Art and Adventure in Haliburton

A person blows on a rod while a man monitors the glass

Photo credit: Steve Bruno
Image location: The Hot Shop by Artech Studios, Tory Hill

One of Ontario’s most unique attractions, Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Reserve, is a recreational wonderland for outdoor enthusiasts.

Located next door to Algonquin Park in the Haliburton Highlands, Haliburton Forest combines outdoor adventure, wildlife viewing, and a variety of ways to stay from camping to cozy cabins on a privately owned 28,000 hectare property of forest, lakes, rivers and wetlands. It’s also an operating mill and lumber yard with sustainably managed logging as its driving mandate.

Bespoke Experiences with Yours Outdoors

Celebrating over fifty years delivering meaningful outdoor experiences, the Forest has recently partnered with innovative and like-minded Halliburton company, Yours Outdoors. By connecting guests with local guides, artists and foodies, Yours Outdoors curates authentic, immersive and seasonal art, cultural, culinary and nature based activities.

Winter activates offered by Yours Outdoors include guided brewery tours, snowshoeing, ice-climbing, cross-country skiing and snowga, a combination of showshoeing and yoga. If you’re new to winter, sign up for the Snowshoe Like a Canadian, Snowshoe Into Canada's Past, Fur and FlintlockSki Like a Canadian or Introduction to Ice Climbing to learn a new skill.

In the warmer months, look for canoeing, rock-hounding and foraging or try your hand at fly-fishing or pottery. Art and craft aficionados will love the glass blowing sessions hosted by talented designers and glassblowers Terry Craig and Jennifer Wanless-Craig of Artech Studios in Tory Hill. Held in the eclectic Hot Shop on their property, an overview of this ancient artistry, including safety measures is followed by an incredible hands-on experience.

Under Terry’s vigilant supervision and direction, you’ll have the opportunity to gather mesmerizing molten lava-like glass from the searing hot furnace and form your own masterpiece from the using traditional tools like water-soaked wooden blocks for rounding, jacks to shape and separate and a blow-pipe to inflate the glass. Which is every bit as awesome as it sounds. Terry and Jennifer have converted a gorgeous heritage church next to the glass blowing studio into a main floor showroom where you can purchase one their exquisite glass pieces.

Exciting Activities at Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Centre

After your guided adventure with Yours Outdoors, explore Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Centre.

One of the most popular activities at the Forest are the Canopy Tours, a magnificent winding walk among the treetops of the Halibuton Forest up to 20 metres above the forest floor. At over half a kilometre, its the longest boardwalk of its kind in the world with views that will blow your mind.

Be sure to visit the Wolf Centre. The spacious facility features informative exhibits on wolves and other native Ontario wildlife as well as a viewing room with floor to ceiling one-way glass windows overlooking a three hectare enclosure that’s home to a family of wild wolves. There’s also hallway observation area. Experience all the thrills without the terror of witnessing the penetrating gaze or primal howl of a wolf.

Accommodations range from lakeside cabins (one if which is year-round), base camp accommodation that’s great for groups and impossibly adorable tiny Cabinscape cabins in the forest, which are accessible by snowshoe or snowmobile in winter. Plus, camping and RVing sites are available seasonally.

There’s also hiking, cycling and snowshoeing trails, great canoeing and kayaking opportunities, a tennis and pickleball court, as well as shopping and dining. Browse beautifully crafted forest products at Living Woodwork, including customized statement pieces of furniture and ingenious wooden household goods, puzzles and toys. And have a one-of-a-kind paddle made just for you from The Paddle Shop.

A giant stacked hamburger with a plate of fries

When you’ve worked up an appetite, the Haliburton Forest Cookhouse at base camp has recently unveiled a rustic, stick-to-your ribs menu with southern style BBQ smoked meats, as well as vegetarian and gluten free options sure to fuel your next adventure.

Beyond the beauty of the place and the uber cool activities, what will make your experience with Yours Outdoors and Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Reserve unforgettable are the creative, passionate and welcoming people you’ll meet. There’s something very special about Haliburton.

Last updated: April 20, 2022

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