Bark Lake in Winter

Need a getaway place where you are surrounded by winter, yet still with the comforts of home?

For over 25 years, the school I teach at – St. John’s-Kilmarnock – has been running a winter week of outdoor ed. and science/ecology field research. For the past number of years it has been at Bark Lake Leadership Centre, near Irondale (near Minden – Haliburton Highlands), Ontario. We do the same in the fall, but this is about the beauty of winter.

The setting is beautiful, the meals are fabulous and the folks up there are very accommodating. There is some Nordic skiing, probably 10km in total, so it’s not for the ardent skier, but rather for people who enjoy being in nature more than covering long distances. The habitats are varied with lake, mature mixed forest wetlands with beaver lodges, and a spectacular bog.

Winter, in particular, is beautiful up there. When much of urban southern Ontario is mired in grey slush, Bark Lake sparkles with fresh snow and sunshine. I recommend giving Joe or Adam a call (1-888-517-9999) or sending an email ( to inquire about spending a few days there.

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