Magnetawan is about 25 miles (40km) north of Burkes Falls, which sits right on Route 11 on your way to North Bay. From Toronto, take 400 N to 11N to Burkes Falls, and follow the signs to Magnetawan.
Birds and other wildlife can be observed year-round. If you are a birder, keep the bird book and binoculars handy. Great Blue Herons, Loons, Ravens, and cacaphonies of little finches, warblers and chikadees abound. Chipmunks are everywhere. In the winter, you can watch the deer cross the ice. It is well known of course, to everyone, that the call of the loon tugs at your soul... Sit alone on Ahmic lake one night in June... close your eyes and listen... and you will be transported...
During autumn the area becomes a blaze of colour as the leaves fall.
The scenic drive in has abandoned homesteads, cemeteries that are a century old and ghost towns one can explore.
Boating and swimming are possible in the numerous lakes and rivers in the area. - The primary lakes are Cecebe - up river from Magnetawan (you'll have to go through the locks), and Ahmic, Nehick and Otter lakes, a series of connected lakes downstream, all of which are accessible by boat.
Fish for bass, pickerel, pike and trout. 'Pickerel' is just the local name for the Walleyed Pike. The pickerel fishing is not the same as it was in the 1960's, but you can still catch a large one if you troll deep. The smallmouth bass fishing is excellent. On Ahmic Lake, which is situated just downstream of Magnetawan, you will find hundreds of coves, islands, rocky shoals, all of which great bass fishing areas. If you come across a fisherman and ask, he might tell you where 'the rock pile' is and 'the sunken dock' and the 'little island' and 'forest nook'... then again, he may not...
In the late spring and early summer, use light lures like Rapalas... Jitterbugs after dark on a calm night. Later in the summer, fish deeper with worms and crayfish. Ahmic is one of the most beautiful lakes in the area. 12 miles long - 43 miles of shoreline, much of which is pristine and not developed. There are places on the lake where you cannot see a cottage, a road or another boat. Of course, there will be days when the fish do not feed or bite or rise. Some speculate in their frustration, that Ahmic is an old Indian name for "Lake with No Damn Fish"...
Thou must be patient...
Driving, hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking are all possible on the quiet country roads in the area.
The Downtown General Store is an old fashioned grocery store with wooden floors, candy racks, fishing equipment, clothes and gifts... It's been around for at least 100 years and hasn't changed much at all. If you ask, they'll drive your groceries down to the dock and load them. Ask Heinens to do that!
If you want a fantastic, cheap, friendly meal, visit the Magnetawan Inn... Right in the center of town. Ask for Susan... have some ice cream and simply relax.
There's a liquor store just down the street, but your best bet is to buy your liquor and beer when you cross the border at the duty free shop (if you're from the U.S.).
If you have a place to stay... The best thing to do is to mess around in a boat. It's been said: "`Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING--absolute nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing .. `messing--about--in--boats...