For our latest Neighbours in Ontario series we took a 4-day camping trip around Georgian Bay. This trip is for beginner campers and families.
We left Sauble Falls Provincial Park early as this would be our longest driving day. If you stay at Bruce Peninsula National park, you will have less of a drive.
On this day we left Sauble Falls Provincial Park campgrounds and headed for Bruce Peninsula National Park, visited neighbouring town Tobermory, caught the ferry in Tobermory to Manitoulin Island, drove North across Manitoulin Island, drove around Killarney Provincial Park past Sudbury before arriving at our favourite composite, Grundy Lake.
In total we put 1500km on the Acura ILX and hiked 50km during the 4-Day trip. This day was the largest portion of the drive as our 4th day was from Grundy Lake to Toronto which is only about 3.5 hours.
BRUCE PENINSULA NATIONAL PARK
Bruce Peninsula National Park of Canada is one of less than 50 National Parks in Canada. It is on an area known as a biosphere reserve. The UNESCO Network of Biosphere Reserves are internationally recognized protected areas that demonstrate a balance between people and nature. There are around 600 of these sites worldwide. The park is situated on Georgian Bay with its rocky landscape jutting out over the crystal clear water.
One of the best sites to see is the grotto. With rocky shards and teal colouring, the coast here looks like another world. If you are adventurous, you can climb down into the caves that line the coast.
The park is also home to 1000 year old cedar trees, an incredible array of habitats, and beautiful landscapes.
After seeing the sights, we headed back to the car and headed to Tobermory to catch the ferry over to Manitoulin Island.
Tobermory is located on the northern point of the Bruce Peninsula. A cute town and a hub for ferries and cruises.
We stopped by the marina and inlet where one can find a bunch of good restaurants to eat at with a view of the harbour. Cruises can also be picked up here.
Try some of the fish n chips spots here before heading down the road to catch the ferry to Manitoulin Island.
The area is also the location of Flowerpot Island which boasts naturally occurring large rock sculptures.
The ferry at Tobermory costs about $35 a person in a vehicle. The boat is so big that big rigs and other transport vehicles take it back and forth from Manitoulin Island. The ride is about 1 hour and 45 minutes and has some amazing views along the way. Be sure to plan your times well as the ferry does not come that often and the drive to the next destination is the longest of the trip.
Be sure to have your camera ready to catch the lighthouse and the many islands you pass on the way. Also watch the seagulls as they coast alongside the ferry for the duration of the trip.
Manitoulin Island is the largest fresh water island in the world. It is 2,766 km2 and inhabits almost 13,000 people. The drive north across the inland provides many rest stops that double as lookouts where spectacular views can be seen of the islands and waters below the high elevation of the island.
The landscape here also changes. Highways pass through giant rocks that have been blasted through to form roads. The colours of rock can change from white to an almost red colour. Be sure to have a passenger that can snap photos as you go.
GRUNDY PROVINCIAL PARK
Grundy was our favourite place that we stayed. The park, the grounds and the campsite all provided a little something to the experience.
We arrived a little late at the park but instantly found its beauty. Trails that lead to beaches and paddle launch sites, space between campsites, and good facilities all contributed to the positive experience.
After setting up camp, we took our cameras and headed to the beach through a cleaning in the trees at our camp site.
The stars here were incredible. With some long exposures we were able to see some amazing constellations and galaxies far away.
Here are a few of those shots.
That concludes the end of Day 3 of our Georgian Bay camping trip. Stay tuned for our final part.
Go to Part 4 of the trip here.