The lineups at the base of the tower take between 25 and 40 minutes before actually climbing the 100 foot tower. (Doug Crosse Photo)
Wet weather did not keep hundreds of ‘leafers’ from visiting Dorset Tower.
My Muskoka Now News checked out the scene Saturday to see what visitor numbers were like at the popular attraction, which is located off Highway 35 just inside the boundary of Algonquin Highlands.
Parking staff reported that it was a bit slower than if the weather had been sunny, but they anticipated big numbers overall. They estimated upwards of 500 vehicles per day.
Dozens of buses make the trip from the GTA carrying excited Leafers to the area. (Doug Crosse Photo)
Driving to Dorset, near Lake of Bays, there were at least a half a dozen tour buses from the Toronto area along the way.
OPP officers were running point on Highway 35 near the entrance to the lot. There is a lower lot that comes with a lower fee of $2 but then it is about a 10-minute walk to the top. The top of the Tower provides a 360-degree view that sits 465 feet above Lake of Bays.
Cars cost $9 and the last vehicle entry to the top lot is at 5:00pm.
Amanda Colas was there with her family from Alliston, a two-hour drive. This was their first time and they were excited as they waited at the base to climb the 100-foot tower.
“A couple of my friends had been up here and said it was beautiful,” says Colas. “We’re going to walk around and see all the other things there are to see up here.”
Toronto resident Matthew Merkley has had a cottage in Lake of Bays for the past four years and is making the visit for the first time with friends.
“We almost didn’t come out because of the weather,” says Merkley. “You can see so far, the lakes, the hills and particularly this time of year, the colours of the leaves.”
Police and park officials remind drivers to only park in designated areas and not on the side of Highway 35. More than 10,000 vehicles and 60,000 visitors will pass through the gates this year.
Live View From Dorset Tower