Wednesday, March 30

Banana Nut Energy Bars

Spring brings an increase in outdoor activity for all kinds of animals—even the two-legged variety. Of course, a lot of us love getting outside all winter long for snowshoeing and skiing, but the clear roads, warmer temperatures and longer days of the new season make it even easier to get outside and to stay out for longer stretches.

For many sports enthusiasts, it also marks the start of the training season to get ready for early-summer races and events. Road running, trail running, cycling, swimming and paddling are all popular around here in terms of both casual sports and competitive sporting events. Band on the Run, Spin the Lakes, the Limberlost Challenge, Muskoka River X, and Muskoka Ironman 70.3 are just some of the organized sports events in the area. Between races, the region has become a training destination thanks to our fresh air, challenging hills and variety of terrain.

Since the snow has started to clear out, Jim and I have swopped our snowshoes for running shoes and have been hitting the roads and parks in preparation for some running races (and in Jim's case a triathlon) in the coming months.

A big part of training includes fuelling for the increased activity level. There are all sorts of commercial energy bars out there for portable, accessible fuel but one look at the ingredient list can make them lose some appeal. If you'd rather know what you're putting in your body, it's easy to make your own energy bars at home. We like these Banana Nut Energy Bars for a quick boost before a run or to replenish our reserves afterwards.

Banana Nut Energy Bars

These bars are moist, dense and hold together well. Feel free to replace the almonds and walnuts with other nuts or seeds, or to swop out the dried cherries for dried cranberries, raisins or other dried fruit.
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats, divided
  • 1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup pitted dried dates
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 medium-size very ripe banana
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9” square pan with parchment paper, leaving overhang.

In a food processor, whirl 1/2 cup oats until fine. Add remaining oats, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, apricots and dates. Pulse until apricots and dates are diced into pieces no larger than a chickpea.

Transfer mixture from food processor into a large mixing bowl. To mixture, add almonds, walnuts, dried cherries, salt and cinnamon. Stir to combine.

In the same food processor, whirl banana, maple syrup, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Pour over mixture in bowl and stir to combine thoroughly.

Press into prepared pan. Bake until firm and lightly golden, about 20-25 minutes. Cool in pan then slice into bars or squares. Makes 18 bars, more or less, depending on how you slice it.

Fuel up and get active!

Monday, February 22

Arrowhead Park Skating Trail - Fire & Ice Night

Imagine gliding through a frosted forest, under a starry sky, on a ribbon of ice lit by flames reflecting on snow. You don't have to imagine it! You can experience it yourself on the ice skating trail at Arrowhead Provincial Park, just north of Huntsville, Muskoka. Now in its fifth year, the trail has become a must-do attraction for winter getaways.

Photo courtesy of Arrowhead Provincial Park

The skating trail is a 1.3 km loop through the forest at Arrowhead Park, and it's maintained by the park's own zamboni-like grooming machine. Cross-country ski trails, snowshoe trails and fat-biking trails also traverse the park grounds. Don't have your own skates, skis, snowshoes or fat bikes? Rent them at the park for reasonable rates. The park also provides inner tubes to use for free on their tubing hill. And, wow, it's a hill!

Perhaps the coolest thing about the ice skating trail at Arrowhead Park are the special Fire & Ice nights, scheduled on occasion throughout the winter. The last one scheduled for the 2016 season is set for Saturday, February 27 from 6-9pm for night time skating under the stars.

Arrowhead Provincial Park is located an easy drive from the inn. Looking for a winter getaway package to include accommodations and a day in Arrowhead Park? Try our Snowshoe in the Park package. It includes: 

Snowshoe in the Park Winter Getaway Package

  • Two nights accommodations
  • Breakfast both mornings
  • Handmade biscotti and gourmet hot chocolate
  • Use of snowshoes for the day
  • One-day Ontario Parks Pass for admission into Arrowhead and/or Algonquin Park

Rate: from $285/couple + tax (higher during Christmas/NewYears holidays and Family Day long weekend)

Visit the Fern Glen Inn website for more information, or call, email or book online.

See you at the park!

Thursday, November 26

Holiday Season at Fern Glen Inn

The sun sets over the meadow in front of the guest lounge cabin.
What can be more magical than spending the holidays in a winter wonderland? Imagine fresh snow sparkling like diamond dust in the moonlight, a mug of hot chocolate in front of a toasty fire, the crunch of snowshoes on a forest trail, a cheeky little chickadee pecking a seed from the palm of your hand, a glimpse of a deer in a snow-clad meadow.

Fern Glen Inn is open throughout the Christmas / New Year's holiday season. Guests are welcome to arrive on any day, even Christmas, and stay for short getaway or the whole week.

'Winter in the Country' is the theme of a getaway here. If you're not into a commercial Christmas or big parties, this is the right place for you. While we do put out a few winter-themed decorations, we let mother nature deck the landscape outside and keep things low-key inside.

The Coach House with four guest suites.

Do as much or as little as you like. You can stay on the property, enjoying our snowshoes and trails, toboggans and hill, or just unwinding in the Coop guest lounge or in your room. Snowshoes and toboggans are FREE for guests to use on our 120 acre property!

For more excitement, venture out to Arrowhead Park or Algonquin Park and enjoy their trails by boot, snowshoe or cross-country ski. Arrowhead Park's ice skating trail and tubing hill are popular ways to enjoy a winter day outside. Don't worry about the weather, you can warm up at the warming hut or outdoor fire. For a special treat, spend a Saturday evening skating by starlight and tiki torches during a "Fire and Ice" night!

For a faster pace, go down-hill skiing or snowboarding at Hidden Valley Ski Area in Huntsville, or book a guided dog sledding excursion at a local ranch. See the 2015/16 Dog Sledding Schedule and Rates here (coming soon).

Holiday Rates are in effect from December 24 through January 3. See our 2015/16 Holiday Rates here.

Breakfast is included with every stay. Dinners at the inn are available with advance notice. Find out more about dinners at the inn here.

Visit the Fern Glen Inn website for more information.

Check available dates or book online here.

Snowshoe angels in front of the Coop guest lounge.

Holiday Rates, Dinners and Packages

Fern Glen Inn is open throughout the Christmas / New Year's holiday season. Guests are welcome to arrive on any day, even Christmas, and stay for short getaway or the whole week.


Holiday Rates are in effect from December 24, 2015, to January 3, 2016. For most other dates, see our Standard Rates listed on our website rooms or packages pages, or by entering your dates in our online date-picker.

2015/16 Holiday Rates, Dec 24 - Jan 3:

  • B&B 2-night Getaway: $260/couple
  • Country Winter Getaway Package: $339/couple
  • Snowshoe in Arrowhead or Algonquin Park Package: $305/couple
  • Chili-Dog Dog Sledding Package: $325/person
  • Add a third night for just $120/couple

Every stay at Fern Glen Inn during the winter includes:

  • Delicious, full served breakfast each morning
  • Free use of snowshoes on our 120 acre property
  • Use of rustic cabin guest lounge with wood-burning stove
  • Directions and suggestions for enjoying the region
  • Every room has a queen bed and private ensuite bathroom and is suitable for one or two people per room

Private snowshoe trails at Fern Glen Inn.
Learn more about winter getaway packages here.
Learn more about Fern Glen Inn here.
Book online here.

Holiday Dinner Schedule/Rates

Breakfast is included with every stay and dinners are available at the inn with advance notice. While meals are "cook's choice" and not selected from a menu, there are a few options for types of meals: Country Dinner (homemade bread, main course, dessert, tea/coffee); Chili Dinner (cornbread, chili and all the fixings, dessert, tea/coffee); Soup in the Coop (packed for self-serving homemade soup, crackers/bread, simple dessert).
  • December 24: Chili Dinner, $25/person
  • December 25: Country Dinner, $35/person
  • December 31: Country Dinner, $35/person
  • January 1: Chili Dinner, $25/person
  • All other dates: open (first to book, first to choose)
  • Any dates: Soup in the Coop, $15/person
Add 13% sales tax to all prices.

Visit the Fern Glen Inn website for more information.
Check available dates or book online here.
Guests heading out from the Coop lounge for a snowshoe hike on private trails.

Monday, October 26

Golden Encore on the Pond

Every year I marvel at the Golden Encore—that spectacular turning of the tamaracks from green to gold after the maple reds have faded—and this year is no different.

Jim and I took a stroll over to the pond late yesterday afternoon and were wowed by the glow of the trees and marsh grasses under the late-day sun. It's hard to believe we're nearing the end of October already, but this is perhaps my favourite time for hiking. The air is cool enough to keep you moving briskly but warm enough to leave the heavy boots at home. The landscape, as you can see, is still a stunning backdrop to the trails but the crowds have emptied out of the parks and towns. I don't know about you, but I'll take as many more days like this as we can get.

If you've never seen the Golden Encore for yourself, you still have time to get outside and enjoy it before all those lovely yellow needles drop. And if not, I hope you enjoy the photos we snapped at the pond yesterday.


Plan a peaceful late-autumn getaway for some trail hiking, gentle walks in the woods, or just getting cozy by the fire as the sun goes down. Call, email or book online

Tuesday, September 8

The Best Seasons of Fall

No doubt, autumn is a beautiful time for a getaway, but it encompasses a broad stretch of time that includes many micro-seasons. So when should you come for a getaway? Well that depends on what you want to see and do. Here's our breakdown...

Mid September: Great hiking weather, sometimes even swimming weather; no bugs; no crowds; fall colours are starting.

Late September: Fall colours are really going good and working up to peak (or hitting peak in the higher elevations); great time to hike the hardwood forests; hit the trails that take you to viewpoints looking out over the tops of trees; take lots of photos; stay up late and watch the stars.

Early to mid October: Colours peak (sooner in Algonquin Park, later in the rest of the region); hear the leaves swish around your feet as you walk the trails and look up as the colour moves lower in the understory; slow country drives to take it all in; Thanksgiving long weekend lets you get a longer break to really shake the city off.

Mid to late October: Maples have finished their show and the tamaracks are putting on the Golden Encore; invigorating walks; toasty fires.

November: discover the subtle beauty of the November forest; save more with Quiet Season rates in effect; no crowds; time to relax, catch up on reading, get away from it all; Girlfriends' Getaway weekend in Huntsville.


Most Dates in September and October:
$240 for a 2-night stay

Thanksgiving Long Weekend:
$280 for a 2-night stay OR $375 for a 3-night stay

$220 for a 2-night stay

Prices include breakfast and accommodation for two people in a Coach House Room. Add $10/night for the Homestead Room. Add 13% HST. 


Find available rooms in the Coach House here. If you don't find an available room for your dates, email us to find out if the Homestead Room is available.

What's available during prime colours?
Many weekends are already filling up, but if you can come midweek, or take a Friday or Monday off work, or have no commitments for the Thanksgiving Long Weekend, you've got more options. Here are some...

Sept 22 & 23: Carriage & Granary Rooms
Sept 23 thru 25: Granary Room
Sept 25 thru 27: Homestead Room (book by email/phone)
Sept 29 & 30: Green & Loft Rooms
Sept 30 & Oct 1: Granary Room
Oct 3 & 4*: Green, Carriage & Loft Rooms
Oct 5 thru 8: selection of rooms available
Thanksgiving Weekend Oct 9 thru 11: Homestead Room (book by email/phone)
Oct 12 thru 15: selection of rooms available 
Oct 18 and beyond: selection of rooms available
*Saturday & Sunday nights: great choice if you can take Monday off work!

If you book your Fall Getaway by September 17, you can also get FREE $50 Gas Card and $50 in Spending Vouchers with your 2-night stay!
Call, email or book online. Visit Fall Fuel & Fun at Fern Glen Inn for details.