Monday, September 30

September at the Little Lake

Many of our guests enjoy a morning walk up the Seguin Trail to a little lake which we simply call "the little lake". It's about 25 minutes each way depending on your pace and how often you stop for photos, and you could certainly go farther if you wish. As a former railway bed, the trail goes all the way to Parry Sound!

Recently, one of our repeat guests, Brenda, rose early on a misty morning while her travel mate slept and was rewarded with some beautiful images of the lake and trail. She was kind enough to share them with all of us...

.: Thank you, Brenda!  :.

A week later, I followed suit and set out to capture the play of morning mist and light over the water and trees. I didn't have as much mist, but that's okay because the fall colours by then had started to really pop. This is what made it worth the early morning for me...

Do you have photos from your visit with us that you'd like to share? Post them to our facebook page of send us a link to your gallery. We'd love to see them!

Monday, September 9

Discovery Routes Sprucedale Trail

View from the boardwalk.

It was a sunny September afternoon so we decided to finally check out the Sprucedale Trail. We've been meaning to for over a year now but, perhaps because it's so close to home, it just hasn't been a high priority for us. Well, I'm glad we finally did!

Jim, Saba and I took a short drive up over to the town of Sprucedale, just 14 km north-west of the inn, to the trailhead located just behind the skating rink and soccer field by the township office.

The trailhead is well-marked and most of the trail is as well, though we did get a bit off-track at one point. It's not a single loop, so I recommend taking a photo of the trail map before you start and have it with you for reference along the way. That said, it's only a 2km trail so getting a bit lost is not a big deal knowing you can always turn around and follow your path back out the way you came.

The trail starts off with a floating boardwalk across a beaver pond. Photography enthusiasts will find it worth their time just to go for this leg alone, even if they don't bother to hike the rest of the trail.

The trail starts with a scenic boardwalk over a beaver meadow.
While most of the trail is dry, climbing through hardwoods and rocky outcrops, be prepared to get your feet wet or muddy. There was a stretch of trail that was like a wet sponge. It was springy and watery, with the occasional patch of deep black mud. This was not a big problem for Jim and I. We humans could walk around the mud for the most part or stay above it by stepping on fallen branches and stumps.

The dog, however, delighted in barreling right through it, sometimes sinking knee-deep in it. The odour of bog-dog was... have you seen the movie Labyrinth? Remember the Bog of Eternal Stench? Yes, like that. Thankfully, this section was near the beginning of the trail and by the end, Saba's legs were dry and brushed clean by the grasses and scrub along the way.

From low wetlands to high-and-dry scrub.

The trail description on the Discovery Routes website mentions "the talking rock". We saw plenty of big errant boulders and rock ridges, but we weren't sure if any of them spoke. If you know what the talking rock is, please let us know or send a picture!

What was that? Did this rock just say something?

All in all, a nice trail for an afternoon hike. We followed it up with a scenic back-road drive up to Katrine for some fish and chips (best chip truck ever!) which we enjoyed back here on the "upper deck" by the Coop.

Don't forget to look up.

The Sprucedale Recreational Trail is part of the Discovery Routes network of trails. Discovery Routes is a volunteer-run not-for-profit organization dedicated to maintaining and promoting trails in the Almaguin Highlands, North Bay and Mattawa area.

Beaver route.

Dry, open clearing.

Close up.

Hardwood hills.

Nothing like a good hike to put things in perspective.

Sunday, September 1

Autumn Events in Muskoka and Almaguin

Fall getaways around here are great for hiking, country drives and unstructured R&R, but there are also scheduled events and happenings to get you out and about. I've listed some below. Check back for updates, or send me info about your own events in Muskoka and the Almaguin Highlands.

Book a two-night getaway for any of these events beginning Sept 16th and receive $100 in Fuel & Fun vouchers (book by Sept 15 and stay by Nov 15). See Fall Fuel & Fun for details.

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Burk's Falls Fall Fair
Burk's Falls Community Centre and Fair Grounds
Horse shows, horseshoe tournament, horse pull, poultry, art show, exhibits, displays, concessions, entertainment and midway.
Sept 1-2

Subaru Ironman 70.3 Muskoka
Athletes come from far and wide to compete in this test of speed and endurance. The 1-loop swim will take place in picturesque, Peninsula Lake. The 1-loop bike course circles Lake of Bays. The run winds through Muskoka scenery past pink granite rock and cascading waterfalls. Visit Ironman Muskoka for details.
Sept 8

Harvest Festival
Screaming Heads, Midlothian Ridge
Autumn Equinox arts and music celebration in the style of "Burning Man". Installation and performance art, live music, personal expression. Camping on site for total immersion or just spend an afternoon at the event. Visit Harvest Festival for details.
Sept 13-15

Muskoka River X
Huntsville and beyond
The longest single day expedition paddling race in the world, this is not your typical paddling marathon. Racers will travel 128 km on four lakes, two river systems, and 19 portages. No support teams or restocking along the way. Wow! There are a few places along the route you can watch and cheer them on. Visit Muskoka River X for more information.
Sept 13-15

Shades of Autumn Antique, Classic and Custom Car Show
Downtown Huntsville
If four wheels are your passion, this one day car show is an adventure that will accelerate your heart rate. Check out 300 exhibits all along downtown Huntsville's main drag, trophies and door prizes. Visit Downtown Huntsville for details.
Sept 14

Film North Film Festival
Algonquin Theatre, Huntsville
Fourth annual film festival with a mandate is to provide a user-friendly environment for emerging Canadian and international filmmakers to exhibit, promote, entertain and inform the audience with carefully selected Canadian and international films and celebrity-led panels. Festival goers can also participate in opening and closing night receptions, dinners, and celebrate at the awards gala and after party. Visit Film North for program schedule and details.
Sept 19-21

Huntsville Fall Fair
Huntsville Fair Grounds
Get in touch with the agricultural side of Muskoka with an old-fashioned fall fair. Visit the Huntsville Fall Fair for details and directions.
Sept 20-22

Muskoka Autumn Studio Tour
Now in it's 34th year of presenting diversely talented artists. Take a glimpse into the studios and witness the artistic process at work through demonstrations and displays. The Muskoka landscape and the artists who draw their inspiration from it extend a special welcome to visitors for two weekends. Visit Muskoka Autumn Studio Tour for map and details.
Sept 28-29; Oct 5-6

Thanksgiving Long Weekend
Fern Glen Inn
Not attending a big family dinner this weekend? Then head up north for some lovely fall scenery, invigorating hikes, slow country drives, stargazing by the fire, and of course some delicious seasonal food. Visit Fern Glen Inn for information about rooms, rates, the property, the breakfasts, or to book online.
Oct 11-14

Running Scared 5km Zombie Run
Arrowhead Park
Run for your life through Arrowhead Park! The trails will take you up through a beautiful landscape and over obstacles while zombies lurk in the woods. Be a runner or a zombie, and since this is open to all ages, it won’t be that scary! Visit Running Scared 5km Zombie Run for details and to register.Oct 19

Huntsville Girlfriends' Getaway Weekend
Time to get away with your best gal pals for shopping, demos and special events. Pat Benatar performs at the Canada Summit Centre. Don't miss the Diva Soiree of fashion, makeover reveal, Liona Boyd, Ennis, pre-concert dinner, after party and more. Visit Huntville Girlfriends' Getaway Weekend for schedule of events and details.
Nov 8-10