Friday, November 21, 2014

Winter comes early

The snow is deeper than the Coop Deck and nearly to the top of the Muskoka chairs.

 It's not unusual to have the occasion snowfall or short blast of flurries in November. In fact, most years we get a little taste of snow as a prelude of the winter to come, but it's usually an insubstantial dusting that melts within days. Not this time.

The snow started for earnest in the second week of November and it basically hasn't stopped. It is now November 21st, a month before winter officially arrives, but it looks like February out there -- a particularly snowy February at that!

I don't know if all this snow is here to stay until spring. We've got some more seasonal, above-freezing temperatures and rain in the forecast so we may see the grass again before winter arrives for good. Until then, we'll strap on our snowshoes and enjoy the fluffy stuff!

Jim had to snowshoe to the chicken coop to check on the ladies.

More snow falls.
That's the picnic table in front of the gazebo frame.
The Muskoka chairs around the fire bowl.
This way to winter!
Walking in a wonderland.
 There's plenty of winter still to come. Find out how you can enjoy the snowy season with a Winter Getaway package for snowshoeing, dog sledding, or a cozy weekend in the country.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cool-weather Friends

The chickadees aren't always eating out of our hands... 
Not when we're taking a break on a lovely autumn afternoon.

If you've never heard the expression "fair-weather friends" it refers to those who only want to spend time with you when all is (figuratively) sunny and bright in your world. Well that certainly does not include the chickadees and nuthatches who share our forest. Quite the opposite, in fact.

These little feathered friends ignore us throughout the bountiful days of summer and only honey up to us when autumn sets in and chillier days are upon us. They don't even have to know you. They'll be your new BFFs, quite happy to hang out with you -- as long as you've got a palmfull of birdseed -- until well into spring when the sunshine and warm temps bring back all sorts of natural food sources for them. 

We don't mind this fickleness. Cool-weather friends or not, it's always a treat to share a feast with these little birds with big personalities.

A chickadee making sure it finds the *best* seed. Yes, they're choosy!

Aerodynamic nuthatch grabbing a snack.

The nuthatch keeps coming back for more. Must be stockpiling!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Screaming Heads in Autumn

Raise your  hand if you love autumn!

The Screaming Heads outdoor artscape is a fascinating place to explore at any time of year, but the "wow factor" goes into overdrive in autumn. Add a backdrop of brilliant fall colours to the already striking vistas of cast concrete sculptures, geodesic domes, pyramids and house-turned-castle, and it's an autumn experience that can't be missed. It got even more interesting this year when it was yarn-bombed by a group of knitters as part of the Almaguin Highlands Sweater Weather weekend.

Jim and I made time for an afternoon fall drive last week and meandered up to Midlothian Road for a fantastical walk in, around and through the Screaming Heads.

Well hi there!
Pull yourself across the pond on an old-fashioned guide-wire ferry.
View from the ferry crossing.
Through the geodesic dome.
Even the sunbeams are getting their groove on!

Trail through the woods.
Expansive view.
I call this one "Jazz Hands". :)
Colour me happy -- love those hills!
"A pyramid, a horse and a hand walk into an artscape..."
The glove fits! Yarn-bombed sculptures for the Sweater Weather weekend.

Do you want to see this for yourself? We provide maps, directions and itinerary suggestions to our guests at Fern Glen Inn; or stop in at the Burk's Falls welcome centre and ask for directions to the Screaming Heads.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Fall Fuel & Fun

Read about our hike on the Centennial Ridges Trail

As if a getaway in the beautiful season of autumn wasn't spectacular enough, it gets even better with the Fuel & Fun promo from Explorers' Edge. Book your Fall Getaway now and get $100 in free gas and goodies!

Just book your getaway by September 30th for a 2-night stay between October 1st and 31st and you can be 1 of 200 travelers to receive a $50 gas card and $50 worth of vouchers to use-as-cash at participating restaurants, shops and attractions!

You can combine the Fuel & Fun promo with any of our packages or with any standard two-night stay. Our famous breakfasts are always included, along with use of our property, fire bowl, hot tub, private hiking trails and rustic cabin guest lounge.

Quantities are limited -- first come, first served -- so act quickly to avoid disappointment.

When do you stay?
Any two consecutive nights between October 1 and October 31, 2014

When do you book?
Make your reservation and register for your vouchers (we'll tell you how) by September 30, 2014

What do you get?
$50 gas card plus $50 in spending vouchers to use at participating shops, eateries and attractions during your stay. Of course, you also get two comfortable nights and two delicious breakfasts at Fern Glen Inn.

What's the catch?
There is none! You don't have to "buy one" to "get one" nor spend a minimum amount of money. Consider the free gas and vouchers as an invitation to come explore this beautiful region, courtesy of Explorers' Edge.

The Fuel & Fun Fall Getaway at Fern Glen Inn

Your getaway includes:

Fuel & Fun Fall Getaway Price: starting from $236**

**Most dates are $236/couple; the Thanksgiving long weekend rate is $270/couple for two nights or $375/couple for three nights. Lower rates available for solo travelers. 13% HST is extra.

Callemail or book online. Visit Fuel & Fun at Fern Glen Inn for details.
: :   : :   : :   : :

* Quantities are limited. Only the first 200 "Qualified Bookings" within the entire Explorers' Edge region will receive the Gas Cards and Experience Vouchers. To be a "Qualified Booking", you must:
• book by Sept 30, 2014
• register your confirmation number directly at Explorers' Edge
• stay between Oct 1 and Oct 31, 2014
• stay for 2 consecutive nights or longer
Experience Vouchers may only be used between 
Oct 1 and Oct 31, 2014

In partnership with

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Paddle at Your Own Pace: Ragged Falls Day Trip

I've told you before about the paddling day trip to Ragged Falls near Oxtongue Lake. It's a popular excursion for guests in summer and fall, and for good reason:

It suits pretty much every skill level; it feels like being in the wilderness while not being far off the beaten path; it provides a scenic destination to aim for instead of just wandering around a lake; and as a 3-hour or so round trip, it's the right length of time to feel like you've done something substantial without eating up your whole day.

Now it's even easier for our guests to paddle to Ragged Falls because Algonquin Outfitters, the fine folks who'll rent you a canoe right by the water, are providing vouchers for us to include in our packages which you can use to rent a 2-person canoe or to put towards other equipment (such as kayaks or stand up paddleboards).

And if you want a canoeing day trip that's either tamer or more challenging than the paddle to Ragged Falls, you can use the voucher for other options, too.

Paddle at Your Own Pace: Ragged Falls Day Trip

Package includes:
• 2 nights accommodation
• Breakfast both mornings
• Canoe rental voucher

From $259/couple + hst
If choosing an option in Algonquin Park, add $15 for a one-day park pass.

For more information or to book your paddling getaway package, call us at 1-866-311-8519, shoot us an email, or book online via our website at

Algonquin Outfitters voucher options:

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Summer and Fall Events Listings

There's so much happening throughout the region in the summer and fall, from live performances to sporting events to active learning to shopping and dining. Of course you don't have to do anything but relax and unwind if that's your perfect getaway, but if you do want to be entertained, inspired, and enlightened, you'll find plenty of choices.

Check out these Events Listings and Calendars to see what's happening on your days in the area, or browse the offerings and plan your trip to coincide.

Calendar of Events, Huntsville and Area

Festivals and Cultural Events, Huntsville and Area

Sporting Events, Huntsville and Area

Events Listings, Explorers' Edge tourism region

Calendar of Events, Muskoka tourism region

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The BBC comes to Emsdale!

Unwinding after a long day. The camera is out to get some moon and star shots after night falls.

We were delighted to host a film crew from the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) for 12 nights earlier this month. They were here to film at a local bear rehabilitation sanctuary as part of a nature documentary series for BBC Earth

Jim and I are big fans of BBC programming, so we were thrilled to have a peripheral connection to the production. Of course we made sure our "boys from the beeb" were well-fed and comfortably housed, but they also enjoyed unwinding with a bonfire, a bit of "footy" with the soccer ball, or a soak in the hot tub after a long day of shooting.

And boy, did they put in long days! They started early every morning and often worked well into the evening. Definitely a hard-working, focused team. And yet, even with the long hours, they were still absolutely lovely guests. Always pleasant and cheerful -- even early in the morning before the first cup of coffee! -- and happy to share their stories and adventures with us.

They've promised to let us know when the documentary comes out, and we'll be sure to let you know, too.

Geraint, Sam, me (Jackie), Jim, Graham and Matt. It's a wrap!

Thanks, boys, for a great visit!