Haliburton Highlands to the Ottawa Valley

Haliburton Highlands to the Ottawa Valley, also called Ontario's Highlands, includes six unique counties, each with surprising adventures and hidden gems sure to ignite your wanderlust. 

Whether you wander by pedal, paddle or au pied, this region was made for touring. Embrace the open road by motorcycle or bike, load up the gang for an RV adventure, hit the snowmobile or hiking trails, navigate waterways by houseboat or gear up to ride the rapids.  

Experience the natural beauty and artistic spirit in Haliburton, the geological marvels in Hastings, astronomical wonders in Lennox and Addington, pristine protected wilderness in Frontenac, sweet maple syrup treats in Lanark or heart-stopping outdoor adventure in the Ottawa Valley.

To learn more about all there is to see and do in Ontario's Highlands, scroll down or visit the region's tourism website.

Where is Haliburton Highlands to the Ottawa Valley?

As its name suggests, this region stretches from Haliburton across the south edge of Algonquin Provincial Park to the Ottawa Valley in the east, and extends down roughly to just below Highway 7, otherwise known as ‘The King’s Highway’. 

Places to visit in Ontario's Highlands

Key cities in this region include Haliburton, Bancroft, Pembroke and Almonte.  

The natural beauty surrounding Haliburton is sure to inspire its many resident artists, especially in the fall, with the showstopping backdrop of gorgeous fall colour. 

Located on the Tay River, Perth was originally a military settlement in 1815 and many of the historic stone constructed buildings still exist today. Its beautiful Victorian architecture, small shops and cafes and picturesque scenery make this little village an Instagrammer’s dream. 

Coined ‘Ontario’s hidden gem’, Bancroft’s hilly landscape is filled with unique stones and rocks, and the Bancroft Mineral and Mining Museum provides a great overview on the area’s mining history. 

Pakenham is the site of the impressive Five Span Stone Bridge, a uniquely crafted stone bridge with five arches above the Mississippi River that was built in 1903 by Scottish stone masons. 

Things to do in Haliburton Highlands to the Ottawa Valley

Welcome to the Whitewater Capital of Canada. Four major river systems in the Ottawa Valley, including the rough-and-tumble rapids and swells along the Ottawa River, offer some of the best whitewater action east of the Rockies. Ride Class III and IV daredevil sections called Hell’s Half Mile, Lemming’s Leap and Butcher’s Knife or tackle the steep, five-metre waterfall at Garvin's Chute. 

Or set a smoother pace cruising the Rideau Heritage Route with luxury houseboat. 

Paddlers in Bon Echo Provincial Park are treated to an amazing site. Over 260 Indigenous pictographs can be viewed on the side of an enormous sheer rock face called Mazinaw Rock. 

The backcountry of Lennox and Addington is far enough away from urban light to see the sky as it was viewed over 100 years ago. Its Dark Sky Viewing Area is the most southerly point in Ontario for excellent stargazing.  

Explore the world below at Bonnechere Caves in Eganville. Descend over 30 metres and tour underground passageways that are over 500 million years old. 

Polish your skiing skills at a resort, or enjoy snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, maybe from a little cabin off the beaten path. 

Satisfy your sweet tooth in Lanark County, considered Ontario’s Maple Syrup Capital. Follow the Maple Trail to syrup farmers and producers of all kinds of maple-infused products, including maple beer, moonshine and beauty products. 

Last updated: January 18, 2023

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