Vacation rentals in Lake of Bays
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Your guide to Lake of Bays
All About Lake of Bays
Within a two-hour drive from Toronto in Ontario’s North Muskoka region, Lake of Bays is a small township with over 100 lakes, the second largest of which gives the town its name. In summer, people come for the pristine beaches with clean, calm waters, including Haystack Bay, which is popular for swimming and boating. Once snow falls, the region turns into a winter oasis for skating, skiing, and snowmobiling across some of Ontario's best snowmobile trails.
When you’re not on the water, you can spend days wandering from small town to town. Baysville and Dorset in particular are replete with boutiques and restaurants. Many use the town of Dwight as a launchpad for delving into Algonquin Park — the oldest provincial park in Canada, with more than 7,500 square kilometres of lush forests, lakes, and rivers. The park is an outdoor lover’s delight, with 20 hiking trails, three biking trails, and the chance to spot black bears and moose rumbling in the distance.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Lake of Bays?
Summer in Lake of Bays offers warm days for enjoying all the outdoor activities, but you can expect breezes by the lake, so it’s not a bad idea to pack a sweater with your sunscreen. In spring, you’ll enjoy sunny days interspersed with rains, and fall fills the canopy with brilliant shades of yellow, red, and orange. In nearby Bala, a well-loved cranberry festival takes place the first weekend after Thanksgiving in October, featuring live entertainment, shopping, and berry-bright culinary delights. Northern Ontario is known for its beautiful snowy winters, so be sure to bring waterproof outerwear and even thermals for the cold days. The Dwight Winter Carnival is always a highlight in the region, as are snowy activities like fat biking, skating, and snowshoeing.
What are the top things to do in Lake of Bays?
The Dorset Tower Lookout
A 2.3-kilometre hike through lush forest landscapes leads to the Dorset Lookout Tower. The site has served as a fire lookout tower for decades, and the current structure, built in 1967, rises 30 metres high, with a staircase leading to an observation deck. The panoramic views of Algonquin Park and spectacular lakes will reward you when you reach the top.
Lake of Bays Scenic Drive
The 80-kilometre loop around Lake of Bays offers many places to stop, including the pretty towns of Baysville, Dwight, and Dorset. Whether you’re on your bicycle or in a car, the route will take you past a local craft brewery, galleries, and the entrance to the Dorset Tower Lookout. Fall is a magnificent time to take the drive, with vibrant shades of yellow, red, and orange everywhere you look on the winding road.
Spend a day in Dorset darting in and out of gift shops, ice cream parlours, a charming general store, bakeries, and restaurants with views overlooking the water. Several art galleries showcase works created by local artists. On the lake’s shore, you can climb aboard the SS Bigwin, a restored historic steamship, for a short ride, one of the most distinctive ways to tour the lake.