This past weekend was Thanksgiving for Canadians – I do like Thanksgiving at this time of year. The leaves are colourful, it isn’t too cold out and it provides a nice long weekend about 6 weeks into a new school year. We tend to travel almost every year for Thanksgiving. For a number of years we used to rent out some cottages on Balsam Lake – our entire family would go. But it became a bit too expensive, so we stopped going there a number of years ago.
We found another option on the other side of the lake: Balsam Lake Provincial Park. But rather than going camping, we booked “the cottage” instead. Balsam Lake PP has one cottage available to rent and we were able to secure it back in August. It is very affordable, in an easy to get to location and provides you with everything you need for a great long weekend.
The cottage was the home of a park supervisor back when they had to live on site. Now, it is available to rent: either for week long stays during high season, or nightly during the off season. The Cottage is a four bedroom bungalow with a fully equipped kitchen, dining room, games room and large outdoor area complete with a BBQ and firepit.
When I booked the cottage, it seemed like a standard cottage according to the pictures on the internet – wood panelling and some older appliances. But that was fine. When we got there, we were pretty surprised to see brand new appliances, a flatscreen tv with satellite and DVD player, a HUGE games room, one of those fancy dryers and nice beds. This was definitely not “roughing it”. The kitchen appliances were nicer than my own. The only things you need to bring are bedding, towels, toiletries and food.
Max enjoyed his stay at the cottage. He loved the games room and was yelling at all of us to play ping pong and fooseball the entire weekend. He also went fishing for the first time. Although he asked every once and awhile to “go home”, not sure what that was about.
The cottage cost was $183 per night and came to $550 total. You have to put a $500 deposit on your credit card on arrival as well. $550 for a long weekend at a cottage is a pretty good deal – most places that I looked at were over $800. You still get access to all the provincial park things to do including the boat launch area, nature trails, parks and if it was warmer: beach area. I think we will be booked the cottage again for next Thanksgiving – so don’t steal my idea 😉