(PRWEB) July 24, 2006 — In addition to the shear beauty of its nature landscape of forest, lakes and wetlands, the Lake of Bays region of North Muskoka Ontario has a rich and fascinating history. Two dedicated, local organizations understood the importance of preserving the area's history. The Huntsville and Lake of Bays Railway Society and the Muskoka Pioneer Village joined forces to preserve a valuable piece of the Lake of Bays unique past.

Stretching east from Huntsville all the way through to the southwest boundary of Algonquin Park and encompassing the communities of Baysville, Dwight, and Dorset, the Lake of Bays was originally occupied by the Algonquin and Huron tribes. In the 1600s, early explorers such as Samuel Champlain passed through the area and were followed by missionaries and later, the first European settlers. To help encourage settlement, the Free Land Grant and Homestead Act of 1868 was created, which offered 200 acres of land, free of charge to settlers willing to clear land and build a home.

Ultimately, logging became the dominant industry of the area, necessitating the construction of a transportation network that included both rail and water. In an effort to meet the needs of travelers seeking a Canadian getaway, Muskoka's Lake of Bays sported the first "wilderness" resorts, sometimes as basic as a spare room in someone's modest farmhouse.

As the Muskoka tourism industry took off and tourists began to flock to the Lake of Bay Ontario area, a variety of inns and lodges started to dot the Lake of Bays waterfront. Large, multi-room luxury Muskoka Ontario resorts, such as the Bigwin Inn, were built to cater to the ballooning Canadian tourism industry. As a direct result of the booming tourism, many resorts and inns were created to meet the needs of individuals desiring to catch a glimpse of this beautiful territory.

There are many fine full-service resorts and cottage rental resorts that offer year-round accommodations to those that might want to tour the area and learn more about the past as well as the role Lake of Bays has played as a major North American tourist destination. Muskoka's Lake of Bays is also right next door to Ontario Canada's famous Algonquin Provincial Park, which also boasts a rich history.

For area information and lists of Muskoka vacation accommodators, please visit the North Muskoka Resort Group's website at http://www.north-muskoka.com.