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Your Link to Muskoka's Water!


Naturalist Activities 

Do you like to study nature and natural history? Or do you just have an interest in nature and the outdoors? This section describes some of the the naturalist activities in Muskoka and provides links to many organizations that can help you get out and enjoy Muskoka.


Muskoka Naturalist Clubs

The Muskoka Field Naturalists and the Huntsville Nature Club are non-profit organizations that are dedicated to nature study and conservation. Both organizations are members of Ontario Nature, which is an umbrella organization that protects and restores natural habitats.

Activities of both clubs include observing and enjoying nature with little impact on the environment and many include a day of birding, hikes, walks or discussion of flora and fauna in the area.


Naturalist Activities in Muskoka


Muskoka has an abundance of lakes, rivers and waterfalls which make it a great place to enjoy canoeing and kayaking. Algonquin Provincial Park and Georgian Bay both have famous waterways and hold some of the great Muskoka spirit. There are many paddling groups in Muskoka that provide trips, courses and information including the Muskoka Rowing Club.

Popular Muskoka Routes
  • South Branch of the Muskoka River
  • Big East River
  • Kawagama Lake and the Hollow River
  • Gibson-McDonald Loop
  • Musquash and Moon River
  • Beausoleil Island

For more information, pick up a map at a local outfitter, refer to the Bracebridge Tourism website or their destination magazine. Many resorts also provide nature programs.

There are many local outfitters in Muskoka, including:

There are many resources available for paddlers and it is always recommended to take an accredited course before heading out on the water. Ontario Recreational Canoeing and Kayaking Association (ORCKA) promotes the development of safe, competent and knowledgeable recreational canoeists.

Try these websites for additional paddling information:


Muskoka has a network of diverse trails in each municipality. Some trails can be used year round for hiking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and mountain biking. For information on local trails, stop by your local outfitter, municipal office, chamber of commerce, or tourism information center.

Links to some Muskoka trail resources:


cardinalBirding is one of the most popular naturalist activities in Muskoka. There are many websites dedicated to sharing information about Muskoka's birds, including the Muskoka Bird Board and the Checklist of Birds in Muskoka. The Muskoka Field Naturalists also hold various surveys and bird counts to get out and discover Muskoka's birds. Bird Studies Canada's website provides information about their programs as well as information on birds found in Canada.

Some common bird species found in Muskoka include:

  • Red tail hawk, Peregerine falcon, Northern harrier, Coopers hawk
  • Great blue heron, Caspian tern
  • Sparrow, American woodcock, Grackle, Golden eye, Cardinal, Northern shrike
  • Hooded merganser, Wood duck, Trumpeter swan
  • Great grey owl, Barred owl, Northern hawk owl
  • Turkey vulture
  • Red bellied woodpecker, Pileated woodpecker, Downy woodpecker