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A fun-filled (and delicious) culinary trail inspired by our beloved cranberry!

There is some pretty exciting news coming out of Muskoka this fall with the launch of the ALL NEW Muskoka Cranberry Route, a culinary trail (or route if you will) with 25 crantastic stops across Muskoka.

You might already know this but Bala is the Cranberry Capital of Ontario, and has been hosting one of the biggest cranberry celebrations, the Bala Cranberry Festival, for the last 30+ years. The cranberry capital of Ontario is also home to the oldest cranberry farm in Ontario, and the only cranberry farm in the world with its own on-site winery.

The love for cranberries doesn’t stop in Bala, Muskoka has long been crazy for cranberries. Across Muskoka, our talented chefs, bakers and brewers have been incorporating local cranberries into their craft for years, and the Muskoka Cranberry Route pulls this collection together to showcase our local food and our local talent.

Tour the cranberry marsh (and get that iconic photo in the berries), sip cranberry craft beer and cider, indulge in cranberry baked goodies and treats, be amazed by cranberry inspired cuisine, and bring home the tastes (and smells) of the harvest! Your cranberry adventure will take you down some of Muskoka’s historic main streets and coolest back roads, along the shores of our stunning lakes and sweeping forests.

Plan your #CRANROUTE culinary adventure today. This is one crantastic experience you don’t want to miss!

Visit the Cranberry Marsh

Every Muskoka Cranberry Route culinary adventure should start with a visit to Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery to gain a true appreciation and understanding for cranberries.

  • Take the Bog to Bottle Discovery Tour, an experience so special it has been designated a Canadian Signature Experience. This one-of-a-kind experience includes a tour of the farm followed by a tutoured wine tasting of their delicious fruit wines. Tour is available 3 times daily – 11am, 1pm and 3pm – and all day during cranberry harvest weekends.

  • Take the Cranberry Plunge, one of Muskoka’s most exciting fall experiences. Put on hip waders and venture into the cranberries for that amazing candid photo that should be hung on your wall, on your fireplace, or posted as your Facebook profile photo. There have even been marriage proposals in the berries (she said yes!).

  • Shop the Cranberry Store for some amazing goodies to take home like fresh cranberries, delicious fruit wines, Mrs. J’s (famous) preserves, cranberry honey, cranberry teas and oh so much more. Definitely take home one of their NEW Cranberry Cider or Cranberry Splash Wine Spritzers!

For more information, visit their website

Dining & Culinary

Muskoka has a growing reputation as a foodie destination and with good reason. Our restaurants boast exceptionally talented chefs that share a commitment to fresh, local ingredients (like fresh, local cranberries).

Discover the amazing tastes of cranberry-inspired cuisine at these great eateries and restaurants:

Moon River Lookout: Three Course Cranberry Menu, featuring a Field Greens Salad with a Cranberry Vinaigrette, choice of Beer Battered Pickerel & Chips with their famous Cranberry Tartar Sauce or Cranberry BBQ Chicken & Ribs, finished with their delicious Cranberry Apple Crumble

Rende Italian Eatery: 4 cranberry menu features including their Cranberry Lasagna, fresh lasagna with Cranberry Italian Sausage in a cranberry cream sauce

Vintages Dining Room at Sherwood Inn: 3 cranberry menu features including their Cranberry Panko Crusted Salmon Filet

The Dining Room @ Clevelands House: 4 cranberry menu features including their Turkey Burger – fresh ground turkey burger on a Potato Scallion Bun. Topped with Baby Spinach, Goat Cheese, Grilled Apple and a Cranberry Chutney. 

Muskoka Chophouse at JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka: Sip on a Bala cranberry infused cosmopolitan as you savour succulent lump crab cakes, Certified Angus Beef, tantalizing sides and the crowd pleasing crème brulee

The Gypsy Market Mews & Relish Café: Stop in for lunch to try their Turkey/brie sandwich with cranberry mustard and arugula

The Boathouse at Taboo Muskoka: 2 cranberry menu features including their New York style cranberry cheesecake

Huntsville Brewhouse: 3 cranberry menu features including their Shore lunch – pan fried pickerel, maple baked beans, fried potatoes and onion, thick tomato slices, and featuring fried Bala cranberry bannock

 

Local Craft

Crack a pint (or stop in for a sample) and enjoy the good life at these great local craft breweries.  Be sure to take some craft pints home to enjoy throughout the harvest!

Try these delicious cranberry inspired craft brews:

Clear Lake Brewing Co.: Cran Radler

Muskoka Brewery: Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout

Sawdust City Brewing Co.: The Blood of Cthulhu Imperial Stout

Huntsville Brewhouse: Lake of Bays Brewery Peach IPA blended with Cranberry Apple Cider

 

Baked Goodies & Treats

Who doesn’t love baked goodies? And who doesn’t love baked goodies with delicious cranberries, the perfect blend of sweet and tart. You’ve got to try these unbelievably good baked goodies at our local scratch bakeries and cafes:

Cottage Cravings: cranberry tarts, oatmeal cranberry and white chocolate chip cookies and cranberry frozen yogurt

The Shipyards: cranberry white chocolate butter tarts

The Gypsy Market Mews & Relish Café: freshly baked cranberry Orange muffin

Whimsical Bakery: cranberry scones with house-made cranberry raspberry jam, apple cranberry crumble tarts, lemon cranberry muffins, cranberry walnut muesli bread and cranberry frozen yogurt

What a Bakery: cranberry apple crisp, orange cranberry loafs & muffins, lemon cranberry scones, and oatmeal cranberry cookies 

Cranned Goods

Visit these route stops and bring the cranberry harvest home with you to enjoy year round!

Bala Freshmart: pure pork cranberry sausages

The Wahta Station: cranberry spreads, part of their Laura’s Kitchen line of fine spreads and sauces

Rich Hill Candles: cranberry fragrance candles, their #1 seller for 30 years

Yummies in a Jar: 6 types of cranberry jams, jellies and sauces, oil free vinagrettes and more

Cranberry Cruisin’

One of the best ways to experience Muskoka’s stunning fall colours is aboard a cruise of the lakes, and Sunset Cruise’s historic Peerless II will be sailing 6 days a week until October 14. For the Muskoka Cranberry Route, the Peerless II will have warm spiced cranberry cider available to cruise guests so they can experience the very best of fall’s sights and tastes.

For more information, visit the #CRANROUTE website

  Cranberry Spa Treatments

Sometimes it is just nice to get pampered! Sip cranberry cinnamon cider, taste local cranberry treats and re-hydrate with luxurious treatments; lounge in the hydrospa, aromatherapy steam room, whirlpool or sauna at the JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka.

For more information, visit the #CRANROUTE website

Bala Cranberry Festival

October 12, 13 and 14, 2018

Exceptional shopping, exciting entertainment and culinary delights come together for one of the province’s most popular fall festivals! Selected as a Top 100 Festival by Festivals & Events Ontario, and a top 15 harvest festival in the world by AMEX Essentials, the Bala Cranberry Festival is a cant’t miss fall event.

This year’s festival has some exciting new additions, including a big band concert on Friday, October 12 (Senior’s Day) and a Splash’N Boots concert on Sunday, October 14. Both of these great concerts are FREE with festival admission!

For more information, visit their website

Where to Stay

Muskoka is brilliant during the fall season, and a Muskoka Cranberry Route culinary adventure is the perfect excuse for a fall getaway. Stay at one of these great Muskoka Cranberry Route accommodation partners:

The post ALL NEW Muskoka Cranberry Route appeared first on Muskoka Tourism.

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Liv Outside is your home base for adventure this fall!

Liv Outside’s Waterfall Paddling Trips are part of the Muskoka Signature Experience Collection, a collection of Muskoka’s must-do experiences!

Located on Muskoka River, Liv Outside is your one stop shop for outdoor adventure this season. The instant access to the river means you will be outfitted and on the water before you know it for your picturesque paddle to one of the areas iconic falls.

The experienced staff at Liv Outside will provide you with everything you need for a memorable time paddling the Muskoka River to the scenic falls.

Adventures made simple

You don’t have to own a canoe, kayak, SUP, or even a paddle to go on this awesome adventure. The retailer has everything you need for your excursion available for rent. In most cases, you just have to show up with a sense of adventure, be properly dressed, and pack some light snacks and refreshments to keep your energy up. They have rentals, maps, instruction, trail passes and even guides on-site.

This easy river paddle is suitable for all skill levels. The longer paddle to the hidden falls may take a little extra effort, but the view at the end of the river will most definitely be worth it!

The staff will find a way to get you outside and enjoying all Muskoka has to offer in the fresh fall air.

For more information on rentals, visit their website

Choose your own adventure to one of the waterfalls

There is something for everyone on the Muskoka river. The trip is fun, adventures, athletic, Muskoka at its finest!

If you are looking for the quintessential Muskoka paddling experience, look no futher. Happy adventurers are raving about the waterfall paddling trips at Liv Outside.

Liv Outside makes it super easy to try these waterfall paddling adventures. Rent a canoe, kayak, or stand-up paddle board from the retailer to embark on your journey to the falls. They will provide you with instruction and maps so you feel comfortable about your journey. If you are looking for a guided waterfall paddling tour, make sure you book in advance. Check out their Canoe & Rappel guided tour for an similar awesome outdoor adventure!

For more information, visit their website

Book your adventure

Paddling Muskoka’s lakes and rivers is not only reserved for the summer months, there is tonnes of fun to be had in the transitional months too. The fall is a unique time to experience being on the water due to the changing colours of tress on the riverbank, and the water is as calm as ever making for easy paddling.

It is always best to reserve in advance. If you want a guided tour, advance booking is required.

To book your adventure with Liv Outside, visit their website

To book a canoe, kayak, or SUP rental for a self-guided tour, visit their website

The post Go For A Fall Colour Paddle to Muskoka’s Most Magnificent Waterfall appeared first on Muskoka Tourism.

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Liv Outside is your home base for adventure this fall!

Liv Outside’s Bike Trail Adventure is a part of the Muskoka Signature Experience Collection, a collection of Muskoka’s must-do experiences!

There is no better time of the year to hit the bike trails with Liv Outside. The cool fresh fall air makes for ideal biking conditions.

No matter your skill level, newbie to expert, you will have a blast ridding around on the Riverside Adventure Park Trails. Liv Outside is in partnership with private property owners to bring you these pristine recreational trails, so please be courteous when you’re out there!

Adventures made simple

You don’t need to own a bike, or have all the gear to experience this biking adventure in Bracebridge, and you definitely don’t need to be an experienced trail rider. In most cases, you just have to show up with a sense of adventure, be properly dressed, and pack some light snacks and refreshments to keep your energy up. Liv Outside has rentals, maps, instruction, trail passes and even guides on-site.

All you need is a sense of direction, Liv Outside takes care of the rest.

To view bike rental options, visit their website

Muskoka’s bike trail adventure

This adventure takes you on Liv Outside’s Riverside Bike Park, a trail system that shows off Muskoka’s rugged wilderness and natural beauty. The trails weave by the Muskoka River and through lush hardwood forest, with epic vistas and river views from atop rugged Canadian Shield.

The best part about this experience is the trails are perfect for all riders and skill levels. If you have never been mountain biking before, you will have a blast. If you haven’t been mountain biking in years, you will have a blast. If you are an avid mountain biker, you will have a blast. The trails present enough of a challenge without being too difficult, really focusing on a FUN ride!

You don’t need any gear to get out on the trails, Liv Outside has everything you need. Take a self-guided bike trail adventure complete with trail pass and top quality bike rental for a smooth ride, or book one of their expert guides to take you out on the trails. For more information on bike rentals, visit their website

If you have your own bike and want to try these trails, click here for more info

Book Your Adventure

There are so many benefits to mountain biking in the fall, just ask anyone who does it regularly! The cool fall air is sure to keep you at a comfortable body temperature.

It is always best to reserve in advance. If you want a guided tour, advance booking is required.

To view bike options and to book your rental, visit their website

The post Take A Fall Colour Mountain Bike Adventure at the Riverside Bike Park appeared first on Muskoka Tourism.

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September 22, 23, 29 & 30

The Muskoka Autumn Studio Tour is a part of the Muskoka Signature Experience Collection, a collection of Muskoka’s must-do experiences.

Back and better than ever for their 40th anniversary, the Muskoka Autumn Studio Tour is prepped and ready as Canada’s original studio tour for another great season. With 4 decades under their belt, this community of creators is eager to share their passions.

Whether you are an art enthusiast or you are looking for the perfect piece for your home, you must check out the tour. See stunning art, meet the fascinating (and talented) artists that find their muse in Muskoka, all while admiring the splendid fall colours as you drive from gallery to gallery. It is an art adventure, set to nature’s colourful fall colour canvas.

This year the tour is featuring 19 studios across Muskoka, and getting from gallery to gallery is all a part of the adventure! Take the charming back roads where you will see beautiful landscapes from farmland, to forest, to the autumn splendour. As you are driving, watch for the official signs that let you know when you have made it to a featured studio.

Studio Tour Sample Itinerary

Since the tour is running for 2 weekends, to relish your time visiting with artists we suggest breaking it into two tours. The first weekend, visit the studios in Huntsville / Lake of Bays and the second weekend visit the studios in Bracebridge / Gravenhurst.

By visiting the Huntsville / Lake of Bays studios on the first weekend (Sept 22 & 23) the fall colours will be more prevalent in the north that weekend. Subsequently, the fall colours will be more prevalent in Bracebridge / Gravenhurst the following weekend (Sept 29 & 30).

Fall colours aren’t an exact science, but if you take our advice you should be able to maximize your leaf peeping.

On the tour map each studio has been assigned a letter so that participants can easily follow along:

  • A – I are studios located in Huntsville / Lake of Bays
  • J – S are studios located in Bracebridge / Gravenhurst

Click here to view the map and the 2018 brochure

Where to Dine

There are plenty of fabulous restaurants to stop off at along the way. When in the Huntsville / Lake of Bays, a a great option to dine is at Soul Sistas Cafe. They specialize in fresh, homemade, and nutritious goodness. Stop by for a organic drip coffee pick me up, or try one of their amazing salads!

When you find yourself at the Bracebridge / Gravenhurst end of the studio tours, go for lunch or dinner at The Old Station in Bracebridge or The Oar in Gravenhurst. Both are popular restaurants in the area, well-known for their delicious and hearty menu options.

To view The Old Station menu, visit their website 

To view The Oar menu, visit their website

Where to Stay

If you are looking for a place to stay, the Residence Inn Gravenhurst Muskoka Wharf is a great option. Located on the water and surrounded by the changing leaves of the fall season, it is the perfect place to call home base for your weekend of touring Muskoka’s most exceptional art studios.

To book your stay at the Residence Inn Gravenhurst Muskoka Wharf, visit their website

The post Visit Muskoka’s Talented Artists on the Muskoka Autumn Studio Tour appeared first on Muskoka Tourism.

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Muskoka Tourism Blog by Ashley - 1w ago
Now playing at the Gravenhurst Opera House

Gravenhurst Opera House’s summer theatre is a part of the Muskoka Signature Experience Collection, a collection of Muskoka’s must-do experiences!

This Tuna is Delicious!

Theatre Review by Paul Feist

The Gravenhurst Opera House has done it again. Another smash hit that will have you rolling in the aisles with laughter. The play is titled ‘Greater Tuna’, but let me tell you there is nothing fishy about this latest production. Sushi lovers along with vegans and carnivores alike will be caught hook, line and sinker when hauled aboard and lured into the fictional town of Tuna, Texas.

Two actors portray twenty characters, giving us a glimpse into this fish bowl southern community of quirky Texan townspeople. Robin Clipsham and Allie Dunbar switch costumes and personalities with exhaustive lightning speed. Their quick-change artistry is like watching an Octopus perform its chameleon-like wizardry. There are no minnows in this cast, and never once do they flounder.

Jaston Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard are the creative genius that penned this hilarious play. Directed skilfully by Maja Ardal with the alluring accuracy of an Anglerfish, the audience is baited from the opening dialogue.

It would be remiss not to mention stage manager Michael Panich calling the ever-frequent cues, asst. stage mgr. Sarah Ruttan, who must be very busy back stage helping actors don an eclectic array of costumes envisioned by designer Chris Cristobal. Set design by David Rose, effectively sets us down in rural Texas with the helping hand of lighting designer Claude Labrecque. The sound track of great country music is an added bonus.

This play, performed by two very accomplished actors, will whisk you through an era perhaps thought long gone, but given the present-day mood, it’s relevance provides a healthy dose of Southern Discomfort.

So, just for the Halibut, be sure to see Greater Tuna, now playing at the Gravenhurst Opera House until September 28. Visit www.thegravenhurstoperahouse.com or call 705-687-5550.

I guarantee you’ll have a whale of a time.

Showtimes

Running September 11 – 28

Matinee Performances
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
Doors 1:30 PM | Show 2:30 PM

Evening Performances
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday
Doors 7:00 PM | Show 8:00 PM

For more information or to purchase tickets visit: www.gravenhurstoperahouse.com

The post GREATER TUNA appeared first on Muskoka Tourism.

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September 15, 2018

Food lovers from across Muskoka will unite over cheesy noodle goodness in downtown Huntsville for the first annual Macaroni Festival. Happening this Saturday September 15th, the town of Huntsville will pay tribute to the Strano Pasta Co., a pasta manufacturer that was founded and once operated in the charming town in the early 1900s.

There will be over 130 shops and services participating, along with LIVE music, dancing and lots of pasta filled tummies. Festival goers can purchase sampling tickets for $2 / each, and travel through the downtown sampling pasta dishes until their hearts (and tummies) are content.

The festival will take place from 10am to 5pm, September 15, 2018 on the main street of Downtown Huntsville.

Mac & cheese contest

It wouldn’t be a festival without a contest. Each guest will be given a Pasta Port that will detail what each restaurant is serving and at the end of their sampling, the guests will vote for their favorite sample. The winning restaurant will be announced at the end of the festival.

The restaurants are getting creative and it will be tough to choose a winner, so you will just have to try them all! The Huntsville Brew House is making a Jalapeno and Cheddar Mac Beer Cheese Croquette, That Little Place by the Lights is serving up their famous Creamy Baked Pancetta and, Affogato Cafe will be cooking up Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese bites (gluten free available). Brunt Ends BBQ Food Truck will also be on the main street smoking chicken drum sticks and serving a smoke inspired mac and cheese.

Is your mouth watering yet?

Live music, entertainment & pasta demonstration

Head to the town hall for live music all day long. The Deelies will be preforming from 10am to 12:30pm, and the Fernglen Fiddleheads will be bringing traditional fiddle music to the steps of town hall from 12:30pm to 3:30pm. If you are looking to dance, you are sure to find a partner!

Keep your eyes peeled for a pasta making demonstration by The Pasta Hostess, Linda Morrin. She will also be doing a draw to giveaway a cookbook so you can make your own cheesy mac at home.

There will be tonnes of activities for kids, like giant ladder ball and yahtzee. EarlyON will have a ginormous connect four, jenga and arts and crafts! A pasta mural for all festival-goers to contribute to will kick of the first annual event, and local artists will be painting paddles with pasta inspired images on them, kindly donated by Algonquin Outfitter’s for their charity auction.

The fist annual festival sounds like it will be a blast, with plenty of fun for the little ones as well. Check it out, and come hungry!

Stay and Play

Check out prices and availability for area accommodations instantly with our online booking engine, or browse through our fall getaway packages.

The post First Annual Macaroni Festival Downtown Huntsville appeared first on Muskoka Tourism.

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Outdoor adventures that will create memories for a lifetime

Algonquin Outfitters Old Railway Bike Trail Adventure and Ragged Falls Paddling Adventure are both a part of the Muskoka Signature Experience Collection, a collection of Muskoka’s must-do experiences!

The Old Railway Bike Trail is an exceptional biking experience suitable for any skill level. There are no technical areas to maneuver on this track, just one of the best leisurely bike rides through the pristine Algonquin Park wilderness. Algonquin Outfitters has everything to outfit you for a day on the trail, from bike rentals to maps and expertise to post-biking ice cream.

Ragged Falls Paddling Adventure is just minutes from the West gate of Algonquin Park and is the first major waterfall in the Muskoka watershed. This easy lake and river paddle to the base of the scenic Ragged Falls is one of Algonquin Outfitters’ most popular day trips. Algonquin Outfitters’ Oxtongue Lake Store has everything you need for the trip, from canoe or kayak rentals, to personal flotation devices, maps and expertise, all you need is your sense of adventure!

Old Railway Bike Trail

This biking adventure is truly scenic, Algonquin Park at its finest. The ride is challenging, but not too challenging. If you have ridden a bike, you will be able to master these trails. AO employees at the Lake of Two Rivers Store are excited and eager to help plan your perfect outing. The bike trail spans from Cache Lake in the East to Rock Lake in the West, a total of 16 km. Although it is not a difficult trail, you will still feel the burn!

The Old Railway trail is 16 km, so talk to an AO employee for the best tips and tricks to rent your equipment for the right period of time. They can even suggest where the best places are to stop off along the way for a well deserved break and bite to eat!

Mountain bikes, fat bikes and tandem bikes are available to rent from the Lake of Two Rivers Store. If you are new to the fat bike phenomenon, they are a wicked invention created to help pedal on nature’s terrain. They work wondrously when travelling over sand, loose gravel, mud and snow. They are surprisingly light for their super thick wheels, making them a great option to try out on this bike trail.

Getting the hang of riding tandem can be a challenge at first, but it doesn’t take long to master the art! Staff will teach you how to ride before your departure. AO has a challenge for anyone who rents their tandem bike to ride all the way to Rock Lake and back, about 25 km in distance. Think you can do it?

BYOB is not what you’re thinking, bring your own bike if you so fancy! If you want to bring your kiddos along for the ride they have bikes for them too. If they’re too small to ride on their own AO can fit you up with a Chariot carrier. Talk about service!

Reward yourself with ice cream from the Lake of Two Rivers Cafe & Grill upon your return from the trail. They serve Kawartha Dairy ice cream, need we say more?

Ragged Fall Paddling Trip

One of the most magnificent waterfalls in the area and listed as one of the top 10 waterfalls in Ontario, you must see it in person to take in its full beauty. The surrounding area was frequented by Tom Thomson as well as the group of seven, with the waterfalls being captured on canvas by renowned group of seven artist A.J. Casson.

This paddling adventure is enjoyable for all skill levels. Departing right from the dock at the Algonquin Outfitters Oxtongue Lake store, this scenic 3 – 4 hour round trip paddle through the lake and river leads to the base of the Ragged Falls. You will want to hike to the top of the falls once you’ve reached your destination to breathe in the fresh air and take in the stunning view from the top. For the ultimate experience, pack a picnic lunch to enjoy by the cascading water.

You can rent 1 person and 2 person kayaks, as well as 2 and 3 person canoes or if you want to travel like the voyagers, take their 10 person North Canoe, just call ahead to reserve! All rentals also come with a map, paddles and PDF’s for everyone on board.

Paddle on! Paddle forever!

When to go on these Algonquin adventures

Ragged Falls Paddling Adventure

  • September is a great time to go paddling. This paddling adventure is available from May to early October, but it depends on the weather and water conditions.

Old Railway Bike Trail

  • Now until September 20 is a quieter time to ride the bike trail and is a comfortable time because of the cooler temperatures.
  • September 21 – October 8 is a busier time to ride the bike trail because of the high demand to see the stunning fall colours. Still worth it!

The Golden Encore (anticipated after October 8) is an underrated time of year to go on these adventures. Algonquin Park’s birches, poplars and tamarack trees turn a colourful blaze of golden yellow. It is really an amazing scene, especially in the forest where everywhere you look you see gold.

Helpful tip: during the fall season, take an adventure mid-week to encounter less crowds!

Algonquin Outfitters, providing fun in Algonquin since 1961

Algonquin Outfitters is one of the major outfitters in the area, helping campers and adventurers prepare for the great outdoors for decades.

Initially an Algonquin Park wilderness canoe trip company, they have expanded their services and sales to include include bikes, canoe, kayak, wakeboard, waterski, snowboards, alpine and nordic skis and snowshoes. Basically any wilderness adventure in and around Muskoka, they are there!

They also care about the communities they work in. They were deeply involved in the renovation of the Brent Ranger Cabin on Cedar Lake in Algonquin Park. The Brent community within Algonquin Park is said to offer campers a taste of what canoe travel in the Park used to be like back in the day.

AO is also a big supporter of Huntsville’s arts community through the Algonquin Theatre and Huntsville Festival of the Arts.

Above all, they raise funds to support Animal Research in the Park and for historical restoration projects such as the Brent Ranger Cabin. They educate children and adults any chance they can on how to preserve the land and water for generations to come.

AO Paddle Art Contest Celebrates 125 Years of Ontario Parks

Algonquin Outfitters is hosting a paddle art contest to celebrate 125 years of Ontario Parks. If you have never seen paddle art, check out some of the top auctioned paddles from last year. Wouldn’t you love to hang one of these beautiful piece on your wall?

The contest is open to anyone with a creative idea for a paddle, whether they are professional or amateur artists. Blank paddles can be picked up at select AO store locations, or you can use/make your own! A $30 registration fee must also be paid in store.

Contest entries will be auctioned off between September 15 – 29, 2019, with all proceeds going towards OLAC and the Town of Huntsville Public Art Acquisition Fund.

Click here to learn more about the contest and to register your paddle

The post 2 Awesome Adventures with Algonquin Outfitters appeared first on Muskoka Tourism.

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Rock the evening away aboard Wenonah II with 2 live bands: Zed Head and the Practically Petty

Is there anything better than a Muskoka sunset? Add dinner and music aboard one of Muskoka’s stunning steamships and you have a winning combination. Peter’s Players and 2 rocking bands want you to join them aboard the Wenonah II on Saturday, September 15th, 2018 for a buffet dinner, a stunning sunset cruise of the lake, and some live rock and roll music.

The boat departs from Gravenhurst Wharf at 5pm for the 4 hour cruise around Lake Muskoka. Live entertainment by southern rock band Zed Head and the ever-popular tribute Pratically Petty will have the crowd rockin’.

A night of great food, good company, and even better music, you don’t want to miss this annual event!

Peter’s Players

If you have first-hand experienced a show at Peter’s Players then you know what a wickedly cool and intimate venue it is. Taking the show on the road with their Fall Dinner Cruise, Peter’s Players has found a venue that is equally as cool (and it floats!).

For one night only they are moving the show from their beloved theatre and taking it to the waters of beautiful Lake Muskoka. Guests will be floored by this live music experience that is Muskoka at its finest!

For more details and to get your tickets, visit their website

Zed Head and Practically Petty

Back to back awesome performances will be pleasing the crowds on this 4 hour cruise.

Southern blues rock band Zed Head is known for its electrifying live performances, bringing a rocking blues-boogie sound to the stage that is all their own. Igniting crowds with original tracks, the lead rockin’ blues guitarist and vocalist will blow concert-goers out of the water.

Practically Petty is one of the best tribute bands to the one and only, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The band will be playing all of Petty’s hits along with their own solo and side work. You will be Free Fallin off your seat to get up and dance to these classic tunes!

Tickets are still available to dine and be entertained by these talented artists. Don’t wait too long to purchase your ticket as they might sell out!

Where to Stay

Looking for a place to rest your head after a night dancing on the water? The Inn at Peter’s Players is all booked for the night, but there are plenty of other great options! Visit our website for some great recommendations of places to stay in Gravenhurst or try our online booking engine for rates and availability.

The post Peter’s Players Fall Dinner Cruise appeared first on Muskoka Tourism.

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The Portage Store on Canoe Lake has everything you need for your Algonquin Park paddling adventure

Paddling in Algonquin Park with The Portage Store is a part of the Muskoka Signature Experience Collection, a collection of Muskoka’s must-do experiences!

Algonquin Park is the best place in Ontario to paddle Canada’s pristine wilderness.

Spanning over 7,700 square kilometers,  Algonquin Park is larger than Banff National Park or the entire province of Prince Edward island. There are thousands of lakes in Algonquin Park to explore, and realistically, paddling is the only way to see them all.

The Portage Store brings together Canadians (and people from around the world) with one common passion, paddling. They have been the name of the game since 1937, and their passion for the magnificence and timelessness of Algonquin shines through.

If you’ve paddled, or planned to paddle in Algonquin Park, then you have likely come across The Portage Store. The store is located on Canoe Lake in the heart of the park. Whether you are embarking on a 5-day back country trip or planning a day paddle on Canoe Lake (followed by a delicious burger at their waterfront restaurant), The Portage Store will make your Algonquin trip memorable.

Daily guided and self-guided paddling adventures

There is nothing more serene than hearing the loon calls in the morning, or paddling into the sunset in the evening.

You can try your hand at this most Canadian of experiences with The Portage Store’s daily full day and half day guided tours, or you can rent a canoe for your own self-guided day adventure.

If you are interested in learning about Tom Thomson and his life (and mysterious death) on Canoe Lake, ask your guide before you depart to take you to the hot spots like where his canoe was found overturned, and the approximate location where they discovered his body floating 8 days later. If you are taking a self-guided tour, ask one of the outfitters for directions to some of Tom’s favourite spots.

Paddling in the park has never been easier with these day adventures on Canoe Lake.

Overnight paddling trips in Algonquin Park

You can sleep peacefully under the stars knowing that you are in the hands of an experienced guide with The Portage Store’s overnight guided trips. Having a guide adds a whole different dimension to the wilderness experience with the advanced knowledge and their passion for what they do. They are sure to give you the inside scoop on the who’s who of the wildlife kingdom and will offer up story’s they have accumulated from their time spent in the area. 

If you want to go on a self-guided adventure but don’t have the time to plan, pack or even grocery shop, try their complete outfitting package. The Portage Store will supply everything from the canoe, tent sleeping pad, and even PACK YOUR FOOD. They are not kidding when they say this is the complete package!

To help you plan your own self-guided trip, The Portage Store has created 3, 4 and 5 day sample trips on their website. Depending on your skill level and allotted time for your trip, you are sure to find a route that works for you. Talk to the friendly staff if you have a burning question you’d like to have answered.

Their biggest tip is to pack light!

When to go on an Algonquin Park paddling adventure

The Portage Store is open until mid-October. The following dates are the best times to visit, based on past seasons in the Park:

  • September 3 – September 20 is great because the park is less busy and you should be able to find that pristine wilderness feeling
  • September 21 – October 8 is great if you are looking to see the stunning fall colours. It is strongly encouraged to GO MIDWEEK to avoid crowds.
  • October 9 – mid October encompasses the Golden Encore, fall colours’ last great hurrah. The colours are wonderful, and it is a less busy time to see fall colours

If you have the flexibility to plan your Algonquin Park paddling adventure midweek it is highly encouraged as the Park is substantially busier on the weekends! Go figure.

Burgers in Algonquin!

Check out their great waterfront restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Whether you are driving through the Park, or you want to fuel up before or after a day paddling, this is a great spot. They have an extensive and delicious burger section on their menu, like their Tom Thomson’s Burger, a homemade 100% Grade A Prime Beef patty topped with fresh sauteed mushrooms and Swiss cheese. Mmmmm.

Sit back and people watch as excited individuals depart or return from their paddling adventure. The beer is cold and the staff are friendly!

Click here to view the Portage Store Restaurant 2018 Breakfast menu

Click here to view the Portage Store Restaurant 2018 Lunch & Dinner menu

Stay & Play

If you aren’t overnight camping, there are 3 Lodges in Algonquin Park that offer meals and accommodations.

Killarney Lodge is situated on the shores of the Lake of Two Rivers. They offer waterfront cabins and 3 full meals daily in their fine country dining room.

Bartlett Lodge is Algonquin’s smallest, most historic resort and it has been completely updated. They offer lakeside log cabins and an intimate dining room which has the highest 3-Star rating for culinary in the Park.

Arowhon Pines Resort offers private bed and bath equipped cabins and fine dining 3 meals daily.

Many Algonquin adventurers also stay just outside the park in nearby Lake of Bays. Stay in waterfront housekeeping cottages, B&B’s or motels. Click here for a list of great places to stay in Lake of Bays.

The post Go Paddling in World-Famous Algonquin Park appeared first on Muskoka Tourism.

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The perfect couples only resort in the heart of Algonquin

The 5-Course dining experience at Couples Resort is a part of the Muskoka Signature Experience Collection, a collection of Muskoka’s must-do experiences!

This 5-star couples only resort is tucked away on Galeairy Lake just outside the East Gate of Algonquin Park. After a stay here with your partner, it will most certainly become the spot for your annual romantic getaway.

Everything is geared to couples, from their 5-course dining (or breakfast in bed) experience, to couples’ massages,  and their abundance of just the two of us activities in the great outdoors. Oh, and every single room comes with its own lakefront hot tub for your evening soak, the most relaxing end to a day.

If you have been trying to find that perfect spot for that perfect couples’ getaway, this is it!

A 5-Course dining experience that is unmatched

The gourmet 5-course dining experience is an absolutely divine, one-of-a-kind, must-do. The dinner is included with every overnight stay, and is also available to the public (reservations required).

The five courses include 1 amuse bouche, 2 starters, 1 main entree and 1 dessert, and cater to your dietary concerns from gluten free, vegetarian and vegan. How AMAZING does this sample menu look that we created based on their chef’s current menu? Visit their website to create your own sample menu

Even more amazing, this special 5-course dining experience is available every day of the year. You will be hard-pressed to find a resort that specializes in 5-course dining every day of the year (we couldn’t find one in Canada!).

The entire dining experience at Couples Resort is memorable. Their dining room has a dress code policy, an old European tradition, that makes the evening even more special. And one of the rules for the dining room that you will appreciate is its no cell phone policy … they have had to make exceptions because guests are dying to Instagram their 5-courses, but they do ask that diners refrain from talking on their cell phones during dinner.

What would dinner be without a little entertainment? During the summer and fall, dinner is accompanied by live entertainment every night from 6:30pm – 11pm.  The artists come from across Ontario, and their entertainment line-up is always fresh. The relaxing (and far from overbearing) lounge music sets the perfect background ambiance for dinner.

The culinary team at Couples Resort is uber talented, and you will notice the international flair and creativity they put into their dishes. Executive Chef, Ronnie Coppens leads a culinary team of chefs from 3 continents, and focuses on bringing fresh, seasonally available Ontario produced food to the table.

Last but not least, what would dinner be without exceptional wine pairings? The resort features an exquisite wine list that has scored them the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for the past 7 years. The selection is continuously changing with ‘new’ vintage wines being added to the mix every couple of weeks. Their is also an option to BYOW (bring your own wine) if you wish, and have your server uncork the bottle for a $20 fee.

For more information on dining at Couples Resort and to view their menus, visit their website

Pure Algonquin Park. Natural Algonquin Spa.

The Algonquin Spa is as serene as a morning paddle in Algonquin Park. Sit back and relax, you are in good hands at this natural and organic destination spa. They offer massages, manicures, pedicures, scrubs and facials, all while using the highest quality Eminence Handmade Skincare. They specialize in couples’ massages (the ultimate couples’ activity) and you can even have the treatments in your room!

Prep yourself for the ultimate spa treatment by indulging in the sauna, steam bath, hot tub or jacuzzi before hand. There won’t be a stressful bone in your body after this mini-vacay.

Make sure to book your spa package ahead of time, they are popular among guests.

For details and prices at the Algonquin Spa, visit their website

Stay at Couples Resort

Couples Resort is the perfect destination for a culinary + romantic escape. Open year-round, the relaxed nature and quiet beauty of Algonquin Park is stunning in all four seasons, and is the perfect backdrop for your luxurious stay.

They are an all-inclusive resort, so every package includes breakfast, lunch or dinner.

There is a resort package for everyone ranging from anniversary and romantic packages to spoil your significant other, to a gastronomy package for the foodies and a spa package for the pampered relaxers. They have truly thought of it all!

Enjoy your stay!

For more information on resort packages and to book you stay, visit their website

The post Go on an Algonquin Culinary + Romantic Getaway appeared first on Muskoka Tourism.

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