Muskoka Lakes cottage rentals
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Muskoka Lakes vacation rentals
Your guide to Muskoka Lakes
Welcome to Muskoka Lakes
The Muskoka Lakes region is one of Ontario’s favorite waterfront retreats, with historic villages like Bala and Port Carling welcoming weekenders here for more than a century. North of sprawling Toronto, you’ll find clusters of 19th-century cabins, contemporary mansions, and celebrity-owned second homes dotting the shores of these 80 or so glacier-carved lakes. In fact, Torontonians colloquially refer to this chain of lakes as cottage country due to its popularity as a cool, peaceful getaway.
It’s popular partly because it makes for a convenient trip away from the city — and because you really do feel away from it all in this wild setting. Coming here is an annual tradition for many families and groups of friends, who spend time on the three big lakes of Muskoka, Rosseau, and Joseph, each ringed with forests, beaches, and parks. There’s plenty to do, on the water and off: boating, paddling, swimming, fishing, water skiing, hiking, golfing the numerous courses, or simply kicking it on one of the peaceful docks.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Muskoka Lakes
Summer is the peak season for splashing in the water, boating, or hitting one of the many trails. From June through August, expect warm weather and sunny days. Colors transform the foliage in fall, when it might be too cold to swim but is typically perfect for a hike through the changing forests. Off-season festivals such as the Bala Cranberry Festival in late fall and Port Carling Winterfest in February show off the region’s small-town character. While winter may be a relatively sleepy season here, it’s prime time for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.
Top things to do in Muskoka Lakes
Outcroppings of granite, scattered forests, and wetlands define the distinct landscapes in Torrance Barrens, a conservation area popular with hikers and mountain bikers. But when the sun sets, that’s when the real show begins. In 1999, Torrance Barrens was named the nation’s first dark-sky preserve by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada; the lack of light pollution makes this an exceptional spot to gaze into the cosmos on a clear night, watching for shooting stars and pondering the big questions.
Port Carling Wall
From a distance, this mural on the side of an old building on Port Carling’s main drag resembles the historical art visible in many small communities. In this case, the image depicts an early-20th-century scene of a steamship passing by the lakeside town. But as you get closer, you’ll notice the mural is actually a photo mosaic comprising more than 9,000 historical images, each telling one small part of the larger history of the region.
Huckleberry Rock Lookout
Follow this easy 1.8-mile (2.89-km) loop trail, which climbs a big rock formation, and at the top, you’ll be greeted with panoramic views of the lakes, forests, and wilderness for miles beyond. It’s an especially pleasant trek at sunset. Keep in mind the trail becomes quite slippery when it rains and inaccessible to most hikers when it snows.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is the weather in Muskoka Lakes?
Muskoka Lakes experiences four distinct seasons. Summers are usually warm with temperatures around 70°F (21°C), while winters can be quite cold, dropping to 19°F (-7°C). Spring and autumn are mild and showcase beautiful fall colors and spring blossoms. Snowfall is common in winter, making it a popular season for winter sports.
What are some of the best things to do in Muskoka Lakes?
Muskoka Lakes is rich in recreational activities that include water sports in the summer like kayaking, paddleboarding, and boating on its numerous lakes. Hiking on its scenic trails and birdwatching at the Muskoka Lakes Farm and Winery are also frequently suggested. In the winter months, you can explore snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and ice fishing.
What is the best time of year to visit Muskoka Lakes?
The most popular time to visit Muskoka Lakes is during the summer months, typically from June to August, when the weather is warm and the lakes are inviting. Popular local events include the Bala Cranberry Festival in October and the Winter Village event in Rosseau from late December to early January.
What are the best places to stay in Muskoka Lakes?
Popular areas to stay in Muskoka Lakes include Port Carling known for its upscale accommodations, Bala for its small-town charm, and Windermere for a quieter retreat. Bracebridge and Gravenhurst are also popular, especially for families, thanks to their range of accommodations and proximity to local attractions.
What are the best places to visit in Muskoka Lakes?
Visitors to Muskoka Lakes enjoy exploring the Muskoka Lakes Museum, taking a cruise on a vintage steamship from the Muskoka Steamships and Discovery Centre, or wandering through the Johnston's Cranberry Marsh. The Bala's Museum with Memories of Lucy Maud Montgomery and the charming towns of Bracebridge and Port Carling are also worth a visit.
What are some hiking trails in Muskoka Lakes?
There are several hiking trails to explore in Muskoka Lakes. The Huckleberry Rock Lookout Trail is known for its mesmerizing views, while the Hardy Lake Provincial Park trails offer diverse scenery. The Torrance Barrens Trails are also popular for their unique landscape and opportunities for stargazing.
What are some family activities to do in Muskoka Lakes?
Families can enjoy a variety of activities in Muskoka Lakes. Visiting the Muskoka Lakes Farm and Winery for cranberry harvesting, exploring the Muskoka Steamships and Discovery Centre, or having a picnic at one of the many beautiful lakefront parks are all popular choices. Winter activities for families include ice-skating and sledding.
What are some of the best day trip ideas in Muskoka Lakes?
Day trips in Muskoka Lakes often involve exploring the natural beauty of the region. You could rent a boat for a day on Lake Rosseau, visit the Bala's Museum with Memories of Lucy Maud Montgomery, or explore the Bracebridge Waterfalls. Another option is to take a scenic drive around the area, discovering quaint villages and picturesque landscapes.
Do house rentals in Muskoka Lakes have self check-in?
Absolutely! We offer over 270 house rentals with self check-in in Muskoka Lakes. Enjoy a tailored experience with all the comforts you desire.
Are there pet-friendly house rentals in Muskoka Lakes?
Four-legged friends are welcome in Muskoka Lakes. Choose from more than 100 house rentals for guests traveling with pets.