Blue Heron

Embracing Cottage Life in Algoma

Nothing says summer like time spent at a cottage.

Updated: By Martin Lortz

Nothing says summer like time spent at a cottage, be it your own, with friends, family, or, like us, a lovely one-bedroom cabin rental on the shores of Spanish River North Channel; welcome to Blue Heron Resort.

Located just a few minutes south of Trans Canada Highway 17, in Ontario’s Algoma region, Blue Heron Resort offers various accommodation options, from one bedroom to big enough to host families and large groups. Even RV camping sites are available if you bring your home with you.

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All self-catering housekeeping cottages come complete with 4-piece bathrooms, kitchens with appliances, cookware, dishes, & cutlery, all linens, and combination TV/VCRs.

While the resort’s website mentions activities aplenty, and we have three days to try them all, when a location boasts some of Ontario’s best fishing, let’s start there. Apparently, the spring pickerel fishing in the stretch of the Spanish River in front of the resort is so good that the same people have rented the same cabin on the same week every year for the past decade or more, and there is a waiting list for a chance the experience.

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All that fishing hype means nothing to my travel partner, who prefers a good book to a fishing rod; the opportunity has me smiling. While I enjoy the activity, I don’t do it often enough to call myself anything but ok at it. Hence the decision to acquire the skill and knowledge of local fishing guide Adam Vallee of Angling Algoma, who picks me up right from the dock in front of our cabin.

Blue Heron Resort 04 - Angling Algoma

As fishing conditions go, today is tough with grey skies, howling winds and cold temperatures but hey, leave it to the professionals; fish are caught, and memories made. Thanks for the good times, Adam. If you don’t have fishing gear but want to try it, there is equipment you can borrow at the resort office. You just have to buy the bait, be it hook and worm or lures.

Day Two, Road Trip: There is nothing wrong with lounging at the cottage, but with the resort’s proximity to Algoma’s Deer Trail touring route and some interesting stops along the North Channel, we opted to explore.

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The first stop is the Spanish Municipal Marina and the red-roofed gazebo high atop a rocky bluff. Climb the stairs for a 360° vista overlooking the Spanish River Delta, Sagamok Anishnawbek, Whalesback Channel, and of course, the Town of Spanish. Next is on to Blind River to pick up some fresh fritters at Maple Acres, then a scenic drive along the river takes us to Iron Bridge, where we stop and browse local history at the Iron Bridge Historical Museum. Cummings Lake Lookout Trail, also known as Rock Candy Mountain Trail, offers a fun hike to the day’s grand vista number two.

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We follow the Deer Trail Touring Loop counter-clockwise, enjoying the remote drive along the Little White River. The day’s grand vista number three is courtesy of the Fire Tower Lookout in Elliot Lake.

Back on Highway 17, we stop at the Serpent River Park rest area and walk to the edge of Kennebec Falls to feel the power of rushing water. Hungry from a day on the road, we grab a pizza to go from North Channel Pizza and head back to our temporary home in time to catch the sun setting over the river.

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On day three, we embrace cottage life. We start with coffee in hand, watching the sun burn through the morning mist. Toss some horseshoes, read books, walk the grounds and watch the day drift across the landscape.

It’s become evident that our attempt at trying all the activities at the resort is a daunting pursuit. There is still beach volleyball, badminton, canoes and paddle boats, swimming off the dock, and boat rentals. That’s ok; always good to save some for next time.

Yes, nothing says summer like time spent at a cottage, and here at Blue Heron Resort, good times are yours to be had. Who knows, we might be back in the same cabin at the same time of the year for the next decade.

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About Martin Lortz

Martin Lortz is a freelance photographer/writer specializing in the outdoor lifestyle.

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