Porter Lake Wilderness Retreat, your natural getaway in the quiet calm of an off-grid cabin on an undisturbed private lake. Located in the unorganized Patterson township 3 1/2  hours North of Toronto.

Your turn could be next.

Stretch out in front of the wood stove or on the screened-in porch to enjoy the view across the lake at windswept pines, hemlocks, and cedars. Better yet, jump in or wet a paddle in Porter Lake, a spring-fed back-country jewel on the outer edge of the French River water basin.

Access to the cabin is via a floating corduroy road, viable for a four-by-four vehicle three months of the year, but we recommend walking the mile back through long-abandoned homesteads and the farm fields of your host Peter Learn, a seasoned traveller who takes pride in his guests’ enjoyment.

Book now with Airbnb to spend some time on Porter Lake’s two miles of secluded shoreline.


It was 1988 when a red Forerunner bounced Greg Cromwell’s heart into this remote corner of Northern Ontario bush and left it there. At the time there was no cabin, barely a clearing and a road carved through the gravel banks of the granite ridge.

Through fast friendships, rugby bulldog determination, focus from his bride Alison and inspiration from Porter herself, the cabin and trails took hold on the old homestead parcel of land. Coming in the road the remains of the original homestead log barn can clearly be seen atop a hill overlooking the sawmill site where only the pond to power it remains.

Today Alison and Greg call Australia home allowing others to retreat to Porter Lake where their friend of nearly 30 years, Peter Learn greets them at the neighbouring family farm.

Born and raised on a farm with thousands of acres of bush for a backyard, a more seasoned guide than Pete won’t be found in the area.


We are proud to offer new mattresses and box springs to make sure you don’t miss a wink of sleep in the off-grid cabin. The washroom is outside but it’s civilized, we promise.

A wood heating stove compliments the propane cooking stove in the kitchen with gravity-fed water and propane lights. Or try baking a pie on the screened-in front porch barbecue. Better yet do it on the campfire, we dare you.


Swimming, kayaking, canoeing, skiing, fishing, hiking, bird watching, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, trail riding, snowmobiling, yoga and of course just relaxing. If there’s something specific you’d like a hand with, give us some notice and we’d be happy to see what we can do.


Greg Cromwell

Porter Lake Inc.

506 Hawthorne Drive, Restoule, Ontario

+1 (705) 493-2311

[email protected]


      Outstanding all around!

    thumb Yoki

      I love this place.

    thumb Devin

      A little piece of heaven. Remote, beautiful, just perfect. Add a sauna and I will never leave. 🙂

    thumb Elsie

      Our second annual Christmas booking an off grid cabin somewhere. Last year Quebec this year we needed more space.

    Peter was so great working so hard to shuttle our stuff in on Christmas Eve after all the rain they had making for a messy treck with all the snow that was on the ground .
    Was such a surprise to show up and have a fresh Christmas tree already set up for us !!❤️

    We made many great family memories. There was lots of wood to keep the fire place stocked and to keep us cozy and warm.
    Looooved the little propane classic stove! Worked fantastic
    Beds were comfy !
    Everything you needed to cook and clean was already there .

    After all the ice froze back up we had lots of fun playing around on the lake with the kids and the dogs .

    The only negative was the outhouse.
    I’m not sure if there was a lot of guys just there for hunting season but it was very very full and smelly. I’ve been in winter outhouses before so I was confused on why the smell was so strong .

    thumb Kayla


506 Hawthorne Drive, Restoule, Ontario


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