When it comes to planning a trip, one of the hardest things is satisfying all the travellers’ needs. Whether you’re travelling with family, friends, work colleagues or just as a couple, it’s not always easy to reconcile everyone’s agendas.
But in the end, you go to the outdoors for a challenging adventure—the thrill of the challenge and the fulfillment of besting it—or you go to take it easy, cast your cares aside and enter a profound relaxation.
Or maybe a bit of both: take on the wilderness by day, relax by night with all your needs taken care of.
Some people come primed for adventure, with their own equipment and training: rock climbers, white water kayakers, and other brave souls looking for a challenge. Others prefer to take things a little easier, and enjoy nature with some leisurely paced hiking or paddling.
That’s why Ontario’s resorts are so uniquely qualified to offer something for every traveller’s needs. Whatever your style of adventure, a resort will either have the facilities on site, or be able to arrange a trip for you in the area.
Couples or families with diverging interests can do separate activities, then enjoy quality time together. Groups of friends with different skill levels can meet each other halfway. Corporate retreats can help develop shared experiences to grow closer together, an essential part of team-building.
Or, maybe you’re lucky enough to enjoy the same level of adventure as your travel partner. A resort can then become a basecamp for two equally skilled adventurers. People who love doing challenging activities together can do one for the full day—and resort staff can help them set that up—then have the perfect place to relax in as they rest and recuperate before the next day.
Here’s a sampling of Ontario resorts that offer adventures for every taste.
Blue Mountain Resort, near Collingwood, offers tons of activities appealing to all kinds of adventurers. More into the fast-paced side of the outdoors? Check out the Apex Bagjump (a 21-foot free jump onto a huge airbag below), the Timber Challenge High Ropes (an advanced ropes course combining climbing and zip lines), rock climbing, mountain biking, caving or zip lines.
If you’re more into a mellow day out, enjoy paddling, mini-golf, hiking, or water fun at the Aquatic Centre. The Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster, meanwhile, is a 1-km loop of tracks on which you can roll along at your own pace: take it at an easy glide, or roar around at up to 42 km/h! That’s just a sampling; check out the full list of activities here.
Muskoka’s Bayview Wildwood Resort offers outdoor recreation aplenty. Play sports from badminton to basketball, shuffleboard to tennis. Cruise the waters on canoes, kayaks, paddleboards or pontoon boats, enjoy the beach or outdoor pool, or stay on land with bicycles and a host of lawn games. Bayview Wildwood also partners with local company Summer Watersports, offering tubing, waterskiing and more.
At Beachwood Resort, in the Kawartha Lakes near Peterborough, the opportunities for water fun are almost endless, with a water playground as well as a beach where canoes, kayaks and paddleboats are available along with waterskiing and tubing—all equipment provided by the resort. On land, you’ll find 330 acres of woods with 5 km of marked wooded trails, perfect for birdwatching or a leisurely hike. Access is available to both paved bike trails and dirt trails for mountain biking—you’ll have to bring your own bike, but storage is provided. Check here for the full list of available activities.
In the heart of Algonquin Park, Killarney Lodge is an oasis of comfort in the middle of the pristine, rugged wilderness. Stay comfy with an easy paddle (each cabin comes with its own canoe), stroll the area, bike along a path built on an abandoned railway line, or just take it easy on the beach. Alternately, take an adventurous hike up to one of the area’s spectacular views, or bike the more ambitious Minnesing Trail. (Bring your own bike or rent one at the nearby store.) Fishing and wildlife spotting are also popular activities.
Lumina Resort is known as the largest cottage resort on Muskoka’s Lake of Bays. Oriented towards family adventures, they offer a plethora of water activities, including a waterslide and trampoline in the pool as well as boating (sailing, kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding), and daily water ski instruction on the beach. On land, several sports are available ranging from tennis to volleyball, basketball and more, along with access to nearby golf courses and horseback riding! Scroll down to the bottom of this page to see the full list of available activities.
As its name suggests, Muskoka’s Rocky Crest Golf Resort is mostly about top-notch golf facilities. But that’s not all they offer. Tennis, basketball, beach volleyball and billiards are also available on land, along with a number of hiking trails. A beach, outdoor pool and inflatable water park will satisfy all your aquatic needs; canoe, kayak, paddleboats and stand-up paddleboard rentals are included in the price, while pontoon boats are available for a small extra fee.
Algonquin Park’s Couples Resort, available to couples only, nonetheless provides a variety of activities for all tastes. Biking (on the leisurely Abandoned Railway Line or the more challenging Madawaska River Trail), canoes, kayaks, motorboats and rowboats, as well as courts for tennis, basketball, pickleball and badminton, will leave every adventurer satisfied.
There are a lot of options indeed. But don’t sweat the details, let resort staff attend to your needs. All you’ll need to do is have fun, build connections and make wonderful memories.
Even more adventure resorts:
· Big Moose Camp (near North Bay)
· Bondi Village Cottage Resort (Lake of Bays area)
· Clearview Cottage Resort (Kawarthas)
· Southview Cottages (Kawarthas)