Riverside Retreat

Riverside Retreat

The Drag River meanders in Haliburton County from Canning Lake to the north for a few short kilometres south to where it joins the Burnt River. Surrounded by white pine, balsam fir, cedar and birch trees, the area is home to a range of wildlife. And two acres on the Drag River is where author Ruth E. Walker has cottage property that is open to private retreats, May to late September.

Escape to write in The Rustic

The knotty pine ceiling, walls and floors in the open-concept 600 sf building inspired the name. It may be “rustic” but it has a full kitchen (fridge, propane stove, microwave, coffee maker, kettle, dishes and utensils), propane furnace and 3-piece bathroom with a charming clawfoot bathtub. Bed linens and towels are provided.

Gazebo overlooks the river
Harvest table

The large pine harvest table is ideal for spreading out materials while working on projects. An outdoor deck and attached screened gazebo offer lovely views of the river; on cool or rainy days, the screened front porch is a great alternative.

Patio doors to the deck

Sleep on the queen-sized memory foam mattress of the comfortable sofa bed; settle into a rocking chair to read, reflect or write.

While there’s no cell phone signal, limited WiFi is available and there’s a landline with a Canada/US-wide calling plan. Library branches in Minden and Haliburton Village have high-speed internet access, as do local coffee shops.

The Workshop bunkie sleeps 2

The Workshop is a charming insulated bunkie with a writing desk, dresser, double bed and 1860s handcrafted single bed. The 15 x 20 foot building is finished in tongue & groove knotty pine with a “workshop themed” décor. Bathroom facilities are located a short walk away in The Rustic but a nicely finished outdoor privy is a nearby option.

Ruth’s personal cottage, The Cozy, is right next door should you have any questions or need assistance. She’ll be “in residence” and working on her own material during the times The Rustic is available for retreats.

Haliburton is Nature’s Work of Art

View from Rail Trail bridge
Rail Trail over the Drag River

Haliburton County is home to lakes, rivers and diverse wetlands nestled among forested highlands and meadows and valleys. Walking and hiking trails, ATV and snowmobile trails, parks, campgrounds and towns and villages offer plenty of activities for all four seasons. #MyHaliburtonHighlands

Lazy river ride to Milburn Bridge

Riverside is 15 minutes from the town of Minden, 25 minutes from Haliburton Village and 75 minutes from Algonquin Park. Two hours from the east end of the GTA, the property is mostly level with a gentle slope to the river. There are three steps up to the front porch of The Rustic and access remains at that level for the interior.


An onsite firepit, BBQ, floating tubes for a lazy river ride, and various outdoor and indoor games are available for use.

Choose a self-directed retreat:

  • use of The Rustic
    • $325/weekend +HST (Friday noon to Sunday 4 p.m.)
    • $495/week +HST (Friday noon to Thursday 4 p.m.)
  • use of The Rustic and The Workshop bunkie
    • $475/weekend +HST
    • $645/week +HST
  • additional person $75/weekend & $150/week +HST (maximum 3 people)
  • $100 deposit in advance serves as a security deposit & is refunded after the end-of-stay inspection

Choose a supported retreat with the following options:

  • 1-hour consultation/feedback sessions $40 +HST (includes reading/review of material)
  • other supports such as daily writing prompts and/or accountability check-ins, coaching can be negotiated
  • informal/impromptu visits with Ruth no charge

Send queries to info@writescape.ca. Include preferred dates as some dates are not open for booking.

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