As a devoted fan of The Amazing Race, former teacher Anne Lindsay wanted to combine her love for adventure and for Muskoka into her very own unique game called Muskoka’s Incredible Race.
The idea began when she was still teaching and wanted to create a French Immersion version of the game for her students.
After retiring, she realized she could turn her passion project into a business, and promote other local businesses in the process.
Participants in Muskoka’s Incredible Race start at the Lion’s Lookout field and move through downtown Huntsville to a secret final destination, completing twelve or more Muskoka-related challenges en route. Different from a scavenger hunt, participants meet local “activity hosts”, who explain and support each of the activities.
Activities or challenges this year have included building a mini Muskoka chair, searching for clues while stand up paddleboarding, “becoming” an Algonquin Park animal, solving puzzles, painting like Tom Thomson, finding aquatic bugs, posing for a selfie with a canoe, bear, wolf, or moose (real or otherwise), and completing a “triathlon” that includes a giant inflatable water toy (swim), a child’s scooter (bike), and a feed bag (run).
Lindsay held a soft launch in summer 2019 but this year was when things really kicked off for Muskoka’s Incredible Race with nearly 20 team races booked.
While race is in the name, the idea is to make each adventure your own. You can take it at your own pace to create memories during a family reunion or bachelorette party, or things can get heated like when a group of medical students booked their race. Players don’t need to be physically fit in order to participate.
While Lindsay hoped to take bookings of up to forty people per game, the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced her team numbers to between two and 20 players.
Lindsay says she really appreciated the help of the Town during the difficult time surrounding COVID-19, especially for a new business, and as a result was able to start taking bookings at the beginning of July.
“As word grew and TripAdvisor reviews started to accumulate, I started to receive more bookings. By August I was up to five bookings a week,” she said.
She has had people from three years-old to 76 years-old take part in a game.
“I have loved interacting with the participants and highlighting our town,” said Lindsay. “I really appreciate the diversity of the participants in age, ability, and ethnic background and the chance to be a bit of an ambassador for Huntsville. Participants have ranged from campground owners who have built a hundred Muskoka chairs to new Canadians who have never before heard a loon.”
She has a whole new set of puzzles and challenges planned for 2021 players. Muskoka’s Incredible Race will be booking until the end of October this year, but can also take reservations for spring and summer 2021.
To learn more visit muskokasincrediblerace.ca.
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