What are the current weather conditions?
Is Muskoka Road 117 from Bracebridge to Dorset a short-cut to Algonquin Park?
No it’s about the same distance and driving time as Highway 60 but it’s a scenic alternative with accommodations, eateries and shopping along the way.
How far is Dorset?
We are located at the east end of Muskoka Road 117 and Highway 35, about forty (40) minutes east of Bracebridge.
Whether you are coming to Dorset from the east or west end of the city it is about two and a half to three (2.5 – 3) hours north of Toronto. You can come north along Highway 48 and 35 or, just as simply north along Highway 400 and 11 to Muskoka Road 117. These are some of the main roads used.
Dorset is about thirty (30) minutes south/east of Huntsville via Highway 60 east then south on Highway 35.
You can also visit Dorset by boat, if you are staying on Lake of Bays. Coming from Bigwin Island or the towns of Dwight and Baysville and points in between, the water is navigable for a great day of boating and there are public docks in our channel between Big and Little Trading Bay.
Can I bring my snowmobile?
Yes you can! Dorset has over 200 plus kilometres of the nicest groomed trails to ride with easy access to all Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) trails and club events. Our trail system extends from Muskoka in the West to the borders of Algonquin Park in the East. Rides can be easily planned with our comprehensive trail map. Remember to buy your trail pass where you ride to support Dorset’s local Tall Pines Snowmobile Club (TPSC).
Are ATV’s allowed on municipal roads within the Dorset area?
ATV’s can be ridden legally along roads within the Algonquin Highlands but not within Lake of Bays Township, Dorset spans both, so it is recommended that you check your maps and plan out your route ahead of time.
What species of fish are most commonly sought in the waters around Dorset?
Sports fishing species most common in local lakes and rivers are; bass, perch, pike, splake and trout. Smelt run in some lakes each spring.
We have a dog, are there accommodations that allow pets?
Yes! There are cabin resorts and personal cottage accommodations in the area that both allow pets. Check out accommodations for a list of numbers you can contact for more information.
Does Dorset have any wheelchair accessible places to visit?
Yes, most of the local businesses have full wheelchair access and there are wheelchair access facilities/washrooms in a few of the major buildings in town like the Dorset Recreation Centre. Unfortunately not every location is accessible, but most are!
Why would I choose Dorset as a destination?
Dorset is a two and a half (2.5) hour drive to the heart of cottage country at the crossroads of Muskoka and Haliburton as well as a scenic route to Algonquin Park. Dorset is rich in historic culture, has an abundance of summer and winter recreational activities, pristine waters, an abounding beauty of natural forests and terrain and a spectacular panoramic view of the landscape from atop the Dorset Scenic Lookout Tower, an international attraction for tourists.
We’re thinking of staying for a longer vacation, what is there to do in Dorset?
The Dorset Recreation Centre is a hub of activity throughout the year. It’s fully appointed with free Wi-Fi, a gymnasium, fitness/exercise room, showers, squash court, meeting rooms and two commercial kitchens. It’s a great place to rent for events such as family reunions, weddings etc. Programs for adults, seniors and kids run throughout. Day camp, yoga, tai chi, hand drumming and beading classes are just a few of the activities you can enjoy. Have a look for activities on the “Events” page.
The Dorset Library is located in the Recreation Centre and has loads of books and other media to borrow during your stay. It’s also a great place to hang out to read and find out what programs they hold during the summer.
The Dorset Heritage Museum and Information Centre is worth visiting more than once. Admission is by donation and it’s a fantastic place to learn about the rich local history. We often hear from visitors how awesome our museum is! Be sure to check it out during your stay. http://www.dorsetheritagemuseum.ca
The Lake of Bays Marine Museum is also a wonderful place to learn about the history of Dorset. While you’re there, hop on the historical SS Bigwin for a one-hour public cruise across the smooth waters of beautiful Lake of Bays. Cruises start in June and run through to October. Cruises are available daily during July and August, and several days a week from September through to Thanksgiving. Departing from its dock in downtown Dorset and cruising down majestic Trading Bay with its tall pines and towering cliffs, you’ll love seeing beautiful Lake of Bays as the world’s elite did in the early 1900’s. Be sure to bring a camera to capture the splendour. Private cruises can be booked for weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, reunions, and corporate functions. http://ssbigwin.com
As well, we have a revitalised waterfront, art galleries, a pottery studio (that runs kids programs), great stores and shopping, restaurants, a lakeside parkette with a picnic and swimming area, walking trails (including a self guided historical walking tour), soccer pitches at the new Pavilion Park and a children’s playground (Colebridge Park) nestled among towering pines and steps away from our baseball diamond and outdoor skating rink (has heated room for you to strap on your skates and enjoy a warm break while you’re there).
The Dorset Scenic Lookout Tower offers a jaw dropping panoramic view of the village and its surrounding. At the top of the hill there are picnic tables, a gift shop, washrooms and fresh spring water. Click here for rates: http://www.algonquinhighlands.ca/?cat=recreation&subPage=lookout_tower
What are the closest medical services to the town of Dorset?
In the event of an emergency, call 9-11.
Huntsville and Bracebridge are equipped with hospitals for emergency services. Huntsville is about a 30 minute drive, while Bracebridge is about a 40 minute drive. Both hospitals have excellent care facilities including air ambulance to specialized hospitals to the south if needed.
The Dorset Community Health Hub is located in the village and is accepting new patients. Our Nurse Practitioner, Candice Bray, would be happy to speak with you about your healthcare needs, whether you’re a visitor or looking to move to Dorset year round. Please contact Katie Olson at 705-766-0866 or visit:
The Dorset Community Health Hub
1096 Main St
** Please note: the Dorset Community Health Hub is not a walk-in clinic.
We’re thinking of moving to Dorset, what kind of services are in town?
Dorset has several active groups that always welcome new members/ideas including: The Dorset Volunteer Fire Department with a First Response Unit. We have an active Lion’s Club and Senior’s Club (offering a monthly shuttle to Casino Rama). The Dorset Partnership, is a group of volunteers working together for the betterment of Dorset both economically and culturally. The Dorset Recreation Centre offers programs such as: Tai Chi, yoga, hand drumming, quilters/needlework group, folk-art classes, Euchre, Bridge, family movie night and much more! The Dorset Library has regular book-club meetings and The Dorset Heritage Museum welcomes visitors wanting to read about our rich history.
Dorset also has a grocery/general store as well as several retail stores, hardware/lumber stores, marinas, Algonquin Highlands satellite office, OPP satellite station, post office, Scotiabank satellite branch with limited hours, marinas, gas/service stations, restaurants, eateries and real estate offices.
How do real estate values in the Dorset area compare to other cottage country markets?
Dorset and the surrounding area is subject to real estate valuations similar to other cottage country markets. The economy at any given time plays a role as well and taking into consideration; pristine lake quality, an abundance of recreational facilities, safe beaches, accommodations and good amenities, good properties tend to hold their value. In addition, there are few or no new lakefront properties becoming available, thereby creating favourable supply and demand.