Tuesday, September 18

Booth's Rock Trail, Algonquin Park

Yesterday Jim and I decided to make the most of a (mostly) sunny September day and headed over to Algonquin Park for an afternoon hike. We decided to do Booth's Rock Trail partly because it's off the beaten path so not as busy, but also because it's one of the five trails recommended by park staff specifically for the fall foliage viewing (the others are Centennial Ridges, Track & Tower, Lookout and Hardwood Lookout).

What goes up...
One of the great things about the hiking trails along Algonquin Park's day use corridor is the variety in trail lengths and features. A 5.1 km loop, Booth's Rock Trail is the perfect length for an easy afternoon hike. The park guide says to give yourself three hours for the trail but we did it in two -- and that was with stops for photos and a detour to the old Barclay's estate grounds.

The trail offered a good variety of sights and experiences, including stretches through dense forest and cool rock cuts; through hemlock stands to stunning views atop sheer cliffs. 

Some sections of the trail are linked with wooden boardwalks and staircases. The stairs down after the clifftop section are impressive. As we neared the bottom, I looked up and said to Jim "this is Casey's worst nightmare". Casey is the neighbour's basset hound. Bassets aren't big on stairs.

The last leg of the trail includes views and access to Rock Lake. By this time we were ready to sit and have a snack as we listened to the wind lap the water against the bare rock. That in itself is worth the hike. 

 The fall colours are just starting in Algonquin Park, with some areas already looking stunning in orange and red, while other areas are still predominantly green with just a hint of the colour to come. Lots more great hiking days ahead!
Jim and Saba on the cliff looking out over Rock Lake.
It's windy at the top!
That cliff face in the distance is the same one pictured above.

...must come down
Fall colours underway!
Remnants of a pier at the old Barclay estate. Now a great spot for an "ahhhh" moment.

Tuesday, September 4

Fall Fuel & Fun Package

Autumn is a beautiful time for a country getaway and it gets even better when you get $100 in free vouchers just for staying two nights!

Book your fall getaway by September 15 for a 2-night stay at Fern Glen Inn between September 4 and November 15. Register your reservation while quantities last and you'll receive a $50 Gas card and $50 in spending vouchers to use-as-cash at participating shops, restaurants, outfitters and attractions. Quantities are limited so act quickly to avoid disappointment.

Book your Fall Fuel & Fun Getaway at Fern Glen Inn

There's no catch! Use the spending vouchers like cash (yes, you can use them on sale items and there's no minimum purchase amount). This is courtesy of Explorers' Edge, our regional tourism organization representing Muskoka, Algonquin Park, Parry Sound and the Almaguin Highlands. They're doing this to encourage people like you to come and discover places like ours.

So when to come for your Fall Getaway?

Early to mid September: Great hiking weather, sometimes even swimming weather; no bugs; no crowds; fall colours are starting.

Mid to late September: Fall colours are really going good and working up to peak; great time to hike the hardwood forests; take lots of photos; stay up late and watch the stars; Film Fest, Literary Fest, Studio Tours.

Early to mid October: Colours peak (sometimes sooner); hear the leaves swish around your feet as you walk the trails; slow country drives to take it all in; Thanksgiving long weekend lets you get a longer break to really shake the city off.

Mid to late October: Maples have finished their show and the tamaracks are putting on the Golden Encore; invigorating walks; toasty fires.

Early to mid November: Catch the last of the Golden Encore; save more with Quiet Season rates in effect; no crowds; time to relax, catch up on reading, get away from it all; Girlfriends' Getaway weekend in Huntsville.

Jim and I are so happy to participate in the Fuel & Fun promotion again because it lets us give such a great gift to our guests -- who doesn't like to get free gas and spending vouchers? -- but also because it lets us showcase this beautiful season. We hope to share it with you!

Call, email or book online. Visit Fall Fuel & Fun at Fern Glen Inn for details.

In partnership with

Saturday, September 1

Autumn Events in Muskoka and Almaguin

Fall getaways in our neck of the woods are great for hiking, country drives and unstructured R&R, but there are also many 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 and receive $100 in Fuel & Fun cards (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

True Colors Photography Workshop
Algonquin Park, East Beach Picnic Pavilion
Take a guided walk in the park and learn why Algonquin’s hardwoods turn such beautiful shades of yellow, orange, and red. Explore and photograph along the way, with a focus on use of wide angle and telephoto lenses, use of focus and metering functions, and change settings to enhance the color and detail in your images. Each workshop is limited to a group of 15 participants. Visit Friends of Algonquin Park for details.
September 9, 9am – 3:30pm

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 9

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 14-16

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 15

Heritage Place Ghost Walk
Muskoka Heritage Place, Huntsville
Follow your lantern-carrying guides to explore the haunted village and meet some ghosts firsthand. Venture into the darkness of an Orange Lodge, explore the terrifying history of a crossroads inn, and strain your ears to hear the spectral echoes of the blacksmith at work in his forge. For more information about this annual event, visit Muskoka Heritage Place museum and historical village.
Sept 15, 7:30pm - 9:30pm

Film North Film Festival
Algonquin Theatre, Huntsville
Third 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 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 22-23 & Sept 29-30

North Words Literary Festival
World class authors come to Muskoka for a weekend of literary excellence. Attend author readings and Q&A sessions, learn the ins and outs of the writing and publishing world with a full day of writer's workshops, rub shoulders at the gala dinner, film screening, children's events and more. See North Words Literary Festival for program schedule and details.
Sept 28-30

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 5-8

Huntsville Girlfriends' Getaway Weekend
Time to get away with your best gal pals for shopping, demos and special events. Amanda Marshall performs at the Canada Summit Centre and Jeanne Beker hosts a Diva Soiree of fashion. Visit Huntville Girlfriends' Getaway Weekend for schedule of events and details.
Nov 8-11