Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

October 23, 2017
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The kids are all rough

Why send them to summer camp when you can all go to a real wilderness lodge or ranch?

A TransCanada for wildlife

Treeline Lodge sits in the Central Barrenlands in the Northwest Territories, 250 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife. It’s fly-in — just getting there’s an adventure. Late August and early September are top viewing times for plant and animal life. The lodge overlooks Matthews Lake, with unlimited ground hiking and 16 kilometres of roads for wildlife viewing by vehicle or bike. Extensive eskers — high sand and gravel ridges — take hikers above the tundra and lakes. They’re game trails, too; animals use them as superhighways. Sit quietly for long enough, and you might see fox, caribou or a wolf. (867) 920-4330.

Chasing waterfalls

At the Three Bars Guest & Cattle Ranch in southeastern BC, kids get their own bathrooms and separate sleeping areas. Afternoon hikes can be easy for smaller kids, with boardwalks and handrails to the Marysville waterfalls, or more challenging for older youngsters, to Perry Creek waterfalls. There’s tennis and golf, an indoor pool and hot tub, and every ranch stay includes a river float trip. threebarsranch.com.

Very prairie

Schwab Simmentals south of Bengough, SK, operates as a B&B, but the family makes its main living ranching cattle. Take a walk in the nearby Big Muddy Valley; coulees (valleys) and craggy “hoodoos” (wind-sculpted sandstone monoliths) put to bed the fable that Saskatchewan’s flat. (306) 267-4554.

Horsing around

A professional horse-training ranch as well as a cattle ranch, Parkland Ranch near Inglis, MB, offers two-hour trail rides for newbies and kids, plus longer jaunts for more experienced riders. Older youngsters may be able to help round up the herd or work a cattle drive. parkland-ranch.com.

Survivor – for generation gaming

At Busted Boot Guest Ranch in Manitoba’s sandhills near the town of Holland, build bonfires and bunk in at the Outback cabin, where kids can construct their own shelters and chop their own wood. bustedbootguestranch.ca.

Bear with me kid

At Lake Wabatongushi north of Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Errington’s Wilderness Island Resort gives kids the chance to fish for walleye and northern pike. You can also hike or paddle. Wabatongushi covers 3000 hectares in the Chapleau Crown Game Preserve, a vast sanctuary where loons, bald eagles, moose and bears wander. You get there by floatplane or by hopping the Algoma Central Railway wilderness passenger train. wildernessisland.com.

Little house in Prince Edward County

For a well-rounded farm adventure even a toddler will love, mixed-farm operation Hollyhock Haven just outside Milford, ON, can have the kids gathering fresh eggs, bottle-feeding calves and lambs, and getting to know a full gamut of farm animals from goats to turkeys. There’s an in-ground pool, shaded porch, plus bicycles available for kids and grown-ups. pec.on.ca/hollyhockhaven.

Wear-the-kids-out watersports

In Quebec’s Laurentians, Mekoos Outfitters specializes in brook trout fishing and for families, kayaking, canoeing or riding on the pedal boat. The Lièvre River edges the lodge’s territory for more than 40 kilometres — seven kilometres of it rapids for whitewater rafting or kayaking. Kids too small for that? Try the beaches perfect for swimming and camping. Families can nestle into log-hewn cottages for the lodge’s July and August family vacation rate. mekoos.com.

Shepherds PEI

Springwater Farm on Prince Edward Island gets the kids feeding sheep, picking berries or learning more about agriculture. And there's lots of space to explore the fields and adjacent wooded trails. springwaterfarm.ca.

Courtesy of the Canadian Tourism Commission. The text has been modified from the original.

This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.

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