Introduction

In June 2001 I went to stay with my mother and father in Bracebridge, Ontario.

During my stay we visited many places and people together which, whilst not all are 'outdoor activity' related, I hope you will find interesting. I have tried to add links to sections so that you can follow up on the sketchy information I have provided.

For me a major part of my trip was my first trip into the interior of Algonquin Park, a wonderful area of rivers, lakes and forest in a semi-natural state, where you really do feel you have got away from it all.

I also visited Peterborough and enjoyed a two day trip down Eels Creek, which was also my first: experience of canoeing in Canada, camping in Canada, being eaten by mosquitoes and blackflies and my first dunking in a Canadian River!

Canoeing trips and climbing in Barrie were planned before I left the UK via contacts made through various internet forums. My mother initially thought I was mad to go off into the wilderness with a bunch of potential psychos I had never met. I have to say I am very grateful to everyone for making me feel so welcome (and an honorary internet psycho) and for a fabulous series of experiences which only made me want to return for more of the same.

Thanks guys for a great holiday.

Gravenhurst and the Segwun

Gravenhurst is a small lakeside town on the southern tip of Lake Muskoka most noted for RMS Segwun, the oldest working steam ship in North America.

The high density of forest meant that for early settlers most of Ontario was inaccessible except via rivers and lakes. Consequently a huge number of impressive engineering feats made a canal network allowing people to travel relatively safely. The RMS Segwun was originally a mail boat (hence the RMS) but now it caters for tourists' pleasure cruises around Gravenhurst Bay and Lake Muskoka.

On leaving Gravenhurst Bay the ship passes the oldest lighthouse in Canada and then steams into the much more open waters of Lake Muskoka. The area is still heavily forested but much of the shoreline has been taken over by summer houses and holiday lets, sometimes of the rich and famous.