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Ontario Getaway: Teepee (Tipi) & Yurt Edition

Ontario Getaway: Teepee (Tipi) & Yurt Edition

Found a last minute opening to stay at The Buffalo Farm Tipi Thursday evening and decided it would be a good idea to pack my bags and spend a weekend in Northern Ontario in -5C weather!

The Experience: The Buffalo Farm

The Buffalo Farm is a beautiful 500 acre eco-farm situated on the northern cusp of Algonquin Park near Mattawa Ontario. Three unique, hand-crafted structures are available to book all year round - The Buffalo Farm Tipi, The Algonquin Yurt and the Buffalo Suite Yurt.

Weekend spots seem to fill up quickly so I would recommend planning in advance. I was lucky to find a last minute opening!

Winter Tipi Experience

The custom-built 18 foot tipi sits at the edge of Amable du Fond River with views of the river and forest. Once you step in, there is a wood burning stove in the center with a double bed directly behind it covered in flannel sheets and cozy duvets.

Useful Information / What to Expect

  • Getting here: 4 - 4.5 hour drive from Toronto

  • Accommodates: The Tipi is best suited for two adults and up to two children and tents can be pitched beside the tipi to accommodate larger numbers.

  • Warmth: In the winter, expect to wake up every 1 - 3 hours to feed the wood burning stove.

  • Washroom (something I did not think about): There is a wooden hand-crafted outhouse by each of the accommodations

  • Cooking: You’ll be cooking either on the wood burning stove inside or outside over an open fire

  • Water: You will be supplied pure clean water in jugs - no need to bring!

  • Light: It is pretty dark in the tipi at night, even with a couple of candles lit and our headlamps on. I would recommend bringing some extra camping lanterns (no gas lanterns)! They may also have extras if you ask them

  • Electricity / Wifi: None but you will still have signal

  • Cleaning: You’ll be cleaning all cookware in a wash basin with the water supplied in the water jugs and soap (provided)

  • Garbage: Please take all garbage with you

  • Dogs: Allowed!

What was supplied by The Buffalo Farm:

  • Warmth & Light

    • Bedding, duvet, blankets, pillows  

    • Wood + axe

    • A few candles

  • Cooking & Eating

    • Cooking grills

    • Cast Iron Pots

    • Tea Kettle

    • Plates, Bowls, Mugs

    • Cutlery (forks, butter knife, cutting knife)

    • Cork screw

  • Cleaning & Other

    • Paper towel, Cloths and soap

    • Antique Wash Basin

    • Toilet paper

    • Picnic basket

    • Bear bin for food

What to Pack (specifically for winter):

  • Clothing:

    • Layers, layers, layers for clothing - Uniqlo Heattech leggings and shirt were real lifesavers on this trip!  

    • Wool socks + extras

    • Scarf, hat, mittens, ear muffs

    • Shoes: Boots, Slippers

  • Food Ideas:

    • Breakfast: Eggs, bacon, soup

    • Lunch: Baked potatoes fully loaded, sausages, corn

    • Dinner: Steak, lamb chop, asparagus

    • Snacks: Chips, Popcorn, Prosciutto, Cheese

  • Beverage Ideas:

    • Wine, Beer

    • Hot Cocoa, Marshmallows, Skewer sticks

    • Apple Cider and cinnamon sticks

    • Coffee, Tea

  • Other cooking:

    • Salt, Pepper, Oil, other condiments

    • Butter

    • Tongs, spatula

    • Oven mitt

  • Entertainment

    • Books & Kindle

    • Board games, cards

    • Notebook, sketch pad, writing utensils

    • Portable chargers

    • Camera

  • Other

    • Camping Lanterns (no gas lanterns)

    • Extra blankets or scarves if you get cold easily

    • Matches, Lighter

    • Kindle / Firestarter

    • Baby wipes / makeup wipes

    • Hand sanitizer

    • Garbage bags

What to do in the area:

There are many excursions to choose from to explore and enjoy the surrounding wilderness!

  • Animal sanctuary on the farm to see the rescued horses and young buffalo

  • Explore the picturesque nearby town of Mattawa

  • Eau Claire Gorge

    • Perfect for: Hiking

  • Samuel De Champlain

    • Perfect for: Hiking with scenic views (great for fall foliage)

  • Algonquin Park

    • Perfect for: Hiking, Camping, Canoeing, Kayaking, Swimming, Fishing

  • Ice Fishing

  • Amable du Fond River (in front of the tipi) with white sand beaches:

    • Perfect for: Picnicking, swimming, canoeing (available to rent)

  • Lake Kioshkowi - Only a few minute drive from the farm

    • Perfect for: Fishing, Swimming, Canoeing, Kayaking, Beach

You can rent snowshoes from the farm - we didn’t need them during late November

Other Tipi / Yurt Options in Ontario

If you are interested in a similar experience but The Buffalo Farm is booked up or too far, here are a couple other options to consider:

Overall, it was a unique experience and I would recommend it to someone who is interested in an adventurous rustic weekend getaway. It is the perfect escape to take some time away from the city to spend some quality time with a loved one or alone.

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