Best Hiking Trails in Muskoka Cottage Country
The Muskoka Lakes area has some fantastic options for outdoor adventures of every kind. Whether you’re here for a day trip to the Muskokas or a luxurious stay, you need options to keep the crew engaged. Hit the water for skiing, wakeboarding, fishing, swimming, and kayaking. Lounge lakeside, soak up the sun, and explore the beautiful wild places that offer solace from the crowds and the adventure of a distant horizon.
Ballantyne Builds is a premier construction management firm that creates stunning custom cottages in the Muskokas. We understand that lake life is a one-of-a-kind experience, and we’re experts in coming up with creative ways to help you do it better. Ontario’s Cottage Country offers beautiful scenery and plenty of choices for the perfect hike. When you’re feeling a little water-logged and ready to stretch your legs, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of our favourite hikes.
Best Hiking Trails in Muskoka Cottage Country
Some of the best places to visit in the Muskokas are a little off the beaten path. We promise the view is worth it! Ready to lace up your hiking boots and explore ancient bedrock, rushing rivers, spectacular overlooks, wondrous waterfalls, and fairytale forests? We’re spoiled for fantastic hiking options in Ontario’s Cottage Country.
If you’re lucky enough to come to Cottage Country in the winter, McCrae was first developed as a Nordic winter trail for snowshoeing and other cold weather delights. It’s stunning in the snow but no slouch in the summer, either. This linear 2.8 km trail accesses the McCrae Wilderness Area, which is protected from development to provide plenty of natural habitat and pristine views.
Take a moderate 2.5 km stroll to this scenic lookout featuring some of the oldest rocks in the world and a lush bog. It’s scenic in every season, but the view of the fall colour from ancient bedrock is particularly profound. This trail allows equine and cycling traffic. Huckleberry Rock Trail is not always perfectly marked, but it is well-travelled, and signs of use usually point hikers in the right direction.
This is a short, kid and senior-friendly walk that’s easy for strollers and partially paved. The first hill is the most challenging part. This strategic position affords spectacular views of Fairy Lake and the Muskoka River. It can be a battle for parking, so we suggest strategic timing to catch a more private moment.
Take a 3.1 km hike beside the Muskoka River, through the woods, and to Wilson’s Falls Trail. There’s a certain fairytale mystique about this wooded trail, partly because you’re travelling on an ancient, older riverbank as you walk alongside the Muskoka River. The terrain that creates waterfalls also includes steep hills, so come prepared for the changes in the grade. You can swim, play, and picnic in the falls, so pack a treat and prepare to stay!
We adore this unique and free outdoor art exhibit woven into a lovely hike. With both permanent and transitory exhibits, pathways on this land appear and disappear with the connected installations. This means The Tree Museum near Gravenhurst is a different hike every year. The whimsical nature of outdoor art installations invites you to imagine and play.
This is a relatively easy trail, clocking in around 3.8 km and traversing a railroad bridge and working apple orchard. The section of floating trail through Hunter’s Bay through Avery Beach Park is a local favourite. Swim, fish, boat, or beach it for a while. The park offers sand volleyball, a dock, and a boat ramp, so this recreation area is a popular boat-in destination.
These gorgeous waterfalls are one of the top 10 in Ontario. Depending on the weather conditions, you can climb down the rocks and play among the falls. Take this kid and pet-friendly 1.1 km hike along the Oxtongue River and enjoy the view of the rapids before the waterfall. Snowshoers and cross-country skiers will enjoy winter delights if the road to the trail is passable.
Head up this 2.3 km trail to the historic Dorset Tower. Originally a forest fire lookout, the Fire Tower Trail is a superior place to survey the surroundings. Be advised that it’s a relatively steep hike through the forest to the lookout when deciding who to include in your party. Be sure to check the weather conditions before you go. Slippery steep trails present an extra hazard.
This is one of our favourite short hikes, clocking in around 1 km. Now naturalised, these former hatchery ponds present a unique opportunity to gaze inside Muskoka’s aquatic wonderland, including an impressive waterfall.
Create a Space for Yourself in the Muskokas by Building Your Vacation Home
Building a custom cottage in the Muskokas creates the perfect home base to enjoy everything that this beautiful place has to offer. If you build yourself a place to stay, you never have to leave! Ballantyne Builds would love to obsess over every detail with you to ensure your personal habitat is just as delightful as this outdoor majesty. Let’s connect today to move your dream vacation home into reality!
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