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Our favourite morning activities at the cottage

Too often, evenings get all the glory in cottage country. And while we love late-night stargazing and campfire s’mores as much as anyone, we have to admit that the morning just might be the best part of a day at the lake. If you’re prone to sleeping in on weekends, this early-morning cottage itinerary might inspire you to wake with the sunrise and experience some of the best early-bird activities, along with a healthy, flavourful breakfast, such as those from Dorset Cereals.

Sipping fresh coffee on the dock

The definition of a “good cup of coffee” comes down to personal preference. Some cottagers fawn over locally roasted beans steeped in a French press. Others are fine with whatever drip-feed grounds a guest left behind. But one thing’s certain: the best way to enjoy the coffee of your choice is to slip out of bed before everyone else, brew it as quietly as possible, and sip it solo on the dock while you savour the sunrise over the lake. Because if there’s one thing in life that smells as good as Saturday’s first cup of coffee, it’s the heady scent of early-morning mist rolling off the water.

Paddling around a misty lake

Speaking of morning mist, if you’re a canoeist or kayaker, there’s no better time than the early morning to enjoy a paddle around the lake. Shortly after sunrise, before the water is ruffled by powerboats, you’ll be treated to total silence—aside from the rhythmic drip of your oar dipping beneath the surface. If you’re on a smaller lake, you might even share the water with a few industrious beavers shuttling the last branches of their night shift back to their dams. 

Savouring a simple, slow breakfast

It’s no secret that food takes centre stage at the cottage. When guests arrive for the weekend, there’s something both magical and hectic about preparing meals in a tiny kitchen. But the cottage is also about relaxing, so over the years we’ve honed a three-meal formula that keeps the drama at bay. For dinners, go all out with your guests. Assign duties for salads, sides, grilling, and cleanup, and then come together to enjoy the fruits of your labour. But for lunches and breakfasts, take a simpler route with grab-and-go options. That’s especially true for breakfast, as people might prefer to wake up at different times. Instead of starting your day stressed out in a cramped kitchen, try savouring a calm, slow morning with granola or muesli from Dorset Cereals. We’re partial to Dorset’s “Seductive choc cherry granola,” which blends cherries, nuts, and just enough dark chocolate to coax us out of bed.  

Enjoying a hike before the blackflies are buzzing

Canadians who live in humid regions love to moan about mosquitoes. And it’s a fair gripe—few things can ruin a walk in the woods like the faint din of thirsty pests buzzing around our heads. But between April and July, the real troublemakers in cottage country are the blackflies. Not only do they seem to home in on their targets like heat-seeking missiles, but their bites are downright painful. Long sleeves and repellants certainly help, but your best bet is to take a hike while the sun’s still rising. Once it’s high in the sky, the blackflies will be at full force.

Appreciating the early birds

Every cottager has heard it. In fact, we dream about it when we’re back in the city. It’s the otherworldly wail of a loon—a sound that’s synonymous with cottage country. But if you’re up at dawn, loons are just one of the early birds whose sights and sounds you’ll get to enjoy. Ontario’s natural spaces are brimming with songbirds, shorebirds, and waterfowl, and most of them do their best foraging when the sun is just starting to rise. Whether you head out into the field or watch them from your deck with coffee in hand, grab your binoculars and Audubon guide and see how many species you can spot. 

Ready to Take Time for Simple Pleasures? Explore simple, savourable breakfast options that are perfect for the cottage at DorsetCerealsCanada.com.