Huntsville

I’ve been to Huntsville at least four times, if not five.  Yet nothing really rings a bell.

I’m trying to think of what I’ve done in Huntsville, other than eat and get ready for Algonquin Provincial Park.  (Not that I have much to get ready for, being a day tripper and all.  I’ve certainly never ventured off the beaten path.  I doubt I’ve been more than a few miles from the highway.)

I once bought a flask though at the Northern General Store on the main drag right across from the Pita Pit.  Another time I had an extra pickles veggie pita too.  I once used a pita from the same Pita Pit to convince the local Beer Store (or was it LCBO?) to stay open an extra five minutes.  I’ve been to the bank in Huntsville. I got super ridiculously lost trying to find the Swiss Chalet in Huntsville.  But…most of my memories are of Algonquin.  I think that pretty much sums up my activities in Huntsville.

Hunstville from above, highway11.ca Ontario

Huntsville from a lookout. (Credit: User P199 at Wiki Commons.)

Huntsville is the last real town on Highway 11 before North Bay and is also the last major centre in Muskoka cottage country. Huntsville is an important cottage and camping area, boosted by two fancy resorts, close access to Arrowhead and Oxtongue Lake Provincial Parks, and the busiest access point to Algonquin Provincial Park.

Huntsville is pretty cute.  There’s a nice little winding downtown (that reminds me a bit of Kirkland Lake, but nicer) that skirts around the lake, and the town is very much cottage country magnet full of stores and services both useful and tacky.

Tom Thomson Statue, Huntsville, Highway 11

Statue of Tom Thomson, group of seven founder (though he was never a member)

Huntsville hosts an annual arts festival.  The town is home the Muskoka Museum, an art gallery, and the new Algonquin Arts Theatre which produces plays during cottage season.  There is also an annual book reading festival, the Firefly Festival in July, and a summer car show.

Founded in 1869 as an agricultural post, Huntsville today is a town of 18 000 focused on tourism, cottaging, and a bit of manufacturing.  Algonquin Provincial Park is about 60 kilometres east and that means that there are numerous lodges, inns, motels, and outfitters in and outside of the city.

The Wolf Den Bunkhouse, about 30 minutes east in Dwight, is a great little hostel with cottages as well as single rooms in a neat log house.  In addition to a Pita Pit, Huntsville has a Harvey’s, an East Side Mario’s, a Swiss Chalet, and a movie theatre.

Huntsville also has two top notch resorts – Hidden Valley and Deerhurst, the latter being where Shania Twain got her start.  There is train (not twain) and bus access from the ONTC, and Huntsville is the proud owner of a one-route municipal bus system.

HUnstville's town hall slash theatre, highway 11

HUntsville’s new town hall and the Algonquin Theatre, which hosts a comedy festival during cottage season (Credit: User P199 at Wiki Commons.)

Motels, Highway 11, Huntsville

Highway 11 is littered with B-list motels near Huntsville that look empty and forlorn in the off-season.  But in tourist season, they sure fill-up.

Untsville, highway 11, deerhurst resort

Deerhurst Resort.  Obviously not my photo.

Shania Twain played in Huntsville before she was a superstar

Sure Huntsville.  You can try to steal her from Timmins but you will never succeed

9 thoughts on “Huntsville

  1. Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read something like this before. So good to seek out anyone with some unique ideas on this subject. realy thanks for starting this up. this web site is one thing that is wanted on the web, someone with a bit of originality. useful job for bringing one thing new to the internet!

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  2. Wow, you missed most of the major summer camps are around Huntsville. Huntsville hosted the G-8 including president Obama. Is the home of Muskoka Pioneer Village, and annual Iron-man qualifier, indie film festival and group of seven mural tour and a University of Waterloo satellite.

  3. never been in huntsville,but in september when we’re on our way from northbay to kingston we’re staying for 2 nights in foxlake B&B in huntsville. it looks like a very beautifull place to stay. is hter a lot to visit overthere?

  4. Dear Sir.

    While Huntsville may not be the unique, quintessential North Ontario town, it does have a little charm and boasts more than just American fast food chains. Though the Pasta House may have gone out of business a few years back, the replacement Cottage Grill suffices – and not to mention the little Northern Bakery Co. which offers sweet little soups and sandwiches on the main street. And lets not forget the few lovely ice cream parlours, and the Fish N Chips joint on the river. It ain’t New York, and it ain’t no Kapuskasing neither, but it’ll do us cottaging folk just fine, and it would do you well to notice some of these UNIQUE little places. strange you hadn’t already.

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