Lookout Park in Gravenhurst (Photo credit: Away We Go Trips on Facebook)
While Gravenhurst resident Jacki McPherson is at home on maternity leave she, out of boredom, decided the best way to stay safe, get exercise, and tire her three kids out was to go on trips through Muskoka.
“It’s a lot to be stuck inside,” she says, adding “boredom” inspired her to figure out a way to take her kids on adventures through Muskoka.
McPherson created the Instagram account “Away We Go Trips” as a way to document her adventures through the trails in our region. Before jumping into it, she did some research to find hidden spots that are out of the way so she and her kids could enjoy the great outdoors. “Very quickly it became a deep interest in the cool stuff in Muskoka,” she says. McPherson adds that she wants her kids to be a part of the adventures not just so they get some exercise, but so they can learn about what makes Muskoka great. “Usually they’re pretty good sports,” she says while laughing. It doesn’t take a lot to coax her daughter to come along, but sometimes her son needs to be bribed with a treat.
Her Instagram account isn’t just pictures, but has information on the trails as well. “The kids and I walk the trail and I explain it from what I think a parent would want to know,” she says. McPherson also keeps in mind people like her Dad who recently had knee surgery. “So someone who is not a hiker, but wants to be out on the trails,” she says. McPherson says she’s in the early stages of making this account into a guided tour business she will manage on the side once she returns to her normal job.
“There’s always going to be tonnes and tonnes of free content,” she adds. “We’re very Muskoka proud around this house, so there’s always going to be lots of really good Muskoka content.”
With Muskoka being a popular tourist destination, McPherson says you hear a lot about the more popular “glamourous” areas of the District, but there are so many other places to explore. “It’s had a really rich history,” she says of the region. “It’s been really exciting for me to find out about these places and tell my kids this is what happened here.”
It’s moments like that, she says, that make you feel prideful about where you live. “What’s posted (on her account) is just a little teeny glimmer of what actually exists,” she says of what’s available in Muskoka.