Ah, summer vacation. The time to kick back, relax and … scale a rock wall, run an obstacle course or trek high above the trees like Tarzan. These days a well-deserved break from the hustle of daily life isn’t only about retreating to a beautiful setting. It’s about staying active, trying new things and coming home with a story to tell.

Many people find combining the thrill of outdoor activities with R and R not only boosts their happiness and releases those healthy endorphins we all hear about, but it also leaves them feeling rejuvenated. That’s true for people at all fitness levels and ages – from the super fit who want to maintain the gains from their training to those who just want to be outdoors doing something fun.

At Horseshoe Resort in Barrie, a Skyline Hotels & Resorts property, no one talks about exercise or boot camps. Because it’s really all about the adventure. And if you happen to burn off a few calories and tighten up a few muscles along the way, so be it. Take a look at the range of summer training-focused activities the Adventure Park has to entice you and the entire family.

 

Reach for the Top

Climbing is fun. Climbing 32 feet is an honest-to-goodness cardio event – one that will definitely get your heart rate up. So why not challenge a friend or family member on the Highlands Climbing Tower to see who can get to the top first? The beauty of this activity is anyone can try it. Just put one hand and one foot in front of the other and try not to look down. With harnesses that are self-belaying, it’s a quick trip back to terra firma by just leaning back and letting the rope slowly release, gently lowering yourself to the ground. For the kids, there’s also an eight foot Lil’ Climbin’ Boulder.

 

Swing Like Tarzan

See the world from a different perspective, high in the canopy of the forest, while also testing your balance and agility. Treetop Trekking at Horseshoe Resort can put you in touch with nature as you’ve never seen it. The courses include games and challenges across suspended bridges, swings, balance logs, and cables traverses. From beginners to advanced tree toppers, and even kids, there’s eight different courses to choose from. It all comes with plenty of safety instruction at the start. And it caps off with the legendary Skyline Zip Line, a screamingly fun wild ride and 2,075 foot drop though the trees beneath you.

 

Or…Swing Like Arnold

A day on the links, under sunny skies, is a perfect way to enjoy the outdoors and get a little work out. With two courses to choose from, there’s something to please beginners and advanced players. Will you be out on the Championship Highlands Course (Par 71, 6,744 yards, 132 slope), with scenic views, rolling hills and its reputation as the host of the 2006 Canadian Tour Championship? Or take on the Valley Course (Par 70, 5,792 yards, 128 slope), and play while surrounded by the elegant pines of the Copeland Forest?

 

Feel the Need for Speed

The resort’s Bike Park is ideal for seasoned mountain bikers, or families who just want a nice day out together. Pick up a bike at the Bike Barn and enjoy 12 miles of Ontario Cup certified lift-access cross-country and downhill mountain bike trails. You can meander at your own pace or pump as hard as you want along 400 acres of single track terrain. Try testing yourself on the JoyRide 150 skills course. There’s even courses for kids to teach them the basics.

 

Everything in Between

See how agile you really are in the inflatable Commando Obstacle Course. It’s not basic training, but it’s the next best thing. Test your eye-hand coordination on the archery course. Take a horseback ride through the woods. And anything else you’re game to try. At the end of the day, summer training adventure is all about feeling better and getting your batteries recharged – without really feeling like you worked out.

 

Training Tips for Fun and Reward

1. Pace yourself

2. Have fun

3. Include the whole family

4. Try something new

5. Drink lots of water

 

HAVE YOU GOT WHAT IT TAKES?

Did you know Ironman Muskoka takes place at Skyline Hotels & Resorts’ Deerhurst Resort, a location that has become​ ​almost synonymous with triathlon events over the past two decades? That’s why Deerhurst is a great place to train year round for any race event. Affectionately known as “the beast”, the challenging Ironman Muskoka course covers a 2.4-mile one-loop swim in Peninsula Lake. Athletes then do a 112-mile bike course that circles Lake of Bays, passing through the small communities of Dwight, Dorset, and Baysville. The finish line is 26.2-mile run away through the scenic Muskoka region, past towering granite rock and cascading waterfalls. For training rates and race information, visit deerhurstresort.com/ironman.