How to enjoy a Muskoka vacation

By Bob Boughner, Special to The Daily News

Relax in a Muskoka Chair at Deerhurst Resort. (Joe Warmington/QMI Agency)

Relax in a Muskoka Chair at Deerhurst Resort. (Joe Warmington/QMI Agency)


Combine a few days at Deerhurst Resort and a dinner cruise on the Royal Mail Ship Segwun and you have a real Muskoka vacation.

We did just that last week with the grandchildren and it was an adventure to long remember -even Mother Nature co-operated with excellent weather.

Embracing Peninsula Lake, Deerhurst Resort is a year-round retreat to Ontario's famous "cottage country'' lifestyle in Muskoka.

The resort offers an ideal mix of accommodations and value packages for everything from a weekend break to a budget-friendly meeting.

There are dozens of on-site relaxation and adventure options to explore at the extensive resort, including a spa, sports, live entertainment and everything from hiking trails, horseback riding and Hummer tours to exploring the charming town of Huntsville.

Deerhurst also features a number of great golf packages.

Deerhurst resort is located two hours north of Toronto bordering the Algonquin Provincial Park.

The resort dates from 1896 when English entrepreneur Charles Waterhouse first opened Deerhurst.

The lakeside hotel was the central venue for the 36th G8 summit last year and the walls in the main building feature numerous photos of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama.

The resort offers accommodation for 1,000 people in 400 rooms and suites, many of which are privately owned or blocked by timeshares.

Deerhurst's evening entertainment features a live musical stage show with a new production every year. The career of singer Shania Twain took off when she was one of the performers working at the resort.

Deerhurst hosts a variety of high-profile outdoor sporting events including golf tournaments, running and triathlon events such as the Iron Man and the Canadian Pond Hockey championships each February on specially-built rinks on Peninsula Lake.

Extensive wilderness on Deerhurst property and surrounding the resort make it a popular base for adventure sports.

The Segwun is the recognized symbol of Muskoka with many believing that her haunting whistle sounds out as the offi- cial "heartbeat'' which awakens the region each spring.

The story of the Muskoka Lakes Navigation Company, from the re-sail of the Segwun after refurbishing in 1981 to the present day is a tale of unprecedented growth, success and achievement.

It's a story of the Segwun proudly plying the lakes and representing the elegance, style and heritage of Muskoka's past and it's a tale of Segwun today having earned a reputation as an Ontario tourism icon.

With a sailing season of just 145 days, present-day Segwun welcomes passengers onboard from around the world.

From her scenic lunch and millionaires' row cruises to the ever-popular sunset dinner cruises, Segwun's coal-fired engines work harder today than they did more than 100 years ago.

The Muskoka Boat and Heritage Centre in Gravenhurst, home of the Segwun, has been voted as one of Canada's most exciting new attractions.

Offering an interactive experience for visitors that is unrivaled anywhere in the region, the centre provides a glimpse into the unique aspects of Muskoka life that has attracted millions of visitors and spawned countless memories.

The exhibits capture the glory of the Muskoka experience, exploring the rich history of steamships, wooden boats and luxury hotels that helped define the region.


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