10 Things You'll Miss After Leaving Sunset Country

Is a Week Up Here Long Enough?
Gerry Cariou
By Gerry Cariou

Gerry Cariou is the Executive Director of Ontario's Sunset Country.

Last Updated: June 9, 2023


So your week in Ontario's Sunset Country has come to an end. It likely seems to you that you just arrived but sadly, it's already time to pack up and go home - a week isn't that long when you think about it. While all good things come to an end, you still have the memories of your trip here in your mind and as you make the long drive home and spend the winter away from us, here are a few things you may already be missing.

Ontario's Sunset Country

1. Sunsets Over the Water: While you can see a sunset anywhere, the ones over our freshwater lakes are something that most people never forget. Hopefully, you brought a good camera to take a few pictures of those you sat through. The sunrises are as good as the sunsets so get up early and bring home memories of the dawn of a beautiful day in Ontario.

The Northern Lights in Ontario

2. The Northern Lights: Now we realize that not everyone gets to see the aurora when they visit, but many of you do. If you've never witnessed it before, and it's a relatively strong appearance, the experience will be something you won't ever forget.

Common Loon - Northwestern Ontario

3. The Call of the Loon: Sunset Country doesn't have a monopoly on loons but it's likely we have one of the highest summer populations of this water bird to be found anywhere in North America. Loons use our 70,000 lakes to build a nest and rear their young and their call, usually at dusk or in the middle of the night, is the defining sound of the Canadian Boreal forest. If during the long, cold winter that follows, you don't miss the sound of those calls, well, we don't know what to say.

The call of loon is the defining sound of the Canadian wilderness

Sand beach on Lake of the Woods

4. Boating/Sandy Beaches: Yes, there are beaches and boating opportunities in a lot of places but what makes Sunset Country different, is the number of beaches you can find on a lake. There's nothing quite like a ride in a boat and the discovery of a pristine wilderness beach that you have all to yourself. This doesn't happen in most places but it can happen repeatedly on any given day and lake in Ontario's Sunset Country. if you've ever discovered one while up here, you know exactly what we mean and you'll be remembering your days at that beach during the long, cold winter months.

Rocky Canadian Shield shoreline

5. The Canadian Shield (The Rocks): When you visit Ontario's Sunset Country, you see some of the most rugged terrains in North America. The craggy outcrops of the Canadian Shield are a defining visual for anyone who visits here. These rocks you see are more than 2.8 billion years old and when you think about that, it's pretty cool! It's likely you'll spend some cold evenings back home and think about those awesome rocky shorelines you boated past the week you were up here.

Friendly people

6. Friendly Canadians: Canadians have a reputation in many parts of the world as unassuming and friendly people. Anyone who visits here, most will say they agree with that.  We're not sure why we say "sorry" a lot but we do. Those friendly "hellos" you get from a perfect stranger may seem odd if you live in a big city but that's considered the right thing to do up here. Hopefully, we rubbed off on you and you'll remember the residents of Sunset Country as being friendly and helpful.

Discovering a sandy beach that you have all to yourself is a common thing up here

Walleye fishing in Sunset Country, Ontario, Canada

7. The Great Fishing: Fishing is the reason 80% of all travelers to Sunset Country visit each year. We're known as Canada's Premier Fishing Destination for a reason and your fishing trip here is one that you'll likely remember for a long time. This is especially true if you catch one of our monster pike, trout or muskie. The walleye fishing is off the charts and the fact you can also catch bass, crappie, perch, brook trout and several other species explains why so many Americans choose Sunset Country every year. Hopefully, your most vivid memory isn't of the big one that got away.

Bald eagle in Ontario, Canada

8. The Wildlife: For those travelling here from a large city, the wildlife you'll see along our highways or at the lodge you stay at will likely be one of the best memories you'll have of your trip to Sunset Country. The sheer variety of wildlife you might see is a big deal but it's more likely you'll see a lot of certain species - whitetail deer, eagles, bears, foxes - while you should consider yourself lucky if you see a moose, timber wolf or dare we say a wolverine. There are countless Boreal songbirds if you're a birder and a hike on a nature trail - camera ready - is always a good idea if you want to see wildlife.  If you're lucky enough to see a giant bull moose, then that will be a memory that will last a long time.


Sunset Country is known for big fish and muskellunge are one of the species that grow to the super size variety.

Wide open spaces, no people

9. The Solitude, Fresh Air and Open Spaces: When we say that Sunset Country has more lakes than people we mean it! There are 70,000 lakes, rivers and streams in these parts and that creates a water world playground in the summer months. What comes with those lakes is solitude and open space, and not a lot of people around! You can definitely get away from the crowds in Sunset Country, and you're likely going to miss that when you leave. The scent of the fresh Boreal forest air with its signature pine smell is another thing that we're sure you'll miss. Hopefully, your case of nature deficit disorder will be cured after your visit, but if not, you'll have to come back. If you live in a big city, one of the first things you'll notice when you get back home is a change in air quality.

Sitting by the campfire

10. Campfires by the Lake: Ahh, this is one of our favourites and we're pretty sure it'd be one of yours too - especially if you go camping. You're going to miss those evenings spent sitting around a campfire next to a beautiful lake and chatting with your family and friends. Aside from the many fish stories that were told (something to laugh about on the drive home) you'll have fond memories of roasting some wieners and marshmallows around the open. It's truly the best way to enjoy the outdoors on a beautiful summer evening in Sunset Country. If you stayed up late and the sky was clear, you'll remember those dark night skies littered with thousands of stars you never knew existed but which you could now see. 


Is there anything better than a shore lunch of freshly caught walleye?

The Solution? Come Back Again Next Year!

Don't fret, the good news is we are pretty accessible and if you loved it here during your last stay, you can make those memories reality again by simply coming back next year. When you return, all the great feelings you had about being here will quickly come back, and it will be like you never left.

Start planning now for next year by ordering your free travel guide and map

Fun times on the lake - something your kids will remember the rest of their lives!