Spend your days immersed in Aboriginal culture while hiking the magical "Spirit Island".Be dazzled by millions of stars sparkling or the dancing Aurora Borealis at Gordon's Park Dark Sky Preserve, one of the darkest night sky locations in Ontario.
Adventures in Manitoulin Island
First Nation Heritage on the worlds largest freshwater island - Manitoulin (meaning ‘Spirit Island’ in the Ojibwe language) is a magical and mysterious place. For uncounted centuries, the First Nations people believed that the Great Spirit or Kitche Manitou lived in the island’s highlands.
Its diverse landscape, from rolling hills to ancient limestone cliffs to pristine sand beaches to alvars and turquoise waters, captivates both visitors and residents alike. The island has changed little in the last 50 years, still an idyll of quaint villages, family-run farms communities.
There is no hustle, no glitz. It is a place of peace and serenity, where both native and non-native residents cherish local knowledge and always have the time to share a story with you. The island is a beacon for nature lovers. Cyclists and hikers are drawn to enjoy the scenic winding roads, art galleries, fresh local foods and magnificent trails leading to fantastic, panoramic views. Its dark skies are perfect for astronomy and aurora borealis viewing.
Follow the Great Spirit Circle Trail to discover incredible Aboriginal art galleries and shops, to sample authentic cuisine and to learn traditional crafts such as beading, drum-making, spirit rock painting and more.
Take a hike to a 93 yard high bluff with a spectacular view of the “Island of the Great Spirit”. On your way up, your Aboriginal guide will teach you about the different local plant life used by First Nations people for edible, practical and medicinal purposes.
Connect with the spirit of the water, enjoy Aboriginal bannock and tea on the shores of one of land lakes after a sunset canoe heritage tour then sleep in a tepee.
Be dazzled by millions of stars sparkling in the darkest night sky location in Ontario. Learn about astronomy at Gordon’s Park Dark Sky Preserve, offering 360 degree observing through an 8” (20cm) Dobsonian Telescope.
While you are there:
Be sure to relax on the long white sandy beach in Providence Bay.
Bridal Veil Falls is a great place for a cool dip or a picnic. Follow the trail to the village of Kagawong to enjoy locally made chocolate treats.
At the extreme west end of the island is Meldrum Bay, a village that reflects its early Maritime history. Enjoy scenic views of Lake Huron and tasty meals at the restored Mississagi Lighthouse.
Click here to see the top ten things to do on Manitoulin Island.
From Toronto, you can drive up the Bruce Peninsula to Tobermory, where you can take the MS Chi-Cheemaun (Ojibwe for “big canoe”) ferry to South Baymouth on the island. If time permits, we recommend you travel north from the island and complete the Georgian Bay Coastal Route.
You can also fly to one of the two airports located in Gore Bay and near Little Current. Or you can fly from Toronto to Sudbury then travel by car to the Island.
Book your adventure
Hike to the top of the "Cup & Saucer" trail on the infamous Niagara Escarpment for a panoramic view of the "Island of the Great Spirit". As interpreted by your Aboriginal guide, learn about the local plants, First Nation legends and history.