Fall is by far my favourite season and one of the main reasons why are the beautiful changing leaves. Being a city girl, I usually admire the foliage from the Don Valley Parkway or Evergreen Brickworks. This year, on the long Thanksgiving weekend, my partner and I were treated to 2 night stay at an eco-friendly micro cabin near Frontenac Provincial Park from South Eastern Ontario! (https://thegreatwaterway.com ) We were REALLY going to experience an autumn forest at its peak!
I first found out about CabinScape through South Eastern Ontario. They’re a company that rents out 8 different micro cabins (anywhere from 120 sq feet to 168 sq feet) in the Canadian wilderness. Many of them back out onto picturesque forests, rolling farm acres or private lakes and rivers. What caught my interest the most was that they were all solar powered and eco-friendly. As someone who likes to travel as much as I can, I try to offset my carbon footprint anyway I can. This seemed like a really responsible long weekend getaway.
We were booked into the Penner Cabin, named after the beloved Canadian children’s TV show host Fred Penner (Cute!). After a 3 hour drive from Toronto, we pulled up to the cabin and were thrilled to see the view from our firepit. We had the most beautiful lookout point over Pearkes Lake, framed by bright yellow, orange and red leafed trees. It was so stunning we ended up lingering outside admiring the scenery before even checking out cabin we were so excited about.
After a few breaths of fresh air, we decided to investigate the cabin. It was 160 sq feet and suitable for 3 guests, or in our case, 2 people and a small dog (Dogs are welcome for an extra $25 a night!). There was bunk bed with a queen size bed on the bottom and a single on top. Each bed had windows at the head and side of the mattress so that the view of Pearkes Lake was never wasted. This also provided great natural light throughout the day, saving you having to use up the conserved power from the solar panels. (If there was ever a lack of sun and the panels couldn’t power the cabin, there was a generator you could run as a back-up outside. Candles are also provided for light at night)
There was a small kitchen complete with a fridge, 4 burner gas stove top, pots/pans with cutlery and a small fold down dining table. There was a sink for cleaning up that ran off water from the lake, but the fine people at CabinScape left a few gallons of drinkable water in a large jug for us.
There was also an indoor composting toilet and shower! We could only get cold water out of the shower, but it was still very nice to have, especially if you plan on being active in the area and want to clean off afterwards. We didn’t take it for granted!
The cabin boasted its own private deck with a BBQ and table and chair set. If you were to roll up the garage style window attached to the cabin overlooking the deck, it turned into bar style seating from the inside and was perfect for us to enjoy our breakfast over and get a little fresh air. It was very quaint and well laid out.
We enjoyed a fire each night and loved how clearly you could see the stars.
A huge bonus of the Penner Cabin was its location in Syndenham. We were a 15 minute drive into town (hello LCBO and Foodland!), a 10 minute drive to a great hike or two (Arab Lake and Doe Lake Trail) in Frontenac Provincial Park and a 2 minute walk to Frontenac Outfitters (www.frontenac-outfitters.com) where you can rent out kayaks, SUP boards and canoes to enjoy the lake! We were given two kayaks as a part of our weekend getaway and they were driven right up to the door of our cabin. It was very convenient and a short, doable walk down to the dock to push off.
The lake was very peaceful and pretty much private. The whole time we were there, we only saw a couple of men fishing out of a boat for an hour or two, but keep in mind, nearby the Penner Cabin are a few campsites for rent. They were all unoccupied when we were there, but if you visit during summer, you might have a few neighbours. All this means is that you may have to share the dock space and a few picnic tables by the lake, no big deal at all.
With the fall weather, it did get chilly at night. I would suggest bringing an extra comforter or having a glance through the house manual provided with instructions on how to operate the small heater situated in the kitchen. It’s easy enough and probably a must-do for the winter, as this is an all season’s cabin.
I enjoyed this getaway so much that I am already looking into other cabins to rent for next spring or summer. It was so nice to unwind in nature, with weak cell phone service and some much needed fresh air. It was very much a vacation for the mind and I felt a greater connection to my spouse and even my pup, Willie! Need a break like, too? Be sure to check out www.CabinScape.com . Book in advance to avoid disappointment!
Hey! I'm Sarah! A 30 something living in downtown Toronto with a great guy and an OK dog. I love seeing what my city has to offer and try to hit up as many fun events or attractions as I can! I haven't slept since 2004.