The Getaway
What to Do on Manitoulin Island

Boasting the world's largest freshwater island in the heart of Lake Huron, Manitoulin Island offers extensive opportunities for fulfilling and exciting outdoor activities. This epic island borders Ontario and exemplifies unique scenery and an indigenous culture that exemplifies its native life. It has exemplary natural landscapes and lovely beaches along the shores of Lake Hurin. You will get something that will color your outdoor experience, whether it is camping, hiking, swimming, or fishing. The island can be accessed via the Little Current Swing Bridge or the ferry from Tobermory.

If you are wondering what to do on Manitoulin Island, here are some top activities to consider:


01 Hike The Cup and Saucer Trail

Visit the Cup and Saucer Trail to get a taste of the exciting outdoor experiences in Manitoulin. The Cup and Saucer Trail offers challenging cliffs, hiking, and adventure trails that present an opportunity to get scenic views of North Channell and Lake Manitou. The routes are challenging with rocky terrain that is Murdy and slippery, but the spectacular views at the top are worth it. Its unique rock shape makes it a feature among the most-rated hiking trails in Ontario. The 70-meter cliffs and 12 kilometers of the hiking trail at Cup and Saucer Trail make it iconic and one of the best hiking sites in Ontario.


02 Visit Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls. Manitoulin Island. Ontario, Canada. 2018

Enjoy a spectacular and scenic waterfall from the Bridal Veil Falls. The fall is popular and ideal for hikers, bikers, and other outdoor enthusiasts from around the world. It creates spectacular ice climbs during the winter when the waterfall freezes. You can explore the frozen beauty of this waterfall by bike, on a 4-wheel drive, or on an ice climb. If you have a 4-wheel drive, you can maneuver to the bottom of Bridal Veil Falls. Access the Bridal Veil Falls through Telluride towards the east of Box Cayon past the Pandora Mill. There are plenty of parking areas down the falls for hikers, but you have to follow the rules. Come experience swimming in the natural pool, hiking, biking, and off-roading expeditions. The nearby shops and eateries will make you quench your thirst and re-energize for more fun-filled activities.


03 Explore Misery Bay Provincial Park

Nestled along the scenic Lake Huron shoreline, Misery Bay Provincial Park is a serene and secluded natural haven just 35 kilometers west of the charming town of Gore Bay. The park offers extensive hiking trails along the southern shores of Manitoulin Island. The unique park is covered with a thick forest, rocky outcrops and alavars, and rugged shores. Explore the park's three hiking trails, which are extensive and will leave you fulfilled. Enjoy the beauty of nature and the history of the Explore Misery Bay Provincial Park while watching wildlife, taking photos, and exploring the lake views.


04 Attend the Wiikwemkoong Annual Cultural Festival

The Wiikwemkoong Annual Cultural Festival is a well-decorated event that is considered one of the biggest cultural events. The vibrant annual celebration happens every August, offering an avenue for celebrating, reflecting on, and appreciating indigenous heritage and culture. Attend the two-day event and enjoy traditional dances, music, crafts, and food. The market area is full of Anishabe food vendors serving local delicacies like Indian tacos and bannock. The Wiikwemkoong Annual Cultural Festival is a perfect festival where the local Anishinaabe people promote and preserve their culture, making it easy for you to learn.


05 Tour The Great Spirit Circle Trail

The Great Spirit Circle Trail in northeastern Ontario serves as the home to many First Nation communities. It offers a rich cultural insight that expounds on the First Nations' heritage. Bring your family to explore the indigenous cultures through storytelling and spiritual ceremonies. Take medicinal walks while enjoying the beauty and adventure of Manitoulin Island. Learn about the area's rich and deep culture while immersing yourself in the beauty and authentic nature experiences.


06 Enjoy local eateries

When you're looking to re-energize after the interesting outdoor experiences, there are plenty of local eateries serving the local cuisine. The eateries offer an extensive menu full of delicacies made from local ingredients and gourmet. You won't miss something to please your tastebuds from the wide variety offered, including tacos, salads, wraps, and burgers, among many more. The local favorite eateries like the Garden's Gate and the School House won't disappoint with the best culinary experience Manitoulin has to offer. Grab a bite of vegetarian-friendly dishes and gluten-free servings at these popular eateries.


07 Visit local art galleries and museums

Explore the works of local artists in beautiful art galleries showcasing indigenous and contemporary artworks and exhibits. The art galleries present diverse displays of artworks and crafts made from different materials. Explore stunning art exhibits from sculptures to pottery, woodwork to glasswork, and fine art to photographs at the Perivale Gallery. Visit cultural institutions like the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation, which portrays the Anishinaabe culture while also offering contemporary exhibits.


08 Paddle in Lake Manitou

July 3, 2018 Aerial View of Lake Manitou. Manitoulin Island, Ontario Canada

Lake Manitou is the largest lake on Manitoulin Island offering beautiful sights and a serene environment for people who love quiet and peaceful spaces to unwind. It is famous for fishing, producing notable fish like lake trout and ling. Take advantage of the long shoreline at Long Beach, which is shallow and ideal for swimming. The lake offers opportunities for paddling, kayaking, and canoeing for all ages. Whether you're an amateur or an expert, there is always a boat for you to experience the charm of Lake Manitou.


09 Participate in a sunset Canoe Trip

Couple friends canoeing on a wooden canoe during a sunny day. Taken in Harrison Lake, East of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Satisfy yourself with a tripping adventure that will help you experience the island's waterways in a uniquely picturesque setting. Rent a canoe at McGregor Bay and experience the canoe routes of the Anishnabe people. Also, visit Killarney Provincial Park or Bear Inn and discover the pristine waters while canoeing on the shorelines of Manitoulin Island. The canoeing experience is safe and guided, giving you an opportunity to share the area's rich history while satisfying your soul with breathtaking and beautiful scenery.


10 Explore Kagawong

Sitting between the M'Chigeen and Gore Bay, the North Channell village of Kagawong has plenty on its bucket that will leave you in awe. Explore the heritage village with a lighthouse, hiking trails, a chocolate factory, and art galleries. Understand the long history of this pretty village while enjoying lovely outdoor activities at Bridal Veil Falls or Lake Kagowong. Appreciate the local art galleries and historical heritage buildings that explain their rich culture. Hike along the beautiful riverside trails as you watch scenic views of Lake Kagwang emptying into a river.


11 Golf at local clubs

If you love golf and experiencing Manitoulin golf courses is on your to-do list, the available golfing opportunities have you covered. Brookwood Brae Golf Course on the shoreline of Lake Mindemoya is available to cater to golfers of different skill levels. The 18-hole Rainbow Ridge Golf Course on the east offers a challenging experience with various water features and a clubhouse. Meet experienced and amateur golfers at the dining facilities and create a memorable experience.


12 Discover local crafts at Ten Mile Point Trading Post

Explore unique souvenirs and authentic indigenous handcrafted goods that reflect the cultural heritage of the island's Native Canadian communities. Get a variety of art pieces and giftware at the trading post. You will be ushered in by friendly staff who are helpful in giving more meaning to the indigenous crafts. You will get everything crafted at the well-stocked trading point. The lookout beside the shop is incredibly beautiful, and you spend more time enjoying breathtaking views even before you get into the Ten Mile Point Trading Post.


13 Lighthouses on a road trip

Tybee Lighthouse Douglas Rissing / Getty Images

Navigating the city by road is a perfect idea to have a glance at the highlands's historic lighthouses. The historic lighthouses expound the beliefs and activities of the indigenous community, with each having its own story. The Janet Head Lighthouse is easily accessible in Gore Bay. You can also spot the Cove Island Lighthouse standing tall on Manitoulin Island. Enjoy the scenic views of the lighthouses as you take pictures to preserve the moments.


14 Partake in a Medicine Walk

Join the Medicine Walk at the Great Spirit Circle and immerse yourself in the local culture of the Aboriginal community. The medicine walk fosters a strong attachment to and knowledge of native plants. Learn the medicinal uses of certain trees and their traditional healing practices guided by local experts. Experience the smoke smudge tradition, where the guide combines various leaves, including the sage, and lights a fire on them. The smoke emanating from the fire is called the smoke smudge, and it is believed to cleanse the senses, removing negative energy before the medicinal walk.


15 Check out local brews

Manitoulin Island offers fresh local delicacies prepared using local ingredients. Experience the traditional tea, a blend of cider, mint, and maple syrup sweetener. Escort it with local bannock and berries with whipped cream. Taste local flavors like gourmet, key lime pie, and cheesecakes in various Manitoulin eateries. The brewing is done to preserve its rich heritage so you can enjoy your local craft brew. Taste local brews like the al fresco manufactured by one of the best brewing companies in Manitoulin, called the Manitoulin Brewing Company. Enjoy the local brews accessible on tap and cans with rotating guest taps. You can get them from the main brew house, retail shops, or outdoor patio. Sample the best-tasting booze after a busy, fun-filled day.


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