Top Things to do at a Cottage up North

1:45 PM

We have a family cottage near Huntsville, Ontario. We've pretty much become masters at the best things to do while on vacation in the Muskokas. Here are our top favourite activities. 

Naturally I must start with COFFEE. No list of cottage activities would be complete without it.
I have a special yellow mug that is MINE and MINE ALONE. If someone puts it in the dishwasher before I'm done, they pay for it!

The next amazing activity to do up north is go hiking. We do lots of hiking around the cottage and we also drive to Algonquin and do the trails there. Haven't been attacked by a bear yet! This is across the road from our place.

We definitely practice baby wearing for our hikes. (Either that or we put the little ones in a laundry basket and pull them in the snow.)
Everyone shares the load.
Sometimes the babies come along for a creepy serial killer investigation.
At Algonquin's Whiskey Rapids trail, a walking stick is necessary for all ages.
The moment when you arrive home and realize no wild animals killed you is a great one.
 
We hike all year long, no need to stay home because of a little snow.
 
It's a great workout.



Of course when you arrive home a sleep is in order. Oliver was in a sling and Dakota in a structured carrier, for this hike. Good thing we could slip them off and not wake them up.

Yes, sleeping is a definite "top activity" at the cottage. I assure you, this book was super interesting.

Pillow bed for the babes.


Sometimes they even make it into their pjs before falling asleep. Matching plaid!


 Games and puzzles are a major activity at the cottage. Risk, unfortunately, is one I am not allowed to play because I "don't take it seriously enough".
Some of the puzzles take us all week.

We love going in to town. The main road has some great stores - Algonquin Outfitters, the Nutty Chocolatier, and the gourmet sorbet truck!
 
 

FIRE WORKS! We go to a local variety store and stock up. It's always so much fun to see them go off at night, and the lake bay echos the boom.





 We get some gorgeous sunsets and sunrises.
 

You'll never catch Mom sleeping through a beautiful sunrise. She's out there with her camera capturing every one.


 We hit a nearby spring for delicious, cool water. We'll go every couple days and fill up large containers.
 
Mmmm, nothing like it.


 SOME of us, not mentioning any names, don't understand the purpose of a cottage ;)

I personally prefer to relax and centre with some yoga, all by myself on the dock. 

My sweet husband offers spa services.

We really enjoy finding new flora and fauna.
 
This water-loving plant, sweet gale, can induce strange dreams. I've tried it - It works!
 
I like making homemade tisanes.
 

Oliver finds some neat things too.


 Can't forget knitting and crocheting. A popular cottage activity.


 Food is probably the most important thing about a week at the cottage.
We have roasted chestnuts on an open fire.
We've roasted our own coffee.
We've foraged wild blueberries.
 
We make some killer breakfasts.
 
 We bake.
We shell peas that we grew.
 
And we eat a TON of ice cream.

Seriously.


 Fire is an important part of cottaging. We order a cord of wood from a local guy.

Then we need to chop it.

We use some wood for the indoor stove...

... and the rest for the camp fire.
When we're not burning marshmallows, we burn our feet.
A new way to say hello.
Not an all year activity.
 

We also go out and do excursions. This is Tree Top Trekking, a ropes course nearby.

We made the drive to our friend's family business: Long's Sugarbush. It was awesome!

And OF COURSE, boating, swimming and fishing. The quintessential cottage activities.
We canoe.
We paddle boat.
 
We jump in... with a life jacket of course.

We fish.. again, with a life jacket.
And we try to avoid the evil lake monsters.

Even the little ones get some good catches.



And lastly, a highway Starbucks on the way home.

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