Located in Northern Ontario on the shores of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, Manitoulin Island is the biggest 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 one of the best concepts to aid you 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 gives some superb nature experiences, unbelievable climbing trails, cultural experiences, and extra. Here are our high picks for what you’ll be able to’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 street, and inside a few hundred meters (600 ft or so) the steep rocky climb begins. Beginner hikers could discover it difficult, however keep it up, the payoff is definitely worth the climb up roots, over boulders, and thru the muddy path after a wet night time. We didn’t count on the views to be so staggering.
The predominant path is roughly 4 kilometers lengthy, with an extra 2 kilometers of aspect 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 beneath. Looking over the escarpment, lakes, and wetlands is a sight that can take your breath away. We may have spent hours taking images of the view.
The trailhead for the Cup and Saucer Trail is situated on Highway 540, roughly 18 kilometers west of Little Current. The trailhead and car parking zone are on the north aspect 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 find out about native wildlife and native customs and legends of the First Nations individuals. It is likely one of the finest experiences for cultural journey we’ve ever had in Canada and in the event you go to Manitoulin Island, ensure to take a look at the guests heart to be taught of all of the superb 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 gorgeous view of the island from the plateau as you get to know your horse. Riding on Manitoulin is a enjoyable and difficult journey with numerous 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 advised 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 street and only a quick stroll down well-maintained metallic 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 beneath.
Kids liked taking part in below the falls and Dave and I liked strolling behind them to take images. Since Bridal Veil Falls so fashionable it’s fairly crowded so arrive early. We waited round for the individuals to filter out and by late afternoon we had all of it to ourselves.
5. Stick Around Kagawong
In addition to the gorgeous Bridal Veil Falls, Kagawong on Manitoulin Island has a myriad of different points of interest and actions for guests to take pleasure in. Nature lovers will admire the gorgeous Kagawong River Trail, a scenic path that meanders alongside the river and gives 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 offers a complete have 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 gives 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 could find distinctive, domestically made crafts merchandise.
6. Hiking Trails of Manitoulin Island
There is little doubt that climbing is likely one of the high issues to do in Manitoulin Island. There is the M’chigeeng Hiking Trail, South Bay Lookout, and the Bebamikawe Memorial Trail to identify just a few. The Bebamikawe Memorial Trail is an extended, 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 drugs walks, and on Manitoulin, we had the prospect to be taught in regards to the medicinal crops of the island with our First Nation’s information, Falcon. We began with a smudging ceremony to give thanks to the land and surroundings after which went on a guided hike via the superb climbing trails to be taught what the crops 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’ll be able to paddle the North Channel below the total moonlight. We have been a bit late for the total moon and the climate was a bit tough, so we as a substitute made our approach to Otter Lake with Aboriginal Guide Falcon to canoe below the celebrities. When visiting Canada, you should give canoeing a strive. You’ll have the prospect to canoe with an professional 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’ll be able to simply guide canoe excursions and leases throughout the island.
9. Paddle Lake Manitou
You may go paddling on Lake Manitou. ake Manitou is the biggest 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 identify “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 surroundings. It will not be unusual to have massive sections of the lake solely to your self.
10. Misery Bay Provincial Park
Misery Bay Provincial Park is the one provincial park on Manitoulin Island. It’s among the finest 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 strategies and made our personal drums to take residence 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 approach to be taught 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 music 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 be taught of the Anishinaabe individuals of Manitoulin and this was probably the most stunning.
Rolling Thunder Dance Traditions carried out a standard music and dance and even allow us to be a 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 enchanting, 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 reveals, workshops, and performances.
The Ojibwe Cultural Foundation can also be residence to an enchanting museum that showcases an enormous assortment of artifacts and reveals detailing the historical past, spirituality, and social constructions of the Ojibwe individuals. The gallery options works by up to date Ojibwe artists, offering perception into how conventional inventive practices have advanced and proceed to thrive right now.
In addition to its academic and cultural choices, the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation additionally offers guests with an opportunity to take part in workshops and actions that foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of Ojibwe tradition. These experiences embody conventional storytelling classes, language courses, and hands-on crafts workshops, permitting guests to have interaction with Ojibwe tradition in a really immersive approach.
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 taking part in numerous dance classes, together with conventional, grass, fancy, and jingle costume dances. The occasion serves as a contest powwow, with dancers and drum teams competing for prizes.
In addition to the powwow, the competition additionally contains quite a lot of cultural demonstrations and workshops, resembling 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 objects resembling beadwork, jewellery, and moccasins.
The Wiikwemkoong Annual Cultural Festival is a singular alternative for each Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals to come collectively to have fun 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 night time 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 gorgeous panoramic views, a superb 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’ll be able to take in breathtaking views of the encircling forests, wetlands, and the pristine waters of Lake Huron. The lookout level is especially spectacular throughout the fall, when the leaves change colour, remodeling 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 various ecosystems, offering a possibility to observe the island’s distinctive wildlife. Along the best way, chances are you’ll spot numerous chicken species, in addition to different wildlife that inhabit the world.
17. Meldrum Bay Marina
Meldrum Bay is a fishing village on Manitoulin Island that may 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 high 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 individuals go to the lakes of Ontario simply to see the previous lighthouses scattered all through. There are a dozen lighthouses on a Manitoulin Island street journey with the preferred and simply accessible being the Janet Head Lighthouse. The lighthouse, which was constructed in the late nineteenth century, is situated in Gore Bay and has served as an vital navigational help for ships touring via the North Channel of Lake Huron. Today, the lighthouse stands as a historic landmark, and gives guests a singular glimpse into the island’s maritime historical past
In addition to the Janet Head Lighthouse, there are just a few different lighthouses on Manitoulin Island and the encircling space which might be value visiting:
Mississagi Lighthouse: Located on the western tip of Manitoulin Island, the Mississagi Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse that gives gorgeous views of the encircling panorama. The space can also be fashionable for climbing and birdwatching. South Baymouth Range Lights: These two small lighthouses are situated in South Baymouth and information ferries and different vessels getting into and leaving the bay. Manitowaning Lighthouse: Located in Manitowaning Bay, this lighthouse is a part of a waterfront park that contains a sandy seashore and picnic areas.
19. Gore Bay Museum
Located in the charming city of Gore Bay, the Gore Bay Museum is housed in a good looking historic constructing that was initially the district courthouse and jail constructed in 1889. The museum constructing itself is a bit of historical past, with its gorgeous structure and delightful grounds. Visitors can discover the historic courthouse, jail cells, and different options of the constructing. The museum gives a complete assortment of artifacts, images, and reveals that showcase the historical past of Gore Bay and Manitoulin Island. From Indigenous cultures to early European settlers, the museum offers an in depth glimpse into the island’s previous.
When visiting Gore Bay Museum, you’ll have interactive reveals and can see a ranges of of classic and vintage collections, together with home items, clothes, and instruments that provide a glimpse into the every day lifetime of the island’s residents in the previous.
20. Providence Bay Beach
If you might be on the lookout for some seashore time on Manitoulin Island, Providence Bay is usually touted as one of the best seashore in Northern Ontario. There is a beautiful 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 wonderful alternative to immerse your self in the native tradition and historical past of the area. The buying and selling publish is famend for its in depth collection of Native Canadian crafts and artwork, offering a singular 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 publish gives a variety of things which might be good 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 trying to expertise one of the best of what Manitoulin Island has to provide.
22. Little Current Swing Bridge
If you take a Manitoulin Island street journey, likelihood is you’ll be driving throughout the Little Current Swing Bridge. This is a singular 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-traffic bridge for many of the day. However, on the hour, each hour, throughout the summer time months (from June to October), the bridge swings open to permit boat visitors to move via. The bridge opening is a well-liked sight, and guests usually collect to watch the bridge swing open and shut.
23. Farquhar’s Dairy Ice Cream
It appears that each cottage nation and weekend getaway vacation spot in Ontario has its personal family-run ice cream store. And Manitoulin Island isn’t any completely different. We Canadians love having fun with ice cream when touring the province. You’ll have the opportunity to seize a cone at a number of locations on the island. So be certain that to take pleasure in it earlier than you hit the climbing trails. (or after as your reward)
Where to Eat on Manitoulin Island
24. Eat At The Old Schoolhouse
Wondering the place to eat on Manitoulin Island? A trip wouldn’t be full and not using a nice meal and one of the best we had was on the Old Schoolhouse. Located in Providence Bay, this fine-dining restaurant is about in an previous one-room schoolhouse courting again to 1898. The ambiance is stress-free and quiet with mushy lighting and music, making for the right night out.
Chef Greg Niven moved to Manitoulin along with his spouse Heather in 1996 after honing his abilities in Toronto and has by no means regarded again. The French-inspired menu gives a contact of sophistication to your Manitoulin trip at cheap costs. Make certain to save room for the B52 Crème Brûlée it’s delectable. Make certain to reserve a desk, this place fills up! See Website: The Old Schoolhouse Restaurant
25. Stop at Lake Huron Fish and Chips
Stopping at Lake Huron Fish and Chips on Manitoulin Island is a should for any customer on the lookout for a scrumptious and satisfying meal. Their fish and chips are broadly acclaimed, that includes freshly caught fish from the encircling waters of Lake Huron. The fish is expertly ready, ensuing in a superbly crispy and flavorful batter that enhances the tender and flaky fish inside. The chips are golden and crispy, making for an ideal pairing with the fish.
In addition to the basic fish and chips, Lake Huron Fish and Chips additionally gives a menu with quite a lot of different tasty choices, catering to a variety of tastes and preferences. The restaurant’s location on Manitoulin Island, the biggest freshwater island in the world, offers a singular and picturesque setting on your meal. With pleasant service and a dedication to high quality, Lake Huron Fish and Chips is a wonderful selection for a memorable eating expertise on Manitoulin Island.
26. Brewery Tour and Beer Tastings
There are two breweries on Manitoulin Island that provide out of doors patios and beer sampling. The Split Rail Brewing Company and the Manitoulin Brewing Company provide beer samples, brewery excursions and funky swag. While Manitoulin Brewing gives an outside patio the place you’ll be able to pattern a flight of beer. There is nothing higher than grabbing some swag and brew to take residence with you after your journey to Manitoulin Island.
Other Places to Eat on Manitoulin
Where to keep on Manitoulin Island
Manitoulin Hotel and Conference Centre – Little Current: The convention heart additionally has a superb eating space with a patio overlooking the harbor. This First Nation-run resort is a good place to make a base as you discover the Great Spirit Circle path and different points of interest round Manitoulin Island.
More Camping on Manitoulin Island
Manitoulin Island is likely one of the finest weekend getaways from Toronto Ontario. And automobile tenting is a big Ontario exercise. There are loads of locations to go tenting on Manitoulin with cottage leases and campgrounds obtainable. One of the good experiences we had on Manitoulin was undoubtedly tenting in a Teepee. We did the TeePee expertise as a part of the Great Spirit Circle Tour, however Gordon’s Park gives a singular Tipi Camping expertise.
How to Get to Manitoulin Island
Manitoulin Island is situated on the north shore of Lake Huron simply north of Tobermory and the Bruce Peninsula and south of Killarney Provincial Park.
There are two methods to go to Manitoulin Island by driving
From Toronto, you’ll drive north up the 400 to the Trans Canada Highway 1 in direction of Sudbury. From Sudbury, make your approach to Espenola the place you’ll flip onto Highway 6. Access to Manitoulin Island is by driving throughout the Little Current Swing Bridge. The swing bridge spans the north channel connecting the island to the mainland. It is open year-round and will provide you with entry to Manitoulin Island from the north.
In the summer time months, you’ll be able to catch the Manitoulin Island Ferry, MS Chi-Cheemaun Ferry (Chi-Cheemaun means Big canoe in Ojibway) to Manitoulin Island from Tobermory. It takes you to the southernmost level of Manitoulin at South Baymouth. The MS Chi-Cheemaun is sort of massive with a capability of 650 passengers and 140 autos. But Manitoulin is turning into so fashionable, that you could be discover it booked out in the summer time months.
Frequently Asked Questions
What makes Manitoulin Island particular?
Manitoulin Island is the world’s largest freshwater island. It additionally homes the biggest lake inside a freshwater island in the world. It is Lake Manitou.
Is it value going to Manitoulin Island?
Yes, Manitoulin Island is value visiting due to its distinctive mix of pure magnificence, cultural significance, and leisure actions. The island is residence to gorgeous landscapes, together with crystal-clear lakes, lush forests, and rugged cliffs, in addition to a wealthy Indigenous tradition that guests can discover via numerous museums, cultural facilities, and occasions.
How do you spend a day on Manitoulin Island?
A day on Manitoulin Island might be spent exploring the gorgeous pure surroundings via climbing.. Popular climbing spots embody the Cup and Saucer Trail and the East Bluff Lookout. Visitors may discover the cultural heritage of the island by visiting the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation or the Great Spirit Circle Trail. The island additionally has a number of charming small cities with native outlets, eating places, and artwork galleries to discover.
What is the prettiest city on Manitoulin Island?
One of the prettiest cities on Manitoulin Island is Kagawong, often called “Ontario’s Prettiest Village.” Kagawong is residence to the gorgeous Bridal Veil Falls, charming outlets, and a beautiful harbor space.
How many days do you want in Manitoulin Island?
Ideally, you’ll need to spend not less than three to 4 days on Manitoulin Island to absolutely discover and admire all it has to provide. This would offer you sufficient time to hike a number of the island’s stunning trails, go to cultural websites, and discover the charming small cities. However, in the event you’re quick on time, even a day or two on the island could be a rewarding expertise.
What will not be to be missed on Manitoulin Island?
You should go to the Great Spirit Circle Trail and immerse in Innishanabe Culture, hike to the Cup and Saucer Trail, and take a dip at Bridal Veil Falls.
Why We Love Manitoulin Island
And these are one of the best issues to do in Manitoulin Island. If you haven’t visited the biggest freshwater island in the world, what are you ready for? There are loads of adventures to be had, cultural experiences to immerse in, and delightful surroundings to take pleasure in. Have you been to Manitoulin Island? What are your favourite issues to do?