Located in the heart of Peterborough & the Kawarthas, the Township of North Kawartha is an excellent destination for your next winter getaway.
From Burleigh Falls in the south — where the Canadian Shield begins — to Apsley in the north, North Kawartha can offer you a peaceful break, a family vacation, or a romantic retreat, with lots of opportunities for winter activities in the Kawarthas wilderness including snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
A two to three hour drive from either Toronto or Ottawa (and just 45 to 60 minutes northeast of the City of Peterborough), accommodations and activities in North Kawartha are all conveniently accessible from provincial Highway 28, so you can head out for a day of snowshoeing and then return to your room to warm up next to the fire with a hot cup of cocoa.
Where to Stay
Burleigh Falls Inn
Located on Highway 28 just north of the majestic Burleigh Falls, where the waters narrow as they descend from Lovesick Lake to Stony Lake, Burleigh Falls Inn offers panoramic sunrise views over Stony Lake and glorious sunsets over the dams of Lovesick Lake.
A popular summer destination, Burleigh Falls Inn is open year-round and is a wonderful location for your winter retreat, especially for couples who want to escape for some romance or to enjoy some fun in the snow.
The mid-week Date Night package offers your choice of overnight accommodation (a Lakeside Motel Cabin or Main Inn Room with fireplace), a welcome basket of treats and sparkling wine, and breakfast for two.
The Burleigh Bundle package offers your choice of overnight accommodation (Lakeside Motel Cabin, Main Inn Room, or Main Inn Suite) with in-room charcuterie and select craft beer, a daily breakfast, a Kawartha Nordic ski and snowshoe pass, a snowman kit, board games, a three-course dinner, and more.
And, if you have a dog, they have a few rooms available just for you and your pooch.
Burleigh Falls Inn is located at 4791 Highway 28 in North Kawartha. For reservations, call 705-654-3441 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.
Located on 2,000 feet of Stony Lake shoreline just south of Woodview, Viamede Resort is a full-service resort destination with 50 guest rooms and pet-friendly cottages offering great lake views.
Whether you’re planning a weekend escape or a romantic couple’s getaway, Viamede Resort has a package tailored just for you. Here are just two of the winter packages available:
The Après Ski package is designed for couples who want all the fun of a ski chalet but without having to go outside. You can cozy up by the resort’s main fireplace, while enjoying panoramic views of Stony Lake and indulging in all-day coffee, tea, and cookies.
Have a swim in the heated pool, savour forest-to-table dining, and keep yourself entertained with the resort’s library of books, movies, and board games.
The Romantic package includes a lakefront guest room for two nights, a candle-lit five-course dinner for two at the Mount Julian fine dining restaurant, Ontario wine and candles and a gift in your room on arrival, and a semi-private wine, whisky, or beer tasting session.
If you do want to head outside for some fresh air and exercise, hiking trails, a skating rink, and cross-country ski trails are also available.
Viamede Resort is located at 595 Mount Julian-Viamede Road in Woodview. For reservations, call 705-654-3344 or 1-800-461-1946. For all available packages and pricing, visit viamede.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow Viamede on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
What To Do
Skiing and snowshoeing at Kawartha Nordic Ski Club
Located on Nordic Ski Lane west of Highway 28 north of Woodview, the popular Kawartha Nordic Ski Club offers groomed ski trails, including 46 km of classic skiing, 27 km of skate skiing, 9 km of snowshoeing, and 2 km of lit night skiing.
The trails wind through beautiful Canadian Shield terrain and feature a main chalet and four picturesque trail-side cabins equipped with wood stoves and first-aid equipment.
You can purchase day and evening passes from the rental shop in the parking lot next to the trail head, which also offers rental equipment (credit, debit or cash are accepted during business hours) and where staff are available to provide advice and guidance.
Lessons are also available, including lessons for your little ones — from “Bunnyrabbits” (age 4) to “Track Attack” (ages 10 to 12) — as well as private, semi-private, and group lessons for adults.
Founded in 1976 by a group of avid cross country skiers in Peterborough, Kawartha Nordic Ski Club is a not-for-profit organization, governed by a volunteer board of directors, and operated by numerous volunteers.
For more information including prices and trail conditions, visit kawarthanordic.ca.
Skiing and snowshoeing on Stony Lake Trails
Stony Lake Trails is a 9-km network of public trails on a mix of land owned by Viamede Resort, Kawartha Land Trust, and various private land owners.
The three major loops — the blue trails (3.5 km), yellow (2 km), and red (3.5 km) — are ideal for hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.
On the trails, you see the unique geology that makes the Stony Lake area both ecologically significant and beautiful, including limestone cliffs and cuts, significant outcrops of the Canadian Shield, and scenic views of Stony Lake. There are benches at resting areas and lots of opportunities to view wildlife.
Stony Lake Trails are accessible from Viamede Resort and from a parking lot located at 105 Reids Road at the Ingleton-Wells Property owned by Kawartha Land Trust.
For more information, visit kawarthalandtrust.org.
Skiing and snowshoeing at Kawartha Highlands Signature Site Park
Located north of Burleigh Falls and Woodview, Kawartha Highlands Signature Site Park is the largest park in southern Ontario after Algonquin Provincial Park.
The 375-square-km area of the park offers lots of opportunities for the avid snowshoer to experience untouched wilderness and nature.
VIDEO: Winter at Kawartha Highlands Signature Site Park
If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can even try winter camping (you must obtain a permit online at reservations.ontarioparks.com or by calling 1-888-668-7275).
Kawartha Highlands Signature Site Park is accessible via Highway 28, Highway 36, and Highway 507. For more information, visit ontarioparks.com/park/kawarthahighlands.
Antiquing at East of Eden
If you prefer shopping over skiing or snowshoeing, you’ll want to drop in to East of Eden, located at 6401 Highway #28 in Woodview. You can’t miss their location at Northey’s Bay Road, with several antique vehicles out front.
East of Eden consists of two shops (a clapboard church built in 1905 and a log building) filled to the brim with something for all tastes, including Canadiana furniture, pottery and china, quilts and textiles, books, and much more — all authentic antique or vintage only.
East of Eden is open most weekends from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by chance or appointment (call ahead at check 705-957-4273).
Dark Winter’s Feast at Viamede Resort – January 18, 2019
The Dark Winter’s Feast at Viamede Resort (595 Mount Julian-Viamede Rd., Woodview) is a culinary interpretation of food gone by, set in the resort’s 19th-century chapel.
This unique dining experience will take you back to 1877 by offering a hearty feast using traditional foods and methods, served family style. Keeping with the historic theme, the chapel will be heated by fire and lit by candles.
The Dark Winter’s Feast takes place on Friday, January 18th and costs $95 for dinner and drinks. For tickets, call 1-800-461-1946 (you can also book a room at Viamede if you prefer to stay over).
Apsley Lions Club Winter Carnival – January 26, 2019
Every year on the fourth Saturday in January, the Apsley Lions Club hosts a Winter Carnival at the North Kawartha Community Centre (340 McFadden Rd. Apsley).
The family-oriented festival begins at 9 a.m. and runs throughout the day, featuring indoor and outdoor events including face painting, a food booth, clowns, animals, science activities, an open mic, a snow sculpture contest, a lasagna dinner, hockey tournaments, and more.
Kawartha Nordic Skiathlon – February 10, 2019
A fun introductory race experience for skiers of all ages and abilities, the Kawartha Nordic Skiathlon takes place on Sunday, February 10th at Kawartha Nordic Ski Club (Nordic Ski Lane, north of Woodview).
For more information and to register, visit kawarthanordic.ca.
Where To Eat
Swiss Bear Restaurant & Bakery
With a perennially packed parking lot, The Swiss Bear Restaurant & Bakery on Highway 28 in Apsley is highly rated year round by cottagers and snow enthusiasts alike. Their famous brunch menu is second only to their signature schnitzel.
The Swiss Bear is owned and operated by the Sigrist family under the leadership of Chef Robert, who was raised in Switzerland where he studied culinary arts and apprenticed with Moevenpick Restaurant in Geneva. The restaurant’s unique menu offers European and classic fare as well as treats including butter tarts, fruit tarts, and pecan pie and fresh-ground French roast coffee, espresso, and cappuccino.
Winter hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday (brunch only).
The Swiss Bear is located at 10330 Highway 28, on the west side the highway between the north and south entrances to Apsley. For more information and to view the menu, visit swissbear.ca. You can also follow The Swiss Bear on Facebook.
The Grill at Burleigh Falls Inn
The Grill at Burleigh Falls Inn (4791 Highway 28, Burleigh Falls) offers a bistro-inspired menu prepared by Chef Alexander Gillis, featuring appetizers, sandwiches, pasta, and mains, as well as a weekend breakfast menu.
Winter hours are 12 to 8 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday, with breakfast served from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
For reservations, call 705-654-4745. To view the menus, visit burleighfallsinn.com/the-grill.
Mount Julian at Viamede Resort
Mount Julian at Viamede Resort (595 Mount Julian-Viamede Rd., Woodview) is a nine-table fine dining restaurant nestled in the forest at Viamede.
The restaurant offers five, seven, or nine course tasting menus and a selection of more than 100 fine wines. Chef Alexander Barron carefully creates every dish with seasonal ingredients sourced from Viamede’s own farm and forests as well as from local farmers.
In the winter, Mount Julian is open on Saturdays by reservation only (call 1-800-461-1946). For more information, visit viamede.com/eat/mount-julian/.
1885 at Viamede Resort
The 1885 restaurant at Viamede Resort (595 Mount Julian-Viamede Rd., Woodview) provides a casual dining experience featuring fireside couches, board games, darts, ping pong, and foosball.
1885 offers a breakfast menu (including vegetarian and low-fat options) and a seasonal lunch and dinner menu (including a kid-friendly menu) and is open from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. for breakfast, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for lunch, and 5 to 9 p.m. for dinner.
Reservations are required if you’re not a guest of Viamede Resort (call 1-800-461-1946).
For more information and to view the menus, visit viamede.com/eat/club-1885/.