Located in Northern Ontario on the shores of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, Manitoulin Island is the most important freshwater island in the world. There are many issues to do in Manitoulin Island from studying about First Nation heritage on the Great Spirit Circle Trail to having fun with the fantastic thing about Lake Huron, listed here are the most effective concepts to provide help to plan your journey.
Things to Do In Manitoulin Island
Just consider exploring 2766 km2 (1167 sq. miles) of pristine panorama. Part of the Niagara Escarpment, Manitoulin Island provides some wonderful nature experiences, unbelievable climbing trails, cultural experiences, and extra. Here are our prime picks for what you possibly can’t miss when visiting Manitoulin Island.
1. Hike Cup and Saucer Trail
One of the best adventures to be had on Manitoulin Island is to hike the Cup and Saucer path. The Cup and Saucer climbing path is the quintessential hike of Manitoulin Island. Heck, it’s one of many Quintessential hikes in all of Ontario! It begins in a car parking zone off the primary highway, and inside a few hundred meters (600 ft or so) the steep rocky climb begins. Beginner hikers might discover it difficult, however keep it up, the payoff is well worth the climb up roots, over boulders, and thru the muddy path after a wet evening. We didn’t anticipate the views to be so staggering.
The foremost path is roughly 4 kilometers lengthy, with an extra 2 kilometers of facet trails, together with the favored Adventure Trail that takes hikers alongside slender cliff edges and thru distinctive rock formations.
Climbing up to the second lookout took us up 70 meters (210 ft). The star of the present is the overhanging rock plunging into the valley under. Looking over the escarpment, lakes, and wetlands is a sight that can take your breath away. We might have spent hours taking images of the view.
The trailhead for the Cup and Saucer Trail is positioned on Highway 540, roughly 18 kilometers west of Little Current. The trailhead and car parking zone are on the north facet of the freeway, and there are indicators marking the doorway. The bodily tackle is 9110 Highway 540, Sheguiandah, ON P0P 1W0, Canada.
2. Great Spirit Circle Trail
We extremely advocate taking a tour with the Great Spirit Circle Trail You can hike this by yourself, or take a tour. You will study native natural world and native customs and legends of the First Nations folks. It is likely one of the finest experiences for cultural journey we’ve ever had in Canada and for those who go to Manitoulin Island, ensure to take a look at the guests middle to study of all of the wonderful First Nation experiences.
3. Go Horseback Riding
Step again in time to go horseback driving on Manitoulin Island and spend an evening tenting on the island. Take in the attractive view of the island from the plateau as you get to know your horse. Riding on Manitoulin is a enjoyable and difficult journey with quite a lot of ascents and descents on rocky trails. For an actual rustic Ontario expertise, that is the journey for us!
4. Swim Under Bridal Veil Falls
Even our financial institution teller instructed us that we had to go to Bridal Veil Falls when visiting Manitoulin Island. It’s the primary attraction for everybody touring to Manitoulin Island. Located proper off the highway and only a brief stroll down well-maintained steel stairs, Bridal Veil Falls is an ideal spot for a dip. this stunning waterfall is likely one of the hottest points of interest in Kagawong. You can hike to the underside of the falls and swim in the pool under.
Kids beloved taking part in underneath the falls and Dave and I beloved strolling behind them to take images. Since Bridal Veil Falls so fashionable it’s fairly crowded so arrive early. We waited round for the folks to filter out and by late afternoon we had all of it to ourselves.
5. Stick Around Kagawong
In addition to the beautiful Bridal Veil Falls, Kagawong on Manitoulin Island has a myriad of different points of interest and actions for guests to get pleasure from. Nature fanatics will admire the attractive Kagawong River Trail, a scenic path that meanders alongside the river and provides breathtaking views of the encircling panorama.
For these with a candy tooth, the Kagawong Chocolate Works is a must-visit, with its scrumptious handmade sweets and treats. History and tradition buffs will discover the Old Mill Heritage Centre fascinating, because it supplies a complete take a look at the historical past and tradition of Manitoulin Island and the Great Lakes. Another possibility for chocolate lovers is the Manitoulin Chocolate Works, which provides an array of handmade sweets and different delectable sweets.
Lastly, don’t miss the prospect to discover the native artwork galleries and outlets in Kagawong, the place you will discover distinctive, regionally made crafts merchandise.
6. Hiking Trails of Manitoulin Island
There is little doubt that climbing is likely one of the prime issues to do in Manitoulin Island. There is the M’chigeeng Hiking Trail, South Bay Lookout, and the Bebamikawe Memorial Trail to title a couple of. The Bebamikawe Memorial Trail is a protracted, however average 14 km hike that takes you to lookouts and vistas alongside a mixture of double and single-track trails.
7. Medicine Walk and Talk
Something that makes Manitoulin Island so particular is the prospect to immerse in the tradition of The First Nation People. In Africa, Australia, and throughout Southeast Asia we now have taken half in medication walks, and on Manitoulin, we had the prospect to study in regards to the medicinal vegetation of the island with our First Nation’s information, Falcon. We began with a smudging ceremony to give thanks to the land and setting after which went on a guided hike via the wonderful climbing trails to study what the vegetation are used for. This is fascinating and could be booked via the Great Spirit Circle Trail.
8. Sunset Canoe
If you occur to go to on the proper time of the month, you possibly can paddle the North Channel underneath the total moonlight. We have been a bit late for the total moon and the climate was a bit tough, so we as an alternative made our method to Otter Lake with Aboriginal Guide Falcon to canoe underneath the celebs. When visiting Canada, you need to give canoeing a strive. You’ll have the prospect to canoe with an skilled and listen to their tales in regards to the vessel that the First Nations launched to the fur merchants and early European explorers. This sundown canoe was a part of our Great Spirit Circle tour package deal, however you possibly can simply e book canoe excursions and leases throughout the island.
9. Paddle Lake Manitou
You also can go paddling on Lake Manitou. ake Manitou is the most important lake on an island in the world, masking over 100 sq. kilometers, and its clear waters are surrounded by lush forests and rugged cliffs. The title “Manitou” itself is derived from the Ojibwe phrase for spirit or deity, reflecting the non secular significance of the lake to the native Ojibwe communities. Lake Manitou is comparatively undeveloped, offering a serene and tranquil setting. It just isn’t unusual to have giant sections of the lake fully to your self.
10. Misery Bay Provincial Park
Misery Bay Provincial Park is the one provincial park on Manitoulin Island. It’s probably the greatest locations to go climbing on Manitoulin Island with 15 km of climbing trails starting from a 2km loop to an 8km loop. The trails provide stunning views of Lake Huron.
11. Voice of the Drum
The drum is the middle of Aboriginal lives. We discovered completely different drum methods and made our personal drums to take dwelling with us throughout our Voice of the Drum expertise on Manitoulin Island. A signature expertise of the Great Spirit Circle Tour, this was a lot enjoyable to do. We have our drums on show in our home and it’s a very fascinating method to study in regards to the indigenous tradition whereas making your individual take-home memento.
The drum is the heartbeat of Mother Nature. Drum and we discovered that track is used for a lot of events: As a prayer, as a celebration, or simply plain having enjoyable! We listened to our guides Steven and Falcon sing as they performed us completely different songs for various functions whereas pulling the deer hides over our drum frames. There is one thing mesmerizing about listening to the vocal stylings of those proficient performers as they’re accompanied by their drums.
12. Aboriginal Feast with Song and Dance
Canada’s First Nations is likely one of the most fascinating cultures on earth. Learn of their historic methods handed down from generations and immerse in the tradition. There are a number of experiences to study of the Anishinaabe folks of Manitoulin and this was probably the most stunning.
Rolling Thunder Dance Traditions carried out a conventional track and dance and even allow us to be part of in earlier than we settled right into a First Nation’s Feast on the Ojibway Cultural Centre alongside the Great Spirit Circle Trail. It’s an interesting, enjoyable, and informative expertise. Don’t miss it!
13. Visit the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation
The Ojibwe Cultural Foundation serves as a cultural and non secular hub of the Ojibwe First Nations People, the place guests can discover Ojibwe artwork, language, music, dance, and conventional practices via interactive displays, workshops, and performances.
The Ojibwe Cultural Foundation can also be dwelling to an interesting museum that showcases an unlimited assortment of artifacts and displays detailing the historical past, spirituality, and social buildings of the Ojibwe folks. The gallery options works by up to date Ojibwe artists, offering perception into how conventional inventive practices have advanced and proceed to thrive immediately.
In addition to its instructional and cultural choices, the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation additionally supplies guests with an opportunity to take part in workshops and actions that foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of Ojibwe tradition. These experiences embrace conventional storytelling periods, language lessons, and hands-on crafts workshops, permitting guests to have interaction with Ojibwe tradition in a really immersive method.
14. Attend The Wiikwemkoong Annual Cultural Festival
If you need to immerse in extra Indigenous tradition, The Wiikwemkoong Annual Cultural Festival is a vibrant celebration of Indigenous heritage held in the Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory. This three-day occasion, sometimes held in August, is likely one of the largest and longest-running powwows in Northern Ontario
The competition options conventional drumming, dancing, and singing, with performers donning colourful regalia and collaborating in numerous dance classes, together with conventional, grass, fancy, and jingle gown dances. The occasion serves as a contest powwow, with dancers and drum teams competing for prizes.
In addition to the powwow, the competition additionally consists of quite a lot of cultural demonstrations and workshops, akin to storytelling, conventional meals preparation, and craft making. Visitors can discover Indigenous artwork and crafts on the numerous vendor cubicles, sampling conventional meals and buying handmade gadgets akin to beadwork, jewellery, and moccasins.
The Wiikwemkoong Annual Cultural Festival is a novel alternative for each Indigenous and non-Indigenous folks to come collectively to have a good time the cultural heritage of the Wiikwemkoong group and different Indigenous peoples from throughout North America.
15. Camp on the Benjamin Islands
We took a tour of the islands and coast with the North Channel Cruise Line Tour Boat. Manitoulin has stunning rocky surroundings and it have to be seen from a ship. After a day of sightseeing, we arrange camp on the rocks and spent the evening staring on the stars on the shores of Lake Huron. It is likely one of the finest locations to go tenting in Ontario.
16. Hike to the East Bluff Lookout
Hiking the East Bluff Lookout on Manitoulin Island is an expertise that gives beautiful panoramic views, dose of nature, and the prospect to immerse your self in the tranquility of the island’s panorama. The hike leads you to a vantage level the place you possibly can take in breathtaking views of the encircling forests, wetlands, and the pristine waters of Lake Huron. The lookout level is especially spectacular through the fall, when the leaves change colour, reworking the panorama right into a vibrant palette of reds, oranges, and yellows.
The hike itself is a rewarding expertise, with well-maintained trails that wind via numerous ecosystems, offering a chance to observe the island’s distinctive natural world. Along the best way, chances are you’ll spot numerous fowl species, in addition to different wildlife that inhabit the world.
17. Meldrum Bay Marina
Meldrum Bay is a fishing village on Manitoulin Island that could be very fashionable with boaters touring the Great Lakes. As Canada shares the Great Lakes with the US, the Meldrum Bay Marina can also be a Canadian Customs port. The prime attraction right here is the Mississagi Lighthouse and there are many alternatives for watersports and trip leases alongside the shores of Lake Huron.
18. Tour the Lighthouses of Manitoulin Island DP
Some folks go to the lakes of Ontario simply to see the outdated lighthouses scattered all through. There are a dozen lighthouses on a Manitoulin Island highway journey with the most well-liked and simply accessible being the Janet Head Lighthouse. The lighthouse, which was constructed in the late nineteenth century, is positioned in Gore Bay and has served as an necessary navigational assist for ships touring via the North Channel of Lake Huron. Today, the lighthouse stands as a historic landmark, and provides guests a novel glimpse into the island’s maritime historical past
In addition to the Janet Head Lighthouse, there are a couple of different lighthouses on Manitoulin Island and the encircling space which can be price visiting:
Mississagi Lighthouse: Located on the western tip of Manitoulin Island, the Mississagi Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse that gives beautiful views of the encircling panorama. The space can also be fashionable for climbing and birdwatching. South Baymouth Range Lights: These two small lighthouses are positioned in South Baymouth and information ferries and different vessels coming into and leaving the bay. Manitowaning Lighthouse: Located in Manitowaning Bay, this lighthouse is a part of a waterfront park that contains a sandy seaside and picnic areas.
19. Gore Bay Museum
Located in the charming city of Gore Bay, the Gore Bay Museum is housed in a stupendous historic constructing that was initially the district courthouse and jail constructed in 1889. The museum constructing itself is a chunk of historical past, with its beautiful structure and delightful grounds. Visitors can discover the historic courthouse, jail cells, and different options of the constructing. The museum provides a complete assortment of artifacts, images, and displays that showcase the historical past of Gore Bay and Manitoulin Island. From Indigenous cultures to early European settlers, the museum supplies an in depth glimpse into the island’s previous.
When visiting Gore Bay Museum, you’ll have interactive displays and can see a ranges of of classic and vintage collections, together with home items, clothes, and instruments that provide a glimpse into the each day lifetime of the island’s residents in the previous.
20. Providence Bay Beach
If you’re in search of some seaside time on Manitoulin Island, Providence Bay is commonly touted as the most effective seaside in Northern Ontario. There is a stunning boardwalk, picnic space, and public washrooms.
21. Pick Up Some Items at Ten Mile Point Trading Post
Visiting the Ten Mile Point Trading Post on Manitoulin Island is a superb alternative to immerse your self in the native tradition and historical past of the area. The buying and selling put up is famend for its in depth number of Native Canadian crafts and artwork, offering a novel and genuine glimpse into the wealthy traditions and creativity of the indigenous communities on Manitoulin Island.
From stunning handcrafted moccasins to intricately designed dream catchers, the buying and selling put up provides a variety of things which can be excellent for souvenirs or items. In addition to the crafts and artwork, Ten Mile Point Trading Post additionally boasts a shocking location, perched atop a limestone cliff and offering panoramic views of the encircling panorama and the clear blue waters of Georgian Bay. With its mix of tradition, historical past, and pure magnificence, the Ten Mile Point Trading Post is a must-visit vacation spot for anybody wanting to expertise the most effective of what Manitoulin Island has to provide.
22. Little Current Swing Bridge
If you’re taking a Manitoulin Island highway journey, chances are high you’ll be driving throughout the Little Current Swing Bridge. This is a novel and iconic construction that connects Manitoulin Island to the mainland of Northern Ontario, Canada. The bridge spans throughout the North Channel of Lake Huron on the city of Little Current.
The swing bridge was initially constructed as a railway bridge in 1913 and was later tailored to accommodate vehicular visitors. It is likely one of the few swing bridges in North America that’s nonetheless in operation.
The bridge operates as a single-lane, alternating-traffi