Travelers looking to experience Northern Ontario this summer now have an additional incentive thanks to a pair of packages recently unveiled at The Killarney Mountain Lodge and Conference Centre. The property, located on the north shore of Georgian Bay about 4.5 hours from Toronto, has introduced two different offerings aimed at helping visitors connect with the outdoors and to be more mindful—particularly appealing after the year we've all had.
The 2.7-mile Lighthouse Trail, an easy hike that begins right in the property and takes hikers to the Killarney Lighthouse overlooking Georgian Bay.
The slightly more challenging, 2.2-mile Cranberry Bog Trail that skirts George Lake and provides plenty of opportunities for spotting wildlife.
The 4.4-mile Crack Trail that includes stunning views but a difficult finish of steep rocks and scrambles even for experienced hikers.
“Within the Killarney Mountain Lodge area, there are hundreds of hiking trails — we actually have two hiking trails that lead directly from our property,” says Shannon Ablitt, director of group sales for Killarney Mountain Lodge and Conference Centre.
The Hike and Stay package includes three nights and three meals per day and as many hikes as visitors can handle, with up to 40 percent off on select rooms and dates until June 30, 2021. The lodge can provide a packed lunch (including alcoholic beverages for those looking for a more relaxing stop during their outing).
The property’s concierge or activities manager can offer guidance to visitors in selecting which hike would be the best for their interests or skill levels, while hiking accessories can be purchased at Killarney Outfitters on property. Hikers can get navigational help using the AllTrails app as they go.
“It’s meant to be do-it-yourself, explore the surrounding nature,” says Ablitt. “I think people are just getting Covid fatigue and they’re interested in getting outside, but they know they can’t go too far.”
With restrictions likely requiring those in Ontario to stay close to home this summer, it also encourages those within the province to more fully explore their own backyard.
“This package is really great for maintaining social distancing,” says Ablitt. “That’s the beautiful thing about our property—there’s so much room to roam.
Once back from their outing, visitors can wind down with Killarney’s many resort amenities, including complimentary watercraft, heated pool, sauna or a massage session.
all-inclusive yoga packages (just bring your own ommmm)
On several weekends, the lodge will also offer yoga packages, covering three nights and three meals a day along with facilitated yoga sessions conducted by trained instructors. The package also includes group activities, such as wine tasting and hiking, as well as access to all of the property’s amenities. For example, Lore Wainwright, a yoga instructor based in London, Ontario, with 30 years of experience guiding groups in health and fitness, will be running a pair of sessions on Aug. 22–25 and Sept. 12–15. They will include morning yoga and meditation, daily hiking, and a culinary cooking experience at dinner.
“This particular combination of yoga and hiking is extraordinarily empowering as it literally takes your yoga practice of grounding self, balance, breathwork, meditation, strength and gratitude to mother earth's challenges of hiking in a spectacular way,” says Wainwright. “It literally translates what you do on a mat, to a rewarding, breathtaking supported hike that puts confidence in you and lets fear take a back seat.”
safe, fully-refundable in the event of new restrictions, and all-inclusive
She adds that the offer includes a full refund if travel is cancelled due to government restrictions, so travelers can feel confident when booking their spot.
“Additionally, a package that includes curated connection to a physical travel experience is safe, run by professionals,” says Wainwright. “A retreat like this leaves cooking and preparing up to someone else at a time where that is all we did for months on end.”
Ablitt emphasizes that the groups are kept to 20 people or less, both in order to ensure social distancing and so that the instructors can “maintain the intimacy in these groups.” These can be offered indoors in Killarney’s Granite Ridge room or Canada House—the property’s expansive new conference center that overlooks Georgian Bay—or at a number of outdoor areas around the lodge, including on its spacious dock.
Ablitt describes Killarney Mountain Lodge as a property “geared toward adventure” where “we want people to go out and experience the outdoors.” It’s a property designed to get visitors out of their usual routines and connected with their wider world—goals that seem to be a good fit during these often distressing times.
“We don’t offer TVs in the bedrooms for a reason,” says Ablitt. “We want people to come to Killarney Mountain Lodge to unplug.”