Friday, April 24

Spring Walk on the Seguin Trail

After three days of on-and-off drizzle, we were delighted to see some sun poking out from behind the clouds. I can't really complain about the rain—it did a lot to melt the snow and green the grass.

As I often do on such spring days, I donned my rubber boots and went for walk along the Seguin Trail. Saba and I stopped at the neighbour's first to see if Casey (the basset hound) wanted to tag along. He always does.

First we walked over to the little beaver pond just a few minutes down the trail. A day earlier, I had watched a beaver swimming back in forth in front of his lodge. Of course today (when I actually remember to bring the camera) he decides to play shy. You can see his lodge in the photo but unfortunately those are just stumps in the water around it, not beaver noses.

There were, however, two pairs of Canadian geese on the pond. We can hear them honking in the morning but they never stay long. They'll be heading further north after their little break here.

After visiting the pond, we took our time strolling up the Seguin Trail to the little lake. As an old rail bed, the trail is level and wide. While there are a few sections still partially covered with hard-packed snow or melt-puddles, much of it is dry, firm gravel or sand. At this time of year, i
t's a lot easier walking on the Seguin than along the more deeply shaded trails of the forest.
While the treescape is still looking rather stark, the buds have started to form on trees and bushes and the mosses are as brilliantly green as ever. And there are no bugs yet!

It's a good time for casual or avid hikers and walkers to make use of the Seguin Trail with a day hike from Fern Glen Inn to the town of Sprucedale. It's a 13km route through woods, past small lakes and marshes, with very few signs of civilization. Depending on your pace and number of photo breaks, it takes about 3-4 hours to get to Sprucedale.

We offer free pickup service back to the inn for guests staying two nights or more, as well as an optional hiking supply pack for those who haven't planned ahead. Find out more about our Seguin Trail Day Hike package or just give us a call for more info. See you on the trail!
April prepares her green traffic light and the world thinks Go.- Christopher Morley, John Mistleto

Wednesday, April 15

The "Best Kept Secret" Season

My mom will tell you that when I was a child, she had to cajole, bribe and threaten to get me to go anywhere. And then she'd have to cajole, bribe and threaten to get me to go home again. Wherever I was and whatever I was doing at a given moment, I wanted to keep being there and continue doing it. I guess I was in a perpetual state of enthrallment. And to be honest, not much has changed. At least not when it comes to the seasons.

I always love whichever season I am currently in, wishing it would never end. Take winter for instance. When March was winding down and the snow was generally shrinking instead of growing, everyone around me was saying "it's about time, we've had enough #!@&! snow already!". But me? I was hoping for one more big blizzard, a cold snap, a fresh foot of powder to admire and play in. Instead, I was dragged kicking and screaming out of Winter and into Spring. But now that I'm here, now that Spring is here, I love it.

In fact, right now is one of the most delightful times of year. But I call it the Best Kept Secret season because few people realize that from early-April till about mid-May, we are graced with some of the best weather of the year.

The days are often brilliantly sunny and warm while the air is fresh and clean.
On afternoons like this, it is sacrilege to stay indoors. Take a deep breath as you stroll down a path and you may be rewarded with the scent of snow, pine or gently baking earth. The birds sing in the morning. The frogs will soon start singing at night. And the best part is it's too early for the bugs: there are NO biting insects to pester us!

Spring in Muskoka and Almaguin has all this subtle splendor, but not many people to appreciate it. It's just not a popular getaway time of year here. The winter adventures are over but it's too soon for summer activities such as swimming and canoeing.

Instead it's a low-key time of meandering walks through forests that are just coming back to life. Or sitting with a cup of tea or glass of wine on the deck by the Coop and soaking in the sun. It means no crowds in Algonquin Park and no long waits at favourite restaurants.

Of course, the weather can be unpredictable in the spring. April showers... as the saying goes. Sometimes it rains. The trails are wet. But it never seems to matter if you're dressed for the weather (rubber boots are the footwear of choice). If it's a little too breezy or cool, well then that's just a good excuse to have a fire going.

I, for one, will continue to revel in this under-estimated season. At least I will until I'm dragged into the next one. :)

If a quiet spring getaway to recharge and relax sounds like your cup of tea, check out our Mini-Sabbatical package. It's designed as a solo retreat but can easily be tweaked for two.

Thursday, April 2

Spring Happenings

Events and activities in and around Fern Glen Inn, Muskoka and the Almaguin Highlands this spring. Check back often as we add new items as we hear of them.

Easter Weekend
The first long weekend of the season! Getaway for some rest and relaxation, nibble a chocolate bunny, and watch the world reawaken around you.
April 10-13

Dorset Evening of Wine, Words, Music and Art
This 6th annual celebration of the arts will be held at the Dorset Recreation Centre. The evening includes writers reading from their works, music, visual arts and refreshments. Tickets are $6 each or two for $10. Call 705-766-9968 for details.
April 24, 6:30pm

Powassan Maple Syrup Festival
Spend a great day outdoors celebrating this sweet sign of spring. The 12th annual festival features a lumberjack show, Scottish heavy events demonstration, sheep shearing, antique cars, live music, vendors, and of course,
tours to the Sugar Bush and horse-drawn wagon rides. Located in the town of Powassan, about a 45 minute drive north of the inn. Visit the Powassan Maple Syrup Festival for details.
April 25

Reel Paddling Film Festival
Canoe and kayak enthusiasts (and armchair-adventurers) will be thrilled and inspired at this screening of the world's best paddling films. Now in it's 4th year, the Reel Paddling Film Festival tours 75 cities around the world, including a stop at Huntsville's Alqonquin Theatre, with thanks to Algonquin Outfitters for sponsoring this event. Tickets are $12 each. Visit the Algonquin Theatre for ordering and details.
April 29, 7pm

Soapmaking 101
SoapStones store in Huntsville is offering a free workshop in soapmaking. Watch an expert make soap the old fashioned way and learn why it needs time, high quality oils and imagination. No cost to attend, but advance registration is required. Visit SoapStones in Huntsville for more information.
May 4, 5:30-7:30pm

The Art of Remembering
An exhibition
of works by artists who’ve lost loved ones to cancer and those whose lives have been touched by cancer. A celebration of life, remembrance and hope. Friday evening Gala features opening words from Roy MacGregor, plus refreshments and live entertainment. Saturday is the exhibition, sale and silent auction with proceeds benefiting the Canadian Cancer Society. Located at HV Resort, Hunstsville. Visit the Art of Remembering for details.
May 8, 6-10pm & May 9, 10am-4pm

Fern Glen Garden Centre season opening
The local garden centre re-opens for the 2009 season with a weekend celebration. The Moose FM will be broadcasting from the centre on Saturday and giving away some prizes and gifts. The new cafe with a selection of coffees, herbal teas and treats will be giving a free coffee to mothers all weekend long. Early planting items will be in stock as well as gift items and garden decor. The garden centre is located at Masons Rd and Fern Glen Rd, just minutes from the inn.
May 9 & 10

Mother's Day
Treat your mom to a weekend away, perhaps to browse some antique shops or barn sales, or challenge yourselves with a 13km walk along the Seguin Trail to Sprucedale. We would love to make your mom a delicious breakfast here at the inn, but if you can't get away for the weekend, why not whip up a tasty brunch for her featuring asparagus and poached eggs
and strawberry shortcake.
May 10

Clay Masks Workshop
SoapStones store in Huntsville is offering a free workshop in how to make masks from your kitchen. Learn about the various clays used in SoapStones products and what they bring to your skin. No cost to attend, but advance registration is required. Visit SoapStones in Huntsville for more information.
May 17, 2-4pm

Victoria Day, better known as the May Two-Four
This is the weekend when Canadians from coast to coast get out of their respective cities and celebrate the return of outdoor weather. B&B's, hotels, and campsites fill up around the Huntsville and Algonquin area, so book your own long weekend getaway well in advance.
May 15-18

Spin the Lakes Road Bike Tour
Not a race, this event is a great opportunity for cyclists of all levels to hit the road and take a spin through gorgeous Muskoka scenery. Choose from 50km, 110km or 170km routes. The event is supported with vehicles, food and water stations; plus everyone who registers gets a post-ride pasta dinner and the chance to win prizes. Proceeds go to Share the Road Cycling Coalition. Visit Muskoka Cycling Club for registration, route maps and further info.
May 24

Muskoka Triathlon and Duathlon
Ontario's Ironman Qualifier takes place in and around Huntsville. The long course races end right downtown, perfect for cheering the remarkable athletes as they finish their grueling challenge. Visit Trisport Canada - Muskoka for further info.
June 13-14

Fly Almaguin Celebration of Flight
The South River Sundridge Airport is marking 100 years of aviation in Canada with a weekend celebration. Planned activities include aircraft displays, COPA for Kids flights, hangar movie theatre showing plane movies, local vendors, music & food. There will also be a full-size replica of the Silver Dart on display. Visit Fly Almaguin Celebration of Flight for details.
June 20-21

Father's Day
Even dads like getaways! Especially when they have so many activities to choose from. Within an easy drive of the inn, there are numerous golf courses, canoe and kayak rentals, hiking trails, and restaurants serving up hearty steaks and blue-plate specials.
June 21

Celebrating Muskoka Recital
Attend the 'world premiere' of internationally acclaimed composer Nancy Telfer's new composition, written especially for the Huntsville Suzuki School of Music. The performance takes place in a natural setting, visually interpreted with an exhibition by photographer Alija Bos. Taking place at the Jerret's barn on Hwy 60, Huntsville. Refreshments will be served. Tickets are $20. Visit The Algonquin Theatre for details.
June 21, 2pm-4pm

Wood n Things Rendezvous
Two-day event featuring chainsaw carving, instrument fabrication, log & twig furniture, wildlife and decoy carving. Live demos, displays, silent auction, farmer's market, bbq, and live entertainment. All taking place in the nearby town of Magnetawan. Visit Wood n Things Rendezvous for details.
June 26-27

The Group of Seven Mural Festival
During this 10-day event, seven new murals will be added to Huntsville's Group of Seven Outdoor Gallery. Each mural is a larger-than-life reproduction of an original piece by one of Canada's famed Group of Seven artists. During the festival, you can watch the muralists work their craft, and you can even participate and "add your brush stroke" to one of the murals. Visit The Group of Seven Outdoor Gallery for details.
June 26 - July 5