Did teachers really ask us, when we returned to school every September, to present an essay on "how I spent my summer holidays", or is that just a Hollywood myth that's made its way into our collective memory?
I suspect it's the latter, at least for me. I don't remember every having to report back on my holidays. But if I did—and if you do—the answer could be full of interesting sights and adventures if you spend some time around here.
To make it really easy, I've put together a little guide with some things to do on a summer holiday in Muskoka & the Almaguin Highlands. The hardest part of your vacation will be deciding what to do first!
(pssst: any of these would be great photo opportunities to enter our current Summer Holiday Photo Contest!)
Perhaps our number one favourite summer activity is diving in and cooling off in the many local lakes and rivers. I've compiled a partial list of swimming spots within an easy drive of the inn. A real treat for many of our guests is not so much swimming, but soaking in the current of the Magnetawan River at Brook's Falls and at a not-so-secret spot we'll share with you.
Canoeing and Kayaking
The next best thing to being in the water is being on the water! There are many local outfitters throughout Muskoka and the Almaguin Highlands who rent canoes and kayaks for a day on the water. Some offer guided excursions but for the most part the paddling is self-guided. We've got a list of canoe and kayak rental options in the region. Plus you can have a peek at our paddle to Ragged Falls. For a nice evening kayak tour, head over to Algonquin Outfitters in downtown Huntsville every Wednesday for a paddle down the Muskoka River towards the mouth of Lake Vernon.
Visitors come from around the world to experience Algonquin Provincial Park. With hiking trails, outdoor logging museum, art gallery, visitor centre with life-size interpretive displays, beaches, picnic spots, wildlife, outfitters and stunning scenery, you won't get bored in the park. During the busy summer months, the park also offers learning programs and Thursday evening wolf howls. Check out the Friends of Algonquin Park website for a deeper look at all that's happening in Algonquin.
Most of the visitor activities happen along the Highway 60 corridor running east-west through the south end of the park, but you can also get away from the crowds and get a taste of wilderness with a backcountry day trip at the western edge of Algonquin Park.
Taste of History
Dig into the past for a deeper appreciation of the region. Start right here at Fern Glen Inn, an 1880's homestead with some interesting antiques and stories to share. In Huntsville, Muskoka Heritage Place brings history to life with the Muskoka Pioneer Village, the Portage Flyer Train, and the Muskoka Museum. The Logging Museum in Algonquin Park lets you walk—literally, it's a 1km hiking trail—through the past. North of us, the Burk's Falls Museum gives you a close-up look at what life was like for settlers in this rural, northern community.
Arts and Entertainment
The Hunstville Festival of the Arts brings an interesting and varied mix of musical, theatrical, dance and visual arts performances and exhibitions to town throughout the year but especially in July and August. The Algonquin Theatre, also in Huntsville, is a popular venue for shows. You can view mural representations of the iconic work of the Group of Seven with the Outdoor Gallery walking tour. Or head north for the North of Muskoka Studio Tour and local artisans such as Petra Edwards of Petra's Pottery, an off-grid studio and showroom. And then there's Screaming Heads, an outdoor artscape unlike anything else.
Muskoka is slowly gaining a well-deserved reputation as a great dining and culinary destination. Not only do we boast excellent restaurants in the region, you may be surprised at the number and variety of local food growers, producers and artisans. Savour Muskoka is a great resource for finding the culinary gems of the area. We also have our own connections to locally raised, locally produced meats, jams and other goodies. You can even meet the ladies behind many of our breakfast dishes, enjoy berries from our own property, or even pick your own.
Our guests tell us that breakfast here at Fern Glen Inn is not just a meal, it's an experience. We'd be happy to share it with you!
Fitting it All In
We've put together two sample itineraries to help you plan your perfect summer holiday in Muskoka and the Almaguin Highlands. Need more help planning? Just send us an email or give us a call!
3-Night / 4-Day Summer Itinerary
5-Night / 6-Day Summer Itinerary
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