Saturday, June 6, 2009


Haliburton County has a multitude of activities available for people with varying interests and aptitudes. Given the current economic downturn we find that customers are seeking things to do at little or no additional cost to the cost of their accommodation. This list was created with activities for things to do for under $10 per person! Most of the items are totally free (if you don’t count the gas it takes to get to the site).

1. Visit Wolf Centre

The Haliburton Forest, a large privately owned forest located in Haliburton County, is the home of a pack of captive Timber Wolves that roam a 15 acre enclosure. The Wolf Centre has an observation room, numerous educational displays as well as a cinema/classroom with daily presentations. While there is no guarantee on any given date that you will actually spot a wolf, most people come back reporting wolf sightings. There is always more activity when the wolves have not just been fed than on the day after a big feed. This centre presents a unique opportunity to observe this elusive animal in its natural surroundings and in as close to natural conditions as can be maintained in captivity. Knowledgeable staff and biologists are on site for assistance and interpretation of the resident pack and the numerous exhibits. Cost is $9.00 per adult and $6 per child, with a family pass of $20. For more information check out

2. Visit Hawk River Log Chute
Log chutes were used in early logging days to carry logs over impassable parts of the river to their destination at the sawmill. They are man-made and in 1829 there were thousands of them. Now there is only one. The chute at the Hawk River site has been refurbished, using the same construction techniques as the original one. It is now used as an educational entity and tourist attraction. There is no gate so the site is open anytime from spring to fall but, closed in the winter months. You can visit anytime, but it is best for photos from midday to mid-afternoon, when the sun is on the chute and the rock face. Trails and information kiosks have been developed around the site for the enjoyment of the visiting public. For a complete list of what can be done while visiting the Log Chute please check out the following website.

3. Visit the Highlands Cinema and Movie Museum

If you are looking for an unusual movie experience the Highlands Cinema is the place to go! The theatre located in Kinmount, Ontario grew out of the owner’s home with the first theatre opening in 1979. While one might argue that it is not officially in Haliburton County, it is so close to the boundary that people use it as if it were part of the County. As demand increased so did the number of theatres until today it is a fiveplex located in a small village surrounded by forest. The furnishings are all from closed theatres, as the owner is a collector of movie memorabilia and artifacts. There is a 4000 square foot museum containing samples of these artifacts that you can view as part of your theatre admission price. Great entertainment while you await the start of the movie – so come a bit early to take it all in. The Theatres are open at the first of May, and run 7 nights a week until just after Labour Day, then weekends until Thanksiving. Cost is $7.50 per adult and $5.00 per child – where else can you see a new release for such a good price! For more information and movie schedules check out .

4. Take a walk in the Sculpture Forest

The Haliburton Highlands is known for its local artisans and has a tag line of “A Natural Work of Art”. It is also known for its trails and forests – when you put the two of them together you get a unique attraction called the Sculpture Forest. The Sculpture Forest Trail is a one or two kilometer trail in Glebe Park near the Haliburton Campus of Fleming College, which houses the School of the Arts. It is appropriate for walking or biking in the spring, summer and fall and for cross country skiing in the winter. There is no admission in the spring, summer or fall but, viewers require a $10 ski pass and use of skis to access the area in the winter. It is hard to describe the experience of walking through a forest and enjoying the artistic work of many artisans. Suffice it to say that it is a unique and inspiring experience and given the relatively flat trail system a venue that can be enjoyed by people of many physical abilities. Check out the website for more information about the sculptures or the artists: A free guided tour is offered at 10:00 am on Tuesdays in July & August. As a bonus activity (ie-beyond the 10 the title talks about) you can also take in the Haliburton Museum or walk the Glebe Park Trails while you are in the park for the Sculpture Forest viewing. Cost of Museum entry is $2.50 for adults or $1.00 for children.

5. Take a cycling tour of the County

Haliburton County is a great place to cycle. The Haliburton Highlands Cycling Coalition has worked hard to develop the resources necessary to support cycling in the region. They act as a point of connection for cycling enthusiasts, develop cycling events and have mapped out cycling routes through the County. Take a look at the website for more information and to print the cycling tour maps. Alternatively you can rent a bicycle from the Algonquin Outfitters which is just located on the other side of the lake from us..

6. Have a picnic at the Minden Wild Water Preserve

The Minden Wild Water Preserve is privately owned and operated by Whitewater Ontario for the use of its members. The preserve is located along the banks of the Gull River about 6 kilometers from highway 35 along the Horseshoe Lake Road. At almost anytime of day during the White Water Kayaking season you can view people shooting the rapids in their colourful kayaks. While you are there you can enjoy the trails along the side of the river, stop at the viewing area along the side of the road or pay the associated fee and enjoy the campground. While there are lots of places to picnic in Haliburton County this one is especially scenic and has lots of other things to do while you are there. For more information check out:

7. Go geocaching

Wilberforce has been named the Geocaching Capital of Canada – according to the website there are over 810,070 geocaching sites around the world and 194 of those are located in the Wilberforce postal code district. If you don’t know what geocaching is then you are really missing out on the latest trend. It is essentially a modern day treasure hunt. People hide a cache and register it on the geocaching website. Other people use their GPS units and go on a hunt for it, registering their find on the website once they have been successful. You can geocache on foot, by car, by bike, by snowmobile….almost any mode of transportation will do. It’s important when you find a cache to protect the location and not make any give-away comments on the website – so mums the word, eh!

8. Shop in the numerous local artists studios as you take a tour of the county

Haliburton County is known for its local artisans …hence it is the location of the Fleming College School of the Arts. The studios of these artists are nestled in various locations throughout the County. The weekend before Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving weekend a group of these artists have an official studio tour but, you are not limited to this timeframe if you wish to visit the studios. Many of the artisans have their studios open to the public year round either by appointment or chance. Thus, you can take a tour of the County and stop to view the work of these artisans as you go. Thus, you can take a tour of the County and stop to view the work of these artisans as you go. Check out the studio tour at . In addition to the artisans who are on the official tour there are other artists who also work in the County and are connected to a facility called the Art Hive ( ). You will note if you go to this website that in addition to shopping you can take in a once monthly workshop for $10 and tap your creative side!!

9. Take a Hike!

There are more than 160 kilometers of trails throughout Haliburton County. You can check out information about all the trails by going to . A particular favourite of people who have stayed here and gone hiking is the Circuit of 5 Viewpoints Trail in the township of Algonquin Highlands. There is just something about forging into the woods and really removing oneself from civilization. It refreshes the spirit and gives one time to ponder the meaning of life – or simply enjoying the world of nature. It’s a good idea to take a compass or better yet a GPS unit when you go! Remember to tell someone where you are and when you expect to be back.

10. Enjoy traditional lake activities here on Oxtongue Lake, as we have caones and kyaks which are free to our guests to explore the lake and ragged falls.

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