Come to savour Muskoka’s fall colour and winter playgrounds, and you’ll quickly discover there’s a lot more to see and do here this time of year!
By Bill & Laura Hollingshead
It’s no secret that Muskoka is Ontario’s summer playground. We welcome over 3.2 million visitors annually, with over 80% visiting in the spring and summer. But with so much to see and do in the fall and winter, why not explore all that Muskoka has to offer year around?
Experiencing Muskoka in the fall will leave you breathless. Hike to the top of a lookout, hop on a boat cruise, jump in a helicopter, ride an ATV, grab a paddle for a kayak adventure, or enjoy one of the region’s many fall festivals. Or, if it’s winter fun you crave, go skating through the forest at Arrowhead, hit the snowmobile trails, the ski slopes, the groomed Nordic ski trails, or the snowshoe trails. Join a game of pond hockey or rent an ice hut and try your hand at ice fishing. Or for a truly unique adventure, try dog sledding.
Enjoy all Muskoka has to offer from one of Cayman Marshall’s luxury vacation rentals!
1) Driftwood, Port Carling
This architectural treasure features 5+1 bedrooms, 5+1 bathrooms and 7,500 square feet of state of-the-art technology and modern comfort, created with high-quality materials.
Inside or out, the view takes centre stage – whether you’re cooking dinner in the modern chef’s kitchen, enjoying a meal in the dining area with its unique live-edge table, or relaxing in the living room with its contemporary stone fireplace. The full southwest-facing exposure means you’ll enjoy full sun throughout a leisurely day, and unforgettable sunsets night after night.
Driftwood has its own updated Muskoka room, with a sheltered upper deck warmed by a granite-faced, wood-burning fireplace. On the lower level you will find a generous-sized games room and an inviting and comfortable family room.
Each bedroom features its own unique view. And if five bedrooms isn’t enough to house all your guests during the fall months, the classic Muskoka boathouse has room for more. Driftwood is situated halfway between Port Carling – where you will find a lovely selection of restaurants year-round – and Rosseau, where you can have an experience of a lifetime any time of year by dining at the Crossroads Restaurant.
2) Trading Bay, Dwight
Situated on the peaceful shores of Trading Bay located on Lake of Bays, this custom-built home has been showered with attention to quality and functionality. Comprising 4 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms, this home offers you the opportunity to make wonderful memories with your family and friends.
The main floor offers an open kitchen with must-have appliances including a Wolf range and stove, built-in coffeemaker and Sub-Zero fridge and freezer. From the kitchen, head to the great room with its retractable glass wall and automatic screened outdoor area, offering a quiet place to sit and read, relax, watch a storm roll through or cozy up near the fireplace on those cooler nights.
Time at Trading Bay Getaway stands still as you relax and connect with nature. As you take in the long lake views, rest easy knowing that you’ve found one of the most remarkable getaways Lake of Bays has seen in years. During the fall and winter months, take in some of the local attractions, such as hiking the Limberlost Forest and Wildlife Reserve, and enjoying all that the Dwight Winter Carnival has to offer.
It truly is a luxurious experience.
Lit by broad glass sliding doors, the open-concept interior of Beachwood combines a modern chef’s kitchen, relaxed dining area and comfy living room. The iconic Muskoka room has a contemporary twist with a sheltered semi-outdoor balcony, wood fireplace and automatic screens. Finished in luxury materials, this 5+1-bedroom, 5+2-bathroom cottage is ideal for summer, fall and winter getaways. The lower level features large glass sliding doors, comfy in-floor radiant heating, a spacious games room and family area, and a walkout to a landscaped patio with a firepit, for stargazing on long summer nights or crisp fall and winter evenings.
From the patio, it’s a short walk down the beautifully landscaped granite steps to the truly stunning Muskoka-style boathouse featuring two boat slips, a fully appointed dock-level kitchen and two-piece bathroom. The upper level offers a guest suite with full washroom and two balconies. Relax in comfort and style on the sun-drenched dock under ten-foot-wide umbrellas, or take in the stunning fall colours of Lake Rosseau from the upper-level balcony featuring an automatic screen.
Just a quick eight-minute drive away, you can take in the spectacular views from Huckleberry Rock Lookout, or enjoy a leisurely 30-minute walk into Port Carling to visit the many shops and restaurants and hop aboard the Lady Rosseau to capture the breathtaking fall colours on the mystical waters of Muskoka.
4) Rosseau on the Falls, Windermere
This beautiful 5-bedroom, 4-bathroom cottage is situated on a 1.2-acre waterfront dream, located on a private bay just 15 minutes from Port Carling, 30 minutes from Rosseau and a 2.5-hour drive from Toronto.
The cottage is fully equipped and comes with a wood-burning fireplace, beautiful kitchen, wraparound decks and cathedral ceilings. A brand-new guest house has been added to this property, which has 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom.
If privacy is what you are looking for, look no further. The cottage is surrounded by forest and has a private 40-foot waterfall. During the spring to fall months, the property offers a large west-facing dock, boathouse, diving board and swim raft, canoe, paddle boat, kayaks, SUP, lily pad and a fishing boat with a 9.9 Yamaha motor.
For some memorable and fun outdoor adventures in the off-season, you may find that the Rosseau Pumpkin Festival is a delight, and the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary can offer you and your family a unique experience. Here you will see the Sanctuary’s residents such as moose, coyotes, bears and wolf packs, hear their stories, and learn how to live in harmony with wildlife.
5) Dragonfly Hill, Bracebridge
This stunning 4-bedroom, 4-bathroom home, plus 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom apartment on the Muskoka River, is the perfect spot for your summer and winter Muskoka Getaway.
The chef’s kitchen, complete with a walk-in pantry, centre island with a countertop propane stove plus a hidden fan exhaust, two drawer-style dishwashers, built-in microwave, oven and wine cooler all create the perfect setting for entertaining your family and friends.
Boat to the town of Bracebridge in 20 minutes, or drive there in five minutes. Bracebridge offers a host of restaurants, attractions, and events all year round. If you love paddling the rivers and lakes in the spring, summer and fall, this location is perfect for you. In the winter you can find yourself day or night skating around Memorial Park, surrounded by twinkling lights, in the incredible Winter Village. You can also enjoy outdoor skating at Annie Williams Park on the Muskoka River, or snowshoeing and fat-biking the Riverside Trails. The Bracebridge Santa Claus Parade is a wonderful event for all those young at heart, and the memorable Fire and Ice Festival encompasses all the traits of a traditional winter carnival.