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Background image - Kelly Holinshead

H U N T S V I L L E / L A K E


B A Y S / A L G O N Q U I N


Welcome to one of Ontario’s most beloved four-season destinations – the Town of Huntsville, the Township of Lake of Bays, and Algonquin Provincial Park — a vast and wondrous playground that attracts tourists from every corner of the world. A place where people take life just a little bit easier, and maybe enjoy it just a bit differently than their big city cousins.

contents Arts, Culture & Heritage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Happy Trails . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Festival of the Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8

20 32 Cover PHoto • dave Mcdougall

Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Attractions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Golf . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 The Park-to-Park Trail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Parks & Beaches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 The Turtles of Muskoka . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20

Art direCtioN & desigN dreams Becoming reality Marketing • 705-789-7135

Winter Fun in Huntsville & Lake of Bays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Muskoka by Snowmobile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23

PriNtiNg Aben graphics Ltd. • 705-789-4404

Arrowhead Provincial Park . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24

ProduCed BY Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce

The SS Bigwin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27

Cultural Tourism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 Flavour Adventures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28 Muskoka is Triathlon Country . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32

errors & oMissioNs

For a complete list of supportive Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce members, visit every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this guide. if you have any questions, comments or would like to advertise in future publications, please contact the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce.

For People Passionate About Algonquin Park . . . . . . . . . . .33 Where to Stay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 Celebrating Tom Thomson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 Lake of Bays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 Adventures in Shopping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 Thinking of Relocating? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 Girlfriends’ Getaway Weekend . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45 The Home of Dara Howell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46

28 34

For tourisM iNQuiries or iNForMAtioN PLeAse CoNtACt: HuNtsviLLe/LAKe oF BAYs CHAMBer oF CoMMerCe ~ oPeN ALL-YeAr

8 West street North, Huntsville, oN P1H 2B6 t: 705-789-4771 • F: 705-789-6191 • • • 2014/15 visitors guide 3

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Arts, Culture & Hertiage By Teri Souter, Manager of Arts, Culture & Heritage, Town of Huntsville

Arts, culture and heritage are Huntsville (population 19,056) is the everywhere. they are in us and around largest town in the Muskoka region us, all the time.they are in nature and in of ontario, Canada. it is located 215 what we value. they are how we live, kilometres (134 mi) north of toronto, in what we wear, what we eat, where we the hilly terrain of the Canadian shield and is dotted with many lakes. due to its stay and what we say. say what? And yes, arts, culture and heritage are in our humour too. so what makes any place’s arts, culture and heritage better than another? Nothing. it isn’t. it’s never better, it’s only different. We are too close to our own unique and quirky culture to really see it objectively. When we travel, we can see the culture of our destinations clearly. guess what? visitors here can see that about us too! Hokey noodles, they can even hear it! the culture of Huntsville and Lake of Bays areas is strong and clear. good and strong and clear.We’re honest. natural beauty and abundant natural that’s what we call authenticity. so what is it? it’s clean air and fresh resources Huntsville is known as a major water, white snow and rainbows, it’s dank tourist destination, drawing people from dark boreal forest, it’s primeval moss and around the world. it was recognized by lichen… and it’s sparkling sunshine and National geographic Magazine as the # 1 fresh pine-scented breezes. this rugged travel destination in 2011 and made the beauty of our landscape has inspired top 20 in 2012. the toronto star ranked iconic Canadian artists like tom thomson the town the #1 place to take a summer trip in 2011. Keith Bellows, editor in Chief and the group of seven. 4 2014/15 visitors guide •

of National geographic includes Huntsville and the Muskoka region in his recently released book "100 Places that Can Change Your Child’s Life." Huntsville acts as a western gateway to Algonquin Provincial Park and was host to the 36th g8 summit in June 2010. our arts and our culture naturally evolve from our environment and our heritage. Not too long ago, Huntsville and Lake of Bays were the ancestral hunting, gathering, and meeting lands of the Anishinabe. guess what folks? they’re still here, sharing traditional wisdom and indigenous knowledge of how to live in harmony in this landscape. Muskoka Heritage Place tells the story of “Muskoka’s First People”. respect. oh and they also have a living cross roads Pioneer village and an authentic narrowgauge steam train pulling open-aired coaches. Want to drive a train? the engineer-for-a-day Program at Muskoka Heritage Place may be just your ticket. Arts, culture and heritage are literally around every corner in Huntsville and area – visit the year-round outdoor group of seven free mural tour downtown or the free art exhibits in the Canada summit Centre, the library and galleries and stores galore.

Prefer music or performing arts? the Algonquin theatre, home of the Huntsville Festival of the Arts, welcomes you to worldclass entertainment in our state-of-the-art facility — as intimate and comfortable as your living room, but with better sound and light and famous guests. Food and beverage are a big part of our heritage. You can argue the merits of lager or ale over locally-crafted brews — with local craftsmen — in any pub in town. You can challenge your taste buds to savour Muskoka with locally-sourced ingredients creating a world-fusion of taste sensations. We are fearless. on the other hand, a hand-crafted ice cream cone is also refreshing. We have farmer’s markets and trout farms. But not trout muffins. Not yet. Water. Yup. it’s everywhere here. Whether sparkling in the sunshine or snowing and blowing powder on the ski hills. spring and summer we swim, we boat, we have bathtub derbys. Woods and trails. got ‘em. We walk, we hike, we bike, we skateboard.You can too.

Welcome to the Town of Huntsville! Huntsville hosts numerous year-round festivals and world-class events in our state of the art facilities. enjoy the natural landscape and beauty that surrounds Huntsville with the towering white pines, granite rocks and pristine lakes. Muskoka Heritage Place is an historical highlight. experience a steam train ride, two museums and pioneer village. We are open for business and have all that busy-work and high speed blah blah cell signal ya want. And hammocks, we have those too. We’ve got high fashion and low overheads. Quick wits and slow fish. We’re dark night skies and sparkling stars, fireflies, campfires, toasted marshmallows. We’re daisies and hummingbirds, good books and good cooks. oh, and sport! How could we forget sport? We’re good sports, we’re good at sports, we golf, we ski, we win gold medals. We celebrate.We lose.We celebrate.We can teach you to be a good sport too. “tapestry of Place” is the name of Huntsville and Lake of Bays Cultural tourism plan. Yes, it’s a tangled web we weave. We’re as much a crazy quilt as a tapestry, and we are so much more than that.We’re prayer flags and unity pins, we’re church bells, we’re medicine wheels and big bikes. We’re inspired, and we can inspire you. Join us.We love that. We make an art out of living right, right here in Huntsville!

enjoy year-round live entertainment on stage at the Algonquin theatre in the heart of downtown.

Experience and enjoy Huntsville!

what to do Jake Media


HappyTrails On the trail in Algonquin Park take a deep breath – stop and listen for the wild sounds amongst the trees. Look out over a forest canopy or learn an interesting fact about ecology.You are on one of the many trails in Algonquin Provincial Park and whether you are out for a short day-hike, an overnight backpacking trip, on your bike, snowshoes or with cross-country skis, these are among the best ways to experience Algonquin!

Bat Lake (5.8 km), two rivers (2.3 km), Lookout (2.1 km), Big Pines (2.9 km) and Booth’s rock (5.1 km). All of these trails are a scenic 30-70 minute drive from Huntsville. For those wishing to explore the Park further, there are also interpretive trails on the North and east sides of Algonquin Park: Barron Canyon (1.5 km), Berm Lake (4.5 km) and Brent Crater (2 km).

Perhaps the most popular and accessible of trails in Algonquin are the interpretive trails scattered along Highway 60. each one focuses on a unique aspect of Algonquin’s natural or cultural history. there is a trail to suit every interest and fitness level, from an easy 1.5 km boardwalk trail that introduces the visitor to spruce bogs and wildlife typical of the north (spruce Bog Boardwalk), to a demanding 10 km hike up a high ridge that affords reveals an excellent breathtaking view over some of Algonquin’s lakes and forests (Centennial ridges). other interpretive trails vary in length and include Whiskey rapids (2.1 km), Hardwood Lookout (1.0 km), Mizzy Lake (10.8 km), Peck Lake (2.3 km), track and tower (7.5 km), Hemlock Bluff (3.5 km), 6

the Portage store

Interpretive Trails

Backpacking Trails For more adventurous hikers, Algonquin has three impressive networks of backpacking trails, with loops that range from 6 km to 88 km in length. overnight or multiple night backpacking trips will give a new appreciation for getting ‘into the

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bush.’ As your trip ends, you will emerge at the trailhead feeling the satisfaction of finishing your trek and relishing the memories of wilderness that you encountered on the trail.

Bicycle Trails When you come to Algonquin, don’t forget your bike! Whether you are looking for a technical challenge on your mountain bike, or prefer to stick to more leisurely trails with the family, Algonquin has a bike trail for you. the Minnesing Mountain Bike trail has four challenging loops (4.7 – 23.4 km in length) that will take 1 – 3 hours to ride, and will bring you through hardwood forests and beside lakes in the Park’s largest wilderness zone. if you are with your family, or just prefer a more relaxing ride, then be sure to visit the recently extended old railway Bike trail, accessible from Mew Lake Campground, Kearney Lake, Pog Lake, Campground and rock Lake and Coon Lake Campgrounds. Now stretching for 16 km (one-way) from Cache Lake to rock Lake along the bed of the old ottawa-Arnprior-Parry sound rail line; this trail gives the rider a chance to explore, through wayside exhibits, the history of the rail line and a different era in Algonquin. remember to ride safely, be mindful of

others on the trail and enjoy the scenery!

Winter Trails Possibly one of the most beautiful and rewarding times of the year to visit the Park would be after a fresh snowfall, with blue skies and the crisp winter air against your face. Algonquin’s three excellent cross-country ski trail networks allow you to experience just this.the winter also has to be one of the better times of the year to see wildlife, or at least the tracks that they have left behind. the Fen Lake skitrail - a groomed trail network that explores old hardwood forests typical of the west side of Algonquin - is located just inside the Park at the West gate (about 30 minutes from Huntsville) and has loops that range from easy to more difficult (1.1 – 12.9 km). in the winter, the Minnesing Bicycle trail becomes a Wilderness ski trail (ungroomed), offering the skier a chance to explore the park’s winter wonderland. the Leaf Lake ski trail offers a wide range of options and the Pinetree Loop ranks highly amongst the premiere ski trails in

southern ontario for the experienced skier. on a clear day, the lookouts on this loop provide a view of more than 15 km. Another activity that many people enjoy in Algonquin is snowshoeing. Many of our regular interpretive trails as well as the Minnesing bike trail are available for snowshoeing depending on weather and trail visitation. Always remember to keep track of the time as it gets darker much earlier in the winter.

Attractions A great way to start or to relax after spending some time on one of Algonquin’s many trails is with a visit to the Algonquin visitor Centre, the Algonquin Logging Museum or the Algonquin Art gallery. inside the visitor Centre are worldclass exhibits on the natural and cultural history of the park, a bookstore and nature shop, and an observation deck that has a tremendous view of a wild Algonquin landscape. Also, new as of 2013 is the fully accessible “Fire tower trail” that leads to a life size replica of a fire tower cupola where you can learn about Algonquin

Park’s fire tower history. the Algonquin Art gallery is open seasonally, from June to october, and displays an Algonquin-inspired selection of works in the three wings of its gallery, as well as an outdoor gallery and a boutique. the Algonquin Logging Museum is a definite stop for anyone interested in the history of logging and displays a recreated camboose camp and an old steampowered machine called an “alligator” along an easy 1.3 km trail. As you finish hiking, biking, skiing, or snowshoeing a trail in Algonquin Park, you will be reminded of what makes this landscape special. it could have been the sunrise over a misty lake, a glimpse of moose through the trees, the chorus of bird songs, or just the sense of accomplishment that you feel as you reach the end of a trail. Come and discover your favourite Algonquin trail! For more information on our trails, or if you have any questions about Algonquin Park please visit our website at: • 2014/15 visitors guide



Out of This World By Rob Saunders - Huntsville Festival of The Arts

Huntsville Festival of the Arts

For the past twenty two years the Huntsville Festival, recognized as the area’s premier multi-genre performing arts festival, has made a name far beyond its borders for its artistic offerings in the fields of jazz, pop, choral, Celtic, country, orchestral and classical music, as well as theatre, written word, poetry and the visual arts. Leading off is a pre summer event featuring Canada’s own lead astronaut Colonel Chris Hadfield. Col Hadfield will present an evening of words, pictures and music and share his many amazing experiences with our Huntsville audience. From the challenges of becoming an astronaut to commanding the international space station and developing a social media interaction never experienced before, Col Hadfield can reflect on a career that has given him a unique perspective about the world around us (and sometimes below us). Heading into July the Festival is known

for attracting National and internationally recognized artists. renowned world music guitarist extraordinaire, Jesse Cook, returns to the Festival this year in early July, and opens the summer portion of the Festival over two evenings. Brilliant guitarist, and blues master, Colin James returns as well, presenting his duo show in the intimate confines of the 400 seat Algonquin theatre. Celebrating their own 45th anniversary the sweet sounds of the British Columbia Boys Choir will be enjoyed by our choral fans and for lovers of light pop and jazz Holly Cole will return to the Algonquin theatre stage. Although too early to confirm it is expected that Alan doyle, better known as the lead singer for Canadian super group great Big sea, will be back as well as Huntsville’s own Hawksley Workman with his new group Mounties. in addition to these artists there are a number of great evening performances so check out the lineup closer to the July kickoff. the Huntsville Jazz Festival will return again in 2014, running from July 31 to August 2.Well respected pianist Joe sealy will be bringing his Africville concert on July 31 as a quintet and joined by the amazing vocals of Jackie richardson. the next night Jane Bunnett brings her Cuban influences to our stage as she performs alongside Maqueque featuring a sextet of the finest female Cuban musicians. Closing the mini Jazz Festival will be the brilliant piano artistry of Michael Kaeshammer. No stranger to our Huntsville audiences, Kaeshammer is at

home performing pop and r&B ballads as he is performing the boogie-woogie music he is known for. And to boot he sings … what a package! in addition to this special day of festivities the fringe aspect of the Festival continues to grow with a series of free events. Nuit Blanche North returns on saturday July 12 for its fourth year. in 2013 over 5,000 local residents and visitors of all ages crowded the Main street and town dock to enjoy an eclectic mix of interactive art installations. running from 8pm until the wee hours of the morning this year’s event promises to have a number of surprises that can be enjoyed by the whole family. entertaining buskers will be returning and the very popular evening fire show is sure to thrill visitors once again.. the always popular en Plein Air, a daylong outdoor visual arts fundraising event, and the interactive Arts splash children’s art and activity day, return and families can enjoy the children’s series, at the Legion, co-presented with the Huntsville Public Library. our ‘Play Me’ piano in the theatre courtyard will return inviting you to tinkle the ivories in this unique open air setting. each year new activities are added to enhance the appeal of the Festival. if you plan to be in the area over July and August, visit our website for a current list of events! For tickets and information, contact the Box office at 705-789-4975, email or visit • 2014/15 visitors guide



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Rotary DockFest


Scott Turnbull

Larry Wright


For every season and reason, there’s a festival or special event going on somewhere in Huntsville, Lake of Bays or Algonquin Provincial Park. From loppets, winter carnivals, and maple syrup festivals, to fishing derbies to fabulous fall fairs and studio tours, there is always something to delight, excite and ignite the imagination of every member of your family!

Downtown Huntsville Group of Seven Mural Festival – July Tom Thomson 100th Anniversary Huntsville Festival of the Arts – July Midnight Madness – July Summer Sidewalk Adventure – August Antique, Classic & Custom Car Show – September Tiny Tots Hallowe’en Parade – October Huntsville Santa Claus Parade – November


Arts & Culture

Banff Mount Film Festival – January Huntsville Festival of the Arts Spring Play – Shrek! The Musical – April Girlfriends Getaway Weekend, Spring Edition – April Live it! A Culinary, Home & Garden Getaway – June National Aboriginal Day – June Art Splash – July Pride Picnic – July Huntsville Festival of the Arts 22nd Anniversary Season – July Huntsville Jazz Festival – July/August Edge of the Woods Outdoor Theatre Festival – July Nuit Blanche North – July Baysville Walkabout Festival – July en Plein Air Painting and Auction – July Baysville Boat Show – August Artist of the Limberlost Open Studio Tour Weekend – August Muskoka Autumn Studio Tour – September/October Muskoka Sound – September Huntsville Fall Fair – September Cultural Days – September Film North – September Tiny Tots Hallowe’en Parade – October Muskoka Heritage Place Great Pumpkin Trail – October Twas the Month Before Christmas – November

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Huntsville Girls Hockey Association Hockey Tournament – January 2014 Ontario Winter Games – February Spin the Lakes Bike Tour – May Band on the Run: 2014 Half Marathon – June Big East River X – June The Limberlost Challenge – July Rotary Dockfest – July Port Sydney Muskoka Kids Triathlon – July Paddle for Fairvern – August Huntsville Muskoka Otters Junior A Season Opener – September Muskoka River X – September Muskoka Ironman 70.3 – September Running Scared – Huntsville’s 5km Zombie Run – October

Winter Carnivals & Parades

Muskoka Loppet, Arrowhead Park – January Algonquin Park – Winter in the Wild Festival – February Kearney Dog Sled Races – February Winter in the Wild Festival – February

ontario Parks

Huntsville Santa Claus Parade – November Baysville Santa Claus Parade – December Port Sydney Winter Carnival – January Winter Comedy Carnival, Huntsville – January Dwight Winter Carnival – February Dorset Snowball – February

Winter Fun

Farmers Markets Open Spring until Fall Huntsville – Thursdays Dwight –Tuesdays Baysville – Fridays Huntsville 100km Farm, Fresh & Homemade Market — Saturdays

Dave McDougall

Muskoka River X

Jason Kruuusmagi

Don McCormick

Athletic & Sporting

Girlfriends’ Getaway Weekend November 7-9, 2014

This is a only a selection of events in our area. Please visit for a complete list of community events with details. • 2014/15 viSiToRS guiDe


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Attractions Algonquin Theatre 1-888-696-4255, 705-789-4975 Deerhurst Musical Stage Show 1-800-461-4393, 705-789-6411 Dorset Fire Tower Lookout 705-766-1032 Dorset Heritage Museum 705-766-2814 • Dyer Memorial Nature Reserve Williamsport Road, Huntsville Group of Seven Outdoor Gallery Walking Tour 705-789-1400 •

Band on the Run

Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area 1-800-398-9555, 705-789-1773 Huntsville Festival of the Arts 1-800-663-2787, 705-788-2787

Town of Huntsville

Town of Huntsville

Huntsville Festival of the Arts

Huntsville Otters Junior A Hockey


Lady Muskoka Boat Tours 1-800-263-5239, 705-646-2628 Lake of Bays Brewing Company Tours 705-767-2313 • Muskoka Heritage Place - Museum, Village, Train 1-888-696-4255, 705-789-7576 Muskoka Steamships 1-866-408-4795, 705-687-6667 River Mill Park and Playground Downtown Huntsville Rotary Youth Park Skateboarding Park located in Huntsville at McCulley – Robertson Complex,

Rotary DockFest

Sugarbush Hill Maple Farm 705-787-9787 • Treetop Trekking 1-855-788-9009 , 705-788-9000


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what to do 8

Holly Nunn

Golf Bigwin island golf Club


Anyone for an afternoon tee? Whether you are an avid golfer or you simply enjoy a tour around the links, no visit to Huntsville and Lake of Bays should be without a round or two at any of our amazing courses. The same imposing rock outcroppings and expansive lake vistas that have made Muskoka famous ensure that no two of our courses are the same. Looking for a professional level test of your game? Play a round at one of our three championship length courses. Try the Tom McBroom designed Deerhurst Highlands course, Muskoka’s first championship length 14

course, and be challenged by dramatic elevation changes and rugged granite outcroppings. The grandview golf Club’s Mark o’Meara course combines spectacular views of Fairy Lake with narrow, treed fairways. You can also take a leisurely boat ride to historic Bigwin island to play its Doug Carrik designed course. Spread across the whole of the island, with stunning views of Lake of Bays, challenging fairways are draped over the islands undulating terrain finishing in greens protected by golden sand bunkers. For a more leisurely game, try one of Huntsville’s shorter courses. The

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Deerhurst Lakeside course is 18 holes spread throughout the resort’s massive footprint, featuring a mix of long, curved holes mixed with demanding par threes. Huntsville Downs is a local favourite, having existed since 1925. North granite Ridge, 18 holes just outside Huntsville, bills itself as the “Best Kept Secret in Muskoka.” only have time for 9 holes? The Diamond in the Ruff course offers 9 beautifully landscaped holes, while the grandview golf club offers 9 open but challenging holes. if you have a passion for golf, plan to vacation in Huntsville/Lake of Bays. You will not be disappointed!


BIGWIN ISLAND GOLF CLUB 1137 Old Hwy. 117, Baysville 1-800-840-4036 • 705-635-2582

DEERHURST HIGHLANDS & DEERHURST LAKESIDE 1235 Deerhurst Dr., Huntsville 1-800-461-4393 • 705-789-6411

DIAMOND ‘IN THE RUFF’ GOLF CLUB 1137 Old Parry Sound Rd., Raymond 705-385-2222

GRANDVIEW GOLF CLUB: MARK O’MEARA COURSE & GRANDVIEW INN COURSE 939 Hwy. 60, Huntsville 1-877-472-6388 • 705-789-4417

HUNTSVILLE DOWNS GOLF 182 Golf Course Rd., Huntsville 705-789-1000

NORTH GRANITE RIDGE GOLF COURSE 476 South Mary Lake Rd., Port Sydney 705-385-0808 1-866-385-0808 • 2014/15 viSiToRS guiDe


what to do 8

The Park-To-Park Trail

Park to Park

is a regional trail association maintaining an east-west link through the Muskoka and Parry Sound Districts and Haliburton County. Connecting Killbear Provincial Park to Algonquin Provincial Park, this 230 kilometre length of trail is a destination for all trail enthusiasts. Park-To-Park maintains a four season multi-use trail system that will link seven of the province's premiere provincial parks, as well as area attractions, services, amenities and other trail networks such as the Trans Canada Trail. This provides a seamless trail system encompassing community trails, snowmobile routes, historic colonization and logging roads, former rail beds, new links and some secondary roads. The Park-To-Park Trail route traverses a region rich in natural and cultural heritage. Highlights include visible evidence of the logging and railway history of the area. early settlement villages and colonization roads are features common along the trail. Physically, the trail passes numerous lakes, rivers and streams, as well as extensive areas of forest, field and wetland habitat. A celebrated feature of the Park-To-Park Trail is the Precambrian geology of the Canadian Shield. The trail cuts laterally across the southern extent of the Shield exposing the glacially scarred granite bedrock. Trail uses may include the following activities, but not on all sections of the trail. visit to find out what uses are allowed on certain sections.

• Hiking/Walking • Cycling • Cross-Country Skiing • Snowmobiling • Horseback Riding • Dog Sledding

Peter Searle - office/operations Manager Kelly Holinshead

Park-To-Park Trail Association 70 Church Street, Parry Sound, oN, Canada P2A 1Y9 Web: Phone: 705-746-7663 x26 Mobile: 705-774-0024 • Fax: 705-746-7829 16 2014/15 viSiToRS guiDe •

Background image - Holly Nunn

• ATVs/Trail Bikes • 2014/15 viSiToRS guiDe


what to do 8


Parks &

Huntsville, Lake of Bays and Algonquin Park have a wonderful selection of public beaches. The water is clear, clean and perfect for cooling off on a sizzling summer day. The long stretches of sandy beaches are ideal for strolling, throwing a Frisbee or soaking up the sunshine. Bring a lawn chair, umbrella and a good book and

settle in for some serious relaxation. Pack a picnic, bring the water toys, load up the family and head out for an enjoyable day at one of our many public beaches. There are a variety of locations to launch your kayak, canoe, or boat for a fun-filled day on the water. Huntsville has four lakes which connect via the

Muskoka River, where you can swim, paddle and explore over 70 kms of scenery unique to this area. Lake of Bays is the largest lake in North Muskoka and is known around the world for its spectacular beauty. So go ahead and make a splash in Huntsville, Lake of Bays & Algonquin Park – it’s good for the soul!




On the Muskoka River 3 km south of Huntsville on Brunel Rd., picnic area

Lake of Bays on Dwight Beach Rd., excellent beach with picnic area

45 km East of Huntsville



Muskoka Rd. 3 N., Huntsville

Camp Kitchen Rd., Huntsville Swimming and picnic area



Hunters Bay off Main St. W., Huntsville sandy beach and covered picnic area

Just off Hwy. 35 in Dorset, family picnic area


Dave McDougall

Just off Hwy. 117 in Baysville, picnic area


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River Mill Park

Dave McDougall

DYER MEMORIAL NATURE RESERVE 11 km northeast of Huntsville on Williamsport Rd., off Muskoka Rd. 3, overlooks Big East River, public picnic area

CANADA SUMMIT CENTRE On Park Dr., just off Brunel Rd., Huntsville, indoor swimming pool 705-789-6421

HUTCHESON BEACH Lake Vernon off Muskoka Rd. 2 in Huntsville, beach, swings, washrooms and picnic area

LION’S LOOKOUT On Forbes Hill Drive, just off Brunel Rd., by The Canada Summit Centre, breathtaking panoramic view of Fairy Lake, Muskoka River and Downtown Huntsville, public picnic area

NORWAY POINT PARK Just off Old Hwy. 117 east of Baysville, swimming and picnic area

OXTONGUE RAPIDS PARK Just off Hwy. 60 east of Dwight, public picnic area

PORT SYDNEY BEACH Mary Lake on Muskoka Rd. 10 in Port Sydney, sandy beach area

RAGGED FALLS Hwy. 60 in the Oxtongue Lake area just before Algonquin Park, trails, public picnic area, dock, washrooms

RIVER MILL PARK Downtown Huntsville on the Muskoka River, children’s playground and picnic area

TOWN DOCK PARK Downtown Huntsville on the Muskoka River

RIVERFRONT, CENTENNIAL & GRIST MILL PARKS Just off Hwy. 117 in Baysville, public picnic

TALLY-HO BEACH Peninsula Lake off Hwy. 60 in Hillside • 2014/15 viSiToRS guiDe






of Muskoka By Jan McDonnell

is there an animal more illogical than a turtle? They are big, squat, stubby-legged, slow moving animals with big hard shells. However given that the basic turtle body plan has basically remained unchanged since turtles evolved about 200 million years ago, clearly evolution knew what it was doing.The shell is a modified ribcage and part of the vertebral column. ironically, the basic turtle body plan that has stood them so well does not allow them to cope with modern times; of ontario’s 8 turtle species, 7 are at risk. Muskoka has 6 of ontario’s 8 species: the Snapping turtle, eastern Painted turtle, Northern Map turtle, Blanding’s turtle, Spotted turtle, and eastern Musk turtle (or stinkpot). The Snapping turtle is prehistoric looking with its long spiked tail, huge size, and a craggy shell often covered in algae. They have a reputation for aggression when they are confronted on land, which is perhaps not surprising when you consider that not only is the bottom shell reduced in size (making the belly vulnerable), but also that they cannot pull head, tail and limbs into their shells for protection. interestingly, they do not snap when in water, preferring instead to move away from confrontation. it can take 15 to 20 years for a snapping turtle to reach maturity and this, combined with the habitat they prefer for nest construction, causes one of the conservation problems facing snapping 20

turtles and other turtle species; sites with well drained sand or gravel in full sun are chosen for their nests and these are often found along the sides of roads.This makes turtles extremely vulnerable to being hit by cars. Consider that most dead turtles seen on the sides of our roads in the early summer are likely mature breeding females and one important reason for turtles being at risk becomes obvious. Biologists are frequently asked whether it is a good idea to move turtles off the road. Current thinking is yes, if it can be done safely. Small turtles can just be picked up by the edges of the shell.Wear gloves and know that the turtle may pee once it is picked up (some turtles leave the water with their bladders full so that they may wet the sand that they are about to dig in). Larger turtles are more of a challenge! if you have a towel, toss it over the head and if you have a shovel, try sliding it under the body and then dragging the shovel with turtle across the road. or, push the turtle onto a blanket and drag it across the road.Avoid dragging the turtle because they can get road rash. And relocating a turtle to another location way down the road is not generally a good idea. Many turtles nest in the same spot each year, increasing the risk that these sites are known by predators like raccoons and foxes. Most nests are dug up within hours of the eggs being deposited.

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it is believed that as few as 2 percent of eggs laid actually end up hatching. Protecting nest sites, depending on their location, may be a good option. Never dig up and remove the eggs. But placing a temporary wire cage over a nest can be effective at preventing predators from digging up the eggs.The cage needs to be made of a big enough mesh for the baby turtles to get out once they hatch (usually in the late summer) and the cage should be secured so that predators can’t knock the cage aside. it is important to allow air, the sun’s warmth and rain to reach the nest just as nature would have it. once the nest has been in place for several weeks, the odours that allow detection will be gone, so the need for the cage diminishes as time goes on. We can all do our part to help turtles in Muskoka. Habitat protection, especially of wetlands, is key. Driving with caution in nesting season is always helpful. Learn more about turtles, these most incongruous of animals, and other things you may do to contribute to their conservation. The Muskoka Conservancy (formerly the Muskoka Heritage Foundation) has been committed to nurturing, protecting and conserving our natural and cultural heritage for over 25 years. Visit or call 705-645-7393 to learn more about stewardship programs, protected properties, and educational outreach.You can help us conserve Muskoka’s environment: become a member, make a donation, leave a legacy. • 2014/15 viSiToRS guiDe


Winter Comedy Carnival

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Winter Fun

in Huntsville & Lake of Bays

While Huntsville, Lake of Bays and Algonquin Park are famous as summer destinations, winter adventures abound for outdoor enthusiasts. Many of your favourite summer activities have winter counterparts to get you outside year round. Do you love hiking? Many of our beloved trails are open in the winter for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Snowshoes offer the ability to traverse slopes or areas of deep snow that may not be accessible on skis. New, lightweight models are user-friendly for both kids and adults and make snowshoeing as easy as putting one foot in front of the other. Whether on snowshoes or skis, there’s nothing quite like breaking a trail through fresh snow and feeling as though you’re headed somewhere that no human has ever been. Lack of foliage in the winter makes it easier to spot wildlife. Look for moose, deer, smaller mammals like red fox and pine martens, and winterhardy birds like great gray owls, spruce grouse or gray jays. if mountain biking is more your thing, be sure to try a fat bike. The bike’s 22

extra-wide tires offer amazing floatation on snow-packed trails and can take you where you’ve never biked before, such as our many frozen lakes. Local outfitters and stores have bikes to rent, so take one for a spin. in winter, our many lakes and rivers offer a fresh perspective on the landscape and a wealth of opportunities to explore outdoor activities. Walk or ski along the shoreline to reveal surprising views, or take in a game of shinny or a leisurely skate. For a skating adventure of a different kind, take a trip to Arrowhead Provincial Park to experience the unique 1.5 kilometre skating trail as it winds its way through snow-covered trees. ice fishing is an easily-accessible family activity for anglers and many summer species can also be caught in the winter. Frozen waterfalls and ice-covered cliffs become a new challenge for climbers who don’t mind sub-zero temperatures. Huntsville’s Winter Comedy Carnival takes place every February and combines world-renowned comedy headliners with winter sports and demos. Come and see our Downtown Streets

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transformed into a spectacular snow-covered winter playground. Whether you are an outdoor adventure lover or a family seeking fun outdoor activities, this is where lasting winter memories are made! There are many other activities that are unique to the winter months as well. Four-legged friends can join in the winter fun with skijoring, a Norwegian-inspired sport where a dog pulls a cross-country skier using harnesses and a rope. if you want to sit back, enjoy the scenery and let someone else do the work, outfitters and resorts who offer dog sledding or horse-drawn sleigh rides may be more your speed. To feel the exhilarating rush of wind on your cheeks, local ski hills offer family-friendly slopes for snowboarding and skiing or just grab a sled, find a hill and let gravity do its thing. Muskoka’s world-renowned natural scenery takes on new beauty when covered in snow and ice. A winter getaway in Huntsville/Lake of Bays can be invigorating or relaxing, action packed or laid back. With a myriad of activities to experience, the choice is yours.

Jack Stewart

Muskoka by Snowmobile

A 1,600 kilometre network of trails in Muskoka covers some of ontario’s most scenic landscape, and are maintained by committed local clubs. Muskoka’s trail network provides snowmobilers with a spectacular view of frozen lakes surrounded by snow-clad hills, valleys and thick forests. Whether your preference is short loops or multiple day journeys, this large trail network will provide you with unlimited touring opportunities. With your choice of accommodation along the way you and your friends will be able to rack up some serious miles! visit Hill & gully Snowmobile Club at or Du Ya Wanna Trail Riders at to purchase trail permits and get up to date trail conditions. • 2014/15 viSiToRS guiDe 23

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Arrowhead Provincial Park At this year-round park in the heart of Muskoka, hike or bicycle on trails that wander through maple forests and past waterfalls, beaver ponds and homesteaders' farms. Quiet Arrowhead and Mayflower Lakes, and the meandering Little and Big east Rivers, are ideal for paddling, fishing and swimming. Return in winter to ski on groomed trails, tube down a hill, snowshoe, or skate on an ice skating trail over one kilometre long!

Cycling Arrowhead has two moderately challenging mountain bike trails - the five km Arrowhead Lake Trail and the three km Lookout Trail. Helmets are recommended.

expert. You can rent both classic and skate skis at the fully stocked Park Pro Shop and buy other amenities such as waxes, gloves, clothing and hot chocolate too. if you want to challenge yourself, come out for the Muskoka Loppet. The event is hosted every January by the Arrowhead Nordic Ski Club. More information can be found at

Snowshoeing There are over 6km of marked snowshoe trails. Travel along Mayflower Lake or stomp your way to Stubb's Falls. Snowshoe rentals are available at the Park Pro Shop.

Education Park staff offer guided hikes and children's programs twice a week. Amphitheatre programs two or three nights a week explain the park's natural and cultural history. in winter, Arrowhead Nordic ski Club offer cross country ski instruction to kids and adults of all abilities.


Fishing Mayflower Lake is stocked with brook trout. Arrowhead Lake is good for small mouth bass.

Boating Motorized boats (including electric motors) are prohibited on Arrowhead and Mayflower lakes. Canoes are ideal for exploring the shorelines and viewing the wildlife of these lakes.

Swimming Three short, quiet sandy beaches with change facilities back into birch groves. Beaches are shallow and great for kids. 24

Wildlife Viewing The park is home to a wide variety of wildlife typical of the Canadian shield. Deer, moose, fox, racoon, skunk, chipmunks, beaver, lots of birds and even a wandering bear.

Cross-Country Skiing The park grooms 28 km of track-set, cross-country ski trails and 11 km of skate skiing trails. each trail is rated for difficulty and ranges from beginner to

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go for a skate through the forest on the new 1.3 km skating trail loop! enjoy our “Fire and ice Nights” when the trail will be lit up with over 100 tiki torches at dusk. Two campfire rest stops are provided and skates are available to rent for the whole family! Afterwards, unwind at one of our two heated warm-up shelters or gather around the open fire at the tubing hill.

Getting here... 7 kilometres north of Huntsville off Hwy. 11. exit 226, turn right to Arrowhead Park Road. Please note all vehicles entering the park must obtain and display a valid park permit. For more information contact 705-789-5105 or visit online at

Delightful Shops & Services • Cafés and Haute Cuisine Group of Seven Outdoor Gallery • Downtown Waterfront

Plan Your Adventure!

Huntsville Half Marathon Live it! A Culinary Home & garden getaway Canada Day Rotary DockFest Nuit Blanche North Midnight Madness en Plein Air Painting & Auction Summer Sidewalk Sale Downtown Car Show Tiny Tots Halloween Parade girlfriends’ getaway Weekend Santa Claus Parade Black Frid’eh!

Saturday, June 14 Saturday, June 21 Tuesday, July 1 Saturday, July 5 Saturday, July 12 Friday, July 18 Thursday, July 24 Saturday, August 16 Saturday, September 13 Friday, october 31 November 7-9 Friday, November 28 Friday, November 28

Here you and your family will do, taste and try things you’ve never done before.

And it all starts downtown. . . We look forward to greeting you! • 2013/14 viSiToRS guiDe



Nuit Blanche North


Cultural Tourism

Huntsville and Lake of Bays have a rich history as cultural destinations. Our events, festivals and experiences rival those of much larger municipalities. If it is art that you are looking for, you will be amazed at our offerings. A great place to start is our Group of Seven Outdoor Gallery. Over 90 famous works of art by the Group of Seven have been reproduced on a grand scale and affixed to local landmarks and buildings. Huntsville and Lake of Bays has long drawn artists; there are a huge number of professional galleries and studios to be visited, with creations across art, photography, sculpture, jewelry and more. Plan a trip to include the Limberlost Studio tour or the Muskoka Autumn StudioTour when artists open their doors to the public. Are you a music lover? Huntsville’s Algonquin Theatre is a state of the art facility that offers intimate performances from well known artists. The Huntsville Festival of the Arts has been running for over 20 years. The festival is an annual celebration of music and culture. Local musicians perform in various locations throughout town, including the Concert

on the Dock series set on the beautiful Muskoka River, while the theatre plays host to wide variety of performances by renowned artists. Is film your passion? Be sure to attend Film North: The Huntsville International Film Festival.Taking place September 18th to 20th, the festival attracts major films to a small town setting. Other events, such as the showing of the Banff Mountain Film Festival ensure that film lovers do not have to look outside of our communities for inspiration.

Huntsville hosts a wide variety of unique cultural festivals and events. Be sure to plan on attending such one of a kind events like The Art Splash for Kids, Nuit Blanche North, Jazz in the Garden, en Plein Air, the Group of Seven Mural Festival, the Huntsville Jazz Festival and the North

Words Muskoka Literary Festival. New to Huntsville this year is Live It! A Culinary, Home and Garden Getaway taking place June 21st to 22nd.This event truly features something for everyone. For food lovers, there will be culinary demonstrations hosted by decorated local chefs. Home renovation enthusiasts will want to see the workshops led by local contractors. For gardening enthusiasts, the event will also have a garden and landscaping stage with demonstrations for all your outdoor projects. The event will culminate in an outdoor dinner held on our historic Main Street.The street will be canopied and lit, and diners will experience unique pairings of locally produced food and drink. After the dinner, enjoy the “Swing on the Swing” with dancing atop Huntsville’s Landmark Swing Bridge. Culture is not simply a product within our community; it is a priority. We embrace art and culture in all its forms and strive to integrate our cultural assets into the very fabric of our existence. You will not be disappointed in choosing Huntsville and Lake of Bays for your next cultural adventure.

Kelly Holinshead

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The SS Bigwin, Lake of Bays

Imagine plying the waters of beautiful Lake of Bays on a fully restored steamboat built in 1910. Lake of Bays is a crystal clear pristine lake in Muskoka just minutes from Algonquin Park and on the border of the Haliburton Highlands. The lake’s rugged shoreline offers dramatic views unmatched in Muskoka. The SS Bigwin’s home port is the small hamlet of Dorset which offers many attractions to visitors, access to hiking, a viewing tower, arts, crafts, shopping and much more. The SS Bigwin is a steam boat steeped in history and it has been meticulously restored for all to enjoy.

The Bigwin is 66” in length with 11”8 beam and depth of 6’1 with a registered weight of 25 tons. It is the last of the original fleet of wooden boats that ferried guests to the famous Bigwin Island Resort which hosted celebrities like Clark Gable, Louis Armstrong, Greta Garbo & Winston Churchill, just imagine the history. Public cruises leave from the dock adjacent to the newly renovated Lake of Bays Museum located on the Main Street of Dorset just below the “hump back bridge”. In addition to the cruise you can learn more about the history of the lake

and other must see attractions in and around Dorset. You can check out local art and SS Bigwin novelty items and gifts. We are a not for profit enterprise and all revenue goes toward maintaining the boat and community projects. The SS Bigwin also offers charter cruises for that special occasion: weddings, birthdays and other private events. Public cruises are $25 per person and charter cruises are $750 an hour. For more information on the SS Bigwin go to and for more information on Dorset attractions go to www. • 2014/15 vISITORS GuIDe 27


On The Docks Pub


Flavour Adventures

Tempt your taste buds here in Huntsville, Lake of Bays & Algonquin Park! There is a wide variety of culinary experiences to choose from in our area. From chocolate treats, to coffee shops, cafés, pubs overlooking the water and fine dining. Roadside cafés, markets and pubs to savour sophisticated fare, you will find


homegrown, local flavour for every taste bud in our communities.Wine and dine on the water’s edge, in magnificent resorts and inns or in bustling street side restaurants and patios where there is plenty to see and savour. With over 50 dining establishments in Huntsville, Lake of Bays and Algonquin Provincial Park to choose

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from – you are certain to find a culinary delight to fit your budget and curiosity. Traveling with the kids? Little ones will delight in our pizzerias, breakfast diners or ice cream parlours. The last one usually does the trick after a long car trip!

Assured of great food, service and ambiance.

A restaurant for people with taste!


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Muskoka is


Triathlon Country

By Don McCormick and Rich Trenholm


is one of the few places in the world that hosts two IRONMAN branded events. Few, if any, other areas in the world can make a similar claim. Why is the area so popular for hosting endurance sports, such as triathlons? Part of the reason is the physical geography. Muskoka has hundreds of lakes and rivers with clean, warm water

Don McCormick

visitors to Muskoka, anytime between May to September, might round a corner in their car to see hundreds of cyclists streaming towards them, hunched over their handlebars peddling as hard as they can. Or, they might be held up briefly at an intersection while a large group of runners cross over in front of them. They could be enjoying a picnic in a local park and look out to see hundreds of swimmers racing down the river towards them. Who are these people and what are they doing? That is when people realize that they are visiting one of the premier endurance sport destinations in Canada. During weekends in the spring through to the fall, there are numerous running, cycling, triathlon, and duathlon races being held in Huntsville and Lake of Bays, and it is highly likely that you will experience one of the above scenarios. And, if you are traveling in the area midweek you will almost surely see individual or small groups of cyclists or runners out training on the roadways and on the trails. With a natural playground for endurance sport training, and having a complement of over ten different endurance races in Huntsville and Lake of Bays, the area can reasonably lay claim to being the premier location for endurance sport in Canada, if not the world. It has hosted national and world championships, World Cup events and

for the swimming leg of the triathlon. Being cottage country there are hundreds of miles of cottage roads that are tree lined and have relatively little automobile traffic on them – ideal for bike training and racing. And since Muskoka sits on top of the Canadian Shield these roads twist and turn, rise and fall creating a roller coaster-like bike course that is very challenging, interesting and sometimes downright

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thrilling. These same hills make for challenging run courses. A Muskoka triathlon endows major bragging rights on a triathlete who completes the course. A Muskoka race T-shirt is worn with pride. Craig Alexander of Australia, the World IRONMAN and 70.3 Champion says, “This course [the Huntsville course] should be the World Championship course”. This same physical geography – the lakes and rivers, the forests, the granite outcroppings, the hills and valleys – combine to produce a very beautiful physical environment that can take some of the sting out of the grueling physical effort required to do a triathlon. "The natural beauty offers a wonderful distraction from my screaming muscles" says Chris King from Buffalo NY. Huntsville and Lake of Bays has been hosting triathlons since 1989 and has a reputation for running a very well –organized event.The residents and the Town Council are very supportive of the events and the volunteers who help run the races have earned a very welldeserved reputation among the athletes as being among the best anywhere. Why not plan your visit to Huntsville and Lake of Bays to experience one of these events. Careful though – you might just be tempted to return as a competitor!

Algonquin Provincial Park

what to do 8

For people passionate about

Algonquin Park

The Friends of Algonquin Park is a non-profit, registered charity made up of individuals who are passionate about enhancing the appreciation of Algonquin Park through the delivery of educational programs, activities and events. This dedicated group has been enhancing the experience of Park visitors to this amazing place for over 30 years. Their passion supports numerous ongoing projects and events. It is with the support of many volunteers, donors and partners like you that we are able to continue providing quality Algonquin Park educational experiences. These include such events as Loggers Day, which will take place on Saturday, July 26. Join us for a highly entertaining and educational day when the Algonquin Logging Museum comes to life with demonstrations around the Logging Museum trail. The musical group, the Wakami Wailers, will be returning to Algonquin Park for an appearance at Loggers Day on Saturday, July 26 and an open air concert on Sunday, July 27 at 7:00 p.m. The award winning Ontario-based group will get your toes tapping through a fun-filled evening of entertaining stories and songs from their popular releases – The Last of the White Pine Loggers,Waltz with the Woods, and River through the Pines. Meet the Researcher Day will be held on Thursday, July 31. Come and get an inside look at some of the topics and results of current research being conducted in Algonquin Park and meet some of the people doing the work. Includes a charity barbeque with proceeds supporting research in Algonquin Park. The Friends of Algonquin Park’s experience Algonquin Workshop series is another way to experience the best of what Algonquin has to offer! For these workshops, expert instructors are brought in from communities around Algonquin Park to share their passion and expertise on a variety of recreational and natural history topics. As a participant, you will work closely with instructors in a small group setting, taking home new skills and knowledge, as well as field guides and tools needed to pursue your interest further. Custom programs such as the Group education Program offers school, youth, and adult groups a wide variety of

educational programs that allow them to discover Algonquin Park’s amazing natural and cultural history. All programs are delivered by highly qualified Park Naturalists. To learn more about these events, or for a complete listing of all the exciting activities and programs The Friends of Algonquin Park have to offer, visit our website at If you would like to share your passion for Algonquin Park by donating, volunteering or becoming a member, please visit or call us at 613-637-2828. • 2014/15 vISITORS GuIDe



Kelly Holinshead

Terri Rilling

Kelly Holinshead


THE AREA OF HUNTSVILLE, LAKE OF BAYS & ALGONQUIN PARK IS DOTTED WITH A VARIETY OF ACCOMMODATIONS If you are planning a trip to Huntsville, Lake of Bays or Algonquin Park, be it for a vacation, a business trip or just to appease your adventurelust, there are a few key points to consider when deciding where to stay. Here are a few ideas to help: First, you must know the purpose of your trip.You may say it is something as general as a vacation or a business trip, but it is good to be more specific with what you want.You may be traveling on business, but you may also want to relax or explore the wonderful area of Huntsville, Lake of Bays and Algonquin

Park. You may want a vacation, but do you want to try something adventurous or do you just want to relax at a spa? Deciding on these things will help you plan where to stay, and possibly save you time and money since you can choose the right accommodation that can cater to all your needs. Draw up a budget table with possible projections on how much you would want to spend on your accommodations. Think of the services you want to enjoy while away and account for extra transportation costs if necessary.

The area of Huntsville, Lake of Bays & Algonquin Park is dotted with a variety of accommodations, from family-operated lodges and resorts, cozy bed and breakfast homes, cottage rentals, and full amenity hotels and resorts. Outdoor enthusiasts relish the natural beauty of the many area campgrounds as they drift off to sleep under a blanket of stars. Contact the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce or visit our website www. for a full list of accommodations in North Muskoka.

Killarney Lodge

Where to Stay


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feature 8

Celebrating Tom From 2012 to 2017 Huntsville is celebrating the life and work of Tom Thomson. It was in 1913 that Thomson decided to dedicate his life to becoming a full-time artist.This decision was spurred by sale of his painting “Northern Lake”. Displayed at the 41st Annual exhibition of The Ontario society of Artists, “Northern Lake” was purchased by the Ontario government for $250.00, which was a significant amount at the time.That summer, Tom took a leave of absence from his job and went on a northern sketching trip. He tried his hand at being a fire ranger in the Timmins area, but this

left him with little time for his art. By mid-summer he was back at Canoe Lake in Algonquin Park, doing what he liked best: taking long canoe trips and sketching his way through the wilderness. Tom stayed in the Park painting at various sites and locations through November. He passed through Huntsville on his return trip, likely to visit with his friend Dr. McRuer, or to see the Trainor family, in particular their daughter Winnifred. The Trainors cottaged on Canoe Lake and lived at 11 Centre st. in Huntsville, the home of our mural of Thomsons’ painting The Canoe.

upon returning to Toronto he was introduced to the artist A.Y. Jackson, at a friend’s studio.This meeting with Jackson would create a lasting friendship and have a powerful effect on Thomson’s development as an artist. soon they were to work in the same studio space, where A.Y. Jackson shared his experience in art and art movements. This prompted Tom to create and explore different techniques and ideas. The resulting innovations changed the landscape of Canada’s art culture and the nation’s acceptance of modern art.

From 2012-2017, we invite you to join Huntsville’s celebration of the 100 year anniversary of Tom Thomson’s life in our area. Throughout this five year celebration, different organizations from throughout the community will be hosting events, workshops, and exhibits. For further information and updates please visit and look for the following Tom Thomson seal.


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Jack stewart

what to do 8

B A Y S V I LLE • D O R S E T • D W I G H T

Lake of Bays

Enjoy a scenic loop drive

with plenty of great experiences and attractions around Lake of Bays. If you like to browse, these 3 hamlets have fantastic shopping in unique settings – great for a day trip – enjoy lunch or libations along the way!

Baysville The community of Baysville is a small village on Lake of Bays surrounding the inlet to the famous Muskoka River. The village welcomes tourists year-round and provides a number of quaint shops and services of interest. The area hosts many cottages owned by celebrities who are often seen around the village and has a history of entertaining the rich and famous. The world famous Bigwin Inn has been completely refurbished. Back in the day, it hosted famous entertainers such as Louis Armstrong and Count Basie, and catered to the gatsby-era of Hollywood stars and celebrities. Bigwin now has one of the country’s greatest golf courses with vistas on Lake of Bays that will not soon be forgotten. Baysville is now also home to a number of mural recreations from the group of seven Outdoor gallery which can be spotted around the village and near the new Lake of Bays Brewing Company. Many travelers have passed through this historic charmer throughout the decades and have never forgotten the warm village atmosphere and hospitality of its locals. For more information about Baysville visit:

natural beauty, massive forests, pristine lakes, nightly displays of Northern Lights and the call of the loons – all this, just two hours north of Toronto. The downtown section spans ‘the Narrows’ between Big and Little Trading Bays. Located at Highway 35 and the end of Muskoka Road 117, it is an easy and scenic drive from the greater Toronto area and Algonquin Provincial Park is only a further thirty minutes drive northeast. Dorset is home to the world-famous Dorset Lookout Tower and the widely known Robinson’s general store. The historic single lane humped-back bridge spans the channel between Big and Little Trading Bays and also boasts the village’s only traffic lights. In 2010, the Bigwin steamship was re-launched on her 100th Anniversary. Many years and much hard work were needed to rebuild this beautiful lake steamer, which departs from the town docks in Dorset. The Dorset Heritage Museum is a must-see for all visitors wanting to learn more about Dorset’s ever-changing history. Pick up a free Heritage Walking Tour booklet for a lovely stroll visiting various sites throughout this charming community. The vast areas surrounding Dorset are dotted with dozens of smaller, pristine lakes. Lush mixed forests and spectacular rock out-croppings complete the breathtaking scenery. We invite you to experience it for yourself! For more information about Dorset visit:

Dorset Welcome to Dorset – A Community with a view. Dorset straddles the District of Muskoka and the County of Haliburton. Its landscape has inspired generations of writers, painters and dreamers with its


Dwight Welcome to Dwight! On the shores of Lake of Bays in Ontario, Dwight is in an excellent location for travelers looking to head out on the water and try their hand at

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some fishing. visitors to this hamlet can enjoy their summer getaway by taking to the lake for some swimming or boating from the glorious Dwight Public Beach, which features picnic tables, swimming areas and a public boat launch ramp. It is within walking distance from the quaint and eclectic shops offering Muskoka treats from ice cream, fudge and maple syrup, to complete cottage furnishings. Here travelers will also find Ragged Falls, a sharp and dramatic drop of the Oxtongue River, accessible by car with parking available and marked hiking areas to explore. The Oxtongue River Park offers a wonderful walk along the rapids with picnic sites and breathtaking views. snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are popular winter pastimes. visitors here will not find it difficult to find a place to stay and with so much wonderful nature-viewing in the area, they won’t be at a loss for things to do and new places to discover. Lots of unique cottage resorts and lodges offer accommodations for all tastes and pocketbooks. Nearby, take a detour on Limberlost Road and enjoy an unforgettable artistic experience with The Artists of the Limberlost Open studio Weekend/Tour, an annual tradition taking place each August. For more information about Dwight visit: Here’s a tour that you can take over and over and discover something new each time. Public libraries in each village have free high speed for public use if you want to share your memories right away… and feel free to share your experiences and pictures with us – we would love to hear your feedback! enjoy your ride… • 2014/15 vIsITORs guIDe


what to do 8

Huntsville, Lake of Bays & Algonquin Park offer a shopping experience you’ll not soon forget. Dock your boat at the Town Docks or come by car and park for free throughout Huntsville’s downtown core. Take a stroll down our tree-lined streets to find over 120 unique boutiques, shops and services. Huntsville is home to the only indoor mall in Muskoka, featuring more than 20 shops & services. Huntsville’s Commerce Park, located at Centre St. and Hwy 60, is home to a variety of businesses and grocers. You will be surprised at the variety of merchandise available and the hidden treasures to be found! If it’s delicious food you crave, Huntsville, Lake of Bays & Algonquin Park have an incredible array of restaurants, pubs and cafés sure to satisfy your hunger and delight your palate. Huntsville’s downtown merchants host a number of unique shopping events all year round. You can visit us online for more information and plan to attend. No trip is complete without experiencing our Group of Seven Outdoor Gallery. Tom Thomson's images of the north have always been deeply 42

representative of Algonquin Park and the Huntsville area. In celebration of the Group of Seven and Thomson's contribution to our heritage, some of the best-loved paintings of the Group of Seven have been replicated by mural artists and displayed on our downtown shops and services. Come enjoy the over 90 breath-taking murals sprinkled throughout Huntsville and surrounding area. Watch, interact with the artists, and experience art in the making as Canadian artists gather to create amazing new murals during our Annual Group of Seven Mural Festival in July. Express your inner artist by trying your hand in our annual ‘Add Your Brush Stroke’ Community Mural.Visit for more details. Plan a leisurely drive to Baysville, and tour the local brewery and browse the quaint businesses located in the area. Travel further to Dorset and experience the gorgeous views from the Dorset fire tower. Be sure to visit Robinson’s General Store – voted Canada’s Best Country Store. Dwight features lovely cafes, a world class canoe builder and cottage and home decor to keep your cottage dreams alive. If you are looking for local

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and Candian art, visit the Oxtongue Craft Cabin for an exquisite selection of original art and fine crafts. Huntsville and Lake of Bays hosts a vast selection of artist studios available for tours and shopping. Try the Shutterbug Gallery for fine photography or experience the Artists of the Limberlost studio tour. If you are visiting to enjoy some outdoor adventures, be sure to visit one of our many area outfitters such as Algonquin Outfitters in Huntsville’s downtown or Algonquin Bound Outfitters in Dwight. Let them provide all the gear you will need on your next adventure in our rugged and scenic landscape. Ladies - get your mother, daughters, aunts, and girlfriends together for the Annual Girlfriends’ Getaway Weekend in downtown Huntsville on November 7-9, 2014. For one unique weekend a year, Huntsville pulls out all the stops for you – special adventures in shopping and discounts, pampering, live entertainment and culinary delights await all girlfriends in Huntsville! For more a complete directory of our retail chamber members please visit • 2014/15 VISITORS GuIDE


Thinking of



A wonderful combination of small town charm and big city amenities, Huntsville/Lake of Bays is a destination that provides limitless opportunities for anyone who wants to enjoy the classic Muskoka lifestyle all year long. With state of the art facilities such as The Canada Summit Centre, host to the 2010 G8 Convention, the Waterloo Summit Centre for the Environment and the Algonquin Theatre, there is no need to travel for business or entertainment. As one of the fastest growing communities in Muskoka, a generous portion of Huntsville’s overall economy focuses on our four-season tourism industry. However, we have a burgeoning technology sector including renewable resource technology and an animation studio. In order for our community to continue to grow, new business investment is a local priority.

Assistance Is Always Available Whether you want to start your own business, relocate or expand your existing company, or even start a new career, assistance is always available. The Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce is an excellent resource, and will provide all the contact information that you will need to make your goals a reality. Packages are also available for relocators.

A Sense of Community Pride One of the first things people notice about our community is a sense of belonging. We pride ourselves as a place where everyone’s interests are taken seriously, and where residents work together for a sustainable future. The area boasts an incredible range of activities and a network of organizations and clubs that outstrips most communities of this size. Huntsville and Lake of Bays have hosted many provincial and national level sporting events such as the 2010 Ontario Winter Games and the 2013 Canadian Masters Ski Championships. The Huntsville/Lake of Bays Sport Council assists and advocates for our vast array of sport organizations. We are also proud to be the home of Dara Howell, 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics gold medallist! Huntsville/Lake of Bays is also justifiably proud of its educational system.There are six public elementary schools and

a catholic elementary school, Huntsville High School and 3 private schools: Muskoka Montessori School, Rosseau Lake College and Tawingo College. Post secondary institutions locally include Waterloo university’s Huntsville research facility while Georgian College and Nipissing university have campuses only 30 minutes away. Equally important, our area is well-served with physicians and hospitals. Huntsville/Lake of Bays is included in the Simcoe Muskoka District Health unit. For more information about relocating in Huntsville/Lake of Bays, visit our website at

Town of Huntsville


events 8

NOVEMBER 7-9, 2014 Ladies, get ready for an incredible weekend – relax at the spa, indulge in some retail therapy, enjoy delectable food, exciting entertainment, and share laughs with your girlfriends! Mark your calendars and round up your best gal pals for the annual Girlfriends’ Getaway Weekend, taking place November 7-9, 2014! This annual event, now in its eighth year, continues to get bigger and better every year! Featuring fashion, beauty, wellness, and great performances by artists like Pat Benatar, Amanda Marshall,

Jann Arden and Chantal Kreviazuk, the weekend continues to offer additional events and activities each year. Planning is well underway for 2014 and local accommodators will be offering fantastic packages for ladies traveling from out-oftown — be sure to check the website for all the exciting details as they happen! Girlfriends’ Getaway Weekend is the perfect opportunity for women to relax and reconnect with old friends, share a glass of wine, and reminisce about the past. Spend the day exploring our

downtown shops and all the amazing & unique items each has to offer. This is a chance to rejuvenate the mind, body, and soul with good food, great friends, and unforgettable entertainment! So ladies, leave your husband and kids behind for a few days and start planning your getaway to Huntsville and Lake of Bays — you deserve a few days of pampering and Girlfriends’ Getaway Weekend is just what the doctor ordered!



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The home of

Dara Howell members including grandmother Sandy Raven and uncle Bruce Howell, while the entire crowd wore red and white with many sporting “Dara” shirts. "What can you say?" says Jack. "It's wonderful, it's unbelievable. She had her goals four years ago from her first

Kelly Holinshead

Ever since the brilliance of the 19year-old from Huntsville led to an Olympic gold medal at the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, this is how her hometown will forever be known after Feb. 11, 2014. Having been in the upper echelon of women's slopestyle for several years, Howell is taking her sport to new heights by trying freestyle tricks previously only done by her male counterparts. Her groundbreaking maneuvers can be traced back to the late, great Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke, a trailblazer in her own right who proved women could rock the slopes just like the men. Howell made mention of how much Burke meant to her and to the sport in several interviews after becoming an Olympic champion with a score of 94.2, well above the rest of the field. It was fitting Howell was the first Canadian woman to compete in slopestyle at the Olympics, as the sport made it's debut in 2014, as a stellar run gave her top spot in qualifying. Several family and friends were in Sochi to cheer her on, including mom and dad Dee and Doug, nana Jacquie, aunt Kim Spiteri, Doug and Karen Litchfield and more. Back at home in Huntsville, the Muskoka Ski Club and Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area threw a huge party to watch Howell win gold. The elation was incredible with the raucous crowd starting the celebration at midnight and running past 5 a.m. Her grandfathers Ken Raven and Jack Howell hugged each other and other family

competition: She was headed to the X-Games and headed to the Olympics and her dreams came true." It was at Hidden Valley and through the Muskoka Ski Club, of which the Howells and Ravens have been long time

46 2014/15 VISITORS GuIDE •

members, where the journey to becoming an Olympic Champion began for Dara. There are young skiers who were once coached by the gold medal winner and she has very fond memories of skiing with her family there. “My parents put me on skis at 18 months and I always got to ski with my grandfather,” Howell says of Ken. “Coming from a skiing family, my parents always wanted me to follow my dreams. He’s the reason that my family skis. I didn’t expect that would mean being an Olympic champion some day.This is the best moment of my entire life.” Dee and Doug returned home to see large signs saying “The Home of Dara Howell” along highway 11 and highway 60. They are placed above the Welcome to Huntsville signs heading into Huntsville from all directions. As well, “Go Dara Go” hand made signs, “Congratulations Dara” posters and more were placed at storefronts all through Huntsville. Dee and Doug were overwhelmed with pride and appreciativeness when driving through the town late after arriving from Russia. Doug says there have been thousands of congratulatory messages on his and Dara's social media sites as well. “The community has been so supportive all along,” says Doug. “They've been there from the start, well before the Olympics.” Although Howell won the gold, the moment was shared by her family, her friends, the Muskoka Ski Club, Hidden Valley Highlands and the town of Huntsville.

mson’s Tom Thoorges 1916 G a w a w t: Peta Mural Artis 7 er 200 d ei n ch S f Ola (alley wall) Outfitters Algonquin 6 Main St. E. 8

Lawren Harr Mural Art Snow II 1915is’ is Trinity U t: Gerry Lantaig nited Ch ne 2006 33 Main urch (side wall) St. E.

Tom Thomson’s Autumn Foliage 1916 Mural Artist:Tim Webb 2007 Algonquin Outfitters - 86 Main St. E.

ichael’s Franklin Carm 1929 Mirror Lake ntaigne 2005 La Mural Artist: Gerry de wall) (si se ca ok Bo e Th 93 Main St. E.

Tom Tho White Birch mson’s Mural Artist: Jo Grove 1916 Algonquin Th hn Hood 2007 eatre (rea 37 Main St. E. r wall)

Where else can you explore Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven replications under square miles of open skies? ONLY IN DOWNTOWN HUNTSVILLE AND SURROUNDING AREA! The Group of Seven Outdoor Gallery, originally founded by Gerry Lantaigne, is a project of the Downtown Huntsville Business Improvement Area (BIA). Contact the BIA for more information at 8 West St. N., Unit 4, Huntsville, ON P1H 2B6 705-789-1400,

Tom Thomson’s1915 ober Algonquin Oct Lazos 2007 m illia W : tist Ar l ura M (rear wall) Algonquin Theatre E. 37 Main St.

A.Y. Jackso Night Pine Islann’s d 1924 Mural Artist: Janine White (Marson) 2007 Hutcheson, Reynold s & Caswell (rear wall) - 27 Ma in St. E.

Tom Thomson’s Northern River 1915 Mural Artist: Gerry Lantaigne 2006 Flotron’s Tweed & Hickory (rear wall) 18 Main St. E. son’s Tom Thome 1916 in P ck Ja The e 1999 erry Lantaign Mural Artist: G(side) - 4 Brunel Rd. ’s Miss Lester

Tom T Autumn’s G homson’s Mural Artists: Gearland 1915-1916 with over 1,300 rry Lantaigne, along Huntsville residen ts and visito Reflections of Mrs 2010 uskoka (side) 49 Main St. E.

2014 Huntsville/Lake of Bays Visitor Guide  
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