Our world is shaped by water: its flow, its life-giving properties. Water can rage, or it can offer us moments of utter peace and calm. It is the backbone of our ecosystem, and it shapes the land we live on.
Water has certainly shaped the region of Kawartha, where over 250 rivers and lakes are scattered across the land, crisscrossing the the geological formations and forests of the Canadian Shield. The region is home to the historic Trent Severn waterway, a 386-kilometre series of canals and locks that is part of the National Park Service, and to countless swimming and boating venues. And of course, it’s also the home to some of the best cottage country in the world.
The Kawarthas has a holy sort of beauty, as anyone who’s watched the sun set over the lakes can attest. But to fully take advantage of what the region has to offer, you need a home base, a cottage of your own, where you can sit on your own porch or dock and watch the boats paddle by, or retreat for a meal or nap after an afternoon spent swimming. Fortunately, CanadaStays has you covered, offering cottage rentals on several of the area’s many lakes. Here are a few of our favourite places to call home during a stay in the Kawarthas.
A cute lake house with beach access from $504 a night
This spacious-yet-cozy lake house is a perfect place to get away with the entire family. It has five bedrooms, a dock for lounging on a Muskoka chair or fishing, and access to a 73-foot sandy beach where kids can play in the sand and paddle. It’s literally steps from your front door to Balsam Lake, where you can kayak, canoe, or stand-up paddleboard to your heart’s content. And if you find yourself craving a Kawartha Dairy ice cream cone, you’re just a short drive away from the communities of Fenelon Falls and Bobcaygeon (immortalized by the Tragically Hip). This is the perfect spot for a perfectly relaxing vacation at the lake.
An ultimate relaxation spot from $129 a night
You may never want to leave the patio of this three-bedroom waterfront cottage near Cameron, Ontario. It’s a spacious lounging area that offers a stunning view of Sturgeon Lake and has a trellis cover for a perfect dappled-sunlight effect, making it the ideal place to take your meals, relax after meals, snooze, and just about anything else. Of course, if you do manage to drag yourself away, this cottage has a lot more to offer. You’ll have a private yard with access to the lake, a bright dining room leading out to a terrace, and three bedrooms that sleep up to eight people. The decor is charming, a bright update of the classic cottage aesthetic. It’s the perfect home away from home.
A stately manor from $325 a night
If you’re looking for a place that goes beyond the scope of the typical cottage while still offering water access and beautiful surroundings, this bright waterside home is for you. It’s packed with amenities, including four bedrooms, three full bathrooms, a hot tub, BBQ, and a fireplace. There’s a screened in porch so you can take in meals outdoors without worrying about bugs, and a dock for launching off into Sturgeon Lake. If you want to go out for a day trip, you can check out Garnet Graham Beach Park or the nearby Furnace Falls, or check out the nearby shops, including the adorable Little Pie Shack in the village.
A historic log house from $500 a night
If you’re looking for a genuine cabin experience, this venerable log house — known as Silver Moon Cottage — has plenty of genuine historic character. It’s a 180-year-old settler’s cottage, and while it’s been updated and refurbished with modern conveniences (yes, there’s wifi), it still retains several of its original features, making it feel like you’ve travelled back to another century. The cabin looks out on beautiful, calm Shadow Lake, which was known as Silver Shadow back when this property was built. It’s a beautiful swimming and fishing area, and at night, you can hear the singing of crickets and frogs, nature’s symphony orchestra.
A secluded escape from $762 a night
There’s getting away and then there’s getting away. The River House, a secluded luxury rental embedded in acres of private woodland, truly lets you get away from it all. It’s surrounded by winding trails, which lead down to your own private swimming hole with 1300 feet of waterfront. The cottage itself is large and recently renovated, with five bedrooms and intricate cabinet work and design touches everywhere. Two of the bedrooms have their own fireplaces, and there’s a larger stone fireplace for communal use. It’s the ultimate place to get some peace and quiet, though if you do want to get out to a larger, more populated body for the day, Simcoe Lake is close by for an easy day trip.
A lakeside lodge from $328 a night
This lodge on the edge of Four Mile Lake has the best of all worlds. Waterfront property with scenic views, good fishing and watersports, and a lake that isn’t constantly congested with traffic. This is an old family cottage that has been expanded over the years to a five-bedroom property, but the highlight of the space is still the deck, which lets you sit surrounded by pristine woods and take in the lake just a few feet away. The trees gives the space a sense of peaceful enclosure, and the surroundings are green and fresh in a way that reminds you you’re truly out of the city. This is the ideal quiet getaway, where you can spend days reading, boating, and swimming, and start up a fire in the evenings, eating s’mores and watching the stars. This property offers quintessential quiet comforts and relaxation, which is what cottaging is all about.