As summer comes to an inevitable end, I sit reflecting on the large list of things I wanted to do before the end of summer and I notice that I hit maybe a fourth of the list. That said, there were many things I had not planned that I did do, so all in all I don’t feel too bad about how summer flew by so fast – like it always does, every single year.
For some time now, my group of friends and I have been taking annual camping trips to campsites and national parks in Ontario. Each year we have tried to do a new location to change things up a bit. Not everyone in the group always makes it out, but the majority of the group has been consistently a part of the camping shenanigans since it became a tradition several years ago. Here and there throughout the year we always take random day trips outside the city to relax and excite our monotonous routines. A couple of my favourite trips in Ontario have been Killarney National Park and Dundas Peak.
Last year, instead of a big group we had a smaller group go out to Kushog Lake for a cottage experience. I talk about it in Taking the Plunge, with one of my most memorable moments yet – my first time diving into lake water. Similarly, this year we did a “cottage” experience, now with a bigger group.
We hadn’t really planned for this trip at all from before (like we should have if we wanted to go to Muskoka), it just happened. We got everyone on board for a weekend and discussed our options when we finalized everyone’s availability. With bigger groups it’s almost impossible to find times that work for everyone but luckily we found a weekend near the end of August and a place not too far from the city.
I came across this resort randomly one day when we all had searched high and low for a cottage anywhere in Ontario. Heads up, if you want a good place you truly have to book a year in advance (or at least months before) for places like Muskoka and Bruce Pensisula. Footprints Resort seemed like the kind of place our group needed – even though they advertise it as a “couples” resort, or “adult only” resort. It worked out quite well for our group in terms of space and all the amenities and activities that were included and free of charge for the entire visit.
The resort itself consists of several cabins which house two guests each. They are located in a curved line next to each other – this came in handy for us since we had a lot of our food and nature items, like bug spray, dispersed among different cabins. The cabins themselves included one queen size bed, a mini fridge and a heater. The heater came in handy, my friend and I used it to it’s fullest, and almost slept like babies.
Aside from the cabins there was a pretty big lounge and kitchen area which was also accessible to all guests throughout the day and night. This was a blessing because we cooked, ate and relaxed as a group, which allowed for more time spent together.
We truly enjoyed the secluded access to, what seemed like a man made lake. The owners of this place had quite a variety of non-motorized water sports – from canoes and kayaks to a water trampoline – all included in the stay. We took advantage of this and pedalled, rowed ourselves around the lake to our heart’s content.
There were numerous places to sit and enjoy nature. We got rained in so we didn’t get to go for a hike or go for a swim in nearby natural lakes, however, the resort had a large sheltered area where they had ping-pong tables and basketball shoot-out nets. Our group really took advantage of these and didn’t let the rain ruin our spirits.
There was also a somewhat secluded deck area which was on the lake itself and had the view of the cottage. It was sheltered so even when it was raining we sat around in chairs and watched the rain patter on the lake in good company.
The heavy rain kind of put a damper on our photoshoot hopes, but we managed to snap a polaroid right before departure for memory’s sake.
More to come on the things that I did do that were not initially on my summer list. Stay tuned!
Where is some place you have gone with a group of friends that you absolutely loved? Comment below and let me know!