Exploring Different Activities in Haliburton Highlands – A Good Way for Relaxation

Haliburton HighlandsOne of the good ways for relaxation is through exploring the different activities in your place or even your neighborhood town and places. During your leisure time, it is good to consider the Haliburton Highlands for your destination. It is because of its great scenery and attractive ambience. Aside from that, you can do a lot of outdoor activities in this place like rowing, fishing, playing golf, horseback riding or even going from some adventures.

If you consider some sorts of outdoor activities for your leisure time, then you have to plan before you travel with your family and friends. Make sure that all the things and pieces of equipment that you will need are all packed and settled. Also, you have to provide yourself with some comfort like sleeping bag which can be used at night. You have to look for the best sleeping bag in the marketplace so as to make sure that you will be comfortable when you already use this sleeping bag at night. Click here for more information about best sleeping bag for your kids and for your family as well.

Things to Consider before Travelling for Vacation

Travelling is indeed a nice thing to do during your leisure time and for your vacation with your family. With this kind of journey and activity, you can have an assurance that you will be relaxed and free from any problems in office works. However, if you plan to go in Haliburton Highlands and set a specific day for travel, then you should always plan ahead of time. The following are the lists that can help you in planning prior to your travel:

Pack all the things that you need

Always bear in your mind that you have to pack all the things, including your personal needs inside your travelling bag. Just bring the important thing so as not to have heavy luggage.

Prepare an ample amount of money for your travelling budget

Budget is the most essential factors to consider when planning for a travel vacation. Without this, it’s impossible to travel and do the different activities that you want.

If you are quite distant from Haliburton Highlands, then it is essential to look for a reservation for your flights

Choose the mode of transportation where you can be comfortable and satisfied. At least, for your first day trip, you can already feel satisfaction and enjoyment.

Know your destination

Of course, it is essential to know the place where you will go. You have to explore the different activities out there, tourists spots to go and places where you can purchase some foods and for personal necessities.

Experience the Beauty of the Place at Haliburton Highlands

Once you’re already in Haliburton Highlands, then that’s the only time that you can say that it is really a convenient and relaxing place for anyone who is looking for great ambience. With their fresh air and beautiful places to go, you can roam around and discover the hidden places around.

Come now and explore the places at Haliburton Highlands and be one of the visitors in this locale. For sure, you will enjoy and will be satisfied with its great ambience.

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Travel rewards take off: Rewards Canada

The gift of giving

The gift of giving

In 2009, Calgarian Patrick Sojka published a ranking of travel-reward credit cards on his loyalty program–focused website, Rewards Canada. Back then, there were about 35 cards to rank, which he divided into five categories: Top Airline Credit Card, Top Hybrid Travel Credit Card, Top Travel Points Credit Card (with annual fee), Top Travel Points Credit Card (with no annual fee), and Top Hotel Points Credit Card. Five years later, the rankings have ballooned to include more than 80 cards, and competition, says Sojka, is fierce.

“Every credit card loyalty program is trying to outdo the other,” says Sojka, who recently released his rankings for 2014. Of the five categories, travel rewards cards with annual fees currently represent the most competitive category with more than 40 cards in contention. This year, the Capital One Aspire Travel World MasterCard took the top spot in this category.

At first glance, fee-based travel cards seem ridiculous. Why pay annual fees topping $120 and incur interest charges in the range of 19% when you could get a no-fee card, offering lower interest rates? Answer: because it would take you forever to accumulate enough points to go anywhere. No-fee travel cards are a little like ordering off the kids menu.

So, is the Aspire the best travel card? Not necessarily. “Comparing travel cards is … virtually impossible,” says fane Canapini, who writes about travel on her website Grey Routes & Tips. Still, she thinks the rankings do Canadians a big service by showing variances among cards and that there’s no one-card-fits-all winner.

Rewards Canada bases its rankings on a variety of metrics, some measurable such as fees and how points are generated and redeemed–and softer metrics, such as the size of the program, accessibility and, in the case of the top-ranking hotel card, what it really means to be a “Starwood Preferred Guest.”

It’s a harrowing task, and one that is rife with interpretation. Take the CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite Card. As a credit card, it might be weak compared to other travel cards, says Sojka. But, because of the sheer size of the Aeroplan loyalty program and the myriad ways you can earn points, it ranks third among airline cards.

When Aeroplan launched in ^84, points were generated through travel. Take a flight, earn points. But today, competition among cards is driven by flexibility with the ability to earn points every time you pump gas or shop-for groceries.

But it’s not all about points. Linda Mantia, executive vice-president of cards and payment solutions at RBC, thinks rankings such as Rewards Canada’s put too much emphasis on point generation, and not enough on redemption. “How easy is it to redeem or transfer points?” says Mantia. “You need to take into account overall satisfaction, and this is something that a ranking can’t really track.”

Categories and rankings aside, there’s no denying travel rewards cards are growing in popularity and that the differences among cards are getting finer by the day. Anything that can help make sense of the options is, says Canapini, “doing the consumer a big favour.”

The gift of giving

The gift of givingRather than trading your points in for something you don’t really need–like a toaster oven–consider donating them. Points donations are more significant to charities than you might think.

Aeroplan’s ongoing Beyond Miles charity program allows cardholders to donate miles to a host of charitable groups such as Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders (MSF). Since 2006, MSF has received more than 100 million miles through Beyond Miles, which, in monetary terms, “has saved us more than $1 million,” says Rebecca Davies, director of fundraising at MSF in Toronto.

RBC allows its travel-reward cardholders to redeem their points for donations to Own The Podium and to Hope Air, a charity that provides free flights to Canadians who can’t afford airfare to get to necessary medical care.

Since the RBC program started in 2004, cardholders have donated to Hope Air an aggregate of 74,508,300 points-which equates to 2,855 flights purchased through these donations over the years.

 

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County Voice – The Haliburton County’s Free Newspaper

County Voice is one of the few free newspapers available today that is dependent on ad placements for profits. With a circulation of 7000 copies weekly, if you place an ad with them, you are rest assured of a circulation wide enough to reach the intended target market whatever business you may be placing with them.

Established in 2008, County Voice was put up by Brett and Joanne Irvine, the same couple behind the Highlands Communicator. It served as a venue for advertisements, announcements and even greetings to folks living around the county while earning from placement fees and advertising fees that the paper provides. It also helped that the County Voice has a classifieds’ section serving the community.

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“Covering the Whole County!”

With Brett Irvine at the helm, the County Voice reached people from all walks of life in the Haliburton Highlands that needed their dose of news, information and classifieds as streamlined in this paper. With headlines that come with pictures big enough to explain and serve as supplemental info for the headlines, this paper managed to keep the citizenry informed of the current events that transpired in the area on a consistent basis. The County Voice held well to their tagline “Covering the Whole County!”

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In 2010, Brett and Joanne eventually sold the business. As of today, the paper is managed by a local entrepreneur Chad Irvine in service of the Haliburton Highlands. Chad saw the potential in maintaining this paper for the sake of the subscription base that it has developed apart from the loyal following it garnered through the years that it operated under the leadership of Brett.

Operating hours are from Monday to Sunday

Operating hours are from Monday to Sunday, 9am to 9pm 12 hours a day. The paper is picked up on all areas, an assurance that whatever message or advertisement you may have place with them. In the same manner that the County Voice has served the community well, you can also serve the community in your own way by engaging into a new hobby like gardening. There are vast lots in Canada that deserved to be decorated with clean cut meadows and lawns similar to the kind of gardens usually found in European gardens. With this in mind, it’s time to invest in some of the best lawn mowers today.

Everyone deserved to hear of the good news about the quality generated by the best lawn mowers that you could possibly find in the market today. While at first it seems like the only utility that these tools could do for you is cut grass and keep the meadows neat, consistency in keeping the meadows neat and well-cut helps a lot in brainstorming more ideas for the garden that you envisioned it to be. For more details on how to get the best deals available today for the best lawn mowers available in the market today, just click here and see which among then suits your taste best.

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An adventurous activity in Harliburton

Harliburton is really a wonderful place where we can experience some kinds of activities such as horseback riding, playing golf, rowing or going fishing. However, the most interesting activity here might be Walk-In-The-Clouds Treetop Canopy. Coming here, we cannot ignore this strange and adventurous activity.

Haliburton Forest belongs to German-born Peter Schleifenbaum, who inherited this precious property from his father. He purchased the wilderness land from a Canadian timber company in 1962 for $7 an acre. However, over a long time, this forest has been renovated to meet the many demands of tourist attractions. There are several hiking/walking trails in the forest so you can walk in the treetops. If you really love mountain and bicycle, it has got some mountain bicycle paths for you to challenge yourselves. Moreover, It also arranged the snowmobile trail during the winter for those who are keen on thrilling game, and other recreational activities. For the first time, I heard that they raise wolves at the Haliburton Forest Wolf Centre, I felt a little bit scared. However, when I came here, it was a big difference. Haliburton Forest also has a submarine.

Walk-In-The-Clouds Treetop Canopy associates with a very long bridge throughout a large area of forest in Harliburton. Unlike the other bridges, this one is constructed to meet the demand of tourists’ exploration. Joining in this activity, people will admire a very talented designation. Moreover, we are able to walk among the green canopies, study animal and plan at high altitude. This feeling is different from sitting on an aerial cable. If you are only on aerial cable, you can’t walk, and that feeling is fugitive.

However, when you walk like this, you can spend how much time you like, take how many photos you want. Sometimes when I’m running on my best Elliptical machines which I have bought after referencing from a variety of Elliptical Machine Reviews, I still imagine that feeling. It is also drifting, smooth and full of challenges like this. We can start canopy walk journey from the shoreline of Marsh Lake. That is the starting point. Haliburton Forest covers an area of 23 000 hectare near the southwest border of Ontario’s Algonquin Parks, in Haliburton County. At 500 meters in length, we will have one unique journey that no where in North America has got.

activity in Harliburton

There is no need to fear of the safety of this particular bridge. The canopy boardwalk has been designed strongly, scientifically and at high standard. Before any person set his feet on this bridge, your guide will introduce you to all the safety procedures and equipment.  No matter how fat or light you are, can you walk easily on this bridge. Besides, you will be guided by a team of tourist guides who are trained interpreters who will ensure a safe and exciting tour. All guides have an intimate knowledge of Haliburton Forest and its diverse natural surrounding.

If you wonder where you can stay at in Harliburton forest, I will give you some suggestions. A variety of accommodations are available to suit both comfort seekers and campers. Service here is quite convenient, despite of the fact that it is a highland, you can find anything you need easily.

Harliburton is not only famous for its spectacular view but also for its places and events. Both the Wolf Center and Logging Museum offer a great educational experience for all ages. During the summer season, you can enjoy a Public Wolf Howl taking place every Thursday evening. On Saturdays throughout the month of August you may participate in night sky observation.

Harliburton is one of the most tourist attractions in North America. It offers a multitude of outdoor activities that you can try comfortably. Whoever you are, I think it is worth spending a summer vacation in that place. Why am I talking about summer? I mean that summer in Harliburton is quiet cooler and more beautiful than any other places in North America. Surely, you will never regret a summer in Harliburton.

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Where are they now? RON STACKHOUSE Hockey

Byline: PAUL PATTON

Defenceman with the California Seals, Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins from 1970 to 1982.

Career record – 87 goals, 372 assists in 889 games.

Stackhouse, a native of Haliburton, Ont., played junior for the Peterborough Petes under coach Roger Neilson. When a penalty shot was called against the team, Neilson decided to pull his goaltender and insert Stackhouse in the nets. Ron then would skate out at the oncoming player (who had only one shot) and the move worked twice until the rules were changed to bar skaters from taking over for goaltenders. “Roger was always cooking up things like that,” Stackhouse recalled recently. “In an exhibition, we had a penalty shot called against us and he sent me in. Frank Hamill took the shot, and I charged out, and he wound up and hit me with a slap shot and I smothered it. During the regular season, the same thing happened against Ottawa, and as the kid who was taking it skated towards the net, I charged out and he tried to deke me and I poked it away, but the referee ruled that I had left the crease too soon and gave the kid the shot over again. The second time, he tried to shoot quickly and I deflected it with my elbow.” For a time, Stackhouse attended Trent University while still playing junior hockey. He was the 18th player picked in the 1969 amateur draft but was traded to Detroit for Tom Webster. The Wings later sent him to Pittsburgh for defenceman Jack Lynch and goalie Jim Rutherford. Playing for the Penguins was a problem since his first wife was a dentist but was licenced only to practice in Canada. In 1976, he collected six assists (including a league-record four in one period) in an 8-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. In 1978, he scored three goals (all on power-plays) in a 5-1 win over the New York Rangers. He scored a goal in the 1980 NHL all-star game. He had a year to go on a $140,000 contract when he retired. “I had nagging injuries and the Pittsburgh fans hated me. For years, I had tried to get traded, but it just didn’t happen and I was unhappy there and I thought too many cement- heads were coming into hockey.” He returned to school, made the Dean’s honors list at York University in Toronto and graduated with a degree in economics. Now 38 and married again, he has returned home and teaches and coaches hockey at Haliburton Highlands Secondary School.

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Experiencing an enjoyable summer vacation in Haliburton

Summer vacation is approaching. The kids are looking forward to seeing where their parents will lead them to this holiday. Which one do you prefer sea or mountain? Would you like forest or plain? Wherever you go, I am sure that you want to spend your holiday in a beautiful cool fresh place, and even there are a lot of outdoor activities there. In such a case, Haliburton will be the perfect choice.

Haliburton is a county of Ontario, Canada, known as a tourist and cottage area in Central Ontario for its scenery and for its resident artists. There are many rivers and lakes here, included the lakes fueled by natural springs, such as Bitter Lake, Dark Lake, Halls Lake (Ontario)….

Unlike the winter time, summer in this county seems to be charming and romantic, the lakes are warm and beautiful, and there are so many amazing ways to enjoy your summer which attracts many people flock to it. That is also the reason why Haliburton is a popular place for Ontario resorts. There are a great many of resorts and lodges that people can always find their perfect holiday accommodation. In addition, Haliburton Highlands offers visiting tourists beautiful lakefront vistas and unspoiled wilderness hiking and wildlife observation.

summer vacation in Haliburton

However, you can also take part in many different outdoor activities.

Horseback riding

Horseback riding in the Haliburton Highlands can be a magical experience. Here visitors can enjoy relaxing moments on horseback as the western cowboys in the comfortable and pure atmosphere.

Playing golf

There are many large golf courses for those in the upper class. This is actually a complex of outdoor activities for all the components of society.

Rowing

Characterized by many rivers and lakes, boating can be seen as a very popular activity in Haliburton

Go fishing

Like rowing, go fishing in a fresh quiet atmosphere seems an indispensable activity here. Once upon a time, after a long go fishing day, I gave my fishes to your rental cottage’s server, “please make the best grilled fishes with your top electric smokers” The server said, “don’t worry about our smokers because they are the best in website: http://topelectricsmokers.com”

Unlike the other resorts in North America, Haliburton possesses a very favorable climate for tourism due to plateau characteristic. This is really a great attraction for those who love the natural landscape, ecological tourism and outdoor activities. You and your family will certainly have the most memorable moments in life in Haliburton Highlands.

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Staying with ‘Sir Sam’ at estate hidden in Haliburton Highlands

HALIBURTON, Ont. — BY TOBY SALTZMAN, Special to The Globe and Mail HALIBURTON, Ont.

THE DREAM to escape the pressures of day-to-day life in the city can come to soothing reality deep in the Haliburton Highlands, where, in the lushly treed wilderness, there hides a charming, historic inn that provides a glorious interlude from the work world. The tension starts to melt from your brow as soon as you turn off the main highway onto a road speckled by sunlight filtering through the tall trees of the forest, and approach Sir Sam’s Inn.

Sir Sam’s has had a superb position overlooking Eagle Lake and the Haliburton Highlands since 1917, when it was originally built of hand-hewn logs and fieldstone as a country estate by Sir Sam Hughes, the Minister of Defence in the First World War. Inside the main living room are several interesting pictures of Sir Sam Hughes. He is shown watching the British attack at the Battle of the Somme, receiving a hero’s welcome in Lindsay after the Boer War, and receiving the colors for his battalion from Lady Eaton in 1916. Under his imposing portrait is the quotation, “By His Accomplishments He Should Be Judged.” This estate truly is a beautiful accomplishment.

estate hidden in Haliburton Highlands

Estate hidden in Haliburton Highlands

The beauty of Sir Sam’s lies not just in the spectacular peacefulness of the rugged setting, but in the way that the present owner, James Zorr has developed the property into the supremely satisfying inn that it is today. The casual atmosphere contains absolutely no pressure to do anything but relax, and the dressiest daytime clothes required are a t- shirt and bathing suit. The addition to the main lodge and the newly constructed additional chalets have allowed for all the indulgences that people harried from city life would want to enjoy. The rooms have private balconies that provide the ultimate seats for watching the sun set over the lake.

The rooms are beautifully appointed, some with wood-burning fireplaces, some with whirlpools big enough for two. There are no televisions or telephone in the rooms to disturb the quiet rhythm of nature.

The waterfront is equipped with all the toys one could want for diversions, and there is no extra charge for participation in any of the water sports: motor-boating, sail-boating windsurfing, canoeing, kayaking, waterskiing. For less adventurous types there are paddle boats. Some guests just like to find a spot on a chaise longue at the pool and read or just enjoy the view from a seat in the heated whirlpool. Those with anxieties left to burn off can do so in the well-equipped exercise rooms.

In the evenings, guests can visit the disco bar or the theatre room, or simply savor the peaceful country air while lingering over dessert and yet another cup of coffee on the screened-in porch.

After returning to Sir Sam’s Inn each year for 10 years, my favorite pasttime is still unchanged. I am drawn by the free spirit of the logo at the entrance to Sir Sam’s which so appropriately depicts a loon, the symbol of the wildlife in the Haliburton Highlands.

In the hushed hours of the early morning, before the breezes can awaken any ripples in the glassy lake, and the mist suspended over the water is just beginning to evaporate in the air, we set out in our search for the elusive loon.

In excited anticipation, we tiptoe with our canoe and lower it quietly into the water, careful not to create the slightest splash as we push away from shore. Our paddles knife the water in synchronized strokes that propel us silently into the centre of the lake, where we stop, rest our paddles on the gunwhales and float . . . waiting for the call of the loon.

The first signal from the loon is a shiny black flash of upright tail amidst greying driftwood that disturbs the smooth lake with a long narrow ripple that emanates from the driftwod cove. Our paddles are poised. The chase is on – to catch a close-up vision of the loon and if we are really fortunate, to capture her majestic presence on film.

The loon has made her underwater dive and we know she’ll emerge in the opposite direction. Sure enough, a glistening head emerges gracefully to catch the light, and the loon makes her eerie announcement to nature – first a short cry and then a long, plaintiff note. She flaps her wings and raises herself, seeming to walk on the water and then floats erectly, installing herself as the regal force of the lake.

Quickly yet quietly we paddle in her direction. Within moments a pattern of increasing circles appears in the water, surprisingly followed by the tiny head of a baby loon. The baby bursts out with a rambunctious ruffle of feathers, sending a starburst of water droplets into the air. He swims in circles until he catches a glimpse of his mother and then dives into the lake with the flirt of a tiny, upturned tail. The mother loon calls again – a long, low command. In response to her voice, the baby springs out from the water beside her and gleefully chuckles, happy to be at his mother’s side.

We follow as closely as possible and float, triumphant in our still pose as secret voyeurs to the gentle cavorting of the mother loon and her baby as they dip and splash in their morning exercises. The array of colors and patterns of their feathers is magnificent – irridescent blue- green against gleaming black, accented by the contours of pure white feathers.

Our luck is exhilarating. Will it last long enough to capture with our cameras? Will the clever, evasive loon escape us? Carefully silent, I prepare the camera which has been slung around my neck waiting for this precise moment. Just as I am ready the arrogant loon nods her head, giving the signal to her offspring and instantly they dive in unison, disappearing into the dark waters only to emerge with a teasing call 200 metres away.

We turn our canoe to chase her, but we know she has won. The loon’s game with her baby has become a playful lesson in survival – dive to follow the leader and swim far, deeply underneath the surface of the water to escape unknown perils. By the time we have almost reached her new location, the loon has once again emerged, followed by her baby, this time a hundred metres in the now opposite direction.

The loon remains an elusive beauty and we head back to the hospitality of Sir Sam’s Inn and the delicious breakfast that awaits us. In this still early hour of the morning, as we paddle to shore, we are entranced by the sensuous vision of ourselves alone on the lake, a million mental miles away from the hubub of the city, and we think of how lucky we are to have found the perfect place to enjoy this special moment in time.

For more information, contact Sir Sam’s Inn, Eagle Lake, Haliburton, Ont., K0M 1M0, phone (705) 754-2188 or (416) 283-2080 (Toronto direct line). Spring and fall rates are lower than in summer, and provide scenic opportunities to see the greening of the forests or changing colors of autumn. Weekend and weekly packages are also available.

Daily summer rates vary from $109 to $135 per person (based on double occupancy) and include a hearty breakfast and full-course dinner daily, as well as free use of all the facilities and equipment (tennis, pool, whirlpool, exercise room, sauna, water-skiing, windsurfing, sailing, canoeing and paddleboating).

To get there, follow Highway 400 north to Highway 11, north to Highway 118, east to Eagle Lake Road II, which leads to Sir Sam’s Inn Road. An alternate route is available from areas east of Toronto by taking Highway 35 north to Highway 118 east.

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Fall is a period of relative quiet in the Haliburton Highlands

Special to The Globe and Mail HALIBURTON, Ont. THE miserable fall weather wasn’t very tempting, but my mood changed when I The Haliburton Highlandsstepped outside my log cabin. Cool, pine-scented air hit my lungs, a gentle rain pattered on the cedars and loons rattled their wings on the lake. Along the shore stretched a calvalcade of color – yellow-and-orange tinted trees, just starting their preparations for winter.

A resort in the offseason is usually a dismal sort of place to spend a weekend, but Bonnie View Inn, on Lake Kashagawigamog, turned out to be far from forlorn. Although it was not nearly as busy as during the height of summer, there were at least another 20 people staying there (the inn can accommodate 55) and they gave it a comfortable, friendly, atmosphere. After dinner, we gathered around the fire in the wood-panelled lounge. By the end of the evening we were chatting away like old friends.

We felt as if we were in the middle of nowhere, sealed off from the outside world. In fact, the Bonnie View Inn is in the heart of the HaliburtonHighlands, a tourist region dotted with resorts. From the dining room window we could see several other hotels on the other side of the water – the Locarno, Deer Lodge (“Fun Follies for People 55 and Over”) and the turreted Wigamog Inn.

In July and August, the lake hums, but at this time of year, all was quiet. The only other sign of life was a fisherman dipping his line in and out of the reflection of a float plane tethered to the dock. At the inn there was a feeling of a lull between storms. (The next influx of tourists is in January and February, when inn-to-inn cross-country skiing starts.) The Bonnie View Inn is run by the Bikowski family who used to operate motels in London, Richmond Hill and Toronto. The hotel is comfortable and cosy, rather than glitzy. The log cabins are one step up from a simple cottage (they have fridges and fieldstone fireplaces) but there are modern suites as well.

Although we spent most of our time relaxing with a book (when the rain stopped, the waterfront patio bar was just the spot for that), we went for a couple of drives around the area. The Haliburton Highlands, which take their name from the forest clad hills (some are more than 300 metres high) are criss-crossed with scenic backroads and although we got lost a couple of times, it was pleasant meandering around hamlets fringed with golden trees.

On Saturday afternoon, we drove into Haliburton, the “capital” of the region. Along with the usual boutiques selling junky souvenirs, there were a handful of art galleries and stores selling outdoor equipment, hiking gear, country furniture and the like.

After breakfast on Sunday morning, we decided to take a trip across Lake Kashagawigamog. The Bonnie View Inn provides pedal-powered boats and canoes (there’s also a sauna and hot tub where one can warm up afterward) as well as aluminum boats with outboard engines. In need of exercise, I opted for rowing one of the aluminum boats.

It was hard going but the water was still and clear. The sun played tag with gun-metal clouds still laden with rain. Occasionally it would break through, bathing the countryside in a silver light, which made the trees glow, as if somebody had suddenly plugged them in. IF YOU GO It takes 2 hours to drive to Bonnie View Inn from Toronto. There are many possible routes. The fall colors are particularly pretty along Highway 35 which runs from Highway 401 east of Bowmanville through Minden. At Haliburton, follow County road 1 then South Kashagawigamog Lake Road to the inn.

A double room ranges from $75 (one-bedroom cottage) to $127 (villa) per person, which includes breakfast and dinner. For information, write to Bonnie View Inn, Box 419, Haliburton, Ont., KOM 1S0; telephone (705) 457- 2350.

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Mid-week package links two Haliburton inns along scenic 120-kilometre trail

Special to The Globe and Mail BETWEEN the Haliburton Highlands and the Madawaska Valley lie 120 kilometres of serene lakes, rushing rivers and snow-draped forests. As the crow flies, the route cuts across Algonquin Park and the southern rim of the Canadian Shield; as the snowmobiler rides, the winding trail passes through some of the most beautiful scenery a winter in Ontario can provide.

Haliburton Highlands

Snowmobiling is no longer a weekend pastime. An ever-widening web of snowmobile trails means there’s so much more to explore than just the few kilometres of road leading to the cottage.

Responding to people’s desire to discover new territory, Silver Eagle Resort in the Haliburton Highlands and Spectacle Lake Lodge near Barry’s Bay have linked together to create the “Two Resort Snowmobile Mid-Week Vacation.”

“People always wanted to know where they could go for a good day’s ride,” says Sharon Mahussier, who first got on a snowmobile three years ago when she and her husband Maurice bought Spectacle Lake Lodge.

“It opens up a whole new area for snowmobilers,” said Mitch Kennedy, who owns Silver Eagle with his wife Marj. “When you go out, you want a destination that’s not too far away and offers you an enjoyable ride at an affordable price. With this package, it takes away all the worries of cooking and wondering where to stay.”

Sharon recently guided a group of seven women to Silver Eagle Resort. The women had been snowmobiling for years, but always close to home. They had heard about the Haliburton Highlands, about two and a half hours northeast of Toronto, and the mid-week package offered them the excuse to see it for themselves.

As part of the package – $149.95 per person – the women arrived at Spectacle Lake Lodge on a week night with their snowmobiles and warm winter clothing. After dinner and a night’s sleep in one of the nine lakeside cabins, they awoke to sunny skies and for snowmobiling, a very comfortable temperature of 18 C. By 11 a.m., they were on the trails, stopping for lunch in Whitney. (Gas and lunch are not part of the package.) Steaks were waiting to be barbecued for them at the Silver Eagle Resort, which has 13 housekeeping cabins and an outdoor hot tub for tired muscles and star gazers. Bacon and eggs were supplied cook in the cabins the next morning. For larger groups, the Kennedys will provide meals in the main building’s recreation room.

“It’s fabulous,” says John Robinson, a semi-retired interior designer from Burlington who was getting city cabin fever and jumped at the chance to travel through unfamiliar countryside. “It gives a little variety, you meet people, you’re seeing country you wouldn’t normally see and the scenery along the Madawaska River is very, very impressive.”

An experienced rider can finish the route in three hours. Led by Sharon, the group of women took five, stopping along the way to marvel at the winter scenery.

“There’s an excitement of getting into the back areas you normally wouldn’t get to,” Sharon said. “People are just taken aback by the beauty. I think it’s just being able to see nature at its best.”

The well-marked trails are groomed regularly by three separate snowmobile clubs: Opeongo Snowbirds, Hill and Gully Riders, and the HaliburtonCounty Snowmobile Association, which is the largest association in Canada, operating some 700 kilometres of trails.

From Spectacle Lake Lodge, the trail follows an abandoned railway line along the Opeongo and Madawaska Rivers. After Whitney, there’s much cliff climbing and spectacular views as a Ontario Hydro-line route takes riders through Algonquin Park.

Once in the Highlands – not surprisingly named after the abundance of hills – the trail becomes almost one with the forest. Moose and deer paths often inter-connect with the man-made, 2.5-metre wide trails, and looking for wildlife is an enjoyable diversion.

“In their hectic city lives, with all the stress, when you’re out there you can’t think of anything else,” Sharon said. “You’re driving an expensive machine so you have to concentrate on that, and you’re watching the scenery. It’s a wonderful escape.”

Long-distance snowmobiling tours are becoming more popular with middle- aged and senior riders such as John and Lois Robinson, who tried to put off their return trip to the city by taking a few runs in the morning. Seniors have more time during the week and like riding when the trails are less busy.

Next year, the Kennedys and Mahussiers would like to add a third resort, perhaps in the Bancroft area, to form a perfect triangle. Although they do not guide all the trips, the trails are very well marked and assistance is provided if necessary.

Martha Perkins is Editor of The Haliburton County Echo.

IF YOU GO

Spectacle Lake Lodge is 17 kilometres west of Barry’s Bay on Highway 60. There are nine lakeside cabins, some with cooking facilities, and a main lodge where up to 150 people can be accommodated in the restaurant. Meals include everything from all-day breakfast to bacon-wrapped scallops. Telephone (613) 756-2324. The Silver Eagle Resort is on Sir Sam’s Road in the village of Eagle Lake, 16 kilometres northeast of Haliburton Village. There are 13 housekeeping cabins, a hot tub, satellite television and a game room. Call (705) 754-2497. Ontario Federated Snowmobilers Association passes are mandatory and the $65 fee is not included in the package price. Snowmobiles can be rented for $85-$100 a day.

MARTHA PERKINS

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