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Writer Carmen Kuntz recently discovered what makes this somewhat enchanted spot an unforgettable place to visit.
In this part of the Ontario woods, the Limberlost Forest and Wildlife Reserve is often overshadowed by the considerably more famous Algonquin Park, but making the trip 30 km west of the park (just north of Highway 60 between Huntsville and Algonquin) is well worth a planned detour.
With 10,000 acres of unspoiled Canadian Shield terrain, mixed forest and stunning shorelines located here, Limberlost Reserve is an unforgettable year-round retreat offering a variety of outdoor activities to suit each season and each traveller. Rain or shine, snow or no snow, this hidden gem delivers some of the finest moments you’ll spend outdoors when you visit Ontario’s cottage country.
Since the early 1900’s, Limberlost Reserve has offered a variety of accommodation options and recreational pursuits. By welcoming visitors to this environmentally-protected land while offering outdoor activities, Limberlost Reserve was ahead of its time, pioneering eco-tourism in the region.
THINGS TO DO
With 20 private lakes and 70 km of trails there is no shortage of things to do at the Limberlost Forest and Wildlife Reserve.
Take to the trails as they are available for mountain biking, trail running and hiking. In the colder months, enjoy heading out for backwoods cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Most of the trails are high quality, wide and groomed with a selection of more rugged routes. Purchase a Limberlost Master Trail Guide when you arrive and plan your route in advance using the huge database of trail info, maps and suggestions on their website.
Fans of trail running should also consider participating in The Limberlost Challenge – a fantastic trail running race featuring four distances to suit a variety of participants; 7km, 14km, 28km and 56 kms taking place July 6, 2019.
Prefer to take to the wilderness from the water? Start at Buck Lake Landing, where canoes, paddles and PFDs are available, and hop from lake-to-lake on the Crystal Falls Water Trail.
Immerse yourself in the rich history and diverse ecology of the area by bird watching, fishing and following interpretive trails. Old settlements and a variety of ecosystems make this spot an educational place that’s great for families with youngsters to learn and connect. Buck Lake is a favourite spot for bird watching, while the stocked lakes offer exceptional trout and bass fishing.
ACCOMMODATIONS ON SITE
Choose from six lakefront accommodations to find the one that best fits your group size and needs. Each lodging is surrounded by trails and shoreline. Rentals are available monthly, weekly or by the weekend, and include bedding, kitchen and dining utensils as well as BBQ units with propane. Each cottage has its own dock or beach, and a fire pit. Bring food, beverages, toiletries, towels and anything else you might like for your getaway.
Looking for luxury? Limberlost’s two Wilderness Lodges can hold up to 18 adults, and they feature decks and saunas.
Going for a more rustic adventure? Four off-grid fishing camps or outpost cabins are located on the southern part of the property. These cabins have propane lights and appliances as well as wood stoves.
And the Limberlost-Algonquin Outpost campsites are also available along the southern boundary of Algonquin Park if a more back country out-of-doors experience is what you seek.
Open year round, the Limberlost Reserve offers activities and accommodations for all seasons. Call the office to inquire about off-season and mid-week rates.
If you’d prefer to make a day trip into the Limberlost Forest and Wilderness Reserve, you can also find plenty of additional accommodation ideas by clicking here.
PRESERVING ONTARIO’S GREAT OUTDOORS
Limberlost Reserve plays an important part in extending the wildlife corridors and the natural habitat of Algonquin Park. Protected areas close to large parks compound the positive effects of these sensitive eco-systems, creating a larger network of land and therefore a critical link for biodiversity and wildlife.
With an abundance of trails, activities and accommodations available, the Limberlost Forest and Wildlife Reserve is an option to consider when visiting Ontario’s cottage country if you seek the four-season serenity of tranquil forests and beautiful, calming lakes.
To plan your getaway to the Limberlost Forest and Wildlife Reserve, click here. For more information on where to stay, what to do and where to eat while in the great Canadian wilderness north of Toronto, click here.
All photos are copyright to the Limberlost Forest & Nature Reserve website and Facebook page.
Guest Blogger: Carmen Kuntz
Carmen grew up exploring the wilderness and waters of Muskoka. She is passionate about self-propelled adventure and recreation conservation. As a freelance writer, photographer and whitewater kayaker, she loves sharing the local lore, legends and locations that make her Ontario backyard into an outdoor playground.