Muskoka is known for its beauty and for its magical lakes, but having some wine and snacks at the dock at happy hour needs to be balanced with some version of physical activity. Here are some of my favourite ways you can stay active in the North this summer, and maybe even find something new to try or a new area to explore.
Have you walked out of your cottage door and down the road so much that you know each mailbox, squirrel and tree? If you have then why not try the Muskoka Hiking Challenge? Initiated by the Muskoka Trails Council, this group encourages you get out and experience all of our diverse areas by hiking 6 trails spread over each of the main areas of Muskoka.
Check out the Council's Muskoka Trail Guides for more info.
Go for a Swim
If you’d much rather spend your time in the water than on the trail, there are a lot of beaches you can visit. There are over 30 beaches in Muskoka that are free and open to the public, so have a look at the list and find a new spot close to you. If you have deep water at your cottage and the kids would love some sandy options, or if you are looking for somewhere new to go with a group of friends, you’re sure to find the perfect place for your beach day.
**Note that not all beaches are supervised, so remember to be safe on your adventure**
Get out your Bike
Are you more into cycling than swimming? If so, then you’ll find some of the most beautiful biking trails in the world right here in Muskoka, just waiting for you to explore. Nearly every town in Muskoka has a great bike shop, so stop in and gear up, or get some excellent advice from the pros before your next ride.
If you’re up for an outdoor excursion from a simpler time, there’s nothing quite like horseback riding. There are a number of places in Muskoka to experience an equestrian adventure, but one of my favourite places to go is the Back of Beyond Equine Centre, located just outside of Huntsville. With equine experiences for all ages, they’re sure to have a program that’s right for you.
How about canoeing? It’s a great way to stay active and relax all at the same time. Anytime of the summer is a great time for a canoe trip, and Algonqion Park is only 40 minutes from Huntsville. It is the oldest park in Canada with 7,653 square kilometres and over 2,400 lakes and 1,200 kilometres of streams and rivers are located within the park.
Take a look at the Algonquin park canoe guide and plan your day trip on the water.
It would be entirely out of character for me if I didn’t recommend yoga, whether it be for relaxation or for working up a good sweat. There are so many wonderful yoga studios in Muskoka that you can try, like Ahimsa Sacred Breath Yoga Studio in Huntsville, or if you prefer, you can always head down to the dock and yoga out there!
Bonus: “Tri” Everything at Once
Do you feel like you might want to do more than one of these things, or maybe that you just want to do something a little more intense? Then you’re probably already thinking about becoming a triathlete. If you’ve ever considered getting into the swim/cycle/run scene, but aren’t sure where to start, then TriMuskoka is the place to go. They have information and resources available, and an ever-growing community to provide support.
How are you keeping active in Muskoka this summer? Let me know in the comments.
Photo Credit: Mathias Herheim