Canoeing and Hiking Wild Muskoka: An Eco-Adventure Guide


144 pages
Contains Illustrations, Maps
ISBN 1-55046-339-X
DDC 917.13'16044





Reviewed by Janet Arnett

Janet Arnett is the former campus manager of adult education at Ontario’s Georgian College. She is the author of Antiques and Collectibles: Starting Small, The Grange at Knock, and 673 Ways to Save Money.



For residents of Ontario, Muskoka is best known as cottage country, but
this book isn’t concerned with that aspect of the district. Instead,
it turns to the undeveloped wilderness areas and presents a how-to for
ecotourism experiences powered by canoe or cross-country skis.

The guide divides Muskoka into six areas and presents detailed maps and
notes for several canoe excursions in each of these. For each route
there’s a notation of the skill level required, distance and probable
time required, the best season to undertake the adventure, specialized
gear needed, general characteristics (including whitewater), hazards,
and ecology notes. The centrepiece of each route is a hand-drawn map
with huge amounts of detail in the way of informal notes. Deep pools,
portage areas, probable wildlife sightings, rifles, rapids, campsites,
and exceptional landscape feature are among the subjects of these
handwritten add-ons.

There’s considerable emphasis on proper preparation and assessment of
skill level, safety measures, and preparedness for emergencies. While
whitewater is the dominant hazard, insects, poison ivy, snakes, and
other safety considerations are noted.

Many of the excursions target the experienced wilderness canoe tripper
who will be camping in the bush, but the Sunday paddler is also
considered. For those who want a blended vacation—a little canoeing, a
little comfort—the detailed directory of bed-and-breakfast homes can
be used to find rest after a day on the water.

The floppy horizontal design of the book allows the maps to be a good
size, but is not appropriate for use in camp or canoe. While the content
may inform excursion planning, it is unlikely to be at hand when most


Wilson, Hap., “Canoeing and Hiking Wild Muskoka: An Eco-Adventure Guide,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 21, 2024,