Take a Spring road trip to the area’s most stunning waterfalls … and bring your camera!
Early spring is the best time of year to go on a waterfall adventure. As the ice melts from the lakes in Algonquin Park, the flowing water makes its way through Muskoka’s watershed before emptying into Georgian Bay some 200km away. What transpires on this journey is a beautiful display of the watershed’s stunning power.
Please note: although it is a fun way to spend an afternoon getting great pictures and great recreation, it is important to note the danger that exists near waterfalls. Obey posted signs and don’t take any unnecessary risks!
Bracebridge Waterfall Adventure
Bracebridge is really the waterfall hotspot in Muskoka, boasting the Big Three; Bracebridge Falls, Wilson’s Falls and High Falls. These are three of the region’s best waterfalls, all within a 5 minute drive of downtown.
Visiting the Big Three is a spring day well spent and will leave you with a ton of great photos to share. The loop starts at the impressive High Falls right off of Hwy 11. Be sure to take the nearby walking trail to Little High Falls, a hidden waterfall with a walking bridge that is a popular spot for engagement and family photos.
Next up and just a few km down the north branch of the Muskoka River is Wilson’s Falls. Take the forested walking trail that brings you up close to the rushing waters and admire this natural scene. It is hard to believe this walking trail and waterfall is just minutes from downtown (find trail map and info here).
Finish the loop at the iconic Bracebridge Falls and Silver Bridge. When you think Muskoka, the image of this bridge and waterfall most certainly comes to mind. The best part about this leg of the journey is you are right in the heart of beautiful downtown Bracebridge! Grab a latte and buttertart from The Pasta Shoppe Fine Foods and Bakery or stop in for a pint at a local gastropub before casually strolling the main street to the scenic falls. Take the Bracebridge Bay walk, with ten information plaques that bring the area’s history to life (find trail map and info here).
Northern River Waterfall Adventure
The area’s most stunning waterfall is Ragged Falls (pictured above). Located at the Oxtongue River-Ragged Falls Provincial Park just minutes from the western edge of Algonquin Park, Ragged Falls in the spring is a sight to see! A cool tie-in to the area’s connection with the Group of Seven, the falls were the inspiration for A.J. Casson’s painting Oxtongue River. Visit the mural replica of Casson’s piece at the Oxtongue Lake Community Centre, a quick little detour that will give you a whole new appreciation for Canada’s most famous artist group.
Although not a thundering waterfall like your first stop, nearby Oxtongue Rapids is a beautiful chute along the Oxtongue River that is definitely worth admiring. Another cool tie-in to the Group of Seven, it is believed that The Red Maple, one of A.Y. Jackson’s most celebrated paintings, depicts a scene along the Oxtongue River overlooking the rapids. You can see the stunning replica mural in downtown Huntsville at the Huntsville’s Hometown IDA Drugstore.
No road trip through Dwight is complete without a stop at Erika’s Bakery, Cafe & Gift Shop. Stop in for one of her famous buttertarts, because buttertarts and waterfalls are the perfect spring combo!
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