5 Lodge Escapes to Truly Enjoy the Great Outdoors

Get close to nature in these historic lodges in Northeastern Ontario

It is now the perfect time to start planning your summer lodge escape to Northeastern Ontario! As spring arrives the urge to get out of the city and enjoy some peace and quiet grows stronger we have the perfect solution. Luckily, Northeastern Ontario has plenty of scenic places to help you get away from it all.

If you want nature, easy access to lakes and waterways, rustic cabins and lodges set in peaceful groves of trees, with nary a business centre or meeting room in sight, these are the spots for you. Sure, you can stay in lots of great places in cities throughout the region—but if you’re looking for a more scenic experience, where your views might include a wandering moose or a vocal family of loons, read on to find out where you should book your stay this summer.

Ojibway Family Lodge

Ojibway Family Lodge is about as far from the hustle and bustle of urban life as you can get (at least within a day’s drive of Toronto). Set on picturesque Devil’s Island, the lodge is accessible only by boat or float plane—it’s not easy to get to, which is kind of the point. Once you arrive, you’ll realize the effort was worth it. The is air scented by pine and cedar trees and populated by the sounds of owls and loons. The main lodge has been welcoming guests since 1923, and while the lodge has undergone some fresh updates over the years (including newly solar-powered this spring) the wild, untouched landscape of the northeast remains right outside your doorstep. For more on this historic lodge, click here.

Widgawa Lodge

On the banks of the West River, surrounded by aspen, white pine, and silver birch, you’ll find Widgawa Lodge. Visitors can stay in one of the lodge’s historic cabins built to house prospectors in the 1920s or opt for one of its “new” cabins built in 1949—or just put your tent up nearby in one of the sanctioned campgrounds. In fact, this spot is so beautiful, the forested landscape has been inspiring visiting artists and nature-lovers for years—Group of Seven painter A.J. Casson stayed here and painted one of of his best-known works, White Pines, nearby.

Pine Grove Resort Cottages

Set on more than 250 acres of private land, Pine Grove Resort Cottages is a fisherman’s dream. Catch (and release) a monster northern pike or enjoy a leisurely paddle in a canoe while staying at this sprawling resort along the Pickerel River. Visitors can rent a cottage plunked deep in a grove of evergreens or splurge on the chalet—a luxury three-bedroom option on the water with its own private dock. 

French River Lodge

Another island getaway on our list is the French River Lodge, situated in Ox Bay at the confluence of the French and Pickerel Rivers. With a number of waterfront cottages and plenty of dock space, you’ll be off fishing and exploring in no time – especially now that Bass season is upon us. After a day on the water, come back and relax on your screened-in porch and watch the sun set over the bay. If you’re feeling social, check out the lounge area and the library, and don’t forget to stock up on supplies at the camp store.

White Pine Lodge

On the scenic shores of the Lady Evelyn River you’ll find White Pine Lodge, accessible only by water taxi. This perfectly situated property offers six cottages (all named after wildlife, of course), and fantastic views. Fishing, hiking, and canoeing await the adventurous, or just sit around the campfire and watch eagles and osprey soar overhead. You might even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights, if you’re lucky. At the end of the day, park yourself inside the lodge’s cedar barrel sauna and let all your cares melt away.

About Jennifer McCartney

Jennifer McCartney is a New York Times bestselling author. She has written a number of books including So You Want to Move to Canada, Eh? Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Vice Magazine, Teen Vogue, and CBC.

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