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Author name: Hastings Insider

A Health and Wellness Staycation at Grail Springs Retreat Centre for Wellbeing

Coming here was a dream for us; our stay included all meals, morning yoga, evening workshops/seminars, afternoon snack and elixir, a guided tour of the grounds including a hike to their Crystal Crop, huge yoga/sun deck with lounge chairs, Muskoka chairs, swim raft, camp fire, unlimited use of: the thermal circuit (sauna, 98 degree thermal tub, 104 degree thermal tub, old plunge tub, Nordik shower bucket), canoe, paddleboat and SUP equipment, Sacred Labyrinth, Medicine Wheel, Prayer Tree, Volcanic Ash Healing Bed, and Trail of Dreams/hiking.

Great taste of Ontario logo

Culinary Tourism Alliance Launches Unique Recovery Program Promoting Hyperlocal Travel as Ontario Prepares to Welcome Back Visitors

The Great Taste of Ontario will help rebuild capacity in the food, tourism and hospitality sectors, while connecting Ontario residents with regions and experiences that are ready to safely receive them. Recovery Program to help Ontario’s culinary tourism and hospitality sectors build back better from the pandemic. Initiative involves +90 partners, including Destination Marketing Organizations …

Culinary Tourism Alliance Launches Unique Recovery Program Promoting Hyperlocal Travel as Ontario Prepares to Welcome Back Visitors Read More »

Front facade of the Maynooth General Store

The Monument of Maynooth

In the unassuming village of Maynooth, there’s a corner store that has stood tall for over a century. Upon first glance, the average passerby might not think anything special of it, but this landmark is oozing with history and its walls have stories to tell. Days ago, we had the chance to chat with the shop’s owner for the past 35 years, Carla Van Balen Walter, who tells us of the store’s peculiar past.

Red Dirt Skinners Band performing live

Talented musical duo Red Dirt Skinners Love Life in Hastings County

Sarah Skinner remembers the moment she knew Canada was meant to be her new home.She and her husband Rob had just finished a 12-date tour in 2015, performing as the Red Dirt Skinners, during an 18-day stint on Canadian soil. Between the warmth of the people, the gorgeous scenery, and what Sarah says were 12 …

Talented musical duo Red Dirt Skinners Love Life in Hastings County Read More »

Couple on a stage holding hands

Not Just Surviving, but Thriving

How Tweed & Company Theatre is Turning Flexibility into a Cultural Asset We all know that the past year has been an exceptionally slow time for Arts & Culture Organizations, with our local theatres being no exception.  The pandemic has destroyed live theatre’s ability to open its doors and welcome in the thousands of loyal patrons who would …

Not Just Surviving, but Thriving Read More »

Hastings County Birdwatching: Diverse, Undiscovered

Last week, we had the chance to catch up with two of Hastings County’s avid birdwatchers, Kyle Blaney and Tom Wheatley. They’ve both been birding in the area for several years, and in turn, have created their own unique and unforgettable experiences. Despite their separate paths, they both say the same thing: The birds of Hastings County are extremely diverse, and the next great birding location is here, just waiting to be discovered.

Co-owners, Cheryl Freeman and Chelsea Freeman, of Hidden Goldmine Bakery in Madoc, Ontario pose together behind the counter of their bakery with fresh baked goods on display around them.

Madoc’s Familial Goldmine

In the quaint community of Madoc lies a boutique bakery that cherishes carefully crafted, old-fashioned baking. Hastings County’s Hidden Goldmine Bakery is a family-owned business that has mastered traditional, preservative-free dessert recipes. Hidden Goldmine Bakery is run by the Freeman family, and they have successfully translated their family’s passion for baking into a rapidly growing …

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A man smiling standing in front of a decorated Christmas tree, wearing a grey zip-up sweater.

Hastings Trailblazer | Frost House

The joy and spirit of Christmas is alive and well in Tweed at a new holiday vendor market just opened for the season. Frost House, located on Jamieson Street in the village, welcomes customers with a vintage, old-fashioned Christmas vibe, with holiday music playing on a retro record player, antiques from Christmases of the past, and a vast array of local, handmade items.

Green-Illustrated-Traditional-Christmas-Greeting

How to spruce up your Christmas by shopping local

“For the times they are a’changin’” pretty much sums up the holidays this year. Although the Christmas holidays may look and feel different, given COVID -19 protocols, there’s no reason we can’t celebrate the season while also supporting local businesses. Hastings County has much to give, and that’s what the holidays are truly about. Be part of this year’s holiday giving by shopping locally.
From trees, one-of-a-kind gifts, turkeys, and more! When you support our businesses and artisans, you are gifting to the community.

title of the blog post on a piece of wood as a background

Your Hastings County Holiday Shopping Guide

It may not be the holidays as usual, this year, but there are still lots of ways to show your family and friends how much they mean to you. Now, more than ever before, retailers and service providers across Hastings County are opening up online shops or just making it easier for you to purchase from a distance.

So, whether you’re shopping for an outdoor adventurer, a gourmand, a serenity seeker, a naturalist, a creative, or a family, read on for 34 gift ideas.

Woman standing by the cafe counter

Be Remarkable

Print, Radio and TV were once the only options for advertisers. Each required a significant upfront budget that was out of reach for many small businesses. With the dawn of digital marketing – a whole new world of affordable possibilities has since opened up to small businesses to reach potential customers. But just because you can, doesn’t always mean you should…

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On-Demand Webinar: Digital Marketing Basics for Small Business

Since the start of this pandemic, it has become clear how important having a digital presence is for small businesses. But that doesn’t mean it needs to be expensive or complicated. Join Andrew & Katrina of Kasama Marketing in this FREE interactive webinar as they simply and clearly walk through some digital marketing tools and strategies that you can immediately apply to your business.

Aerial photo in the fall of the countryside in the Township of Carlow/Mayo in Hastings County, Ontario

Take in the Colours of Fall along the North Hastings Scenic Routes

There’s no better way to witness the true beauty of nature’s vibrant fall colours than a road trip through the countryside. With 13 routes to choose from you will find yourself meandering the countryside through large and untouched forests, and along river banks and water falls, while valley vistas and historic homesteads speckle the area.

Limerick Lake Ontario - boat in the lake

Limerick Lake Lodge and Marina

Limerick Lake is a unique body of water. Although it has 75 miles of shoreline, the entire lake has less than 160 cottages, many of which have been passed down through family generations since the 1920s and 1930s. The lake is quiet, pristine and mostly untouched, with no new builds since 1980. The reason? Limerick Lake is only accessible by boat.

brushes on top of paint cans with colorful paint splatters

Discover our local art studios, theatres, and more

The landscape, the history, the culture, the people; the authentic elements of Hastings uniquely inspire each stroke of a brush, influence the fine details of curation, and forge hot glass into intricate designs. South to North and East to West, there is a vibrant artisanal vein that runs through Hastings County, and we have mapped it out for you!

Madeline Marentette owner of Grail springs spa smiles for the headshot

Hastings Trailblazer | Grail Springs Retreat

Located just south of Bancroft, Grail Springs Retreat is quietly hidden among the trees, known as a place where guests experience holistic wellness getaways in the serenity and calm of nature.

“It was never in my wildest dreams to ever create something like this,” said Grail Springs founder Madeleine Marentette, adding she originally attended college with an eye for design – a passion that is quite obvious in the unique architecture of the buildings at Grail Springs.

Over time, however, Marentette’s interest in wellness and holistic healing grew. She began a journey learning about yoga, meditation and self-awareness. It was from those experiences that her retreat was cultivated.

The owner of Chris Live Bait, female Sandra Vanattan, standing in her store with some of the firearms they sell on-site in Marmora, Ontario.

Meet Sandra Vanattan, co-owner of Chris’ Live Bait

Ask Sandra Vanattan what she loves about living and working in a rural community and she’ll tell you in one word: “Everything.” It’s the personal relationships built with customers, the short commute to work, and the small-town ambiance that you can’t find in a larger city centre. Read more about why Sandra enjoys working and living in the rural community of Marmora & Lake, Ontario.

Image of canoes adjacent a river, Riverside Campground

Riverside Campground

Riverside is Ontario’s newest, members only, adult male gay camping destination. Celebrating their 10th season! This campground & RV park is situated on 96 beautiful and wooded acres, and is conveniently located halfway between Ottawa and Toronto in the Municipality of Tweed. riversidervcampground.com