With its dense carpet of white pines and red oak, hemmed in by rocky shores and punctuated by vibrant pockets of wild orchids and white trilliums, it’s easy to be swept away by the beauty of the Georgian Bay Islands National Park. Made up of 63 small islands and isles clustered along the southeastern shore of the great Lake Huron, it’s set within the world’s largest freshwater archipelago and makes a popular holiday destination.
The island is reachable only by boat and regular shuttle ferries run from Honey Bay on the mainland, to Beausoleil Island, the largest of the park’s islands. Here, there’s a vast network of hiking and cycling trails, ample opportunities for sailing, kayaking and canoeing, and a number of tranquil waterfront cabins and campsites. Along with its striking landscapes, the most compelling asset of the Georgian Bay Islands is its surprising diversity of wildlife, with a large variety of reptiles, including the rare eastern massasauga rattlesnake.
Georgian Bay Islands National Park is located close to Port Severn, approximately 2 hours’ drive north of Toronto and is open daily all year round (although services vary depending upon the season). Adult admission costs $5.80.