Roadtripping: Swimming in the Kawarthas and Bancroft

Friday, August 5, 2016

I grew up at my grandparent's cottage near Minden, just west of Haliburton. There are more lakes than you can count up there, and if you're ever passing by Wedgewood Marina, know that 12 Mile Lake has all of my childhood memories.

This summer, my wee family rented a cottage nearby-ish – on Buckskin Lake near Tory Hill, Ontario. It was hands down the most perfect week in recent memory and I'm so grateful we were able to swim and canoe and nap on the dock day in and day out. Note: finding cottages should be an Olympic sport, so if you haven't got one in the family/be sure to start befriending those with cottages ASAP and/or start looking to rent one in February!

If you happen to find yourself wandering the roads in the Kawarthas/Bancroft area, I've got four suggestions for you:

1). It took forever to get to the cottage we had rented – every highway we tried to take was closed, so we wandered along back roads and ate roadside popsicles and handfuls of front seat chips. But the highlight was finding The World's Smallest Bookstore and pulling a screeching U-turn to fill the extra inches of room we had in the car with more books. I could've spent the weekend there – books are $3, and it's an honour system. If you're passing through Kinmount, I highly recommend a stop! And in keeping with the swimming theme, I picked up a brilliant collection of Lisa Moore's short stories with a swimmer on the cover!

2). Go to Bancroft, buy the brightest beach towels at the Stedman's, then visit Winnie's Treasure Shop. My grandfather's dear friend Hing owns it and it is full of local stones and gems. Tell him Ruth and Doug's granddaughter sent you. Be sure to check out the local sodalite – a dark blue stone, streaked with white that reminds me of the milky way.

3). Even if the skies are grey and the rain is threatening to fall, have a picnic in Cheddar, Ontario, because, well, CHEESE!

4). Hit up every Kawartha Dairy you can. Summers are short and ice cream cones change everything.

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