Buckhorn - At the Edge of the Shield

Peter Stephenson

Posted on September 13 2018

Buckhorn "At the Edge of the Shield. Situated on the shoreline of the Kawartha Lakes where the rugged Canadian Shield meets the more southerly expanse of limestone bedrock. This transition zone results in a rich diversity of geological land forms and natural habitats - a naturalist's delight..." That's what the information sign by the locks tells you and wow, is it ever accurate.

Located only 30 minutes north of Peterborough, Buckhorn is by far one of our favourite places to visit, and for good reason! Beautiful landscapes, accommodating people and some wonderful local businesses all combine to make Buckhorn a truly unique community within the Kawarthas. I've always felt that Buckhorn is the gateway to the north. Once there, you're just north of the amenities and hustle and bustle of Peterborough and just on the edge of the Canadian Shield and the roads that can take you up to Algonquin and beyond. And while you're only a shirt drive away from Fenelon Falls, Bobcaygeon and Lakefield, there's so much to keep you from wanting to go anywhere.

Where do we even begin? Well, a good place to start is always with one of Lindsay and my favourite things in the world...wine!

Kawartha Country Wines

Located just north of "the lights" on County Road 36, Kawartha Country Wines primarily makes red and white wine, fruit wine and cider (their Lemonade Cider is amazing!

Want to try something? They offer a very generous complimentary sampling of most of their products, often done by the owner, John Rufa himself!

A true Canadian experience, the wine making facilities, tasting room and gift shop are housed in a restored log cabin built in 1866 complete with the original square hewn logs and pine floors. Surrounded by 22 scenic acres, the land is planted to apples, pears, several varieties of raspberries, rhubarb and both red and white wine grapes and stately maple trees!

Lindsay and I fell in love with more than a few of their offerings. All I can say is that if a bottle says "Lime", "Pumpkin", "Black Currant" or any other variety of fruit or spice, that's exactly the natural flavour that you're going to experience. Worth the trip!

It's really something special to have a product that comes straight from the local land. And speaking of local land, you'll have to check out...


Adam & Eve Rocks!

I'm a bit of a geology nut so seeing these two massive rocks and knowing their history was pretty astounding. Plus we couldn't pass up the chance to get a little good luck on your side!

If exploring the natural beauty of an area is your thing, or if you just like having a really good time then you'll enjoy..



Also just north of "the lights" in Buckhorn is an amazing spot to river tube in Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park

Bring your own tube and gently float down the the Mississauga River until the slight drop off which is perfect for swimming. The ride down takes about 25 minutes but the walk back along the rocky path takes only 8 minutes, so it's really perfect for all ages.

Buckhorn is a town that Lindsay and I are seriously considering moving to and as much as we love the outdoors, having a strong community is something that we feel passionate about. This is why we've been so impressed with the...


I have a certain connotation that comes along with community centres. Great for kids and seniors but not something that I would usually be too interested in at this stage in my life. With that being said, I never want to leave this place. I really can't put it into words, but I'll try. It has everything that you want and more. It's an impressive building, surrounded by an impressive landscape that hosts a myriad of... well impressive activities.

Everyone that I've spoken to in the community raves about it. Whether you're interested in art, culture, fitness or community engagement, there is constantly an event or a class going on. And on top of that, they host some very impressive larger scale attractions like the Buckhorn Fine Arts Festival which I had the pleasure of attending for the first time this year.

You have what seems like over a hundred astounding artists from all over Canada who set up shop in a format that really...well, cool. There's live music, drinks being served, waiters walking around with delicious apps and really so much more. I had no idea what to expect and no idea what I had been been missing. If you have the chance to go next year, I would highly recommend adding this to your calendar, it's just a spectacular night out. 

What I love about Buckhorn is that it's changing, but in a way that I feel is great for the community and in a way the community deserves. I can't comment on the history of Buckhorn and the wonderful businesses that have come and gone, but what I can comment on is the truly remarkable people that have chosen to invest their money, their time and their hearts into the community. A shining example of this is the pretty much brand new...


Lock Stop Cafe

I am pretty much the farthest from a picky eater or drinker that you can have. That being said, unfortunately over time I've become very particular when it comes to two things, beer and coffee. This is why I was pleasantly surprised when I stopped by Lock Stop Cafe. I shouldn't even really say surprised, from the outside it looks like a place that you'd find great coffee and delicious baked goods, I just didn't realize how good! 

I was lucky enough to speak to the owner while I was there and you couldn't ask for a kinder person to be behind the counter. Their staff is amazing, their food is unbelievable (I bought Lindsay a scone...speechless), and the spot is fully realized and relaxing from the moment you walk through their doors.

They are also selling these beautiful ornaments where all of the proceeds go to the Buckhorn Publican School. I bought one for Lindsay as a surprise and as I have no doubt that she'll be reading what is my very first solo blog post...I've hidden it with our camping gear!

Before I get into one of the things that I love the MOST about Buckhorn and the Kawarthas, I did want to mention some of the places that we were not able to visit for this post but did want to highlight.

Lock 31. If you know the Kawarthas, then you know the Trent-Severn waterway. There's something about sitting with an ice cream and just watching the boats go by.  

Who said Ice Cream? No better place than Mariloo's!

The Cody Inn. We WILL be doing a post on them. Everyone who's been here knows one simple truth...it has the BEST CHINESE FOOD! They close for the winter but open again just for New Year's...good luck getting an order in!

Best patio in town award goes to Mainstreet Landing. Just an excellent place to enjoy a meal. 

The Olde Ice House. Again, it's just one of those places where you will feel at home in the moment you walk through the doors.

I love the town statue. Welcome to the Kawarthas!

Buckhorn Canoe Company. Another place that will one day get their own post. They build and restore canoes to purchase and/or to rent. Incredible to see hand made boats still being made locally.

 The last two places that I want to highlight are truly two of my favourites. The first is...


Style Your Nest

These are the places that Lindsay and I love to visit. Here you will find Buckhorn, Kawartha and cottage focused goods. We love stores like this where every time you visit, you will find something new to pickup.

They are also the first store that has been kind enough to pick up our Kawartha Apparel. So if you're looking to try some items on or to see them in person, we highly recommend the visit to Buckhorn!

Which brings me to one of my favourite things about Buckhorn. I've been raving about this place for YEARS and turning people on to it one slice at a time...


Pizza Alloro

Ok, I said that I was picky about beer & coffee, well Lindsay is an impeccable judge of good pizza, and WOW!

Words just don't do this pizza justice. I said that the Cody Inn was known for Chinese Food. Pizza Alloro makes unbeatable pizza. Their pizza is so good that they are one of the few places that stays open year round. A wonderful supporter of the community teamed by the kindest staff you could ask for.

Seriously, this is world class pizza.

So there you have it. Our visit to Buckhorn! We covered a lot but there's still so much more to explore! Thank you for reading and don't forget that we donate a portion of every sale from out website to the Kawartha Land Trust to help ensure that this amazing land stays that way.


Ok, now I'm off to get some pizza!




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