While travelling is not recommended for the moment, those planning a pandemic getaway later this fall might want to consider a new eco-retreat near Toronto.
Glen Oro Farm in Simcoe County offers both horseback trail rides and glamping accommodation in a forested landscape with Oro Mountain as a backdrop.
Three "stargazer" geodesic domes and three "explorer’s tents" are recent additions to the 200-acre farm, which dates back to 1841, said Luke Sedgwick, chief experience officer for Glen Oro. Sedgwick’s mother, Leslie Saila, owns the property and runs an equestrian event centre on the farm.
An avid traveller, Sedgwick, first stayed in a geodesic dome in Joshua Tree, California in 2017 and wanted to bring a similar experience to the farm as he hadn’t seen one in the area.
He describes the explorer tents as "a classic, nostalgic glamping set-up."
The design of the facility happened pre-COVID-19 but it offers a perfect socially distant experience with the domes and tents spaced far apart.
"It is enough to make you feel like you in the wilderness and nature but not so much that you are on your own," he said.
The domes are in the forest with a view of the stars and tree canopy.
"The lighting at night is awesome."
In the daytime, there are hiking opportunities in the neighbouring Simcoe Forest and canoeing or swimming in Bass Lake. There is also skiing in the winter.
The eco-retreat opened to the public in September. Sedgwick said they are working on wood stoves for heating, which should make them available year-round.
Visitors can choose a daytrip for horseback riding (reservations are needed) or combine both glamping and riding. As an outdoor, socially distancing activity, the horseback riding has been popular this year.
"With COVID, I think people want to get out of the city and have somewhere safe to go," he said.
The price tag for the glamping dome is steep, at more than $300 night, but Sedgwick said it is a luxury experience.
Future plans include more glamping domes and tents, a yoga studio and a guest services facility. The site is also booking for weddings in 2021.
by Karen Longwell via blogTO
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