Whether you’re looking to get away from the city for the day, or are in search of a weekend excursion to fill the memory banks with authentic stories – reconnect by disconnecting in Ontario’s Highlands. Wander our pathways and roadways and discover the ultimate winter escape – complete with glistening landscapes and winding snowy trails under a canopy of evergreens, quaint small town cafés 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.
In Ontario’s Highlands, maple season means cool nights, crisp mornings and sweet warm scents that fill the air all day long. A picturesque 45-minute drive west from Ottawa brings you to Lanark County and some of the best-known and beloved sugar camps in the province. Visit Fulton’s Pancake House and Sugar Bush, where self-guided tours let you explore the 400-acre property and follow your nose to sweet, tasty rewards. If you need a rest, sit for a spell and savour the sweet aromas and tastes of the restaurant. Here, you're encouraged to drench mouthwatering pancakes, sausages, baked beans and desserts in the purest, freshest maple syrup. How sweet is that?
With winter shaping so much of our identity, outdoor festivals are the perfect invitation to bundle up, head out, and embrace the season. Fire & Ice in Perth is a great example. This energetic day-long party finished with eye-popping fireworks lighting up the Crystal Ice Palace is the first of 200 events to celebrate the town's 200th anniversary. If sensory overload fuels your memories, Dorset’s Annual Snowball Winter Carnival has you covered with a music-fueled family skating party, adult broomball, pancake breakfasts, and horse-drawn rides all adding chapters to the story. Not to be outdone, Eganville hosts the Bonnechere Cup for its 40th year, where the hum of snowmobiles is only matched by exuberant cheering, as fans like you urge racers on to victory.
When the sharp winter winds blow you inside, warm up by a toasty kiln at Artech Glassblowing Studios. This traditional glassblowing studio, nestled in the Haliburton Highlands, creates stunning up-cycled glass tableware and barware so desirable, they made the gift bags at last year's Emmy Awards. And if you're curious to learn this craft that lets them turn ordinary beer bottles into beautiful glasses that still hold a full beer, roll up your sleeves, unleash your creativity, and let Jennifer and Terry guide you. If your desire to learn runs hot and cold, then expand your visit and book a Fire and Ice "Hollywood Adventure" package through Yours Outdoors , where you'll have a blast blowing glass one day, then cool down with some energizing ice-climbing the next. Put them both on your must wander list.
If the desire to disconnect from your day to day is overwhelming, the calm and serene peace of ice fishing may be the perfect antidote. Make Buttermilk Falls Resort your winter adventure headquarters. Its cluster of private waterfront, all-season cottages are just steps away from Boshkung Lake in the Haliburton Highlands. With fully equipped ice huts and helpful staff to assist with everything you may need, embracing the peacefulness of your surroundings and being "at one" is inevitable. On your way home, stop at Wintergreen Maple Syrup and Pancake Barn to warm your soul. Choose from over 100 sweet maple treats to remind you of your retreat to the freedom of a getaway in Ontario's Highlands.
Enjoy a serene winter wander this season through the small towns and villages of Ontario's Highlands. Satisfy your senses with a stroll through Almonte, and take in its calming waterfalls and eclectic offerings. Listen as the acoustic gem of Almonte’s Old Town Hall reverberates with heartwarming folk songs at Folkus, a roots-based music series that will have you swaying in unison with gifted Canadian musicians. Visit the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum, a national historic site, to have your heart warmed by touching stories at their Fabric of a Small Town exhibit. Later in the month, Mid-Winter Milling is your opportunity for self reflection and enlightenment sparked by spiritual, self-awareness practitioners who will help you find your inner peace.