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Looking out the sky-facing windows behind my mezzanine bed, I can see Orion shining bright just above the quiet lake located about 110 metres from my mini-cottage at Lao Cabines in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. The room is toasty owing to the wood-stove down below, there’s not another cabin in my line of sight, and while stargazing from under the duvet, I don’t think about the pandemic. During these stressful times, there are isolated year-round spots across Canada where, when local travel restrictions allow, you can get away from it all for a weekend and find some true peace and quiet. Here, ideas to inspire that next getaway, whenever it may be.
Blachford Lake Lodge, Yellowknife
By using renewable energy sources, Blachford Lake Lodge minimizes its environmental impact in a setting where isolation is a piece of cake. The five log cabins are the perfect base camp for you to relax in between watching the swirling colours of the Northern Lights, sweating it out in a hand-built sauna and going on a hike to try and spot wildlife, such as red foxes, muskrat and maybe even the odd moose. Those who love fishing can also join the lodge’s fish management program to responsibly reel ‘em in using barbless hooks and fishing gloves.
The Cabins, Ucluelet, B.C.
Self-check-in and check-out at the Cabins gives guests maximum autonomy and makes physical distancing easy. Set amid lush rain forest along the rugged shore on the western side of Vancouver Island, the location offers plenty of spots to find your piece of peace, from secluded Terrace Beach to the Wild Pacific Trail. These pet-friendly cabins are great for families and couples alike, looking to explore the surrounding Broken Group Islands in Barkley Sound or walk all the way to the Amphitrite Point Lighthouse facing the open sea. Now, you just need to decide if you want serene views of the woods or the sound of crashing waves.
Mount Engadine Lodge near Canmore, Alta.
Yurts, glamping tents and cabins are available year-round at Mount Engadine Lodge, so you can wake up to sweeping views of the Rockies surrounded by meadows, no matter how rustic you want to get. In winter, spend your days snowshoeing on the myriad trails in the heart of Kananaskis Country, with the help of the lodge’s complimentary gear or paddle out on a kayak in the summer months. Then, have dinner delivered straight to your tent, cheer the day at sunset from an Adirondack chair on your cabin’s balcony or drift off to sleep in your yurt’s bunk bed.
Harness Adventure, Richer, Man.
At Harness Adventure, the adage of a trip being about the journey rather than the destination is all too fitting. Here, the getting-there in question consists of a two-hour dogsled ride, courtesy of a pack of eight enthusiastic huskies, which ends with them bringing you right to the door of your prospector tent, perfect for two. Once you’re settled in, you can light a fire in the wood stove, kick back on the queen-size bed surrounded by fairy lights and enjoy the sound of the crackling logs in the middle of the otherwise quiet forest.
Cabinscape, Multiple locations in Ontario
Cabinscape has a dozen comfy cabins peppered throughout Southern Ontario, designed to play host to two to four people. With locations on large private properties, wildlife reserves or adjacent to walking trails, you can pick how remote you want to get and whether you gaze out at a flowing stream or snowy conifers. The sleek and modern small structures both blend in and stand out in their natural surroundings, ready to greet guests after a meander through the forest into equally wood-clad, well-equipped interiors with plenty of windows that let the light pour in.
Lao Cabines, Racine, Que.
There’s everything you need and nothing you don’t stocked in Lao Cabines’ six beautifully designed, Scandinavian-inspired structures, built on a peaceful 66-acre property. From the solar-powered lights to the composting toilet, green is queen in these cabins that offer calming lake views. In snowy times, grab a crazy carpet before a three-kilometre walk to rushing cascades on the adjoining nature reserve – there are plenty of hills to let your inner kid take the sled reins – or if it’s a hot one, opt for floating on a paddle board. At day’s end, relax your muscles in a hot tub before lighting a fire in your private outdoor pit.
Treetop Haven, Mount Tryon, PEI
If you’re looking for a little something different, you should set your sights on Treetop Haven and its year-round tree pods named after the birds that call the surrounding forest home. The structures located just off the Craig’s Way trail are all-windows on one side to up your chances of wildlife sightings from the comfort of your own dome. These geodesic-shaped pods can sleep up to four or six people, are equipped with a full kitchen, living-room area and wraparound deck that has plenty of Adirondack chairs and a Jacuzzi to call your own.