Beautiful surroundings all year long
Heather Lodge is located two hours northeast of Toronto in the Haliburton Highlands
. The landscape of the area is distinct due to its tremendous natural beauty. Enjoy the diversity of the area including its rolling hillsides, spectacular rock faces and hundreds of fresh water lakes. The Highlands are a sportsman's Mecca, offering a wide variety of activities. In the summer you can explore the area on any number of hiking or cycling trails or fish for a variety of species from pike to brook trout. If golf is more your style, then please enjoy one of the five nearby golf courses. The Haliburton area boasts the largest network of signed ATV trails in the province. Twelve Mile Lake is one of the Haliburton Highland's premiere lakes. Part of a two-lake change, Twelve Mile Lake offers boaters miles of open water to explore. Guests with there own boats are invited to bring them to Heather Lodge. There is plenty of space on our safe and extensive dock. Autumn brings a spectacular display of colour to the Haliburton Highlands and there is no better place to enjoy it than at Heather Lodge.
Heather Lodge is situated at its southern most point of Twelve Mile Lake. This large Haliburton lake is extremely scenic and very clean. 12 Mile Lake is located in the middle of a waterway made up of dozens of fresh water lakes and rivers that interconnect, reaching miles up into the north and south towards the Great Lakes. For those who like to canoe and kayak, and don't mind portaging, Twelve Mile Lake is a great place to start your Haliburton canoe trip or kayaking adventure. For the sailor, fisherman or motorboat enthusiast, Twelve Mile Lake is part of a two lake chain that allows unrestricted access into Little Boshkung Lake.
Looking to spend some time on the beach? There is excellent swimming right off the dock at Heather Lodge, as well as a fabulous sand beach and designated public swimming area just minutes away. By car, take Highway 35 north for about a kilometre to Omagaki Road and follow the lake. Here you will discover not only a lovely beach to relax, swim and spend the day, but also an historic 19th century church and cemetery. The Twelve Mile Lake Church was built in 1890. A simple wood frame structure, this pretty little church could hold a congregation of up to 40. Originally a Presbyterian church, it became a United Church in 1925 and was used on a regular basis until the 1950s. Today, thanks to the efforts of the Friend of Twelve Mile Lake, the church and burial grounds will be preserved. History buffs will enjoy walking the grounds and viewing the older grave stones of some of the area's original settlers.
While Heather Lodge is on Twelve Mile, it is also a stone's throw away from Mountain Lake. Separated by water from Twelve Mile by only a dam and waterfall, Mountain Lake is directly across Highway 35 from Heather Lodge. Mountain Lake, just as its name suggests, is quite mountainous along one side. The high cliffs make development extremely difficult so there are few cottages on the high side and the lake remains very scenic and unspoiled. Canoeist and kayaks, make the short portage from Twelve Mile Lake to Mountain Lake to either travel it's approximately 4 kilometre length, or to travel through the narrows, almost directly across the lake, into Horseshoe Lake. Either route make for an enjoyable cottage country canoe trip. For those wishing to continue their Haliburton canoeing adventure into Horseshoe Lake, be aware that the narrows from Mountain Lake into Horseshoe has a very strong current. While paddling through the narrows through tiny Mirror Lake and then on to Horseshoe Lake is an easy ride, going back against the current is a different story entirely. Only very strong and experienced canoeists and kayakers should attempt this trip. Once through the narrows, Horseshoe Lake opens up into a large expanse of water, making a wonderful canoe daytrip in the Highlands. At the extreme south end of Horseshoe Lake, the Gull River flows over a dam and into the Minden Wild Water Kayaking Preserve. To view the rapids, leave your canoe or kayak at the small beach on the shore of Horseshoe Lake, cross the road and walk a short distance down Horseshoe Lake Road toward the dam. At the top of the dam, the start of the rapids begins and here is where you will find the popular white water kayak run. On most any day of the year, from early spring to the late fall, you can observe the brave white water kayakers engaging in this extreme sport. Famous with extreme sports enthusiasts from across North America and Europe, it is the home of many national and international kayaking events and race competitions. There are walkways along the course so that spectators can follow the kayakers along their short journey down the river, washrooms and a picnic area. Heather Lodge guests can also drive to the Wild Water Preserve. It is approximately 10 minutes away from the lodge. We would be happy to give you directions.
Past the Minden Wild Water Preserve and its churning rapids, the Gull River settles down and gently flows through the town of Minden. The Gull runs downstream for several kilometres, meandering by homes, cottages, farms and fields until it flows into Gull Lake to the south. Many people find a trip down the Gull River a fun adventure and a relaxing way to spend a few hours in the Highlands, especially during the warm summer month. During June, July and August, you will see people floating down the river in all manner of boats and flotation devices, including inner tubes, kayaks, canoes, air mattresses and life jackets. The current, though gentle, is deceptively strong, necessitating no effort at all to travel down the river. However, working against the current to get back to where you started will require a great deal of work. Many people plan ahead and leave a car somewhere along the route. To start your float down the Gull, you can launch at Minden Rotary Park or in town along the River Walk.
There is always something of interest going on in the Highlands
The Haliburton Highlands offers visitors many area attractions including the Haliburton Forest & Wildlife Reserve
. The Haliburton Forest is famous for its "Walk in the Clouds" forest canopy tour and the "Wolf Centre". It is also the location of the internationally acclaimed "Forest Festival", an outdoor musical theatrical extravaganza like no other. The world famous Algonquin Provincial Park is only one hour away via scenic Highway 35. Haliburton is home to numerous resident art studios, antique and gift shops. Artist from all across Canada and the United States flock to Haliburton each year to attend the famous Haliburton School of the Arts, which offers over a hundred different weeklong courses throughout the summer and at other times during the year. An intriguing selection of musical offerings and live theatre productions are regularly performed at the Northern Lights Theatre in Haliburton Village. Exciting annual events such as "Timber Fest", "The Haliburton Highland Games", "The Haliburton Dogsled Races" and "Rock the Wake" draw spectators and participants from far and wide. Haliburton County boasts one of the most complete trail systems for hiking, cross country skiing, biking, atving and snowmobiling in Ontario. There are literally hundreds of miles of signed trails in the county. During the winter months, there are numerous activities that await the energetic outdoorsman, including snowmobiling, fantastic ice fishing, snowshoeing, cross-country and down hill skiing. There is even a professional caliber luge run - for those looking for some real excitement.
After an invigorating day partaking in any one of Haliburton County's
many winter activities, return to your cozy suite at Heather Lodge to relax by the fire and then enjoy a hearty meal in the dining room.
Heather Lodge Earns "Award of Excellence" For Fifth Year
Not only does Heather Lodge serve delicious home-cooked meals, the lodge is a proud participant in the innovative Eat Smart! Ontario's Healthy Restaurant Program. The Eat Smart! Ontario's Healthy Restaurant Program recognizes Ontario restaurants that consistently meet the highest standards in food handling safety. Participating restaurants must also offer a variety of healthy and nutritious menu choices in a 100% smoke–free environment. Consumers are assured that any restaurant that has been selected by the Eat Smart Program offers a safe and healthy dining experience.
We are honoured that Heather Lodge has been awarded the program's "Award of Excellence" for five consecutive years. Over the years, Heather Lodge has gained a well-earned reputation for serving delicious meals and offering gracious country hospitality. At our Haliburton inn, we understand the importance of serving only the best food available to our valued guests. An essential part of any resort vacation is the quality of the food served. We offer fine county dining in our Haliburton restaurant. Dinner and breakfast is served in our warm and inviting dining room where guests can enjoy the magnificent view of Horseshoe Lake.
Heather Lodge is located a short drive from both of Haliburton's two main towns: Haliburton Village and the Town of Minden.
In the Town of Minden, with the picturesque Gull River flowing though the heart of town, you will find plenty to do. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the river's edge on Minden's River Walk. While in Minden, spend a few hours exploring the Minden Hills Cultural Central. The Cultural Centre, located on Bobcaygeon Road, includes the Agnes Jamieson Art Gallery, the Minden Library, the Minden Museum and the new R.D. Lawrence Place. Environmentally sustainable and constructed from straw bales, R.D. Lawrence Place is an interactive centre for nature and wildlife study and preservation.
Any visit to Haliburton Village should include a walk through the Haliburton Sculpture Forest, a very unique blend of scenery and art. You may start your stroll (or Nordic ski during the winter months) through The Sculpture Forest at Haliburton Highlands Museum grounds located on Museum Road or at the Fleming College Campus located on College Drive. As well, Haliburton is home to the Rails End Gallery and the Ethel Curry Gallery, both showcasing local and international artists.
The Village of Haliburton is just a 20 minute drive from Heather Lodge. Scenically located on the shores of Head Lake, the village offers visitors a wide variety of shops and services. Head Lake is the northern most lake in a chain of five lakes that represent the largest continuous lake system in Haliburton. This 5 lake chain consists of Head Lake, Grass Lake, Lake Kashagawigomog, Soyer's Lake and Canning Lake. From Haliburton's public docks on its main street (highway 21), boaters can travel by water from Haliburton Village all the way to the outskirts of Minden.
Haliburton's public docks and the adjacent park lands and playgrounds are a great place to spend a little time while on your Haliburton holiday. Pathways lead you along the water's edge and through the park and its gardens. Benches and picnic tables offer a comfortable place to sit and relax; to people watch or perhaps enjoy a picnic lunch or ice cream cone. There always seems to be something going on here. Whether it's Art in the Park, giant fundraiser yards sales, sled dog races, fishing tournaments, the Haliburton Highland Games, Dusk Dances, musical concerts in the park or just kids having fun, this is where the action is.
Haliburton Village is located in the municipality of Dysart. As well as being known as a scenic and popular Ontario cottage country tourist town, Haliburton is also famous for the many successful National Hockey League players that have at some point called Haliburton home, including Matt Duchene, Cody Hodgson, Walt McKechnie, Bernie Nicholls, Ron Stackhouse, Howie Lockhart, and Glen Sharpley. Haliburton prides itself as being a community of artists, but it is also proud of its reputation as a great hockey town. Haliburton and area has a number of hockey teams and hosts many local tournaments each winter.
For Heather Lodge guests, there are a number of dining options for lunch in Haliburton with a variety of Haliburton restaurants to choose from. In Haliburton Village, you will find coffee shops, bistros, family dining options, Chinese food and pizza. The town of Minden has coffee shops, family dining, a pizza restaurant, Chinese and Thai food. As well, close by, in the town of Carnarvon, there are a couple of road house style diners that are often open for lunch. Many of these local restaurants offer take out so that Heather Lodge guests may call ahead and bring the food back to enjoy in their room or dine outside at a patio table and take pleasure in the stunning lake views and lovely gardens.
The tiny village of Kinmount, approximately 25 minutes from Heather Lodge, is where you will find one of the most original Ontario attractions around. Famous from Toronto to Hollywood, the Highlands Cinemas (also known as the Kinmount Theatre) is a unique combination of movie museum and sprawling movie multiplex, showing first run movies from May until Thanksgiving. You really need to see this place to believe it. Owner Keith Strata started showing movies in his home over 30 years ago. Over the years, he added on five theatres with a total of 550 seats. His collection of movie memorabilia from 450 defunct cinemas that includes hundreds of movie projectors, original movie posters, and everyday items from various decades all guarded by 110 mannequins dressed in period costume is ever expanding. The theatres' large reupholstered seats, the thick velvet curtains and the ornate wall coverings take older patrons down memory lane and give the younger crowd a chance to experience bygone days.
The Town of Dorset on the beautiful Lake of Bays is only a scenic 20 minute drive from Heather Lodge. At Dorset, visitors will discover a pretty little town with a number of restaurants, shops and galleries. Here you will find Robinson's General Store - voted “the best country store in Canada.” Robinson's General Store has an astonishing variety of merchandise, ranging from clothing, giftware, hardware and groceries. It has been a local tourist attraction for decades, offering something for every member of the family. Dorset straddles the borders of Muskoka and Haliburton County. The Lake of Bays waterway runs right through town with a single lane bridge crossing over the narrows joining Dorset's main street in the middle. During the summer months, Dorset is packed with cottagers, sight- seers, area visitors, and sometimes the occasional black bear looking for a hand-out. While in Dorset visit the Dorset Heritage Museum, the Bigwin Steamship Restoration Project, and of course, the Dorset Observation Tower.
Towering over the small village for Dorset, its famous tower stands 82 feet high on a mountain top. It has been a local landmark and a popular Haliburton tourist attraction for generations. Open from mid May through October, a view from atop the tower gives visitors a breathtaking view of surrounding forests and lakes. The original tower, which was built in 1922, was used as part of a network of observation towers to protect valuable stands of timber from forest fires, providing a 310 sq. mile viewing radius. The tower quickly became valuable to the local economy as a tourist attraction. In 1960, when technology eliminated the need for fire towers and it was slated to be torn down, the community worked to build the replacement tower that stands today. Along with scenic trails, gatehouse and parking, an onsite kiosk sells t-shirts, sweatshirts and caps bearing the Dorset Tower logo.
Less than 5 minutes north of Heather Lodge on Hwy 35, is the village of Carnarvon. Carnarvon, Ontario was named after the town of Carnarvon in Wales. The spelling of the Welsh town of Carnarvon was recently changed from Carnarvon - the anglicized spelling to Caernarfon, which is the Welsh spelling of the word. During the 19th century Carnarvon, Ontario was a thriving mill and lumber town, like many towns and villages in Haliburton. In its heyday, Carnarvon was a sizable community, which along with the mill operation, had a number of shops and services. Today, Carnarvon is no longer a booming mill town but it still has some interesting shops and services, as well as traces of its logging past. Here you will find a couple of convenience stores, including one with a LCBO outlet, a marina and lumberyard. For recreation, Carnarvon has a driving range and mini-golf course, as well as a vintage bowling alley with old wooden floors. There are a couple of shops and services of interest in Carnarvon, including an antique barn, a garden centre gift shop, two restaurants and a United Church.
Haliburton County is a well known Central Ontario resort area and very popular Ontario cottage country destination. Haliburton's claim to fame is its rugged scenery and its usually large number of resident artists and craftspeople that make it a vibrant arts community. Although Haliburton County wasn't established until 1983, it existed as the Provisional County of Haliburton since 1874. The town of Minden in Minden Hills is Haliburton's County seat. Both the County of Haliburton and the Village of Haliburton are named after Thomas Chandler Haliburton, an author and statesman. Chandler is best known as the first chairman of the Canadian Land and Emigration Company. Haliburton County is often referred to as “The Haliburton Highlands,” due, in part, to its similarity to the wild and hilly Scottish Highlands and to the Scottish ancestry of many of its first European residents who settled the area.
While the County of Haliburton was established in 1874, the history of the townships of which the county is composed goes back to a considerable earlier date. The settlement of the entire district commenced with the construction of the Colonization Road from Bobcaygeon to the north, and so early as 1859 there were a number of settlers in the Township of Minden, and the nucleus of a village had been formed at the point where the Bobcaygeon Road crossed the Gull River. The Village of Haliburton dates back to the year 1864, when an English company, formed for emigration and speculative purposes, purchased from the Provincial Government ten townships, they built a saw-mill on the site of a village plot laid out in the Township of Dysart. Even back then there was a considerable settlement in the Townships of Minden, Snowdon, Stanhope and Lutterworth. The construction of a colonization road from the town of Bobcaygeon that headed north attracted many settlers to the district.
Minden is the oldest village in the County of Haliburton. The original settlement was constructed in the same location as present day Minden. In 1864, Minden village consisted of a hotel owned by Daniel Buck, a blacksmith's shop, several stores, and a busy sawmill located about a mile up the river. The population in and around Minden grew relatively prosperous and a post-office/savings bank was opened to serve the needs of the community. The Post Office Savings Bank building has been preserved and is part of the Minden Museum Pioneer Village. At the Minden Museum and Pioneer village, visitors are welcome to stroll through several well preserved historic buildings from Minden and Haliburton's past. Guests at Heather Lodge, a Haliburton landmark with a history of its own, are encouraged to visit both the Minden museum and the Haliburton Museum to learn more about this popular cottage country destination's interesting history.
In Minden's early days, the arrival of a barrel of whiskey at the hotel was an event which was marked by a general meeting of the entire settlement. These meetings sometimes lasted several days. There was a dance at Buck's hotel on New Year's Eve in 1864 that lasted for four days and five nights. The population in those days was greatly addicted to dancing, and the festive meetings at Buck's were numerous. With temperance, the number and duration of the dance meetings greatly diminished. Order was more or less restored and living conditions for area settlers improved. Minden's progress continued slowly until a major fire in 1879 destroyed nearly half the village. Naturally Minden did survive, thanks to the determination of its small population, and while few of its original buildings remain, other than those located in Minden's Pioneer Village, there are a few historic buildings of note, including the century log home that was the original Anglican rectory on Water Street by the Gull River.
Today, Haliburton Village and the town of Minden, Haliburton County's largest towns, are thriving Ontario resort communities, offering residents and visitors to the area many services and attractions. With its many clean clear lakes, the Haliburton Highlands is also an extremely popular and rapidly growing Ontario cottage country area that attracts summer residents as well as scores of people retiring here from the city. With rising population levels, regular visitors to Haliburton County will notice a substantial increase in the number of area attractions and services. Here in the Haliburton Highlands, more new restaurants, shops and services are opening than ever before. As well, the number and variety of area events, happens and things to do, especially during the summer season, is often overwhelming. On your next Haliburton vacation at Heather Lodge, be sure to ask about what's new in the Highlands.
What time of year is the best to visit the Haliburton Highlands in Ontario, Canada? Anytime time of the year! Heather Lodge is a four season Haliburton resort that welcomes guests throughout the year. Each of the four seasons in this beautiful Ontario vacation area has much to offer for family vacations, romantic getaways, family reunions, seniors' tours and business conferences. No matter what month of the year you chose to visit the Highlands, you will be impressive by the beauty of the landscape and the wide variety of activities and events that are at your door step.
Every month in the Highlands has its own special charm and distinct natural beauty. From spring with its burst of green and warm sunny days to winter with its crisp clear air and exhilarating blanket of snow, the profound beauty of nature is found here in abundance and its look is always changing. Regardless of the season, this popular Ontario vacation area offers tremendous opportunities for photographers, artists and nature lovers. A sportsman's paradise, Haliburton offers an extremely diverse array of seasonal activities, including snowmobiling, hiking, boating, fishing, Nordic and alpine skiing, biking, waterskiing, atving, swimming, canoeing, whitewater kayaking, and so much more.
Within fifteen minutes of our Haliburton resort, you will find several interesting hiking trails. For those who prefer a leisurely stroll, the Minden River Walk, in the nearby town of Minden, is a lovely pathway that winds its way along the banks of the Gull River through town. Located just outside Haliburton Village, The Sculpture Forest trail is a meandering walking trail through the Sculpture Forest , providing lake views and the opportunity to examine exceptional sculptures by talented artists from Haliburton and from around the world. The Sculpture Forest trail connects with the Haliburton County Museum, the School of Fine Arts and continues into Haliburton Village and around Head Lake.
If you are looking for a discount resort vacation in Haliburton, book your Haliburton resort stay for the late fall, early winter, late winter or early spring when there are fewer tourists in the Highlands and you will be able to enjoy a more peaceful and relaxing low cost getaway. These quieter times of the year offer the perfect opportunity to enjoy a true Haliburton resort vacation bargain. At Heather Lodge we offer reduced room rates according to the season. As well, at Heather Lodge we have several off-season specials that will save you money on your Haliburton stay with us.
At Heather Lodge, we cater to adults only, to ensure that our guests enjoy the most tranquil and relaxing Haliburton vacation experience possible. The comfort of our guests is our upmost priority at Heather Lodge. When you book a Haliburton holiday at our Ontario lakeside resort, you can be assured that we have taken care of every detail to make your stay with us a wonderful experience. Our totally renovated guest rooms are the best in Haliburton County, boasting tasteful, upscale furnishings and amenities. You will not find a lodge in Ontario that is as clean and well cared for as Heather Lodge.
We pride ourselves on offering the finest Haliburton accommodations that are truly comfortable, immaculately clean and thoroughly relaxing. You will be impressed with the calm and tranquil atmosphere that we have achieved here at the lodge. Our resort amenities reflect our commitment to providing a quiet sanctuary where our guests can slow down and unwind. In the evening, we invite you to curl up with a book by the fire, enjoy a game of billiards or simply watch a magnificent sunset over Twelve Mile Lake. Here at our Haliburton lodge, nature provides some of the best entertainment available anywhere in the world. From our lakeside dining room, you can witness squirrels put on an amazing show of acrobatics and daring as they attempt to rob the bird feeders. From your comfortable lodge guest room you can watch a remarkable array of wildlife, including deer, raccoons, foxes, birds and chipmunks. From the waterfront dock, watch the loons gracefully emerge from the water to drive back down again and listen to their haunting calls.
You will be pleased to find all the comforts of home at our lakeside Haliburton resort, and a whole lot more. Your stay with us can be as active or as sedate as you see fit. Swim, fish, hike or borrow a canoe to explore beautiful Twelve Mile Lake. The hardest part of your day will be deciding what to order from our wide selection of fabulous menu choices. Our guests often comment on the quality of the meals served at Heather Lodge, giving our chef the highest of accolades. Our professional kitchen prepares a delightful assortment of menu items, all made with the freshest ingredients. During the warmer months, guests have the option of enjoying their breakfast and dinner, either in the dining room or outdoors on the patio. Both provide a stunning view of the lake.
We work hard to ensure that every guest at Heather Lodge enjoys the best Ontario cottage country getaway experience possible, and according to tripadvisor.ca, it seems we have been very successful in achieving this goal. Not only have we been rated as the top Specialty Lodging in Minden, as of June 2012, Heather Lodge was rated the number one “Specialty Lodging in Ontario, out of 478 Ontario accommodation properties. This is quite an achievement. Trip Advisor is the world's largest travel advisory site. Ratings are compiled from reviews of actual guests who have stayed at the accommodation property and have written about their visit.
Heather Lodge is a unique Haliburton resort in that we cater exclusively to adults, couples, seniors, and small groups. We love children and pets, but in order to offer our resort guests the ultimate in peaceful relaxation, we have a strict no children and no pets' policy at our Haliburton lakefront resort. We feel that Heather Lodge is the ultimate Haliburton couples resort for adults looking for a quiet getaway, with luxurious accommodations in a beautiful wilderness setting surrounded by nature. We also believe that Heather Lodge is ideal for small groups, reunions, business seminars and for seniors travel. Our location off Highway 35 makes for a pleasant highway drive from the GTA (approximately 2 to 2 1/2 hours) all the way to the resort.