The area was first settled and founded in 1869 by George Hunt, who built a small agricultural centre there. In 1870, a post office was built and the area was named Huntsville after Hunt, who became the first postmaster. Huntsville's economic development was stimulated by the engineering of a navigable water route north from Port Sydney to Huntsville which opened in 1877. A railway route from Gravenhurst was built by the Northern and Pacific Junction Railway in 1885, which encouraged development and resulted in Huntsville becoming officially incorporated in 1886.
In the following year, the Muskoka Colonization Road reached this area. The central Ontario community became an important industrial area in the late 19th century and had several saw, planing and shingle mills, as well as a tannery. Today, the many lakes and hills in the area, combined with the town's proximity to both Algonquin Park and Toronto, make Huntsville and the Muskoka region a major tourist destination.
Opportunities to engage in outdoor sports abound each spring and summer. Water sports are especially popular during these times of year, as few things evoke the spirit of spring and summer recreation quite as well as activities that involve oceans, lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water.
Paddlesports have become especially popular in recent years. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, nearly 23 million Americans engaged in at least one paddling activity in 2018. Paddlesports also are popular in Canada, where the paddling community Paddle Canada reports that more than 10,000 students take paddlesports courses each year.
Safety is essential when on the water. Both seasoned paddlesports enthusiasts and novices can benefit from revisiting safety techniques and guidelines as they prepare to take to the water this spring and summer.
To celebrate 60 years, Algonquin Outfitters is having a contest! You could win a $1,000.00 Algonquin Outfitters Gift Card, an ultimate canoe trip or other sweet prizes. Check out their website at www.algonquinoutfitters.com and enter to win or check out their ad on page 27 of the September issue of Curious Guide, available online and in selected stores.