Three Big Lakes
Lake Muskoka is located between Port Carling and Gravenhurst, Ontario, Canada. The lake is surrounded by many cottages. The lake is primarily within the Township of Muskoka Lakes, with the southeast corner in the Town of Gravenhurst. The Town of Bala is located on the southwest shores of the lake, where the Moon River starts. Lake Muskoka is connected to Lake Rosseau through the Indian River and lock system at Port Carling. The lake is mainly fed by the Muskoka River, Lake Joseph and Lake Rosseau.
Unique architectural cottages sprinkle the shores of Lake Muskoka from island homes, bay, and peninsula properties. Resorts such as Touchstone and Taboo have chosen Lake Muskoka as their main attraction for their guests to enjoy. The openness this lake has makes it an eventful one to enjoy many water activities. Marinas such as Beaumaris and Pride of Muskoka are easily accessible by water, and provide all your boat servicing needs. Enjoy a day of sailing at the Beaumaris Yacht Club.
In Gravenhurst, visit The Wharf and set sail on the Segwun & Wenonah Steamship cruises. The R.M.S. Segwun is the oldest operating coal-fired steamship in North America. The haunting steam whistle sounds and the Segwun backs away from the dock. Down below, the coal-fired engines churn and chug, powering the majestic Segwun gracefully through the water’s of Ontario’s premier summer playground until you arrive at your destination—Millionaires Row. Many of these cottages boast 15 bedrooms with opulent boathouses and staff quarters.
Other towns to visit include the bustling town of Port Carling to experience its little shops and the quaint Town of Bala with its famous bakery, Don’s Bakery and the Kee to Bala. The “Kee” as it is commonly referred to is a famous concert hall and bar, originally named “Dunns Pavillion”. Every summer, very well-known Canadian artists play here, including Tragically Hip, Blue Rodeo, Jeff Healey, Sam Roberts, Doug and the Slugs, and Drake.
This magnificent lake known as the Malibu of the North is the summer escape to celebrities such as Steven Spielburg and Tom Hanks.
Lake Rosseau is quite possibly the most popular recreation lakes in the Muskokas. Surrounded by many cottages, some dating back to the late 19th century it has appealed to generations of families craving some fun, adventure and quality time to spend with family. A relaxing atmosphere fills the air when arriving at the cottage.
The village of Rosseau is a charming hamlet at the northern tip of Lake Rosseau. Must-see stops are the legendary Rosseau General Store where you might bump into a famous face or two, Hill Top interiors for all your luxury home décor, and Crossroads for a delicious gourmet dinner. Order the carrot cake for dessert!
Windermere House on the eastern shore of Lake Rosseau was built in 1870; this original lodging spot was favoured by fishermen. As tourists discovered Muskoka, Windermere House grew to become one of Lake Rosseau’s longest ongoing landmark resorts. Today it is a beautiful modern hotel, with 3 restaurants operated by Oliver and Bonacini (O&B) – an outdoor sushi cocktail lounge on the verandah, fine dining in the Upper Dining Large and a Pub Style restaurant on the Lower Level. Jayne’s personal favourite band, the Matt and Dave Band, perform at the Windermere every Friday and Saturday night singing contemporary music.
Cleveland’s House is on the western shores of Lake Rosseau. The original buildings still exist. This is a family favourite location for a fun-filled holiday where kids are in day programs and the parents get to relax in their cabin or on the beach. Cleveland’s House also has tennis courts and a 9 hole golf course. “Cleve’s” as it is commonly known as, is where SWS (Summer Water Sports) perform their weekly water-ski show. Always a family favourite watch the antics of the professional water skiers and wake boarders performing stunts and skits of popular childhood themes.
Abbey’s Bakery, a recent addition to Muskoka is a church house bakery, transported from New Brunswick to its current home on the west shores of Lake Rosseau, located beside Wallace Marina and Clevelands House. Try the Maple Bacon cinnamon buns!
Conde Nast Traveler readers ranked JW Marriott The Rosseau #6 of the Top 20 Resorts in Canada in 2013. Luxurious surroundings and magnificent views abound overlooking Lake Rosseau. The Rosseau features 2 restaurants – Cottages (Continental) and Teca (Italian). The resort is very tastefully decorated with natural Muskoka and native Indian furnishings. The lounge has live music entertainment on Wednesdays and Saturdays in the peak summer season as well as a fabulous fireworks display on Canada Day.
Port Sandfield is a small village that was formed when a canal was built connecting Lake Joseph to Lake Rosseau. Today it is a hub in Muskoka featuring an upscale food market with fresh (try the hot sugar donuts freshly baked on Sundays) fine produce, marina, ice cream bar and speciality cafe featuring lattes (one of the few coffee shops in the Muskoka) and a few upscale houseware shops.
Port Carling is the town on the south shore of Lake Rosseau’s and the hub of the 3 Muskoka lakes. The Port Carling locks allow boats to pass through between Lake Rosseau and Lake Muskoka at regular intervals every hour. Port Carling is known for charming artisans, friendly local businesses and beautiful shops. Stop in for a quick lunch at the dock overlooking the lake at Turtle Jack’s.
Watersports activities such as jet skiing, waterskiing, wakeboarding, water surfing, kayaking and swimming are what make this lake so versatile and fun for any family. Fishing is also popular amongst most anglers as healthy and good-sized fish such as lake trout, walleye and bass can be expected on Lake Rosseau.
It is no wonder Hollywood stars, hockey heroes, artists, poets, writers and captains of industry have made Muskoka their destination of choice.
Lake Joseph is picturesque and stunning. Located in the Seguin Township, this is a trendy and popular vacation spot for traveler’s looking for a luxury getaway experience. Affectionately referred to as Lake Joe, the lake is large, deep and exceptionally clear. Surrounded by luxury cottages showcasing an abundant collection of Muskoka’s unique architecture and with landscapes filled with textured rock filling the edges of untouched forests and infinite islands. Lake Joseph is connected to Lake Rosseau through the narrows at Port Sandfield and through the Joseph River.
The calm nature of the lake makes it suitable for water sports like wake boarding, water skiing, tubing and swimming. Kayakers enjoy calm evenings and early mornings for a paddle. Vast networks of hiking trails stretch through the hilly, forested regions surrounding the lake. Out of all of the activities that lure people to Lake Joseph, fishing has to be the most popular one. The lake is teeming with many different species of fish, but it is most famous for its populations of lake trout, walleye, whitefish, pike and bass. From horseback riding to mountain biking, Lake Joseph has it all.
As if all of the outdoor fun and gorgeous cottages weren’t enough, the Muskoka Lakes region is known to attract some of today’s most famous celebrities and most powerful business people. Canadian entrepreneur and Dragon’s Den Dragon, Kevin O’Leary owns a lavish cottage on the shores of Lake Joseph. Lake Joseph’s answer to Lake Muskoka’s Millionaires Row is known as Billionaires Row, and it includes some of the most finely appointed Muskoka cottages in the area belonging to such celebrities as Cindy Crawford and Kenny Rogers.
Also on the shores of Lake Joseph is the renowned Lake Joseph Club, a Clublink course offering a favourite destination for professional athletes, entertainers and actors. With a wide selection of delectable food and fine wines, a character member of Savour Muskoka welcomes a world of regional culinary experiences at The Water’s Edge Wine Bar. Lake Joseph Club also caters to the entire family, with Children’s Camps, Fitness Classes and Tennis.
Other popular restaurants include Bass Lake and Sherwood Inn Dining room, and golf clubs include Rocky Crest, Oviinburd and Sherwood Inn. Foots Bay, Gordon Bay and Pride Marinas are filled with cottagers refuelling to continue their adventurous quest on the water.