Published May 30, 2024

Rediscover romance (or peace): The perfect adult-only getaway to Haliburton

Sir Sam's Inn adult-only getaway resort in Haliburton

This Barrie 360 article is brought to you by Sir Sam's Inn

Sometimes, you just need to escape the everyday grind and reconnect with nature. If you live in Simcoe County and are looking for a scenic adult-only getaway within a few hours' drive, then look no further than Haliburton County.

This stunning region boasts pristine lakes, lush forests, and charming towns. It's the perfect destination for a relaxing couples road trip or a getaway with friends. 

In this article, we'll chart a course along the scenic Monck Road Route, highlighting all the stops you can make along the way. Chances are you won’t be able to check out everything in a single trip. But, with so much to choose from, you're sure to find an adventure everyone will enjoy!

The journey will end with a unique resort experience that offers the perfect setting to relax, unwind, and enjoy so much needed you time! (Map of routes are at the end of the article.)

So, buckle up, roll down the windows, and let's hit the road! 


Orillia: Your gateway to nature

Kick off your kid-free adventure with a visit to Orillia, located less than a half hour from Barrie. If you’ve never been to the area, consider taking your first stop here. Head downtown to take in the waterfront, meander through unique shops, and grab a bite at Mariposa Market.

Once you have had your fill of Orillia, it’s time to head to Rama by way of Atherley Road.  

Rama: A cultural gem

Rama is a First Nations community steeped in culture and tradition. If you’re interested in learning more about the community’s history, take some time to explore the area. A great place to start is with the Mnjikaning Fish Weirs National Historic Site off Atherley Road. This site is home to the largest and best preserved fish weirs in North America. Built in approximately 3300 BC, the weirs were used to trap fish. 

Monck Road: The scenic route begins

Once you've had your fill of Orillia and Rama, head north onto Monck Road. This scenic route winds its way towards Norland, offering stunning views of the Canadian Shield landscape. Along the way, you'll pass by small towns, lakes, and forests. Be sure to take your time and enjoy the drive!

If you’re looking for some stops along the way, here are a couple of options to consider: 

  1. Quaker Oaks Farm - This farm offers a wide selection of tasty treats. Some favourite include their award winning butter tarts and delicious stuffed olives! There’s also an animal sanctuary and field of sunflowers. 
  2. Kris Starr Sanctuary - Owned by the Couchiching Conservancy, this property is the perfect place to take in Ontario’s natural beauty, spot a variety of animals like moose, otters and swans, or venture to the Carden Alvar - a steep limestone slope created by the glaciers.

Norland: A quaint town with big charm

The first major stop on the Monck Road route is Norland. This quaint town is a great place to stretch your legs and grab a bite to eat. There are a couple of restaurants to choose from, as well as some cute shops, like A Zebra of a Different Stripe, with unique gifts, garden ornaments and jewellery. There’s also a gas station in town where you can top off if you forgot to before setting out. 

Choose your own adventure

Once you’re done in Norland, you’ll need to decide whether you want to take Hwy 35 or stay on 45. If you're not sure which route to take, plan one for the journey there and one for the journey back for even more adventure!

Hwy 35

If you’re on a bike or trike, Highway 35 is a great choice. It’s a Top 10 road for motorcyclists and passes by the Carving Gallery, which features unique carvings and a metal motorcycle statue that makes for a great photo opp. 

Your next major stop will be in Minden. This bustling town offers plenty of shops, restaurants (including a Tims), and gas stations. If heading through on a Saturday, check out the Minden Farmers' Market, open from 10 AM to 2 PM.


If you’re looking for a way to kill time while in Minden, there’s lots to do. For those who love the outdoors, you can head to the Riverwalk Trail. Located in downtown Minden, the Riverwalk Trail offers stunning views of Gill River. The trail is a loop that brings you across a foot bridge and is dog friendly. A short detour away, there's also the Whitewater Preserve with trails that run along some of Canada’s best whitewater rapids. Or you can stay in Minden and head to Panorama Park Lookout, which is a must-see, especially in the fall. 

From Minden, you will head toward Haliburton on Hwy 21. Along the way, you will pass some unique shops. You'll also pass by Lake Kashagawigamog, a breathtaking body of water that lies at the heart of Haliburton. Rent a kayak or canoe and explore the calm waters at your own pace, soaking up the tranquility of the natural surroundings.

Hwy 45

If you’re looking for a route with more stops along the way, Highway 45 to Kinmount will only take a few minutes longer than Hwy 35 but has tons of great places to see: 

  1. The Altberg Wildlife Sanctuary - This sanctuary is the largest nature reserve in Ontario at 1186 acres. Straddling the granite rocks of the Canadian Shield and the Limestone of the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence forest, Altberg offers stunning views. 
  2. Kinmount - Located on the outskirts of Haliburton Country, Kinmount is a cute town with a variety of shops. This includes an LCBO, pharmacy, grocery store, gift shops, artisan market, and even a museum. 
  3. 3 Sisters Rapids - Just outside of Kinmount down the Cowpath Trail is the Three Sisters Rapids. It's a picturesque stop for nature lovers. 

From there, you can either take Hwy 121 to Minden but we recommend heading straight to Haliburton on Hwy 503. This route will take you past a number of other possible stops including: 

  1. World’s Smallest Bookstore - If you’re a bookworm, you won’t want to miss this quaint stop. Open 24 hours, this tiny self serve shop offers a unique selection of books, along with notes from past customers. 
  2. The Compound Airsoft & Paintball - This is a fun way to spend an afternoon if you’re heading to Haliburton with a group of friends for some well deserved R&R. 
  3. Furnace Falls - While it isn’t the biggest waterfall you'll ever see, Furnace Falls is a great spot to take in nature and enjoy a picnic or a swim.

Haliburton: A town steeped in history

No trip to Haliburton County would be complete without a stop in the charming town of Haliburton itself. As you arrive on your scenic road trip, take a moment to breathe in the fresh air and the timeless charm of the town. Here, you can spend a delightful afternoon exploring the town's offerings before continuing your journey. Or head straight to the resort and come to town for a day trip another day.

Delve into Haliburton's history 

History buffs will find themselves captivated by the Haliburton Museum. Here, you can learn about the town's rich past, from its humble beginnings as a logging community to its transformation into a popular tourist destination. Interactive exhibits, historical artifacts, and informative displays bring the stories of Halliburton's settlers, lumber barons, and fascinating characters to life.

Stroll through town

Take a leisurely walk along the main street, lined with quaint shops showcasing local crafts, unique souvenirs, and outdoor gear for your next adventure. Browse through galleries bursting with vibrant artwork by local talents, or perhaps indulge in a sweet treat at a charming bakery. 

If you have time, head to the Haliburton Sculpture Forest where you can take in a unique collection of outdoor sculptures. 

Embrace the natural beauty 

Haliburton isn't just about charming shops and historical tales. It's a gateway to a nature lover's paradise. 

The crown jewel of the town is undoubtedly the Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve. Here, you can embark on a scenic hike through towering pines, following marked trails that wind past sparkling lakes and hidden waterfalls. Breathe in the crisp air, listen to the sweet melodies of songbirds, and keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife sightings. 

The reserve also offers a unique canopy tour, allowing you to experience the forest from a thrilling new perspective. And it’s home to a wolf pack that visitors can observe and interact with (from a safe distance of course). 

Eagle Lake: Your final destination

As the day winds down, it’s time to find a place to settle for the duration of your trip in Eagle Lake. 

Nestled amidst towering pines and pristine waters, Eagle Lake offers a true escape from the ordinary. And what better way to experience the beauty of Eagle Lake than with a stay at Sir Sam's Inn? 

Sir Sam's Inn is more than just a place to stay. It's an adult-only sanctuary with all-inclusive options located only a couple of hours from Simcoe County. It's the perfect way to escape the everyday without having to deal with airplanes, currency exchange, or crowded resorts. Just pack your swimsuit, sense of adventure, and travel companions for an unforgettable escape right here in Ontario.

This charming resort offers comfortable accommodations, delicious meals, cold drinks, a variety of activities to enjoy from fishing and kayaking to hiking and tennis, and unlimited use of the onsite facilities including the WaterSpa, pool, and sauna.

It's also a great base camp for exploring Haliburton County and offers quick access to Ride the Highlands' picturesque Dynamite Alley route.

Whether you're seeking relaxation or adventure, Sir Sam's Inn truly is the perfect place to unwind and reconnect with nature.

Route map for road trip from Barrie to Haliburton

If you want to get from Barrie to Haliburton by way of Hwy 35, you can find a Google Maps route here. Note: Only main towns and cities are marked along the way.

If you want to get from Barrie to Haliburton by way of Hwy 45, you can find a Google Maps route here.

Note: Due to Google's limitations, only main towns and cities are marked along both routes.

Escape the chaos: An adult-only getaway in your own backyard

Sometimes, the most transformative getaways are closer than you think. Haliburton County, with its pristine lakes, whispering pines, and charming towns, offers an adult-only escape that allows you to shed the everyday without the hassle of planning a trip to a far off destination.

Imagine trading the daily grind for a sunrise paddle on a glassy lake, followed by days exploring scenic roads, relaxing at the spa or taking in the sites. Picture evenings spent by a crackling fire, sharing stories and laughter with loved ones, free from any distractions. 

Haliburton County offers this and so much more.

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