Chirping birds and the wind in the trees are the only sounds that break the silence in Muskoka Forest. Until a human flies screaming through the canopy, that is. Treetop Trekking by Arbraska's seven aerial-rope courses wind through the forest canopies, challenging visitors with levels of difficulty increasing from beginner to advanced. Guides begin each adventure with a brief equipment-and-technique orientation, and gradually clear visitors for more difficult runs based on their performance.
Once they're cleared for climbing, participants scramble across bridges made of swinging, suspended logs. They crawl across webs of cargo netting, and swing through monkey cables. A series of ziplines completes each course. Guides help adventure-seekers navigate these treetop courses during regular day tours, or during more challenging night climbs, during which participants have only a headlamp and a guide to asking owls for directions.
Located on Hammer St. behind Toys R Us, Barrie Sports Dome spans 350 feet in length and contains facilities for exercising golf swings, kicking soccer balls, and annihilating frenemies in paint ball. The setup of the professional paint ball field changes weekly, and players employ the aid of reballs, a soft, lightweight rubber ball that feels like a regular paint ball without the cost or influence of messy, inconsiderate paint. Choose the driving range option to take advantage of one hour of indoor golf under the glow of Barrie Sports Dome’s 4 million BTU furnace.
Ducked behind two army transports and a crashed airplane, the teammates brace themselves before storming the Intermodal City’s three two-storey buildings. This urban setting often serves as the climatic location for big games at Georgina Paintball, where players duke it out on outdoor fields spread across 25 acres. On these fields, competitors snake among towers of tires, dive into sandbagged trenches, and face off in a Western-style duel inside a sheriff’s office.
Along with year-round, by-appointment games, the fields are used for laser tag bouts and Georgina Paintball’s summer camp, during which students learn shooting basics. After games and camp sessions wrap up, visitors can repair broken gear or update their paintball equipment at the pro-shop, which stocks brand-name markers, masks, and clothing.
Nature enthusiast Jeff Hathaway shares a passion for his country's indigenous animals—specifically amphibians and reptiles. At Scales Nature Park, staff and volunteers introduce visitors of all ages to more than 300 cold-blooded specimens from more than 60 species, most of which are native to Canada. The wildlife-conservation facility also houses exotic reptiles and amphibians donated by their owners or seized from private homes by protective agencies. All of these creatures coexist in a 21-hectare park, which represents natural habitats ranging from ponds and wetlands to hardwood forests and hemlock groves. An indoor nature centre showcases some animals in custom-built enclosures and serves as the venue for a range of programs, including hands-on animal demonstrations, guided walks, and guest lectures.