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Highlands East: Yours to Explore

Situated on the Eastern side of Haliburton County, the Municipality covers 758 square kilometres with over 70 lakes and is the amalgamation of the Townships of Bicroft, Cardiff, Glamorgan and Monmouth as of 2001. The hamlets of Cardiff, Highland Grove, Wilberforce, Tory Hill and Gooderham are our settlement areas. Highlands East has a permanent population of approximately 2,700 and a seasonal population of roughly 13,000 with a total of 4,300 households.

If you are a visitor touring the Highlands for the first time, you will be struck by the singular beauty of its landscapes and the authenticity of its people and surroundings. Home of the Geocaching Capital of Canada, Ontario’s Premier Plein-Air Art Festival, The National Heritage Site of the First Red Cross Outpost in Ontario, Silent Lake Provincial Park and so much more, you will no doubt come to understand why it is referred to as “A Hidden Gem to Discover”.

Whether you enjoy fishing, hunting, swimming, boating, ATV-ing, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, horseback riding, motorcycling, walking, cycling, curling, hockey, figure skating, arts tours, country fairs, heritage sites, old country stores, rare mineral tours, live theatre productions, craft sales, churches, volunteer events or a farmer’s market for the homegrown, we have it all. Check the events section for the latest happenings.

Five camps in the area offer a wealth of programs for leadership training, family oriented programs and children's activities.

Day trips can include but are not limited to Heritage Sites, Ghost Towns, Old School Houses, Sculptures or a Studio Arts Tour. You can step back in time and visit three old General Stores, or feast your eyes and indulge in a sensational day trip throughout the area.

There is no place like Highlands East for the fall colours. Plan a mini holiday or attend one of our events. Check out our lodgings, campgrounds, cottage rentals and restaurants. You won’t be disappointed. All of the seasons offer a beauty of their own.

Those interested in genealogy can visit the old Kidd Schoolhouse on Loop Road in Highland Grove and our cemeteries, including the Pioneer Cemetery in Gooderham.

Cardiff

This mining town was built in the 1950’s. The hamlet entrance, located off HWY 118, features a large dragon fly sculpture, probably the largest in Canada. It has a Municipal Office/Public Library, Post Office, Fire Hall, Community Centre, Legion, General Store/Liquor Outlet/Restaurant, Public School and two Churches. Cardiff has a public in-ground pool and offers swimming lessons during the summer. With over 200 homes, it is our only hamlet with full municipal water and sewer.

Highland Grove

Highland Grove is home to an active community centre and library. Local activities and projects are sponsored by the Recreation Committee and The Schoolhouse Historical Society. Today, as you drive through the hamlet, you will find the Stone Grove Antiques Shop, an Outreach Centre, Community Centre, Fire Hall and a Catholic Church.

Wilberforce

This picturesque hamlet is nestled on the shores of Pusey Lake (commonly referred to as Dark Lake) has plenty to offer. Wilberforce is home to the first Red Cross Outpost in Ontario which is now a National Heritage Site, the Wilberforce Agricultural Fair, Ontario’s Premier Plein Air Festival and is the Geocaching Capital of Canada.

Wilberforce has many amenities including a Foodland, LCBO, Scotiabank, restaurant, pharmacy, gas station, general store, Royal Canadian Legion, public school, Library, Medical Centre, a non-profit housing complex, Fire Hall, many churches, boutiques, a Curling Club, Arena, tennis and basketball courts, a ball diamond and a large Community Centre with a public park ideal for weddings, reunions etc.

Tory Hill

You will find this hamlet on the shore of McCue Lake and the intersection of HWY 118 and County Road 503. Its location makes for the best fall colours in area, with views for miles. Once a booming village, it has some rare finds. The Tory Hill United Church is now a private residence, home to Artech Glass Studio; there is also Highlands East Nursery (where perennials and trees are grown for the area) and the Rideau Docks. At the Tory Hill Park you can access the multi use IB&O Rail Trail that either takes you to Gooderham or to Wilberforce.

Gooderham

This hamlet is home to a Community Centre and a large park with the Burnt River passing through it, a play ground, tennis and basketball court, horseshoe pits, outdoor skating rink, Municipal Office and Post Office. There is an LCBO, General Store, a Gas/Service Station, two Restaurants, Butcher Shop and TimBr Mart Building Supplies. This community has a very active volunteer group where funds raised are given back to the community for worthy causes and projects.