Story Ideas

Canada’s incredible rustic lodges

From a cattle ranch to a cabin overlooking a private lake, discover some of the most beautiful places to rest your head in Canada

07 April 2016

Suggested tweet: The most incredible rustic lodges in Canada (that you can actually stay in!): #explorecanada

Want a unique perspective on life in Canada? Whether it’s a traditional “log cabin” or a Parks Canada oTENTik (a hybrid tent/cabin), the country’s rustic lodges are the perfect place to discover special stories, and to create some of your own.

North of Whitehorse in the Yukon, overlooking Dezadeash Lake sits Dalton Trail Lodge. The lodge is a superb place to fish for Arctic grayling, northern pike, lake trout, whitefish or burbot while appreciating the serenity of the wilderness. While a chef cooks your catch, you can head out to enjoy wildlife viewing, with bears, moose, and even lynx present in the area. The nearby Kluane National Park is also yours to explore.

British Columbia’s Emerald Lake Lodge in Yoho National Park recalls the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the 1880s. Canoe the turquoise lake or hike mountain trails before retiring to your log cabin. The classic main lodge is constructed of hand-hewn timber and boasts an oak bar from a 19th century Yukon saloon.

Alberta’s Skoki is a historic hike- or ski-in log cabin nestled in the alpine meadows of Banff National Park. Built in 1931, it’s Canada’s first back-country ski lodge, and was originally operated by the Ski Club of the Canadian Rockies. When you first set eyes on this cabin, you’ll quickly understand why it has stood the test of time.

Wannabe cowboys can grab their Stetsons and head out on a horse through the grasslands at Saskatchewan’s La Reata Ranch, a cattle ranch found south of Saskatoon. Proprietor George Gaber will match you to a horse that suits your skill level and then you’ll be off, listening to his tall stories while curlews sing their mournful calls. Afterwards, spin yarns with ranch hands at La Reata’s onsite, old-time saloon.

Churchill, Manitoba’s Tundra Inn offers a real northern Canadian experience. The informed staff is happy to explain daily life in a city where polar bears roam, and can help you set out on an adventure to find them (with the help of a provider like Frontiers North’s Tundra Buggy Adventures, of course). During your stay, don’t miss the Eskimo Museum’s fantastic collection of Inuit artifacts.

Ontario’s Upper Canada Village is a living pioneer village where every day is 1860. Visit an operating grist mill, attend a class at a pioneer school, and spend the night at the charming Montgomery House, a log residence with a full kitchen, wood stove and comfortable beds.

At Kenauk Nature in Quebec, experience real wilderness in a log cabin overlooking your own private lake. Every cottage has its own canoe, kayaks, and a rowboat from which you can fish. Listen to the laughter of Canada’s iconic loons, go for a swim, and watch sunrises and sunsets flood forested hills with magical light. Make sure to go on Kenauk’s Wilderness Adventure to see resident wild blonde bears.

For interesting accommodations throughout the country, stay in Parks Canada’s oTENTiks. These hybrid tent-cabins offer a more comfortable camping experience, with a sleeping area, a fire pit, Muskoka chairs and a barbecue and food preparation station.

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