If you haven’t gotten acquainted, may we suggest this be the year you say hello to Haliburton Highlands? With its endless lakes and rivers, waterfalls and enchanted forests, there is plenty to take you off the beaten path and onto a wild (edible) adventure.

Named the Haliburton Highlands, a nod to both the region’s topographical similarities with the Scottish Highlands and the Scottish ancestry of many of its first settlers, this region’s outdoor experiences and tasty offerings will have you scrambling to purchase a cottage of your own.


Haliburton County


Let’s dive in shall we? Here are our top 5 picks for Haliburton Highlands:

1. Overlooking Eagle Lake, which bills itself (somewhat dubiously?) as “the Rhubarb Capital of Ontario”, Feast ON certified Rhubarb Restaurant is doing brisk business serving up locals, cottage goers and Blue Rodeo members. Bonus, they’re also home to Boshkung Brewing Co. – be sure to stock up on a growler before you leave!

2. Continue up Hwy 118 and you’ll find a haven of locally sourced products, educational programming and a happy crew of staff and volunteers at Abbey Gardens.  Did we mention they also bring in a mobile pizza oven on weekends?  This charitable organization is spearheading the conversation around the importance of local food in the community…think of it as “The Stop Goes North”.

3. Craft beer – check. Pizza – check. That means its time for ice cream.  Make (moose) tracks for the Kawartha Dairy outpost in Minden. The still family run favourite is worth the line up. Pro tip – bring a cooler so you can bring home one of everything. Game of Cones people!

4. It’s hard to comprehend just how expansive the Haliburton Highlands’ forested floors are…so let the Haliburton Forest & Wildlife Reserve help! Sign up for one of their “A Walk in the Clouds” guided tours, which includes a breathtaking canopy boardwalk along the treetops.

5.  Or sit back and let environmental expert and educator Barrie Martin do the itinerary planning for you. Barrie’s tour company Yours Outdoors curates all kinds of incredible experiences in the Highlands – everything from snow-shoeing up to a sugar bush to learning how to make a birch bark canoe with a local craftsman.  Our pick? The Wild Edibles Forage & Tasting (May-Nov), which includes a guided foraging tour and four course lunch prepared by Carolyn Langdon.

Find even more suggestions at #MyHaliburtonHighlands. Have a favourite Haliburton Highlands taste or experience that we missed? Let us know by tweeting @OCTA_licious or finding us on Facebook


Originally published as part of the Perfect Weekends series on OntarioCulinary.com

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