Nestled in the heart of Ontario’s lake country, Bass Lake is a popular 1,000-acre recreational lake just west of the town of Orillia. Only 60 miles from Toronto, the lake is an easy trek for a weekend getaway. Vacation rentals in the area are plentiful, many with lake frontage or spectacular lake views.
Bass Lake is located in the southeast corner of Oro-Medonte Township. The lake was formed more than 10,000 years ago when waves in post-glacial Lake Algonquin (which included all of Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, and Lake Superior), pushed up a barrier beach along the north edge of present-day Bass Lake. As the water level slowly dropped, water in the deepest depressions remained, forming Bass Lake and many other lakes in the area. The North River now cuts through the barrier beach, into Bass Lake, and exists northeast to Matchedash Bay.
Beautiful Bass Lake Provincial Park sits on the western shore of Bass Lake. The 160-acre park offers visitors a boat launch and docking facilities, sandy beaches and swimming areas, picnic facilities, a children’s playground, hiking trails, and boat rentals. The park also features a large campground with electrical hook-ups. All sites have fire pits and picnic tables. Bathrooms with flush toilets and showers, water taps for fresh drinking water, and vault toilets are scattered throughout the campgrounds. A walking trail follows the shoreline of Bass Lake and allows guests to explore the remains of the homestead of Basil H. Rowe who settled near the lake in the 1830s.
All types of water sports can be enjoyed on Bass Lake. Canoes and kayaks are a common sight on the water; power boating, water skiing, jet-skiing, tubing, sailing, and windsurfing allow visitors to enjoy the lake at any speed. Bass Lake offers anglers some excellent fishing, and true to its namesake, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass are the predominate species. Crappie, perch and sunfish can also be found in the lake.
Often called “cottage-country”, Bass Lake is located in an area rich with sparkling lakes and vacation rentals. Fishing resorts, bed-and-breakfasts, private cottages and luxurious lakeshore homes are plentiful. Towns around the lake offer motels, condos and other lodging. Over 60 percent of Bass Lake’s shoreline is developed, and real estate for purchase or rent is available in the pristine wilderness setting. With an average depth of 10 feet, Bass Lake is a great family lake for swimming and other forms of recreation.
Winter activities on Bass Lake include cross country skiing, showshowing, ice fishing and hiking. Bass Lake Provincial Park is open during the winter months and allows everything except snowmobiles.
The city of Orillia is just east of Bass Lake. Located on the shores of Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching, Orillia offers an abundance of outdoor recreation. Lake Simcoe is one of the world’s largest freshwater lakes that freezes completely in the winter. Because of this, Lake Simcoe is known as the “Ice Fishing Capital of North America”. For warmer fun, a casino, hotel, and entertainment complex operated by the First Nation Chippewa is located along the eastern shore of Lake Couchiching and is a popular tourist attraction. The Port of Orillia provides docking and launching facilities just a short distance from downtown where visitors can discover fascinating shops, enjoy showcase theater, superb dining, and historical sites. Paved walking trails can also be found throughout the city.
Hikers and bikers visiting Bass Lake will find a number of trails in the area including the Uthoff Trail from Orillia to Coldwater and the Lightfoot/Millennium Trail system in Orillia. Both trails are part of the Trans-Canada Trail. There are also several wildlife reserve/wetland areas with trail systems and boardwalks, including the Cowan Trail at Matchedash Bay and the Orillia Fish and Game Conservation Club trail near Bass Lake Park.
Located in the heart of central Ontario, the Bass Lake area is filled with beautiful lakes, fascinating attractions, and rolling hills. Try your hand at ice fishing in the winter or sunbathe and sail in the summer. Either way, Bass Lake is an outdoor paradise.
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