While seasons are changing, and days are getting shorter, there is always time to explore parts of our province. From towns like Paris to Perth, Ontario’s smaller communities are gems that can be adventures at any time of year. One of these spots that should be on your radar is the charming town of Gravenhurst.

Often called “the gateway to Muskoka,” Gravenhurst is actually rich in history in the region. Located 170 km north of Toronto, Gravenhurst was incorporated back in 1887, and it was the first incorporated town in Muskoka. In the 19th century, the area operated a number of lumber businesses, and as that industry declined, tourism began to grow in the region. And even back then, its now-popular wharf was a hub for transportation activities. In fact, in 1865, the first steamship was built in Muskoka by A.P. Cockburn, and it was launched the following year.

These days, Gravenhurst continues to be the home port to the oldest operating Steamship in North America, the RMS Segwun and The Wenonah II. That, along with the area’s rich history, can be explored at the Muskoka Discovery Centre.

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The best part about Gravenhurst is that you can check out the region over a weekend. Besides hopping on the steamship for a scenic cruise on Lake Muskoka, you can explore the historic Muskoka Wharf and stroll along its scenic boardwalk. Along the walk, there are waterfront restaurants, cafes, and local shops.

For those looking for more outdoor experiences, this region has lots of areas for hiking, biking, as well as swimming in summer. Brydons Bay Trail is a short family-friendly trail wanders through majestic red and white pine, but if you want views, you can check out Peninsula Trail, which also offers gazebos, benches, and places to enjoy the scenery.


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Lovers of fall foliage will enjoy the cooler months here, as it is lush with trees and leaves that change colour, making stunning backdrops for photos. One of the region’s best hotels is the Residence Inn Gravenhurst, which is located within the Muskoka Wharf, and is surrounded by trees. It’s a pet-friendly hotel close to the boardwalk, and trails to get your adventures started in the area.

In the winter, snowmobiling, ice fishing and pond hockey are activities to try in the area.

So whether it’s a one-night getaway, or you’re looking for a few days in a scenic Ontario town with rich history, Gravenhurst should definitely be on your list.