In Haliburton, with its wide swaths of Crown land, the granite shore can be steep and rugged, flanked by white pines and leafy trees that turn fiery bright in fall. Many lakes are sparsely inhabited by cottagers, but filled with fish. In winter, groomed trails draw recreational snowmobilers. Haliburton’s true claim to superiority over some other Ontario cottage areas, however, may be the drive. Avoid the multi-lane highway, if you like, and the route takes you on two-lane highways and county roads that wind past grain silos, grey barns, and blue lakes.
Cottagers are drawn to Haliburton’s small, quiet lakes, though Kennisis, Kawagama, and Kashagawigamog offer big stretches of water for sailors and windsurfers. Many lakes in this region are reservoirs for the Trent-Severn Waterway farther south. Water levels are controlled by a series of dams and can fluctuate greatly over the course of a season.
For many years, Haliburton was undervalued. But as more buyers from Toronto discover this Shield country, within three hours of the city, those days are ending. As seen in most parts of cottage country, the COVID-19 pandemic has also increased demand in the area. A boat-access cottage that cost $7,000 in the early 1970s could fetch nearly a million dollars or more now.