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!
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
What was supplied by The Buffalo Farm:
Warmth & Light
Bedding, duvet, blankets, pillows
Wood + axe
A few candles
Cooking & Eating
Cast Iron Pots
Plates, Bowls, Mugs
Cutlery (forks, butter knife, cutting knife)
Cleaning & Other
Paper towel, Cloths and soap
Antique Wash Basin
Bear bin for food
What to Pack (specifically for winter):
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
Breakfast: Eggs, bacon, soup
Lunch: Baked potatoes fully loaded, sausages, corn
Dinner: Steak, lamb chop, asparagus
Snacks: Chips, Popcorn, Prosciutto, Cheese
Hot Cocoa, Marshmallows, Skewer sticks
Apple Cider and cinnamon sticks
Salt, Pepper, Oil, other condiments
Books & Kindle
Board games, cards
Notebook, sketch pad, writing utensils
Camping Lanterns (no gas lanterns)
Extra blankets or scarves if you get cold easily
Kindle / Firestarter
Baby wipes / makeup wipes
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)
Perfect for: Hiking, Camping, Canoeing, Kayaking, Swimming, 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:
Nomadic Canvas Teepee: Two options - a 16 foot teepee and a 20 foot teepee
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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