For our first full day in Muskoka, the day dawned clear and sunny. As we had been away for over a week, a bit of laundry was in order, so we planned to go into Huntsville first thing to take our laundry for a service wash, go to Algonquin Park, before returning in later afternoon to pick up our clean clothes.
Huntsville is on the Muskoka River linking Lake Vernon to Fairy Lake. The lack of wind resulted in an almost mirror like finish on the river.
Parking off Main Street near The Mill on Main, where we had eaten the evening before, we walked up part of Main Street, and then back to the swing bridge over the Muskoka River. Being The Fall (Autumn), the pontoon docks along the side of the river, had no boats.
Huntsville’s origins go back to the 1860s when Captain George Hunt encouraged the development of an agricultural settlement. By 1870 a post office was opened and the name Huntsville was used for the first time. Transport links continued to be improved with a navigable water route from Port Sydney to Huntsville, linking the existing waterwater from Bracebridge on Lake Muskoka. In 1885 the Northern and Pacific Junction Railway reached Huntsville. Although there are still freight services through the town, passenger services ceased on 28 September 2012. On a previous visit in 2007, I saw the northbound passenger service, the Ontario Northlander.
Initially local industries included forestry (with the supporting activities of saw mills for wood processing into various forms including shingles). This has declined to be replaced by tourism. Huntsville position as the western gateway to Algonquin Park makes its a popular base in Muskoka for tourism.
Whilst our laundry was being done we headed east into Algonquin Park. Upon our return we headed back into Main Street to buy ice creams and sit outside the Algonquin Theatre. Here is a memorial to Tom Thomson (1877 to 1917). The inscription on the memorial is:
An artist, woodsmith, guide, and dreamer
whose brilliant vision defined the Canadian wilderness and
captured the majesty and many colourful moods of Algonquin Park.
Finally in the evening we returned the The Mill on Main.