Side Trip/Outdoorsy Trip in Ontario...

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Jul 21st, 2006, 02:28 PM
  #1
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Side Trip/Outdoorsy Trip in Ontario...

My husband and I are making a trip out to Montreal/QC/Toronto/Niagara Falls(and NOTL) in September. We would really like to add another 1 or 2 day side trip from Toronto where we could enjoy some outdoor activities(hiking/horseback riding/kayaking) as well as really see some of Canada's natural scenery since we will be in cities during most of our trip.

I have read a little about the Georgian Islands National Park, and think it might be a good choice, but I'm very confused as to exactly where to go in or near the park, as well as where to stay for a night. We do not want to rent a car -- so we would like somewhere accessible by rail, making Parry Sound, for example, an option as there is a train that goes there.

Can anyone help? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!
sak06 is offline  
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Jul 21st, 2006, 11:23 PM
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Never heard of Georgian Islands National Park. I can't imagine not renting a car. I don't think you can count on just rail. You might look into a chartered bus trip. Algonquin in the Muskoka's (check DeerHurst Inn) or closer would be Hockley Valley (closer to Toronto) or even closer the Niagara Escarpment in the Milton area.
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Jul 22nd, 2006, 05:31 AM
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Hi Sak:
Georgian Bay National Park is an absolutely fabulous area of natural beauty of the Canadian shield with its typical rocks water and forest landscape. 30 thousand islands, waterways, wilderness and lots of opportunities for the outdoor activities you mention. However the desire to get to the area by rail is not really an option. The park itself is all islands but along the shores of Georgian Bay are many areas you can access by car.
Rail lines to the area around Midland and Parry Sound don't really exist much any more. A car is your best option. From Toronto head north on Highway 400 for about 2 hours and stop anywhere between Honey Harbour and Twelve Mile Lake and you will find cabins or cottages etc to rent.
September is a lovely time in the area, the crowds have departed for the most part and you can literally be on your own.
I attach a few websites but I think your one or two day side trip is a bit short as the distance makes it a bit rushed.
http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/on/georg/index_e.asp

http://www.parrysoundarea.com/places...hp?s=14&r_ro=0


If you can't squeeze another day or two out of your travel time as you will be in the Niagara Region you can find some areas where hiking and horseback riding are available. This area is much more built up and the landscape is completely different than the area just two hours north but along the Niagara escarpment you can find great hiking etc.
regards,
keldar is offline  
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Jul 22nd, 2006, 07:03 AM
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As you want to take a train, Parry Sound is about the only place you can get to in a reasonable time from Toronto by Via Rail. Parry Sound is classic Canadian Shield country on Georgian Bay.

However,you should also condsider the Ontario Northland Railway train from Toronto to Cochrane which has stops in Gravenhurst, Bracebridge and Huntsville in the heart of the Muskoka region. There is no end of resorts in Muskoka for your choice of outdoor activities. I'm sure you can be picked up at one of the train stations.
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Jul 24th, 2006, 05:32 AM
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I second the Ontario Northland Railway suggestion - too bad you don't have time to go to Cochrane and then on the end of the line to Moosonee. That's fur trader country.
SallyCanuck is offline  
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Jul 24th, 2006, 06:53 AM
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If it is only a couple of days, I think the rail discussed here won't work.

How much travel time do you want and how much hiking time?
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Jul 24th, 2006, 08:26 AM
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<<If it is only a couple of days, I think the rail discussed here won't work>>

I don't see why not. The ONR train to Muskoka only takes 2 1/2 to 3 hours depending on the desination. You would be there before noon, and leave in the late afternoon the next day to return.

2 days is not much, but it would give you a taste of outdoors.
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Jul 24th, 2006, 08:34 AM
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Well, to back up a bit, our plan is this : fly into Montreal for 3 days, train to QC for 2 days, then train down to Toronto where we have 5 days, one of which will include a day trip to NF/NOTL. We fly back home from Toronto.

Getting back to the point, somewhere during the trip we would like a day trip (either day trip or spending one night is fine also) to a scenic park or location where we could find short hikes, or canoeing/kayaking, or some other active pursuit. Out of the the places I had looked at online -- namely the Mont Tremblant/Laurentians area, Kingston area, Niagara escarpment, I thought the Georgian Islands National Park seemed to be exactly what we were looking for. From your helpful replies, though, it seems that it won't be possible with our time/rail limitations.

Ideal travel time: 2 hours, Ideal stay: 1 day /1 night, Ideal activities: hiking/canoeing/kayaking

So do you think the Muskoka region is our best bet? Thank you again for all of your help!
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