Experience the Magic of Hike Haliburton

There are many benefits to connecting with nature, science suggests simply being surrounded by nature calms our nervous systems, causing a rush of positive emotions; plus, there are numerous mental and physical benefits to taking a few moments to soak in the sights, sounds and smells of your local forest. Getting outside and taking time to unwind and breathing fresh air have never been more important than now in our bustling lifestyles. Environmental philosopher John Muir once said, 

“And into the forest I go, 

to lose my mind and find my soul.”

Summer in Cottage Country for many is spent seeking out adventure on our beautiful lakes and rivers, but have you experienced the majesty of Autumn in Haliburton Highlands? 

Imagine paddling and hiking into one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Ontario and enjoying a riverside gourmet dinner; or a rock hounding expedition into one of the best mineral collection sites in Canada; or a casual stroll through a historic village with one of Canada’s most loved authors.  If you were to attend the Hike Haliburton Festival this season in the Haliburton Highlands you would not have to imagine any of these things, you could experience them first-hand.  Explore a pristine natural environment, grounded firmly on the Canadian Shield; a landscape much sought after for all its artistic, cultural and recreational opportunities – all during prime Fall colour season.

Hike Haliburton is a Grassroots initiative that has been running for 19 years.  It is one of the longest running hike festivals in Canada.  Over that time, the festival has been connecting passionate volunteer hike leaders with experience seekers such as you.  Whether they are long distance hike leaders, dedicated naturalists, knowledgeable geologists, or engaging storytellers, the hike leaders make the stunning landscape and rich cultural history of Haliburton Highlands come alive.  

With over 30 guided hikes available, there is something for everyone.  From short, easy village strolls to rugged long-distance adventures.  Some experiences are focused on specific topics – sustainable forestry or local history for example – while others are all about the journey.  How do you choose?  There are detailed descriptions of all the hikes on the Hike Haliburton Festival website www.festival.hikehaliburton.com – including difficulty, distance, and specific topics.  Registration is mandatory and easily done on the website.  Most of the offerings are free of charge, with a few limited exceptions.  The festival schedule is arranged to allow for several experiences throughout the four days.

After all that exploring, you and your friends and family will need a comfortable place to stay and some great food.  Visit the My Haliburton Highlands website www.myhaliburtonhighlands.com– for anything you need to create and plan a long weekend hiking experience.  Whether you are looking for a traditional cottage country inn, boutique cabin or a one-of-a-kind B&B there is a home away from home waiting for you.  Don’t forget that the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit allows you to extend your stay, or splurge on that special post hike dinner.  

The amazing local cultural and creative community puts on a great show, including live music, the Bookapalooza Literary Festival, the Minden Farmers and Artisans Market, and the Highlands Arts Renewal Trail.  You can also create your own Local Landmark Road Trip by visiting some of the compelling sites that are featured on the My Haliburton Highlands social media feeds every week.  

So come and experience the early fall magic of Hike Haliburton, the festival that is “for your body and soul”. There is so much to see, do and experience while in the Haliburton Highlands, a perfect Fall destination.

“Hiking is fun on its own! Add purposefully curated hikes, hosted by extraordinary and experienced volunteers, who take you on an immersive and memorable journey through compelling and engaging storytelling, and you have the best Fall adventure! Be sure to bring your camera as you navigate a region untouched and truly authentic.” 

– Haliburton Highlands Tourism


So as September rolls in, follow in the footsteps of John Muir “Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.”