Experience a Canadian winter getaway in Buckhorn

Explore Canadian and Indigenous art, discover local wines, rent a private cottage, ice fish, snowshoe, and more

A pair of snowshoes at Westwind Inn on the shores of Lower Buckhorn Lake, an ideal destination for a romantic getaway, some winter fun, or maybe a bit of both. You can also rent private cottages at Beachwood Resort or Catalina Bay Resort, visit Gallery on The Lake, Whetung Ojibwa Centre, and Kawartha Country Wines, eat at Lock Stop Cafe or Pizza Alloro, and more. (Photo courtesy of Westwind Inn)
A pair of snowshoes at Westwind Inn on the shores of Lower Buckhorn Lake, an ideal destination for a romantic getaway, some winter fun, or maybe a bit of both. You can also rent private cottages at Beachwood Resort or Catalina Bay Resort, visit Gallery on The Lake, Whetung Ojibwa Centre, and Kawartha Country Wines, eat at Lock Stop Cafe or Pizza Alloro, and more. (Photo courtesy of Westwind Inn)

Located along the Trent-Severn Waterway at the intersection of Buckhorn Lake and Lower Buckhorn Lake, the Town of Buckhorn is a hidden gem in the heart of Peterborough & The Kawarthas. Rich in heritage and culture, Buckhorn offers a wonderful all-season lifestyle for both residents and visitors.

On the southern tip of the Canadian Shield, the area was already home to Indigenous peoples when Irish immigrant John Hall settled there in 1830. Hall constructed a dam and mill on what is now the Buckhorn Locks, and the settlement became known as Hall’s Rapids. It was later renamed for Buckhorn Lake, which supposedly acquired the name from its antler-like shape.

A 30-minute drive from Peterborough and two to three hours from Toronto and Ottawa, Buckhorn is a great destination — whether for a day trip or an overnight stay — for your next Canadian winter getaway.


What To Do

"The Boughs Will Fall" by Barbara McGuey, one of the artists featured at Gallery On The Lake. (Photo courtesy of Gallery On The Lake)
“The Boughs Will Fall” by Barbara McGuey, one of the artists featured at Gallery On The Lake. (Photo courtesy of Gallery On The Lake)

The Gallery on the Lake is one of Canada’s largest privately owned retail art galleries, featuring 15,000 square feet of original fine art, sculpture, glassware, pottery, and jewellery.

At its beautiful lakeside setting, the gallery offers one of the most extensive collections of artwork by some of Canada’s leading and emerging artists.

Open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays during the winter, The Gallery on the Lake is located on 65 Gallery on the Lake Road, about three kilometres northeast on Buckhorn and walking distance from Westwind Inn.

VIDEO: Gallery on The Lake

For more information, call 1-888-242-7475 or 705-657-1108 or visit www.galleryonthelake.com. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Browse thousands of pieces of native art and crafts at Whetung Ojibwa Centre

Whetung Ojibwa Centre at Curve Lake First Nation offers a spectacular collection of crafts, fine art, and much more from artisans from Curve Lake and from across Canada. (Photo courtesy of Whetung Ojibwa Centre)
Whetung Ojibwa Centre at Curve Lake First Nation offers a spectacular collection of crafts, fine art, and much more from artisans from Curve Lake and from across Canada. (Photo courtesy of Whetung Ojibwa Centre)

Operated by the Whetung family of Curve Lake First Nation, Whetung Ojibwa Centre offers a spectacular collection of Indigenous crafts as well as fine art, jewellery, moccasins, totem poles, leather work, sculptures, and more from artisans from Curve Lake First Nation and from across Canada.

The 10,000-square-foot building is filled from floor to ceiling with carvings, masks, pottery, paintings, bead work, quill work, and other decorative items of every description. Beyond the central gift shop area is a gallery featuring framed fine art and sculpture, original paintings, posters, limited editions, and cards.

Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Whetung Ojibwa Centre is located at 875 County Road 22 on Curve Lake First Nation, about 14 kilometres south of Buckhorn. Admission and parking are free, and the centre is wheelchair accessible.

Beyond the central gift shop area is a gallery featuring framed fine art and sculpture, original paintings, posters, limited editions, and cards. (Photo courtesy of Whetung Ojibwa Centre)
Beyond the central gift shop area is a gallery featuring framed fine art and sculpture, original paintings, posters, limited editions, and cards. (Photo courtesy of Whetung Ojibwa Centre)

For more information, call 705-657-3661 or visit www.whetung.com. You can also follow them on Facebook.

 

Taste made-in-the-Kawarthas wines at Kawartha Country Wines

Kawartha Country Wines offers a large selection of fruit wines in different styles, dessert wines, and traditional red and white wines and ciders. (Photo courtesy of Kawartha Country Wines)
Kawartha Country Wines offers a large selection of fruit wines in different styles, dessert wines, and traditional red and white wines and ciders. (Photo courtesy of Kawartha Country Wines)

The first winery in the Kawarthas, Kawartha Country Wines is a small premium family-owned winery located around five kilometres north of Buckhorn.

Owner and vintner John Rufa comes from a long tradition of family wine-making and processes local fruits and berries with the highest standards to produce award-winning wines.

Kawartha Country Wines offers a large selection of fruit wines in different styles, dessert wines, and traditional red and white wines and ciders.

Kawartha Country Wines owner and vintner John Rufa comes from a long tradition of family wine making. (Photo courtesy of Kawartha Country Wines)
Kawartha Country Wines owner and vintner John Rufa comes from a long tradition of family wine making. (Photo courtesy of Kawartha Country Wines)

There’s a complimentary wine sampling bar, and tours are available on request. And make sure to check out the giant inuksuk while you’re there.

Located at 2452 County Road 36, Kawartha Country Wines is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 705-657-9916 or visit www.kawarthacountrywines.ca. You can also follow them on Facebook.

 

Try ice fishing

During the annual Family Fishing Weekend, which takes place on the Family Day long weekend, you can try ice fishing without requiring a fishing licence. (Photo courtesy of Peterborough & The Kawarthas Tourism)
During the annual Family Fishing Weekend, which takes place on the Family Day long weekend, you can try ice fishing without requiring a fishing licence. (Photo courtesy of Peterborough & The Kawarthas Tourism)

Whether you’re an avid angler or want to try ice fishing for the first time while in Buckhorn, check out Buckhorn Lake and Lower Buckhorn Lake, as well as nearby Pigeon and Chemong Lakes

When ice fishing, safety should always be the top priority. Dress for the weather (in layers) and check ice thickness and conditions frequently. Fish with a buddy, let someone know where you are and when you plan to return, and bring a charged cell phone with you.

When it comes to your catch, make sure to check the rules and regulations of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry.

VIDEO: Ice Fishing in Peterborough & the Kawarthas

And don’t forget to have your fishing licence with you (unless you’re a veteran or an active Canadian Armed Forces member, in which case you just need your military ID or service card).

If you’ve never tried ice fishing before, you can fish licence-free across Ontario during the annual Family Fishing Weekend, which takes place on the Family Day long weekend (Februrary 16th to 18th).

 

Try backcountry snowshoeing and winter camping at Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park

Located just north of Buckhorn, Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park is the largest park in southern Ontario after Algonquin Provincial Park.

The 375-square-kilometre area of the park offers lots of opportunities for the avid snowshoer to experience untouched wilderness and nature.

VIDEO: Winter Camping at Kawartha Highlands Provincial 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 Provincial Park is accessible via Highway 36, Highway 507, and Highway 28. For more information, visit ontarioparks.com/park/kawarthahighlands.


Where To Stay

Westwind Inn

During your winter stay at Westwind Inn, you can cross-country ski, snowshoe, skate, snowmobile, and more. (Photo courtesy of Westwind Inn)
During your winter stay at Westwind Inn, you can cross-country ski, snowshoe, skate, snowmobile, and more. (Photo courtesy of Westwind Inn)

Located three kilometres northeast of Buckhorn on the shores of Lower Buckhorn Lake, Westwind Inn is an ideal destination if you’re looking for a romantic getaway, some winter fun, or maybe a bit of both.

You can head out for some cross-country skiing and snowshoeing through the wilderness (you can borrow gear at no extra charge if you don’t have your own). You can skate on the lake under the stars, or try your hand at ice fishing.

If you prefer your winter fun motorized, there’s easy access to the Ontario Federation Of Snowmobile Clubs trail and the Buckhorn District Snowmobile Club is only a kilometre away.

Popular with couples, Westwind Inn offers 35 cozy guest rooms with cedar-lined walls, antique furnishings, fireplaces, and more. (Photo courtesy of Westwind Inn)
Popular with couples, Westwind Inn offers 35 cozy guest rooms with cedar-lined walls, antique furnishings, fireplaces, and more. (Photo courtesy of Westwind Inn)

After a day enjoying the outdoors, you can relax by the fire in your own private room and maybe try the outdoor hot tub.

Popular with couples, Westwind Inn offers 35 cozy guest rooms with cedar-lined walls, antique furnishings, fireplaces, and more. There are also four larger suites in the chalet, located on the lakefront away from the main lodge, with many amenities including large four-poster beds, an air jet tub, a mini-fridge, and more. Pets are allowed in some rooms.

Your stay at Westwind Inn includes dinner and breakfast. For reservations, call 1-800-387-8100 or 705-657-8095 or email info@westwindinn.net.

While staying at Westwind Inn, head out for some cross-country skiing and snowshoeing through the wilderness (you can borrow gear at no extra charge if you don't have your own). (Photo courtesy of Westwind Inn)
While staying at Westwind Inn, head out for some cross-country skiing and snowshoeing through the wilderness (you can borrow gear at no extra charge if you don’t have your own). (Photo courtesy of Westwind Inn)

Westwind Inn is located at 37 Fire Route 21 (Gallery On The Lake Road). For more information, visit www.westwindinn.net or follow Westwind Inn on Facebook.

 

Beachwood Resort

Located on Lower Buckhorn Lake's Deer Bay, Beachwood Resort offers a lakefront cottage getaway with all the amenities of home. (Photo courtesy of Beachwood Resort)
Located on Lower Buckhorn Lake’s Deer Bay, Beachwood Resort offers a lakefront cottage getaway with all the amenities of home. (Photo courtesy of Beachwood Resort)

If you’re looking for a winter getaway featuring your own private cottage, you’ll want to head to Beachwood Resort.

Originally built in 1926 as a summer fishing lodge, Beachwood Resort has been welcoming guests for more than 90 years.

Located on Lower Buckhorn Lake’s Deer Bay, the resort offers a lakefront cottage getaway with all the amenities of home.

Beachwood Resort offers fully winterized three- and four-bedroom cottages with beautiful views of the lake and fully equipped kitchens, fireplaces, and more.  (Photo courtesy of Beachwood Resort)
Beachwood Resort offers fully winterized three- and four-bedroom cottages with beautiful views of the lake and fully equipped kitchens, fireplaces, and more. (Photo courtesy of Beachwood Resort)

Along with quaint lodge rooms, Beachwood Resort has fully winterized condos and cottages on 1,400 feet of shoreline surrounded by 330 acres of wilderness and wildlife.

The three- and four-bedroom cottages provide beautiful views of the lake and come with fully equipped kitchens, fireplaces, and more. Pets are welcome in some of the units.

For reservations, call 1-888-313-1118 or 705-657-3481.

VIDEO: Beachwood Resort Winter Tour

Beachwood Resort is located at 3043 Beachwood Drive, about eight kilometres southwest of Buckhorn. For more information, visit www.beachwoodresort.com or follow them on Facebook.

 

Catalina Bay Resort

Catalina Bay Resort offers two and three bedroom cottages on a property with 15 kilometres of groomed  cross-country ski trails, a large toboggan hill, an outdoor skating rink on the lake, and more. (Photo courtesy of Catalina Bay Resort)
Catalina Bay Resort offers two and three bedroom cottages on a property with 15 kilometres of groomed cross-country ski trails, a large toboggan hill, an outdoor skating rink on the lake, and more. (Photo courtesy of Catalina Bay Resort)

Located on the shores of Big Bald Lake around four kilometres north of Buckhorn, Catalina Bay Resort is another great option for a winter cottage getaway.

The resort offers two and three bedroom cottages that come with fully equipped kitchens, fireplaces, and more. For winter activities, the resort has 15 kilometres of groomed cross-country ski trails, a large toboggan hill, an outdoor skating rink on the lake, and ice fishing.

For reservations, call 705-657-1655 or email info@catalinabayresort.com.

The cottages at Catalina Bay Resort come with fully equipped kitchens (Photo courtesy of Catalina Bay Resort)
The cottages at Catalina Bay Resort come with fully equipped kitchens (Photo courtesy of Catalina Bay Resort)

Catalina Bay Resort is located at Fire Route 82B. For more information, visit www.catalinabayresort.com or follow them on Facebook.


Where To Eat

Lock Stop Cafe

Lock Stop Cafe in Buckhorn features coffee from locally roasted beans, loose leaf and bag tea, artisan sandwiches and paninis fresh to order on home-baked bread, soups, and sweets like croissants, petit fours, eclairs, and butter tarts. (Photo courtesy of Lock Stop Cafe)
Lock Stop Cafe in Buckhorn features coffee from locally roasted beans, loose leaf and bag tea, artisan sandwiches and paninis fresh to order on home-baked bread, soups, and sweets like croissants, petit fours, eclairs, and butter tarts. (Photo courtesy of Lock Stop Cafe)

Opened in 2018 by local entrepreneur Kelli Coon, Lock Stop Cafe in Buckhorn has quickly become a popular destination for locals and visitors alike.

The café and restaurant features coffee from locally roasted beans, loose leaf and bag tea, artisan sandwiches and paninis fresh to order on home-baked bread, soups, and sweets like croissants, petit fours, eclairs, and butter tarts.

The restaurant also contains a marketplace showcasing products from local artisans and others.

Since opening in 2018, Lock Stop Cafe has quickly become a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. (Photo courtesy of Lock Stop Cafe)
Since opening in 2018, Lock Stop Cafe has quickly become a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. (Photo courtesy of Lock Stop Cafe)
By car or snowmobile, Lock Stop Cafe is located at 1919 Lakehurst Road in Buckhorn.  (Photo courtesy of Lock Stop Cafe)
By car or snowmobile, Lock Stop Cafe is located at 1919 Lakehurst Road in Buckhorn. (Photo courtesy of Lock Stop Cafe)

Open during the winter from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday, Lock Stop Cafe is located at 1919 Lakehurst Road in Buckhorn.

For more information, call 705-313-3330 or visit www.lockstopcafe.com. You can also follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

 

Pizza Alloro

Pizza Alloro is another popular stop in Buckhorn for locals and visitors. (Photo courtesy of Pizza Alloro)
Pizza Alloro is another popular stop in Buckhorn for locals and visitors. (Photo courtesy of Pizza Alloro)

Opened in 2013 by Endrit Karaj, Pizza Alloro is another popular stop in Buckhorn for locals and visitors.

The restaurant offers freshly made pizzas and calzones, along with salads, wings, appetizers, and pasta. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options are also available.

Pizza Alloro is highly rated on TripAdvisor, and people have been known to drive long distances to enjoy a slice or two. The Chicken Caesar pizza — covered in Caesar dressing and topped with mozzarella cheese, spinach, chicken, bacon strips, and grated parmesan — is a favourite of many.

Drop by for a slice  at Pizza Alloro or a sit-down meal. (Photo courtesy of Pizza Alloro)
Drop by for a slice at Pizza Alloro or a sit-down meal. (Photo courtesy of Pizza Alloro)
A customer favourite is the Chicken Caesar pizza. Pizza Alloro also offers vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. (Photo courtesy of Pizza Alloro)
A customer favourite is the Chicken Caesar pizza. Pizza Alloro also offers vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. (Photo courtesy of Pizza Alloro)

Open from 11 am to 8 p.m. Sunday to Wednesday and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday to Saturday, Pizza Alloro is located at 5 Main Street in Buckhorn.

For more information, call 705-657-7575 or visit www.pizzaalloro.com. You can also follow them on Facebook.


This story was created in partnership with Peterborough & The Kawarthas Tourism. Visit thekawarthas.ca and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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