Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Cottage Country Tour

My Aunt, who lives in cottage country, recently gave me a tour of some highlights of the area in preparation for our french visitors.  I could not believe there were so many places I had not been to given I have been going to our cottage for over 20 years.  I obviously need to get out more!

The tour was fabulous and of course I had my camera with me so I could give you a tour as well.

First we went to the Hawk Lake historic log chute.  Built in 1861, this man-made trough was used to help get logs over the the rough waterfall and rapids and down to the sawmill.  In the past there were hundreds of log chutes, but this is the only one still in existence in Ontario.

Then we went on a lookout trail that had several views of a valley and lake below.

Different parts of the valley kept coming into sun as the clouds shifted around.  It was lovely.

Next stop was the Haliburton town lookout.  You can just glimpse Haliburton through the trees: a lovely town built around Head Lake.

We then went to the Haliburton School of the Arts.  The school, built in 2004, is in a forest near Haliburton and has several sculptures outside to greet you.

The building itself has a lovely red front door and soaring entrance hall.   During the summer they offer hundreds of different workshops, which I think would be a lot of fun to do.  This group was having their photo taken after completing a kilt-making workshop.

The red front doors had some paintbrushes incorporated into the frame.

The interior has a long centre hall, with a stone wall and fireplace on one side and sky-lights above.

Isn't this the most amazing reception desk with the inlaid wooden leaves which continue up into the frosted sections in the glass.  I got a charge out of this workshop leader's socks. 

Another view of those gorgeous leaves.  I could see this in a cottage on the wall going up beside the stairs - it would be sooo pretty.

It's not every day you see a Canada Goose sculture in a trailer, but that's what we saw as we were leaving the school. 

The next stop was Minden, a small town along the Gull River.

Thankfully there were ice cream cones available along the river in Minden as I was beginning to need some re-fueling.  All the better that it was served from this quaint vintage take-out place.

Along the river walk you can see huge trees, older homes, and boats.

I bet you didn't think I would be talking about Angelina Jolie, but apparently years ago, when she was visiting some friends at a nearby cottage, she stayed in this pretty bed and breakfast in Minden called The Wild Swan.  I have a hard time picturing Angelina in Minden, but that's how the story goes.

The final stop on our tour was the Minden Hills Museum, which has several buildings, including this adorable bank.  I think I would be much more cheerful doing my banking if mine looked this cute. 

And so ends our tour - thanks for coming along.  I had no idea I was missing out on so much. 


My aunt has a gorgeous home that they have extensively renovated over the past 10 years.  She has graciously allowed me to share photos of it, but I need to go back and get some more of the kitchen.  Stay tuned!


  1. Interesting post! I have been to the Haliburton School and to the sculpture forest,,,but NEVER to the log chute. I MUST put that on my list of places to visit. :)

  2. Thanks for bringing us along with you on your trip. This was fun!

  3. Amazing history and also, modern things in cottage country. I really must put this on my bucket list.

  4. I am emailing my cousin right now to check this out!! She lives in Minden and taught there for 32yrs! Minden and Haliburton have a very special place in my heart. You could say they are my second homes as my cousin who is like a mom to me lives there. I was hoping to be there this Thanksgiving (boo hoo) but my husband has a conference at the same time!!
    I didn't know about Angelina!!!
    Thanks for this lovely post Grace it touched my heart!!
    Pamela xo

  5. Hi Grace...
    I have been thinking about you and wondering what sort of wonderful photographs you have been taking lately and I can see you have been very busy! I love tours and yours is perfect. Those socks are speaking to me and the Ice Cream Cone even more! Gorgeous country, wonderful sculptures and of course most important of all a fab photographer!

    Best wishes...

    Jeanne :)

  6. My cousin just viewed your post and loved it! We went to the ice cream place last summer with Sam!
    She said she has never seen the log chute! Her husband couldn't believe it.
    Anyways her girlfriend is in the picture of the kilt class lol ! Her family is very big on highland dance and her son plays the bagpipes. Isn't it a small world?

  7. I could live there! I could turn that bank into a cottage house and be perfectly happy. Breathtaking scenery.

  8. Grace, I am always amazed at the area that you live in. It has some of the most seriously beautiful countryside. I could live there too!

  9. Grace, thanks for sharing these sites with us. Love that guy's socks. I guess he knew they didn't match.

  10. Wonderful places to visit, I found them exciting and informative. Thanks for the tour and take care.

  11. I thought about you ,what wonderful pictures you have received lately, and I see that you are very busy! I love to travel and be perfect. These socks have spoken to me and Ice Cream Cone more! I guess this is the best place for summer.

    French country furniture

  12. that log chute is really cool...my son and I just enjoyed looking at all your great pictures! thanks!!

    Anne Marie