By Emily Stonehouse
The Hike Haliburton Winter Edition is ready to hit the ground running. After a hiatus due to the pandemic, the winter version of the popular community event will be hosted by the County of Haliburton on Feb. 4 and Feb. 5, 2023.
Tracie Bertrand, the manager of tourism for the county, shared her excitement about the upcoming festival, noting that the winter version of Hike Haliburton is a valuable tool for marketing Haliburton Highlands as a destination throughout the shoulder seasons. “Hiking can be done all year round and with over 2000 kms of trails, the festival helps us to showcase why Haliburton Highlands should be the first choice for hiking and outdoor adventure all year long!” Bertrand said.
In September 2022, the Hike Haliburton Festival took an alternative approach to the traditional festival, adding purchasable events and experiences so participants can broaden their adventure while supporting the tourism stakeholders. This design will be applied to the winter edition of the festival as well. Bertrand said that the response to this format from participants and businesses alike was “incredibly positive.”
Bertrand has been focused on creating the Haliburton Highlands as a destination that is desirable and unique. Following the Destination Management Plan (DMP) that was completed last year, Bertrand identified that the Hike Haliburton Festival is a great opportunity to showcase the highlights of the community. “[With] over 600 lakes and 2000 kms of trails, along with the incredible variety of guided experiences, live music performances, vast array of culinary choices, the creative and natural spirit that exists in everything we love to do, and the incredible options to ‘stay’ and enjoy more than one day in the Highlands is what sets us apart from other destinations,” she said.
With the Hike Haliburton Winter Edition, the opportunity to showcase the community to visitors extends beyond the traditional summer season. Bertrand noted that tourism is the primary driver for economic prosperity in the region, and any opportunity to promote the destination of the Haliburton Highlands should be utilized to offset the challenges that arise during shoulder seasons.
Bertrand noted that this is a community-driven event, and not only does it highlight the best trails of the area, it also showcases the characters and knowledge of the county. “We couldn’t do this without the amazing community-based volunteers and tourism stakeholders, we are so grateful for this wonderful community!” Bertrand said.
Registration for Hike Haliburton is now open. Additional information can be found at www.hikehaliburton.com.