This past weekend my mother organized a bridal shower to celebrate a family engagement. The men decided it was a good opportunity to take a trip north for some bonding. I was able to pull together an itinerary in the region of Explorers’ Edge, an area encompassing Muskoka, Parry Sound, Algonquin Park, Almaguin Highlands, and Loring-Restoule – the weekend was unforgettable and the trip home was filled with discussion of making a visit to the region an annual event.
I have been fortunate enough to play many of the championship golf courses in the region, and I wanted the main event for the weekend to be crossing another course of my bucket list. The Ridge at Manitou in McKellar has always been a course I’ve wanted to play and this was the perfect opportunity, now I just had to worry about filling in the rest of the weekend.
Saturday morning my dad, and two uncles loaded up and headed to Gravenhurst. We checked in to the Residence Inn Gravenhurst Muskoka Wharf and got organized. We walked next door to the Muskoka Discovery Centre. What a great way to spend an afternoon; we spent a couple of hours here looking at North America’s only in water exhibit of working antique boats. Our group was avid boaters, so this is what had us awestruck, but there were also plenty of other interesting exhibits detailing Muskoka’s boat heritage.
We stayed at the Wharf for dinner at Dock of the Bay, where we ate overlooking the water on Lake Muskoka. There was plenty of selection and the food was amazing, but the highlight was definitely the view. After dinner we headed to downtown Gravenhurst to Sawdust City Brewery, where I had heard nothing but good things. We opted to order some tasters, so we were able to try a variety of their large beer menu. While we were there, we were happy to find that they offer live music every Saturday night. It was a great atmosphere and a place I will defiantly be sure to revisit. After the music wrapped up, we headed back to the hotel where we got a good night’s sleep in preparation for a busy Sunday.
We woke up early Sunday and headed for McKellar and The Ridge at Manitou. On the way we made a stop in Parry Sound. We headed over to the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame as one of the places we decided we wanted to visit. This was great for me – I was never fortunate enough to see Bobby play, but I was still able to appreciate the huge collection of memorabilia. What was even better was watching my Dad and Uncles, being huge Bobby Orr fans, they were like kids in a candy shop – yelling across the museum at each other – “hey, come look at this.” Any hockey fan would love this museum, just be sure to leave yourself lots of time, we were amazed how fast the time flew while we were there.
Teeing up on the first hole into the fall colour backdrop, I knew this would be a memorable round. The course was in great shape and I felt like the view from every tee deck belonged in a magazine. None more so than the finishing 18th – the hole is a big dog leg left and after you hit you drive into the landing area you drive your cart up the fairway. As you approach your ball the course’s signature view comes into sight. I’m sure you have seen this picture before – and to play it was a very fulfilling experience and the picture really doesn’t do it justice. We enjoyed lunch in the spectacular clubhouse looking out over Manitouwabing Lake and then we loaded up and started on our way home. This was a very busy fun filled two day trip, but one that I won’t soon f orget. This area has so much to offer and I can’t wait to get back to scratch another course off my bucket list and experience more cuisine and adventure that this region has to offer.