Resorts of North Muskoka

Independently owned and operated, these unique establishments champion the traditional resort experience in Ontario’s beautiful cottage country.

kids_jumping_off_dockWhen I was asked to say something about the Resorts of North Muskoka, a group of fourteen exceptional accommodations in the northern part of Muskoka (nestled up against Algonquin Park), one of the owners, Bruce, said to me: “All you need to say is authentic cottage experience.

He has a point. Never mind the spas, the activities, sports events, and festivals – although we’ve got all that great stuff here as well!  Instead, this is where you come to find out who you are again, to re-connect with the rest of your family, to refresh, recharge and reinvent. If you’re looking to make family memories that will last forever, then consider a getaway to a Resort of North Muskoka.

Independently-owned, each resort has a unique charm. Many have been in operation for over a century, and many – like Bondi Village Cottage Resort – welcome back guests who have been coming for over 50 years.  You’ll find one that is the perfect match for you; whether you’re looking for full meal plans and kids programs, or an authentic private cottage experience, you’ll discover at any one of these fine spots the feeling that you have arrived home.

foxwood fishBecause we are owner-operated, there is a commitment from us to make your stay the best possible. At Lumina Resort, where “summer is the specialty of the house,” you may be taken by boat for an early breakfast on the private Island Shore, and your kids will be entertained in a day-long program. Port Cunnington Lodge, one of the original Lake of Bays resorts, still welcomes guests to its gracious and elegant grounds, and offers exclusive tee times next door at Bigwin Island Golf Club.

At Clyffe House Cottage Resort, the fishing has been superb all summer. One six-year-old, trying for a small bass, caught a huge pike using a two-foot rod and a worm! (With no landing net, Dad had to help drag the fish onto shore!)  Foxwood Resort is noted for its eco-green straw bale cottage, and the owners there, as at Logging Chain Lodge, are into bee-keeping, so they offer guests honey from their own hives. You can also learn archery at Logging Chain Lodge!

Summer's Here DocksideCedar Grove Lodge has been welcoming guests since 1927. With all the outdoor and waterfront activities, it’s a wonder anyone uses their lakeside fitness gym! Guests at Blue Spruce Resort can paddle up the Oxtongue River – recently some found themselves at the base of Ragged Falls in Algonquin, one of the smaller gems of the Ontario’s provincial parks.

Tally Ho Inn takes guests out for personalized tours of four inter-connected lakes on their six-person pontoon boat – that’s if guests can tear themselves from the excellent dining room and shoreline. At Colonial Bay, the guests recently got together to hold their own impromptu Pot Luck at the campfire; friendships formed at these resorts last for lifetimes.

For fine dining, it’s hard to beat the restaurant at Norsemen Walker Lake Resort. After a day spent on the water, guests meander up to the world-class dining room that features wild game on the menu, complemented by a fabulous wine cellar. These are memorable meals indeed!  Pow Wow Point Lodge also offers great dining, along with an extensive water park. Many guests that have ‘grown up’ vacationing at Pow Wow have chosen this as their wedding venue – now that’s generational memories. (Not to mention this lovely spot is owned by the Howells, whose daughter, Dara, recently won the gold medal in slope style skiing at the Sochi Olympics!)

beauviewOver on Oxtongue Lake, The Pines Cottage Resort welcomes families to its sandy beach and children’s playground, and it’s dog-friendly as well.  (Dogs are said to be great ‘ice breakers’ for conversation – but so is the big iceberg in the water park.) At Beauview Cottage Resort you’re likely to be welcomed by the owners with a fun barbeque, followed later in the week with tubing, and Bingo where everyone wins. There’s no staff here – just the owners, who are also exceptional hosts.

At Bondi Village Cottage Resort, where I hang my hat, during the summer guests enjoy the bonfire cookout, followed by a Dark Skies star program and a Wolf Howl experience on 600 acres of private wilderness.  A weekly marathon swim draws plenty of guests, young and old, along with families boating alongside. Two huge family reunions this summer have seen re-connections galore.  Fierce competition on the Frisbee golf course, and children collecting eggs from the free ranging hens at Bondi’s farm have all been on the agenda. Recently, two of our guests kayaked past a loon nest, just as the hatchlings hit the water. What an experience for young Tim, out with his grandma!

Peace_and_CanoeingWith all our properties open in summer and some year-round, the Resorts of North Muskoka offer something for everyone, and the owners are on site to ensure your getaway runs smoothly. There’s far more to do at these special spots than at a private rental, yet far more individual ‘space’ than at some of the bigger properties. Whether you’re into kayaking in the morning mist, roasting s’mores in the evening sunset, mucking about in boats or just relaxing, the rocks, trees and lakes where these resorts have taken root provide a unique and authentic experience that cannot be matched. No wonder National Geographic Travel Editors voted Muskoka “Best in the World”!

nancyGuest Blogger: Nancy Tapley (left)

Nancy is the co-owner of Bondi Village Resort, local councillor for Township of Lake of Bays, international-level equestrian coach and a freelance writer who rarely has time to sleep. She lives at the resort with her family, Taffy the wonder dog, six horses, 27 chickens, and a famous cat who paints with his tail for charity. 

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