Things to do and see



There is plenty to see and do in and around Barry's Bay Cottage Resort. With our lakefront cottages each having their own dock, spending time on the water is easy. The shallow, sand bottom lake makes it a delight to swim or simply wade around. We also have a water trampoline during the summer months as well as a common beach area for those that plan to spend a few hours soaking up the sun. Fishing, ATVing, hiking, backroad touring, canoeing and wildlife viewing are some of the other popular activities. During winter we offer access to the OFSC B102 Provincial Snowmobile Trail system (when the ice is safe to cross) as well as several trails in the area for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. After a day on the trails or exploring the area, visitors often like to indulge in a soak in their own private hot tub.


If you are looking for a little more activity, then why not get out on one of our free rental canoes or kayaks to paddle about the lake for awhile. Stretching over 2 miles in length and home to several nice bays, you never know what will turn up around the next bay. Better yet, you can even easily link up with a series of three other lakes. After passing through the culvert onto Trout Lake, short portages are needed to continue south into Buch and Kulas Lakes. For the adventurous, this is a good day trip, while the area is riddled with fabulous canoe routes. Family raft trips and kayaking is offered at the Madawaska Kanu Centre, while all paddlers can take advantage of the services of Algonquin Bound Outfitters found nearby Algonquin Bound Outfitters.


Fishing is certainly another popular pastime on Carson Lake. In addition to bass, the lake is a renowned lake trout destination and also holds some whitefish. Lakers are best caught through the ice in winter, but can also create a dynamic fishery in the spring and fall. As the waters warm up, the bass fishing begins to heat up and by late June this fishery is quite active. Bass make up the bulk of the action in summer and surprisingly can be caught off of our docks from time to time. Early September is another prime time to try for the hard fighting lake trout. Since there is no public boat launch onto the lake, motor boat rentals are available for those that pre-book. During winter, ice fishing huts are available.

Snowmobiling & ATVing

Snowmobilers will find our short linking trail to the OFSC B102 on the east side of the lake. The B102 links to the B Trunk Trail running east-west between Algonquin Park and Pembroke allowing for extended riding in the area. The high elevation of the Madawaska Highlands often allows for more snow and a longer season than many of the other trail systems in Ontario. Be sure to visit the OFSC Interactive Trail Guide before heading out on the trails.

If you are travelling by snowmobile we also offer a unique food delivery service option for touring snowmobilers. For a low fee you can have your food and beverages waiting for you when you arrive!

ATVers should note that they are allowed on municipal roads in the district, which makes it possible to ride from the resort to link up with the B102 or other trails in the immediate area. Off Arbor Vitae Road, there is a nice Crown land area that can be accessed across from green civic address number 612. This signed trail accesses a system of old roads and trails that links to the B102. On the other side of the lake, Otter Lake Lane also offers an access point to the B102. Please be careful not to cross private property when accessing the trail systems. Further afield, there is the Thomas P Murray trails south of town off Highway 62, while west of the resort, the new Spectacle Lake, Bear and Brunett Mountains Trail system offers some ATVing around Brunetts Pond and the lookout.

Hiking, Biking & Snowshoeing

Closer to home, we have a short nature trail that makes a nice place to stretch your legs. In winter, why not bring along the snowshoes or we have some for rent. If you are looking for longer trail systems to hike, bike, snowshoe or simply explore there are several in the area. Trail runners and mountain bikers can explore the B102 off Otter Lake Lane or even the trails across from civic address 554 on Arbor Vitae Road. Further afield, the Spectacle Lake, Bear and Brunett Mountains Trail system is a recently developed trail system found about 13 km west of the resort. A nice 8 km loop leads to a great vantage point on Bear Mountain and a series of trails at the north end of nearby Bark Lake. The trailhead is found on the south side of Highway 60. The Thomas P Murray Recreation Trails south of Barry's Bay on Highway 62 are equally impressive. Of course many prefer to explore nearby Algonquin Provincial Park where several trails are found along Highway 60. We recommend bringing along the Backroad Mapbook for Cottage Country Ontario to help you pick (and find) the trail of choice.

Wildlife Viewing

If wildlife viewing is your thing then the Madawaska Valley is a great destination. There are over 60 species of birds including great blue herons, kingfishers and the common loon that call the area home. Pileated woodpeckers, warblers, sparrows, indigo buntings and chickadees are other birds that can be seen nesting in the trees. Of the 14 species of mammals in the area, the moose and white-tailed deer are the most popular sites. Seeing these large creatures roam effortlessly through the woods is a sight to remember. Other common critters in the area include beaver, porcupines and the friendly chipmunks.

Activities By Season

  • Snowmobile trails – direct links to the OFSC B102 (across the lake)
  • Ice fishing for lake trout and whitefish
  • Snowshoeing on area trails (rentals available)
  • Lounge area with playstation, pool table, ping pong, card table, satellite TV and more. We also have wireless internet in the lounge.
  • Cross-country ski trails in and around Algonquin Park
  • Dog-sledding – available through local outfitters servicing Algonquin Park
  • Sleigh Rides – available through local outfitters
Spring - Summer - Fall
  • Free use of canoes, kayaks and paddleboards
  • Fishing for lake trout, bass and whitefish (boat rentals available; sorry no public boat launch on the lake)
  • Explore our own four lake canoe route (linking Carson, Trout, Buch and Kulas Lakes)
  • Beach area, complete with water trampoline (July & August only)
  • Children’s playground that includes a jungle gym, swings, slide and sand box
  • Horseshoes and basketball at play area
  • Lounge area with playstation, pool table, ping pong, card table, satellite TV and more. We also have wireless internet in the lounge.
  • Visit Algonquin Park to hike, canoe and experience nature at it’s finest
  • Family raft trips or kayaking on the Madawaska River
  • Golf at nearby Barry's Bay or Homestead Golf Courses
  • Excellent road and mountain biking in the area
  • Direct access to hundreds of kilometers of Renfrew County ATV trails
  • Enjoy the nature trail or take an excursion to many of the area trails including the new Spectacle Lake, Bear and Brunett Mountains Trail system found a short drive to the west
  • Roast marshmallows on your own private fire pit
  • Star gaze without the light pollution
  • Search for the abundant wildlife including beaver, deer, moose and woodland birds
  • Tour the Madawaska Valley Studio Tour every October
  • Browse specialty boutiques and local artisan studios
  • Experience Canada's first polish communities at Barry's Bay and nearby Wilno
  • Explore area attractions like Algonquin Park, Madawaska River, Bonnechere Caves, Wilno Lookout and Church and the Crooked Slide

Local Tour Operators