Inns Magazine Issue 3 Vol. 20 Great Escapes Fall 2016 - Page 16

For many, escape means cottage country. Water and woods. Rustic décor and hearty meals. Leisure time, indoors and out. Quiet conversation.

But the accompanying job jar and financial upkeep mean you’re never fully relaxed.

At Sunny Rock Bed and Breakfast, guests can get away from everything – without the work and worry.

Cottage country? Check. The seven-room property is nestled in Ontario’s Haliburton Highlands, a rugged wonderland wedged between Toronto and Algonquin Park, a 2,955 square mile nature preserve of moose and wolf howls and thousands of near-inaccessible lakes. The Highlands, named because the rolling terrain reminded Scottish settlers of home, is so picturesque that many know it without ever visiting: it attracted Canada’s iconic Group of Seven painters. Artists flock there still.

At Sunny Rock, water and woods are therefore a given. Guests savour the gentle Drag River from the giant windows of the sunroom. But the property neighbours a dam, so they’ll be lulled to sleep each night by the symphony of a waterfall crashing over giant boulders.

The property draws ospreys, beavers, white-tailed deer – and otters that play hockey on the frozen river each winter. “They bat a fish around just like a puck,” says Sally Moore who, with partner Jan Clarke, runs the lodging. “They’re fun to watch.”

Sunny Rock’s original log building, constructed in 1928 by a Finnish-Canadian tailor, has served vacationers most of its life. Sally and Jan bought it in the mid-1990s, expanded, but honoured their rustic surroundings. Beamed cathedral ceilings, knotty pine accents, picture windows that bring the outdoors in, antique furniture, books and board games throughout – all make for “an incredibly big cottage,” as Sally puts it. That’s reinforced with the guest kitchen’s supply of locally produced Kawartha ice cream and growlers of local craft beer.