Explore the rich geological setting of Ontario’s Highlands on this 7-day journey that features guided excursions on land and water. You will discover the Ordovician fossil capital of Canada, have a chance to find a real gemstone, try a taste of Ontario’s best maple syrup and explore clear freshwater rivers.
This adventure-heavy itinerary not only explores the geology of the region with rockhounding activities but also allows for time spent paddling and rafting on rivers that make their way through these ancient rocks. Add in hiking to some of the area’s best lookout points and exploration of interesting museums and you have an immersive experience like no other.
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This is a pre-designed itinerary. At Landsby, we are specialists in creating unique experiences in Canada, due to a personal and direct relationship with our local partners.
Geology is like an intriguing detective story — if you can learn to read the rocks you will uncover the secret history of our Earth.
DAY 1: ARRIVAL
Your guide will meets the group at a designated meeting place or place of stay and then you'll head north to Haliburton Highlands along the Wonders of our Earth Route with your Wonders of our Earth (WOE) Passport. Arrive, check-in, receive an orientation of Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Reserve. Lunch is a la carte at The Cookhouse. Afterwards, learn about Haliburton Forest’s wild side. Participate in a Walk in the Clouds Canopy Tour in an old-growth forest. Visit the Wolf Centre, observe a wolf pack and learn about their roles and behaviour. Dinner is a la carte at The Cookhouse. Enjoy a campfire (weather permitting) and overnight.
ALTERNATIVE DAY 1: ARRIVAL
Your guide will meet the group at a designated meeting place or place of stay and then head northeast to the City of Kawartha Lakes OR Peterborough & The Kawarthas with your Wonders of our Earth (WOE) Passport. Arrival, guided tour of South Pond Farms OR The Canadian Canoe Museum’s watercraft collection. After lunch, participate in a pre-arranged Culinary or Artisan Workshop. Transfer, visit the Peterborough Lift Locks, the highest hydraulic lift lock in the world. Continue east or south, check-in for dinner and overnight.
DAY 2: DAILY ACTIVITIES
Early morning Voyageur Canoe paddle, weather and lake conditions permitting. After breakfast, check-out, receive your first WOE Passport Stamp, transfer to meet your guide for an exclusive Haliburton Rocks, OR Maple Experience. Tour Greenmantle Farms to observe natural crystals exposed on the earth’s surface, OR learn how to make your own Maple Syrup. Enjoy a picnic lunch. Outfitted with hammer, goggles, gloves and pail, you'll rockhound for your own gem at Schickler Occurrence. Receive your WOE Passport Stamp. Transfer, check-in, dinner and overnight.
DAY 3: HIKING & GEMS
After breakfast, hike local trails to a lookout. After lunch, visit the Bancroft Gem & Mineral Museum located in the newly renovated train station in Hastings County. Guided tour of the finest collection of gems and minerals discovered in Ontario’s Highlands. Receive your WOE Passport Stamp. Transfer and visit the Princess Sodalite Mine Rock Shop, named after the British aristocracy’s fascination with the royal blue gem - sodalite. Rockhound for your own sample souvenir! Receive your WOE Passport Stamp. Stop for a short hike to take-in Eagle’s Nest Lookout. Arrive at your accommodation for check-in, dinner and overnight.
DAY 4: DAILY ACTIVITIES
After breakfast, don a wetsuit, lifejacket, helmet and paddle for a two-hour raft excursion on the Madawaska River. Following the raft excursion, return to Madawaska Kanu Centre to change and return equipment/accessories. Enjoy a fireside or patio lunch prior to check-out. Receive your WOE Passport Stamp. Meet with the Pattersons to rockhound and collect at Beryl Pit OR experience the Spirit of the Crystals with Karen Moonbeam at the Rose Quartz Quarry. Collect your WOE Passport Stamp. OR Visit the Bonnechere Caves, take a one-hour underground tour of karst limestone caves whose walls are embedded with Orodovician pre-vertebrate marine life. Receive WOE Passport Stamp. Transfer into the heart of the Ottawa Valley, Whitewater Capital of Canada. Arrive at your accommodation for check-in, dinner and overnight.
DAY 5: RAFTING EXUCURSION
After breakfast, transfer to your next activity. Outfitted in a wetsuit, booties, lifejacket, paddle and helmet (and having packed dry clothing for the return trip), you'll participate in a Soft Adventure River Excursion down the world-famous Rocher Fendu Rapids. Transfer to river put-in with your guide, and receive paddling instruction on a raft. Commence 4 or 6-hour rafting excursion, upon completion return via a leisurely Pontoon Boat cruise. After a BBQ lunch, change clothing, relax and enjoy resort setting and waterfront activities. Check-out, receive your WOE Passport Stamp and Transfer, Return to the place of stay.
DAY 6: DAILY ACTIVITIES
After breakfast, check-out, receive your WOE Stamp. Transfer through Lanark County to Perth. Enjoy a walking tour of the heritage town. After lunch, transfer and visit the Silver Queen Mica Mine and Lally Homestead at Murphys Point Provincial Park. Learn about the beginnings of Ontario’s mining heritage, the importance of the Rideau Canal and the role played by a local farmer. Receive your WOE Passport Stamp. Return to Perth, check-in Hotel or Inn for dinner and overnight.
DAY 7: DEPARTURE
After breakfast, check-out, transfer east to Smith Falls visit Parks Canada Rideau Canal Visitor’s Centre OR transfer west for matinee afternoon musical performance at Westben Concerts at the Barn.