• Jared Rover

Top things to do in Haliburton, Ontario on a Canadian travel adventure. Cottage country Rocks!

Updated: Mar 14, 2019

About two and a half hours north from Toronto, Ontario’s capital, and in between Lake Ontario and Lake Huron, you’ll find an abundance of trees and an absence of Wi-Fi. Enter Haliburton, Ontario. This area is known as cottage country, and while you may not find many stores or people, what you will find are a ton of opportunities for adventure and enjoyment. The Haliburton Highlands are located centrally to the Kawartha Lakes and Algonquin Park, two of Ontario’s most well-known and beautiful provincial parks.

Here are some great things to do while exploring in and around Haliburton.


The first thing you need to do on your way to Haliburton is stop in Minden at Kawartha Dairy’s dairy bar for the best ice cream you will ever taste. We’d suggest bringing a cooler with you because you’ll probably love this ice cream so much you’ll want to take a 1.5L tub (or two) home with you.


Once you get into Haliburton, take a day trip to Dorset (about 45 minutes) to climb the lookout tower and get the most beautiful bird’s eye view of the town and the Lake of Bays (we highly recommend going in the fall). As of the end of October the entrance gate is closed for the winter, so you won’t be able to drive up to the tower, but plenty of people park their cars and walk up to the top.


Photo from the beautiful view provided by Dorset tower of the fall foliage starting to appear.

Source: www.muskokablog.com.


While you’re in the area, stop by Buttermilk Falls: it’s a short .5km trek, but the hike varies in intensity depending on how close you want to get to the falls. Buttermilk Falls Resort nearby also offers kayaking on Boshkung Lake and fishing in the summer, and ice fishing and snowshoeing in the winter. Afterward, stop by one or both of the local breweries (and they’re only a 10-minute drive from each other): Boshkung and Haliburton Highlands.


Photo of water flowing down a channel in Ontario Cottage Country.

For those craving more of an adrenaline rush, Haliburton Forest also offers canopy tours (May-Octobe)r and snowmobile rentals in the winter! It’s a bit pricey, but if you’re going to snowmobile, Haliburton Forest is a great spot with over 100,000 acres of land, 300km of groomed trails, and is the “only wholly privately owned snowmobiling operation in the world.” There’s also a wolf sanctuary worth checking out while you’re here.


On a warm day, it’s also nice to walk along the Gull River, go for a swim, or stop for lunch at the nearby Boshkung Social (with rows of outdoor picnic tables and a concise menu of barbecue sausages) in Minden, Ontario.


Photo of a powerful river in Ontario Cottage Country.

There’s so much you’ll want to do in Haliburton that we recommend staying for the weekend at least. There are plenty of resorts and cottage rentals where you can stay right on one of the many surrounding lakes, or rough it for the weekend in a log cabin right in the middle of the Haliburton Forest.


Author: Stephanie Cervone.


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