Huntsville, Ontario – Adventuring at Arrowhead Provincial Park!


I love road-tripping in Ontario. No matter what direction you go in this province, there’s always something to see, eat and experience. Be it a hike or a butter tart, this place is loaded with travel and food deliciousness.

Being based in Toronto has its advantages. Going east leads to the epic Thousand Islands and the Ottawa valley, south and west to wine country and north to rugged Canadian Shield country. And because there’s so much to see in every direction, road tripping becomes an insatiable hobby.

Arrowhead – a Provincial Park north of Toronto

Going north has a special place for many who live in the southern part of the province. The air is cleaner and fresher, the traffic much more sporadic. It’s a chance to connect with nature, go exploring and come back feeling refreshed. And although many have a favourite spot they routinely go to, I like to visit Arrowhead Provincial Park because it’s a golden oasis that’s incredible at all times of the year!

Go in the summer

Hiking
I love to hike. And although I like a good challenging hike here and there, I also appreciate easier hikes that let me enjoy the surroundings while I’m getting a bit of a workout. Arrowhead has 15 kilometres worth of trails that range from easy to moderate and can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to complete. Hiking here is overall pretty accessible for anyone and everyone.

At seven kilometres long, the Beaver Meadow Trail is the longest one and winds its way past Porcupine Bluffs along a huge ancient lake. With some luck, you may see Great Blue Heron, moose, otter and of course, beavers. The Homesteaders Trail takes about an hour to hike, taking you through some rugged terrain with remnants of abandoned farm fields dating back to the 19th century, while the Stubb’s Falls Trail is an easy 45-minute trail where the reward is seeing the Little East River rush down a rock chute. Perfect for having a snack while you experience the rush of the water. Meanwhile, near the Roe Campground parking lot, Big Bend Lookout is another popular trail that gives you easy access to a gorgeous panoramic view of the meandering Muskoka landscape!

Fun on the water 
With three sandy beaches perfect for everyone, swimming at Arrowhead offers quiet, picturesque surroundings with crisp, clean and refreshing water. Change facilities are available but keep in mind, the beaches aren’t supervised with lifeguards and pets aren’t allowed. If you feel like heading out onto the water for more exploration, be sure to rent a canoe or kayak and keep that flotation device on you at all times.

Camping
There are 3 campgrounds at Arrowhead – Roe, East River, and Lumby.  Roe is more private and offers well-drained sites. Love fishing and a less crowded beach? Then this is your ideal campground. East River is busier, great for RV’s and is closest to Stubbs Falls while Lumby is divided into two sections, surrounded by deciduous forest and is a great site for trailers and tents. There’s also a dog beach nearest to the north Lumby campground.

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Go in the winter

Classic winter activities
Winter at Arrowhead offers an AMAZING experience that may actually make you start loving the colder months! With 33 kilometres of cross-country ski trails that cater to every skill level, it’s truly a perfect place for everyone including solo travelers, couples, and families no matter what the skill level. And you don’t even have to own your own equipment. The park offers ski, snowshoe, skate and tube rentals and keeps you warm with shelters and open fire pits.

The Skating Trail
Considered to be a “fairy tale skate through the Canadian forest”, the skating trail at Arrowhead has been recognized as one of the 19 stunning natural ice skating rinks around the world by Travel+Leisure. Opened in 2012, it’s a 1.3-kilometre trail that winds its way through the snow-covered forest, quickly becoming a winter must-do. Fire + Ice Nights go down on select Saturday nights throughout the winter and feature tiki torches actually lighting up the trail as you skate. Magical stuff for sure!

Winter Camping
Sure, summer camping is great but here, winter camping is just as enjoyable. There are roofed accommodations including, one room camp cabins with rustic interiors that come with high-quality mattresses, a kitchenette, mini-fridge, dining table, chairs, a gas BBQ and picnic table. It’s also a short walk to a comfort station and water tap.

There you have it. For more info about the epic Arrowhead, check this link. The question now is – when will you go?


About me

IMG-20161106-WA0017.jpgHey y’all. I’m Jim. That kid went on to spend 16 years in the broadcast media world before starting up Travel Mammal, a site dedicated to working with brands to promote travel, food and cultural experiences.

Travel Mammal isn’t about the selfie or checking things off a list. It’s about experiencing both the journey and the destination. To breathe, learn and really absorb what’s around you, in the moment and experiencing in a way that is both memorable and meaningful.

Happy travels, y’all.

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