When it comes to finding the perfect lakeside retreat, the Haliburton Highlands offer a treasure trove of options. Among these hidden gems are Maple Lake and Loon Lake, each with its own unique history and allure. Let’s dive into the stories of these two captivating lakes and what makes them so special.
Maple Lake (mbclakes.ca)
Maple Lake’s history is woven with the threads of pioneers and settlers who ventured into this pristine wilderness, as well as the Indigenous communities that preceded European migration.
According to Craig Macdonald, an expert on Aboriginal languages who has studied the history of First Nations people in the Haliburton and Muskoka regions, “The name Maple Lake is a direct translation from the original Ojibwa word which means ‘maple”.’ (Source: Macdonald, C. personal communications with researcher Elinor Whidden, 1998.)
Over the years, many of the homes from that era have been either renovated or lost to time. However, a testament to the enduring craftsmanship of the past can be found in the home of John and Charity Billing, originally from Blagdon Hill and Bishop’s Wood, Somerset, England. Settling in the area in 1875, John, a master mason, and his wife built their home on the high ground between Maple Lake and Hawk Lake. Their craftsmanship remains a testament to their skill, as does John’s work on St. Peter’s Church located on Maple Lake.
In the 1920s, Maple Lake was ahead of its time with the establishment of the first telephone
exchange system in the county, with Miss Jean Scott likely serving as Stanhope’s first telephone
Loon Lake (loonturtle.ca)
Loon Lake, a true jewel in the heart of cottage country, offers a unique experience with its picturesque shoreline and rich history. The road that gently winds along its shoreline provides stunning views of rocky shoals and cliff-lined islands crowned with majestic white pines.
The lake’s name has evolved over time, from Silver Lake to Mink Lake and Dudman Lake before officially becoming Loon Lake in 1961. True to its name, every year, two pairs of loons return to the lake to nest, a cherished symbol of its natural beauty.
Loon Lake’s history is intertwined with logging, as evidenced by abandoned logging roads that still snake around its perimeter. The remnants of corduroyed roadbeds and the occasional discovery of sawdust on the lake bottom serve as silent witnesses to the area’s industrial past. A historical picture reveals a logging train that once connected Loon Lake to Donald in 1922.
In summer, Loon Lake offers a playground of activities, from swimming and fishing to hiking and boating. Winter brings its own charm, with opportunities for ice fishing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. The local wildlife, from moose and deer to mink and otters, adds to the natural beauty of Loon Lake.
As you explore the Haliburton Highlands, don’t miss the chance to discover the magic of Maple Lake and the timeless beauty of Loon Lake. These lakes are not just bodies of water; they are windows into history and gateways to unforgettable experiences. As the top Royal LePage real estate agents in the Haliburton Highlands, the Trillium Team invites you to explore the wonders of these lakes and find your perfect waterfront property—a place where you can make memories to last a lifetime.