Friday, August 28

Paddle to Ragged Falls

A popular activity for our guests is the paddle from Oxtongue Lake to the base of Ragged Falls. It's not just fun for visitors, though, Jim and I took an afternoon off this week and did the paddle ourselves. We had a great time!

Starting out from the inn, we stopped in Huntsville to pick up some requisite trail mix and snacks from the Bulk Barn before taking Hwy 60 to Algonquin Outfitters Oxtongue Lake store. They offer both canoe and kayak rentals, which included the life jackets and paddles as well as a map of the route from the store dock to the falls..

The helpful fella manning the equipment office made sure we were all set on the water. Jim and I have paddled extensively so didn't need any instruction, but if you're new to paddling, be sure to tell the staff and they'll spend a few minutes covering the basics before sending you off.

It took us about an hour to paddle from the store dock, cutting across a corner of Oxtongue Lake then up the Oxtongue River, to the base of Ragged Falls. In the calm water below the falls, we pulled our canoe up onto the rocks and then hiked up to the top of the falls. It's a lovely spot and has been a favourite stop of ours for many years. If you want to see the falls without the paddling, it's very easy to get to by car and just a 5-minute walk from the parking lot to the river.

After touring the falls, we got back in the canoe and retraced our route back to the store. On the way home we stopped at Dwight Beach for a swim (okay, Jim swam and I beach-bummed). It's a gorgeous, sandy, shallow beach on Lake of Bays and worth the stop.

We definitely recommend the paddle to Ragged Falls, suitable for both novice and experienced paddlers. This and other local paddling options are a great way to spend a summer or early-fall afternoon during a visit to the inn.

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