Being from Ontario, we have amazing opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Whether it be camping, hiking, fishing or hunting it’s all here with hundreds of thousands of hectares to explore. An ongoing struggle we and many other adventure enthusiasts come across is avoiding the population – touristy spots. Something Brenda and I both love is camping and we find the true way to experience nature, back country camping. This allows people to be away from the populated campsites you will find at many Provincial Parks.
As we are both from Southern Ontario it can be a challenge finding time to make the trek north, especially getting through the never ending traffics jams that come with driving through Toronto. Finding the right spot to set up camp can also be difficult. The nice thing about Ontario is that there’s plenty of untouched land waiting for you. With that being said we had decided this is exactly what we wanted to do, with the help of Google maps we found McDonald Lake.
The lake is located right off the 400 Highway, just north of Barrie which makes it easily accessible yet remote at the same time. We found room to park the car off the road with a short 200m portage to the lake. After being mauled by the awful amount of misquotes which comes with summer wilderness camping, we made it on the water.
There is something about about the gently paddling on a glass calm, quite lake that makes you instantly forget any worries one might have. As we paddled around admiring the beautiful rugged landscape of the pine forest along with the granite Canadian Shield outcrops that makes the Muskoka such an iconic area. We found a nice rock point to set up camp and wind down for the evening. McDonald Lake is not large but is made up of many smaller lakes all inner connected. A beautiful location to explore is the old railway bridge that tower over the waterfall found at the east end of the lake where is becomes McCrae Lake.
We really loved the area because… really what’s not to love? Quiet, remote, beautiful and best of all free. For anyone looking for an awesome weekend getaway without breaking the bank we highly recommend checking out McDonald Lake and McCrae Lake!