A blissfully peaceful off-the grid rustic cabin retreat, two hours north-west of Toronto, with the Bruce Trail on its doorstep. No hydro. Freedom from gizmos. Back to basics. A unique experience!
Winter is coming! For those who have already stayed at my spot or those looking for a truly memorable winter adventure, here’s the updated nitty-gritty. Once the snow flies the road to my lovely retreat is not serviced. It becomes a gorgeous snowmobile, sled run or hiking road down through heavenly winter wonderland.
What you do when you arrive is to park at my family farm at the top of the hill and trek down the road, about 5 minutes, with your personal stuff in a backpack. I will have warmed the place up with both the propane heater and a blazing fire.
Another key detail is the water system will be frozen. Thus, while I will have provided your first water supply, you need to bring buckets of water for kitchen and bathroom from the lovely spring-fed stream just a step outside the door. This routine definitely puts you in a camp-style pioneer spirit.
It is a very memorable experience, being truly in the heart of winter glory.
The cabin is located in the woods down a picturesque little-travelled gravel road, behind a high wooden gate that reminds some visitors of Narnia and Tolkien. Others call it Shangri-la.
The stream gushing alongside the cabin sounds divine, and there’s a sunny deck with a charming vista of the pond and wooded hills beyond.
You can also enjoy the view from the large picture window in the living room, while sitting by a cosy evening fire.
The cabin is a lovingly personalized art-filled retreat that’s a perfect spot for two, but can accommodate up to six. There’s a snug nook called the Sauna Lounge and Bar where you can sip a cocktail and gaze out at the woods backlit at sunset. The lounge doubles as a second bedroom, with a queen-sized bed. There’s a bunkroom if you are doing the family thing, as well as a pull-out sofa in the living room. The master bedroom has large windows with vistas on three sides.
As an off-the grid spot there is cell phone reception. But after dark LED potlights, candles and flashlights are provided, and essential.
The spring stream-fed water system is limestone filtered and provides delicious drinking water, but no hot water, thus camp-style boiling of water for dish-washing and shower is required. The bathroom has a flush toilet, flushed in winter with a bucket. There's a new propane stove and fridge in a well-equipped kitchen, and a propane BBQ on the deck.
The cabin, as indicated on the map, is half way down Campbell's Hill Rd., a steep gravel road, leading down into the Beaver Valley. The fire code # is 466286.
The turn-off down Campbell's Hill Rd. is left off Grey Rd 13, 2 kms north of the village of Eugenia.
Your host will be there to greet you and explain all the fine points. Once you settle in, she will be only five minutes away and reachable by phone/text in case you need anything. Otherwise your seclusion is total.
No neighbourhood. How perfect!
Five minutes away up the hill in the village of Eugenia at a store called Top O' the Rock, you can buy liquor and basic food supplies. There's another store called Jable's, and also an excellent restaurant bar open on weekends, The Flying Chestnut.
Make a point of visiting Eugenia Falls in the village, a beautiful gorge in a cedar grove.
The town of Markdale with a full supermarket is a lovely cross-the-valley 20 minute drive. Lake Eugenia where you can put a boat in the water and swim is five minutes away by car.
The cabin is literally on the Bruce Trail, but many other access points to the Trail are close by, including the magestic Old Baldy walk, in May full of trillium carpets. In winter Beaver Valley Ski Club for downhill skiing is also very close.
A car is essential to get there. After that hiking is the thing.
Your host would love to know something about you in your email reservation request.
Given this is a highly personal space, there are art objects and ceramics that your host trusts you will totally respect, as she has no desire to de-personalize a space she uses herself.
Great care in the use of candles, fireplace and fire pit is also extremely important. A fire is the last thing anyone wants. Except burning merrily in the right controlled spot.
Pets are fine. But dogs need to be kept under control and cleaned up after. Smoking outside.
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I'm an artist/traveller/adventurer with many creative modes of expression. One of them is making radio documentaries for CBC Radio's Ideas.
Another has been shaping nature-surrounded spaces that are a light-filled joy to live in. That's what I hope you will find in this city space of mine, if you care to come.