth Museum and a National Historic Site. Not far away you can bask in a truly Canadian tradition and see the world’s most extensive collection of maple related artifacts at Wheeler Maple Syrup Museum in Lanark County.