Summer in Muskoka Part 2

6 Nov

The second half of summer was as good as the first. While the majority of the revolving tourists were complaining it was one of the worst summers they had experienced, I had the complete opposite point of view’. Maybe it was luck, but it seemed that all my days off were filled with sun and warm air, allowing Kayley and myself to paddle and adventure till our hearts content.

The Big East River was a favourite route for us this summer, it was special having my brother up and being able to show him the beauties of that river, seeing his face light up around every corner brought me a sense of joy. My buddy, Matty was nice enough to take us out for a rip on his boat, cruising around the picturesque Lake Vernon, giving Matt the true local summer afternoon. Thanks again Matty for taking us out behind the boat and teaching Matt how to surf, he was stoked!

With weather making a turn for the better in late August and September, it allowed the locals to enjoy home turf to the fullest. A prime example of that was watching Matty and Keele surf, these dudes rip, it’s insane. They’re pioneers, been ripping since the beginning, pushing the limits, it’s rad to see that first hand. Sharing their stoke for it gives you the drive to progress further and just enjoy yourself! When a mellow, left shore break is 1000kms away, you have to improvise.If you had told me when I was 16 that I could surf on a lake, I’d say you were crazy. Looking forward to getting pitted more next season!

Nate, Kayley and myself were able to take more river trips in the later half of summer, taking these trips with Nate is energetic to say the least. Nate’s enthusiasm for exploring every stretch of water within a 100km drive from home is inspiring, this area of Ontario is vast and every river bend is different, nothing is ever the same. His love for paddling is infectious and it’s easy to see why he wants to paddle any given free minute. There is nothing more sublime than a still, sunny, lukewarm day, floating down a pristine liquid backroad, watching the day pass by without a single care. Your only thoughts consist of when to paddle next or open another beer, nothing else seems to matter. The ultimate stress reliever. If Nate’s not working then you probably wont find him, he’ll be intentionally lost somewhere with his canoe and his dog, getting away from it all.

Another big highlight for me this summer was taking our good friends, Jesse and Gen backcountry camping in Algonquin Park. They are outdoor enjoyers and had never experienced a trip into the park, so I felt it was necessary to introduce them to the beauty of this natural playground. Our destination was Doe Lake, and the weather was perfect. Introducing other campers to this place is a cool feeling, it’s a feeling I remember well. The never ending highway of rivers and lakes, the rolling hills, and rocky shorelines is a sight to behold. We scored a gem of a site and enjoyed every minute of it. Getting outside with likeminded people always elevates the good times that are had. The weekend sped by and we all shared smiles cheek to cheek wide. I was happy to know they had fun and couldn’t wait to return. Thanks for the awesome time out there guys! Let’s make a ritual out of it!

Lastly, to all the AO kids (you know who you are!), much thanks for all the good times! Your stoke is contagious, whether it’s a quick paddle after work, or a night on the island, it’s always the best of times. It’s rad to see the younger generations feeling the connection to nature and using it as the ultimate playground, it’s encouraging. Like I said before, Muskoka is a special place, there aren’t many other places like it. It breeds a specific kind of person, the kind of person that doesn’t need much to smile and enjoy what’s at their immediate disposal, where getting lost is part of the fun, being bored is never an option and consistently saying I can’t wait to do that again!

Post work relaxation.

Enjoying the last breath of sun post work with Jackson and Mason.

Quick post run dip.

Matty ripping behind his water whip.

Keele going full skate mode.

Paddling out with Mason for a night with the crew on ‘Locals Island’.

Early Morning Commute.

A day down the Big East River with the little bro.

Showing Matt the hidden gems of Muskoka.

What the Big East is known for.

Taking a little break to cool off.

Matty training Matt on how to wakesurf.

Keele with the classic slash.

Solitaire Trail in Limberlost Forest.

The main lookout overlooking Solitaire Lake.

The more colourful the mushroom, the more poisonous.

So this one must be deadly.

Good bouldering rock.

Hutchinson Beach.

SUP Night w/ Algonquin Outfitters (Fairy Lake, ON).

The Adventure Mobile carrying the goods to the starting destination.

Nate and Adam leading the way down the Big East.

No wind, minimal clouds and warm weather, the perfect day.

This view never gets old.

Nate cooling off in Stubb’s Falls.

Satisfied after an awesome day, waiting for a pick up.

The best way to end the day.

Summer night somewhere in Muskoka.

Dinner prep.

Cast Iron goods.

Life’s good on nights like these.

Impatiently waiting for the coffee to brew.

A day paddling on Lake of Bays trying to find new spots to enjoy.

Abandoned Boathouse.

Roof Racks are also good for drying your boxers.

Sitting in a boat from the 1940s, watching the summer rain (Crane Lake, ON).

Sunset on Lake Peninsula.

Taking Sedona for a walk with my parents at Heber Downs Conservation Area (Whitby, ON).

A Nuclear Evening. (Downtown Huntsville, ON)

Muskoka River cruise.


An afternoon at Wilson Falls.

The man behind the lens.

What summer is all about!

A new secret spot for day hangs. (Lake of Bays, ON)

Early start (Muskoka River, ON)

The portage can be as beautiful as the paddle.

Balsam Chutes (Muskoka River, ON)

Flying Dutchman Vegan Food Truck (Huntsville, ON)

Chili Fries and Pulled Jackfruit Sandwich.

Peter sits where he likes.

Home 🙂

Killarney Provincial Park, ON.

Blown out pines along Lake Superior.

Paddling out on a cool summer evening on ‘Locals Island’.

We woke up in a cloud.

The island beyond the mist.

Moving through the mystic.

Ripping down backcountry roads to the put-in. (Somewhere in Algoma County, ON)

Found the put-in (Sand Lake, ON)

Moose is always the first one in the canoe.

An odd cabin found along the river.

River friend.

(Parry Lake, ON)

Patiently waiting for a pick up! It helped that the LCBO was across the street. (Kearney, ON)

Farmers Market veggies.

Watching the storm roll in (Ilfercombe, ON).

The beginnings of fall have arrived.

Fall making an appearance in town. (Huntsville, ON)

Lake of Two River, Algonquin Park, ON

Quick trip to the Capital!

Paddling to our site w/ Jesse, Gen and Sid. (Algonquin Park, ON)

Fall Camping with good friends. (Doe Lake, Algonquin Park, ON)

The nicest place to do your business.

Beautiful sunset in Loon Country.

Algonquin’s resident bird, the Loon.

A gem of a site. (Doe Lake, Algonquin Park, ON)

Paddling home.

Had a rad weekend with these three.

The fish weren’t biting, but the views made up for it.

Sunny hike with Mike, Katie and Kayley. (Centennial Ridges, Algonquin Park, ON)

Overlooking Whitefish Lake.


Hitting the links with Pops. (Grandview Links, Huntsville, ON)

My best friend and I 🙂

The Fam (Missing Matt)

The gift of fall.


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.