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The Almaguin Highlands is home to locals, artists, crafters, adventurers and visitors alike. The town of South River is known for being a gateway to Algonquin Park and its incredible four season activities. In the winter you can get active snowshoeing, dog sledding, skating and snowmobiling. Other times of the year hiking, biking, watersports, artist studios, horseback riding, golfing and ATVing are just  a few of the activities that are available in our northern paradise.  

Trees in winter

Forest Bathing

Deer Lake Wilderness Retreat is inspired by the Japanese practice of forest bathing, mindfully experiencing nature through the senses. This has a wide array of health benefits, including lowering stress hormones, strengthening the immune system, and improving mood and cognition. After a few days of immersing yourself in nature we know you'll feel reinvigorated.


The owners Eagle Lake Narrows Country Store, Fred and Jill, rent snowmobiles and lead snowmobile tours into the back country. The store is a 10 minute drive away and rentals can be arranged on-line. In the summer they rent kayaks, canoes, paddle boards and small outboard motorboats for fishing on Eagle Lake. 

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There is a snowshoeing trail in the woods on Deer Lake Wilderness Retreat (pictured above) that takes about 30 minutes round trip. Mikisew Provincial Park is also a great place to go snowshoeing and is just 10 minutes away. Every rental at DLWR comes with two pairs of adult snowshoes to use while you are a guest.

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Cross Country Skiing

If you have cross-country skiis you can visit Mikisew Provincial Park or the Wasi Cross Country Ski Club, a small club located about 40 minutes away in Astorville. The Wasi Ski Club has 43 km of ski trails, and 8 km of snowshoe trails that meander through a mix of hardwood and conifers. A day pass is $10pp.



The Ice Trail at Arrowhead Provincial Park has become one of the region’s most popular winter attractions and one of the province’s most sought after winter ‘bucket list’ experiences. The 1.3 km ice skating trail winds through the Muskoka forest where you'll be surrounded on all sides by snow-covered evergreen trees. It is an absolutely stunning sight and one that you won’t soon forget. The Ice Trail is a one hour drive from Deer Lake Wilderness Retreat.

Dog Sledding

The near north is known for its dog sledding adventures. Although dog sledding has received some bad press in recent years and some of them have shut down, the tour companies still in business are ethically run and the dogs are very happy. Sugar Dogs near Sundridge is 30 minutes away and comes highly recommended. 

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