Being able to go off-the-grid isn't just a concept but is a life-changing experience that I encourage you to try for your upcoming trip. This Nature's Harmony review that covers the eco-lodge and Mongolian yurt glamping shows you why you need this in your life.
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Nature's Harmony Eco-Lodge Review
There aren't many places like this in Ontario which is why this might be one of the best-kept secrets of the province.
Having had the opportunity to stay in their Mongolian yurt, let's do a deep dive into what the accommodations are like, the ground's offerings, and activities that you can do here if you plan on coming here in the summer.
This is my Nature's Harmony review and why you should consider it for a getaway from the city.
About Nature's Harmony
Nature's Harmony Eco-Lodge was born out of sheer passion from its owners Jen and Tzach. They live on the property with their kids and dogs and their personalities are very much woven into what they've built.
Taking their passion for travel and wanting to live a green lifestyle, they took their “no regrets” motto and turned their dreams into a reality by converting 485 acres of land into a space that others could also connect with the outdoors.
Nature's Harmony is located just north of Mattawa, Ontario (more specifically the township of Mattawan) and is close to the Ottawa River which means it's near the border of Ontario and Québec with prime views of the Laurentian Mountains.
For those of you coming from Toronto, driving up to Mattawan is just a little over 4 hours. From Ottawa, it's 3.5 hours.
When you pass the entrance of Nature's Harmony, you lift away the weight of everyday life and enter a green oasis where adventures await. They are certainly one of the top things to do in Canada.
Booking and check-in process
The Mongolian yurt gets booked out pretty quickly for all seasons in the year so it's a good idea to lock dates in once you're ready.
To book, the easiest way is to download the Joya Travel & Lifestyle app (iOS/Android) and manage your booking through there. You'll see which dates are available, communications with the host, and manage payment all in one spot.
Book the Mongolian Yurt
Use the Joya Travel & Lifestyle app to book the Mongolian yurt at Nature's Harmony.
In terms of the check-in process, it's pretty simple as the owners are pretty easy-going.
Since full payment is made at booking, you just need to let them know when you'll be arriving and they'll be able to greet you at their home which is right in the middle of the property.
You'll receive an orientation of the property and after that you'll be lead to your yurt.
Once you're settled in, remember to head back to the owner's house to grab lifejackets and buy firewood (if you didn't bring your own).
A firewood bundle (good for roughly 2 nights) is $6 CAD. Lifejackets and use of all water equipment is free.
A look at Mongolian yurt glamping
This eco-lodge in Ontario has many accommodation options available including several chalets, glamping tents, and traditional camp sites but personally, their Mongolian yurt is my favourite.
If you've read our piece on yurts in Ontario, you'll know that this is one of the few options available that aren't the standard ones offered by Parks Ontario. This one's got style, character, comforts, and above all else, privacy.
So here's what you can expect staying at Nature's Harmony's Mongolian yurt.
The Mongolian yurt is located at the end of the accommodations area of the eco-lodge and as a result, is very quite, secluded, and quiet.
You're able to drive right in with enough space to park 2 cars comfortably but could fit more if needed.
The yurt is perched on higher ground and flanked by a compost-toilet and gazebo.
Further below from the yurt is an area with the fire pit and two hammocks.
The sound isolation is really good here as we didn't hear a peep from any of the other sites nearby.
To the right of the yurt is a zipped up gazebo where you'll find a picnic bench with table cloth over it, and another food preparation table with a portable propane double stove, kettle, cutting board, dish washing buckets, soap, and tea towels.
Inside the gazebo you'll also find two giant jugs of water from a natural spring nearby. The water is good enough for washing and drinking.
While we preferred to eat by the campfire, this is an alternative “dining room” and it's handy to be able to store things you'll need while cooking on the grill. The netted gazebo is also great to keep mosquitoes out.
Just outside of the gazebo and next to the yurt is a propane BBQ that comes with all the grilling accessories you need.
For an off-the-grid yurt, I didn't expect this to have its own private bathroom but it indeed does.
To the left of the yurt is a eco-toilet that's simply powered by compostable peat moss.
In the cute, heart-stamped outhouse, is surprisingly cosy complete with carpeted floor, garbage bin, toilet paper, dustpan, and hand sanitizer.
The way the compost toilet work is that after you're done your business, you take a cup of peat moss from the bucket and pour over the toilet.
It's simple but you'll love that you have your own private one since the communal one is quite the walk away.
This is main attraction and it does not disappoint.
Built in Mongolia and assembled right at Nature's Harmony, this is a unique looking tent that I can only describe as a minified circus top but with a skylight in the centre and a beautifully decorated door for the entrance.
The yurt is white with a decorative blue Mongolian design. Built on a raised deck, there are steps leading up to a small deck and the main door and double screen door. The outdoor door is propped open to allow for airflow through the screen door.
Starting left and moving clockwise, you first have a rack organizer that has all of the plates, cups, cutlery, and cookware you'll need for your stay. There's then a circular table with two wooden stools. The bed is next with a comfortable double mattress. In the back-centre is a traditional wood-burning fire place which you won't need in the summer.
Swinging around to the right there's a large futon that you can use as a couch or to accommodate another 2 people. You then have a table that has additional essentials like LED lantern, mosquito zapper, coffee, tea, sugar, salt, pepper, cooking utensils, and both garbage and recycle bins.
In the middle of the yurt are two beautifully painted load-bearing beams that lead up towards the flooding of light that comes in during the day. It's protected from the elements but one of the ceiling windows are open to allow for air to flow through.
The first thing you'll notice is how spacious the yurt is. There is a lot of room to walk around on the baseboards and is definitely tall enough so you don't need to hunch over.
The nice thing about settling in a yurt once you arrive is that everything is pretty much ready to go. All you need to do is bring in your luggage, spread out your sheets and pillow and that's it.
While I will admit that in the summer, it can get pretty warm because it's so well insulated but at night the temperatures drop considerably. This actually results in a really comfortable sleeping experience with the sounds of the forest and cosy bed.
Things to do in the eco-lodge
Once you're at the eco-lodge, the idea is to slow it down but if you're looking for activities and things to do at Nature's Harmony, there are plenty of options for you.
There is a huge network of trails at Nature's Harmony that range from short to long, and easy to challenging.
The two main hikes that I'd recommend are Summit and Little Mountain Loop.
Don't let the distances fool you though as there are many changes in elevation for some of these trails.
One of the best ways to spend your time at the eco-lodge is to be on the water. The property joins up with Bangs Bay where you'll be able to launch all sorts of small watercraft.
Driving all the way up to Bangs Bay Loop where you'll be able to park your car, you'll hike 5 minutes to the bay where you'll spot the lodge's collection of tubes, kayaks, canoes, and stand up paddleboards.
Along the water, they've also set up a few hammocks for those that don't want to go into the water. There are also several floating platforms in the water which make great spots for suntanning and drying off.
Near the accommodations area of the property is an open area that's a playground for kids and adults.
One thing everyone will love is the mini-zipline that even I will admit I gave it a go a few times. Next to it is a slackline area with multiple setups for beginners and pros.
Groups will also love a trio of hammocks strung closely together in a triangle configuration which is a great place to hang out.
There's a large playground with slide, swings, and climbing ramp.
Lastly, near the owner's house is a large open field that the wooden lookout tour looks down into. There's a volleyball net here and the tower itself offers great views of the Laurentian Mountains.
Hanging out at your yurt
Ultimately you've got your Mongolian yurt and campsite so why not take advantage and spend time with your private hammocks, around the campfire, or in the yurt itself.
With no wifi or cell service, you'll realize the newfound freedom you'll start to appreciate the little things. Sometimes doing less is truly more.
Review of our experience
This was an awesome way to have that camping experience without the complexities of doing all the work you need to do for car camping.
The Mongolian yurt has the advantage of being set up already and fully stocked so you don't need to spend time setting up too much gear. They even have camping chairs and hammocks already there so we found that we just kept most of our own gear in the car.
We also loved how private our site was. Unlike the Provincial parks where the campsites are tightly packed in grids, we were nicely separated from the other chalets and glamping sites. Plus we had our own private toilet so that was a major convenience.
The yurt itself was very comfortable to sleep in. True to glamping, you're spoiled with a ton of space to just put things wherever you want and table space to help organize your things. The bed was also quite large and cozy.
In terms of activities, there were almost too many things to do in 2 days. I'd totally recommend a minimum of 2-3 nights here as this'll give you an opportunity to try a few trails and also explore the bay.
Now for the areas of improvement.
Showers are a little inconvenient in that you'd probably want to drive to the eco-showers but that said, we were very impressed with their design and details to make it as close to a full indoor shower.
While not their fault, the rain and being August meant that there were more mosquitoes than usual along the trail and also around our campsite. They dwindled at night and weren't really a problem inside the yurt though.
Lastly, the yurt does get pretty hot during the day in the summer so you'll most likely want to be out on Bangs Bay or chilling in the shade.
You'll need to pack linens for the bed or a sleeping bag/sleeping bag liner, pillow, towel, toiletries, headlamp, fire starter, drinking water, cooler with ice, and food and drinks. Beyond that, make sure to bring your day trip kit for hiking and being on the water so that includes swim suit, water bottles, snacks, and camera gear. If you're spending many days in the yurt, I'd also recommend board games, lawn games, and a few good books.
This will be dependent on the part of the season and weather (i.e. rain). The mosquitoes can be heavier on hiking trails but they were calmer near the yurt especially once the sun went down.
The yurt has a maximum capacity of 4.
The cost is $100 per night based on double occupancy + $25 per additional guest. All prices are subject to HST.
Yes, there are 3 communal showers near the owner's house on property. This is a special-designed eco-shower that draws in water heated by the sun that's elevated, creating nice pressure. The showers are custom constructed with changing area and tiled shower area.
Yes, stays of 7 nights or longer come with a 10% discount.
A minimum of 2 nights are required for weekends and holidays. Otherwise, no.
Yes, Nature's Harmony is pet-friendly. There are some rules around picking up after your pet, not allowing them lay on the bed or furniture, and being respectful of other guests. They charge a flat fee of $15 per pet.
Check-in time is 2PM. Check-out time is 11AM.
Once you drive onto Snake Creek Road towards Nature's Harmony, cellular signal will start to die out so make sure you get your final messages out before you make that turn.
Yes, in fact, the Mongolian yurt works incredibly well in the winter because of the fireplace and insulation. Nature's Harmony is open all-year round and has winter-specific activities such as tobogganing, tubing, cross-country skiing, and a sauna.
Inside the yurt, you have a full rack of shelves with plates, cups, cutlery, and cookware. On another table you have instant coffee, tea, sugar, salt, pepper, and cooking utensils. In the propane bbq are tongs, scraper, and burger flipper. Inside the gazebo is a two burner stove, kettle, dish soap, towels, two buckets, two jugs of spring water, and cutting board. Lastly, the compost toilet has toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
Firewood is $6 but beyond that no other costs are required.
As part of the Ontario wilderness, there are bears nearby but they've never been an issue at Nature's Harmony. That said, to be cautious, they ask that food scraps be put in the compost toilet and extra food in the car.
Nature's Harmony Eco-Lodge and the Mongolian yurt is the perfect getaway. With the comfortable digs of the yurt, you'll truly appreciate the advantages of going off-the-grid without having to go out into the wilderness on your own.
If you have any questions about this Nature's Harmony review, don't hesitate to drop a comment.
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