The Explorer’s Edge region is located north of Toronto, the Algonquin Park, the Almaguin Highlands, Loring-Restoule, Muskoka and Parry Sound region of Ontario is the perfect spring and summer get away for busy Ontarians. Just a short drive north will get you into the heart of Ontario with resorts, camping, crystal clear lakes and tons of activities to keep your family entertained for a short weekend trip, a month of true relaxation or somewhere in between.
Whether it’s your first time out or your a regular to the outdoor life, here are the top 5 must dos as curated by James Murphy, executive director of Explorers’ Edge, the regional tourism organization.
Go Sea Kayaking – Georgian Bay is home to some of the best sea kayaking in the nation and you’ll find plenty of opportunity to learn how to kayak across open water expanses in Parry Sound, Ontario. Visit the Ontario Sea Kayak Centre (including their onsite glamping venue, Outdoor Harmony Inn), iGalaxy8, or White Squall Paddling Centre (celebrating its 30th anniversary season) for rentals, guided tours and clinics.
Craft Brewery Hop – There are four craft breweries in Explorers’ Edge – and an award-winning winery too. Visit Highlander Brew Co., 23andMe, Muskoka Brewery,Lake of Bays Brewing Co., Sawdust City Brewing Co., for tours, tastings and special events too. Throw in a visit the Muskoka Lakes Winery as well, and don’t miss the Griffin Session Muskoka Craft Beer Festival on Saturday, August 1. Beer me!
‘Howls’ With Wolves – Every summer, staff at Algonquin Provincial Park conduct guided wolf howls, during which the public enjoys an introductory lecture on these incredible animals before heading out to the edge of Highway 60 to hear the guides summon a pack by imitating their calls. The party gets started with staff and wolves start talking to each other. There are only a few select dates for this magnificent wilderness experience, and the event is weather dependent, so be sure to check online for updates.
Park It Right Here – There are over a dozen provincial parks and one national park in the Explorers’ Edge region of Ontario. Though Algonquin Park is the most famous, beautiful spots like Restoule, Grundy Lake and Killbear Provincial Parks will each leave visitors with unforgettable visions of stunning wilderness, sparkling blue waters and perfect sunsets. Check out Parkbus for some transportation options, can Learn To Camp programs from Ontario Parks.
Visit Santa in His Summer Ho Ho Home – A visit to Santa’s Village theme park in Bracebridge may sound cheesy at first glance, but for 60 years this charming spot on the Muskoka River in Bracebridge has been delighting families – and in particular younger kids who might now enjoy a bigger park like Canada’s Wonderland – by providing enough merriment until the Christmas season returns in December. Open July and August only, the park features rides, games, boat tours, entertainment, reindeer and a petting zoo. Santa and Mrs. Claus are there too, and the older kids will enjoy the Sportsland centre and the new Muskoka Zip Lining & Aerial Park. Happy anniversary Santa!