14 Nov
2010
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Lake Muskoka Dreariness

Lake Muskoka on a dark and dreary November day. Please click on the photo for a larger image



In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water

21 Sep
2008
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Huckleberry Rock Trail overlooking Lake Muskoka

Huckleberry Rock is one of the most scenic views in all of Muskoka. You can find the trail just off the road that takes you to Milford Bay. These rocks are some of the oldest rocks in the world, well over a billion years old. I will return in late autumn to catch some of the vivid colors.

Mama always told me not to look into the eyes of the sun. But, Mama, that’s where the fun is.

“Blinded by the light” — Bruce Springsteen.

Huckleberry



In: historic muskoka, in and around muskoka ontario, on the water

24 Apr
2008
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2 Comments

Bala Falls is working overtime – off loading the water from Lake Muskoka

Muskoka’s Bala Falls is located in the town of Bala, Canada and widely known as the Cranberry Capital of Ontario. The extremely high water on Lake Muskoka is being purged through the dam. The water flows down the Moon River into one of the Great Lakes, Georgian Bay (Lake Huron)
Bala Falls is Angry



In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water, tripin around towns, uncategorized

11 Apr
2017
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The Spring Melt

I visited Muskoka yesterday for the first time since the fall season which explains my Blog inactivity. I spent the winter months in the warm climes of the Hawaiian Islands. It was blissful!

I was in Bala yesterday checking out the falls (and the construction) and there is significant water flowing out of Lake Muskoka into the Moon River to Georgian Bay. The ice should be off the lakes by the end of this week. Water levels are down to summer levels on the lakes at present and will rise over the next 10 days. Hopefully no flooding this year.



In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water, tripin around towns

25 Apr
2016
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3 Comments

High Water Levels in Muskoka

I’ve been visiting Muskoka recently dealing with the high water problems that many of us are suffering through. This is the second time in the past few years this has happened with the first being in 2013. I made a 2 min video showing the extreme volumes of water flowing from the Bracebridge Falls into Lake Muskoka and then out through the Bala Falls into the Moon River. There are some photos of the damage this high water has caused at the end of the video.



In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water, tripin around towns

18 Nov
2015
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The Muskoka Water Cab

A friend asked if I would accompany him to look at some island properties that are for sale on Lake Muskoka. We hired this cool Muskoka Water Taxi to take us around in the freezing temperatures. He had a nice little setup with a propane heater inside to keep us warm & toasty. Apparently he does ample business in the warm season dropping and picking up people on the many islands on Lake Muskoka. He will even bring you pizza.
WaterTaxi_600



In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water

18 Sep
2013
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Whats SUP?

Have you tried to SUP – Stand Up Paddleboarding? I haven’t, but I think I may be good at it. Taken at the Touchstone Resort on Lake Muskoka in the early morning.
Paddleboard_600



In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water

01 May
2013
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A Very Full Moon

You can get a clear sense of how high the water levels are on the Moon River from this photo looking out towards the Bala Falls.  Apparently water levels are on the way down on Lake Muskoka followed by Lake Rosseau and Joseph. Check out the handy little graph below with the water levels plotted over the past year.

MoonBoathouse-600

This is a graph of the water levels on the Moon River from May 01, 2012 to May 01, 2013. Note the huge increase this year compared to last year. You can create your own graph and analyze the data by clicking here. For additional resources on the Muskoka River water management including the operating procedures for maintaining water levels, click here

WaterLevels_600



In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water, tripin around towns

29 Apr
2013
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7 Comments

Come Hell or High Water

Here are a few phone camera pics of the high water levels around Muskoka. The first photo is from my friend Cheryl who received it from her friend Lynn. It is taken down stream on the Moon River in Bala where reports of the water levels have hit up to 9 feet high. Check out the boat port roof in the photo – insane!

The other two photos were taken in Bracebridge recently where the water is so powerful it cascades over-top of the damn. Lake Muskoka docks and boathouses are flooded out as well as Lake Joe and Lake Rosseau. Some of the smaller lakes have had high water levels but seem to be recovering faster than the big lakes.

MoonBoathouse_600

BracebridgeFalls_600

BracebridgeFalls-2_600



In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water, tripin around towns

03 Mar
2013
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Welcome to Sled City

During the Gravenhurst winter carnival it seemed like all the commotion was happening a bit to the north at Muskoka Bay Park. I ventured out onto the ice where hundreds of snowmobilers were involved in the high speed radar runs.
Please click on the photo for a larger shot.

Sleds_600



In: in and around muskoka ontario, tripin around towns

24 Sep
2012
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5 Comments

The Last Boat Standing

The sun was dropping rapidly as we approached Gravenhurst after spending 12 hours on-board the Segwun steamship during The 100 Mile Cruise. Hundreds of beautiful heritage boats followed us on our journey this day and now at the duration there was one last boat tracking us on the final journey. It was the Edith II a 26 ft. Fay & Bowden circa 1905, recently brought back to life by Dukes in Port Carling. As the Edith II ran up beside us I was surprised to see my friend and infamous Muskoka photographer Bev McMullen shooting us as we waved frantically. Well, what to do but grab the camera and shoot back.



In: historic muskoka, in and around muskoka ontario, on the water

30 Aug
2012
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The Boys and Girls of Summer

I don’t know about you but I’m not ready to let go of summer just yet. Has it not been one of the best summers in years? Labor day always seems like an official marker that summer is complete.  Personally I like to stretch it out to Thanksgiving weekend if I can. I noticed these kids having a blast on Lake Muskoka recently. Enjoy the summer weather this labor day long weekend.



In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water

13 Aug
2012
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Tracking Cloudburst

Taking a drive around what I call the far side of Lake Rosseau and Lake Muskoka on Hwy #141 is always an interesting trip.  These tracks are near Falkenburg Station now a ghost town located just outside of Bracebridge on Manitoba Street. Its great that Google has a lot of these Muskoka roads mapped out.



In: in and around muskoka ontario, tripin around towns

24 Jul
2012
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North Branch of the Muskoka River

This is the north branch of the Muskoka River flowing out of Mary Lake in quaint Port Sydney, Ontario. The river meanders towards Bracebridge into Lake Muskoka and out to the Moon River and down to Georgian Bay. There are 5 dams on this system with power generated at High Falls, Wilson Falls and the Bracebridge Falls.

The Muskoka River Watershed is the largest watershed in the Muskoka district covering an area of 466,000 hectares. The watershed communities are: Dwight, Dorset, Baysville, Huntsville, Port Sydney, Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Bala, Port Carling and MacTier

 



In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water, tripin around towns

12 Jul
2012
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2 Comments

125th Anniversary Flyby

In celebration of the Segwun Steamship’s 125th anniversary the  Royal Canadian Air Force’s Snowbirds performed a flyby at the wharf in Gravenhurst on Friday June 29th, 2012. I found a cool 35 second video on Youtube below.

Note: the Segwun and Wenonah II along with a flotilla of over 100 antique and classic boats will be recreating the original 100 mile tour on the Muskoka Lakes Saturday August 18th, 2012. Apparently the last time this journey was made was in 1958 so there is plenty of interest in this years 125th anniversary celebration. The Segwun steamship is listed as sold out however you may be able to get on the Wenonah II. Details here.

 



In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water, tripin around towns

21 Jun
2012
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In Search of the Grouch in Port Sydney

I was in Port Sydney recently, the town with the cool welcoming sign that says “Home of 800 families & 1 old grouch.” Politician Tony Clement kicks back here except when hes not doubling as Superman and rescuing people from drowning in the Muskoka river.   The quiet little town is situated on the shores of Mary Lake where the North Muskoka River flows through. Like a lot of small towns in the Muskoka region, Mary Lake was known for its lumber industry bringing many settlers into the area around the 1860’s. At its peak there were over 25 lodges and Inns located in this area with quite an interesting history. I took this photo at the south end while standing on the town dock looking out to the lake.

Mary Lake Port Sydney, Ontario



In: historic muskoka, in and around muskoka ontario, tripin around towns

21 May
2012
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The Historic S.S. Bigwin Steamship

It was one of those murky days as I made my way through the town of Dorset and noticing the S.S. Bigwin steamship moored at the town docks with not a soul around.

A little history – In 1910 James Kuhn a Pittsburgh, PA industrialist launched a steamship on Lake Muskoka named after his wife Ella Marie. They spent their summers on Belle Isle (recently destroyed) just north of Beaumaris on Lake Muskoka. After experiencing financial difficulty the Ella Marie was sold some 15 years later and relocated to the Lake of Bays where she served as the ferry boat for Bigwin Island for the next 45 years.

At 66ft in length and a registered 25 tons the S.S. Bigwin would carry guests such as Clark Gable, Louis Armstrong, Winston Churchill, Greta Garbo and many other famous people out to the world-class Bigwin Inn on Bigwin island. Around 1970 the Bigwin Inn went out of business and the steamship was left to rot in her slip. In 1991 the Dwight Fire Department floated her to a local dock and then hauled  her onto a property in Port Cunnington where restoration started in 2002.

The S. S. Bigwin was relaunched again on July 10, 2010.
The Bigwin Floats Again

 



In: historic muskoka, in and around muskoka ontario, tripin around towns

02 Mar
2012
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Where are the Humanoids?

We finally had a decent batch of freshly fallen snow so I decided to take a drive over to Tondern Island to see what was shakin’. If you haven’t been there you simply drive over a small bridge and all of a sudden you are on an island in Lake Muskoka. It looks real cool on a GPS because it doesn’t display the bridge part. As I drove around this little community I saw no signs of humanoids whatsoever. Only the sound of bubblers keeping the ice open.



In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water, tripin around towns

25 Aug
2011
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Bala Falls Power Struggle

This is a shot from the south side of the Bala Falls on Lake Muskoka. There is a lot of controversy with regards to turning the falls into a new hydro electric dam site. Swift River Energy, a power company has been fighting to develop this site and many of the long term cottagers and locals are not too happy about it. Its been a war.



In: historic muskoka, in and around muskoka ontario, tripin around towns

15 Aug
2011
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Riding Off Into the Setting Sun

I usually tour new cottage guests around Lake Rosseau for their first visit due to the proximity of all the unique landmarks. Lake Rosseau has Winderemere, Red Leaves, Clevelands House, the Church in Morinus, a Lighthouse and a bunch of other interesting and historical sites.  I’m not discounting Lake Joseph or Lake Muskoka, by any means as both have their own unique sites to see.

It was a long day and we were on our way back to the cottage after touring the lake and stopping for a swim in a quiet bay. BBQ strip-loins and big bold Cabernets were on our minds as we zoomed back into the setting sun.



In: boathouses of muskoka, in and around muskoka ontario, on the water

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