Summer in Muskoka Part 1 (May-June)

18 Oct

I feel lucky that I was able to call Muskoka and more specifically Huntsville home over this past summer. The area of Muskoka is privileged with its beautiful lakes, rivers, rolling hills, biking trails, nice people, craft breweries and even skateparks! It’s a paradise for anyone who has the constant itch for adventure. It’s clear to see where Kayley’s love for the outdoors and general attitude about everything spawned from. Growing up here can provide a sense of mental and physical freedom that a lot of kids and even adults don’t get the chance to ever experience. I’ve spent a lot of time here over the last couple years, but living here this summer has given me more time than ever to wander the area and enjoy all the goods it has to offer. My job at Algonquin Outfitters has given me the ability to meet and befriend locals who share that sense of adventure, these rad folks have welcomed me on their explorations and partake in their fun having ways. If it ain’t fun, then what’s the point!

It’s hard for me the sit down and write everything I did this summer in fine detail, it was my intention to write something after every escapade, but clearly that didn’t lay out as planned. Hopefully all the photos I took can help display and properly document all the fun that can be had within a 100km radius. Whether it’s paddling down the river, sleeping on a island, fishing for trout or surfing behind a boat, the options are untold. Whoever tells you Ontario is boring is lying, or just has bad taste. Enjoy what is at your disposal.

A fine spring day on the Muskoka River. (Balsam Chute)

A man (Nate) and his adventure companion (Moose).

Nate Muskoka on his home turf.

High Falls (Bracebridge, ON) proving how powerful water can be.

Nate knows what it takes to get the good shot.

Van repairs.

Cloudy paddle on Fairy Lake.

Kayley among the evergreens.

A rare glassy afternoon paddle.

Ain’t she a sight 😉

Forever chillen….

Vernon Narrows.

Early afternoon Paddle on Fairy Lake.

‘Locals Only’ hang out location.


Somewhere on the South Muskoka River.

Rapid watchers.

Rad afternoon on the water = Cheesing.

River-side sleep accommodations.

Gems found along the riverbed.

Moose is the boss.

A photogenic portage highway.

Little breather post portage.

Moose enjoying the journey.

No idea on what’s around the corner.

Someday that tree will be a part of the river.

Local fishing hole.

Adventure Mobile.

Another day, another paddle out.

A good day to kick back and relax. (Locals Island)

A cast iron meal is the best way to go.

Paddling into the sunset (Fairy Lake).


Lucas and Taylor gettin’ out there and getting the late day goods.

Lucas transporting a piece of the fun.

The AO camp out.

Home is where you pitch it.

Morning Goodness.

Hanging out at home.

Peter wanted me to take him on an adventure.

AO paddle night. Everyone was stoked.

Handling the Party Barge 6 Man SUP by Kahuna.

If Bob’s leading the charge, then we know were fucked.

Sunset nirvana (Vernon Narrows)

Mid-day dip. (Camp Kitchen)

Vandwelling somewhere in Muskoka.

Oxtounge Rapids.

Photo of a photo being taken.

Sunset on Lake of Bays.

Golden skies fading in Huntsville.

Going for a roll.

Muskoka speckle.

Big Doe Lake, ON.

National Geographic c. 1953

National Geographic c. 1953

Beautiful little fighter.

Paddling out to find somewhere to relax for the afternoon.

This looks like a good spot. (Lake Vernon)

Another insane Muskoka sunset (Lake Vernon).

Matty’s version of a bonfire.

Summer hangouts with James and Sam. (Kawagama Lake)

I’ll let this picture speak for itself. (Kawagama Lake)

Getting prepped for a day on the water.

Backcountry roads that lead to goodtimes. (Somewhere north of Huntsville)

Packing up the boats for the long day ahead. (Upper Big East River)

And we’re off.

Clear sign that we are about to portage.

This was right before we got separated for over an hour.

Nate’s unenthused face after getting separated.

Finding some energy to continue after bushwacking for 60+ minutes.

Stoke is high.


Classic Big East scenery.


The Big Easy Float

27 Jul

Kayley and I decided that after a long night of drinking and celebrations (Friend’s wedding) that it would be a good idea to paddle down the Big East River, which is no farther than 10 minutes from her mom’s place in Huntsville, Ontario. The river hugs Arrowhead Provincial Park and features a variety of really sweet bends, flows and landmarks.


The heat was definitely pumping today, I mean least it wasn’t Ottawa humid (which is impossible to get used to) but it made us work for each and every paddle. Although, it had many sections that took the load off and allowed us to layback, float and take in the scenes.


Also, the river is filled with these rad sand dune beaches around almost every bend, providing the best destination to grab a drink, take a dip, catch some rays and recharge before getting back at it!


Further down the big easy are these super cool cliffs that really give you an idea of how beautiful and powerful nature is! (Kay and I’s inner kid-selves were telling us to climb up and roll down, regardless of how gnarly that would be haha)


So, at this point we had been paddling for probably just over 2 hours, and the mid-afternoon heat was setting in, and what appears?! low water…dammit. The last thing we wanted was to have to carry the canoe for the remainder of the float, some may say that would be a good workout, I say that’s heat stroke waiting to happen. The river was pretty low for this time of the year due to the lack of rain we’ve seen thus far this summer but luckily enough, the low water didn’t last for long!

I swear I didn't make her do all the work ;)

I swear I didn’t make her do all the work 😉

The rest of the paddle was mellow, it gave us some time to chat, check out the cottages/homes on the river side and just straight up relax. 3 and half hours later we were at the finish line, sun touched and stoked on the day.

The best paddling partner a guy could ask for! Thanks Kay!

The best paddling partner a guy could ask for! Thanks Kay!

And yah, we grabbed some fish tacos lakeside after, we thought they were well deserved! Couldn’t ask for a better Sunday!

If you don't like fish tacos then well you're just missing out!

If you don’t like fish tacos then well you’re just missing out!