31 July 2014

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Experience Nature on Georgian Bay

Experience Nature :: Itineraries :: Nature Loop!

Nature Loop! (10 days)

Get up close and personal with nature along the Georgian Bay Coastal Route. Follow this 10 day itinerary around the Bay, stopping at the best natural attractions.


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Day 1

Arrive in Parry Sound.  After getting settled at your accommodation, venture to the West Parry Sound District Museum to climb the 96 foot tower for an amazing view of Georgian Bay.  If you are feeling adventurous, book a flightseeing tour with Georgian Bay Airways.  They will fly you to world famous “Henry’s Fish Restaurant” for a meal experience like no other.  If flying is not your thing, perhaps you would enjoy a 30,000 Island Boat Cruise aboard the Island Queen or the Chippewa III.

Accommodation Options:

  • Log Cabin Inn
    Oastler Park Dr., RR#2, Parry Sound
    Directions: Exit #224 Bowes Street off Highway 400. Turn left at Oastler Park Drive. Turn left Log Cabin.
    P. 705-746-7122
    http://www.logcabininn.net
  • 40 Bay Street
    40 Bay Street, Parry Sound
    Directions: Exit #224 Bowes Street off Highway 400. Follow Bowes Street which turns into Seguin. Turn left at James Street.
    P. 866-371-2638
    http://www.40baystreet.com
  • Bayside Inn
    10 Gibson Street, Parry Sound
    Directions: Exit 224 Bowes Street on Highway 400. Follow Bowes Street which changes name to Seguin. Turn left at Gibson Street.
    P. 866-833-8864
    http://www.psbaysideinn.com

Dining Options:

  • Sound Grillhouse
    2 James Street, Parry Sound
    P. 705-746-3712
  • Hanson's Mad Hatter's Café
    35 Seguin Street,, Parry Sound
    Directions: Exit #224 Bowes Street off Highway 400. Follow Bowes Street - it changes to Seguin. Just pass James Street on the right.
    P. 705-746-8992

Things to Do:

  • West Parry Sound District Museum on Tower Hill
    17 George Street, Parry Sound
    Location: Tower Hill
    P. 705-746-5365
    http://www.wpsdm.com

Suppliers:

Day 2

After a leisurely breakfast, travel to the Village of Killarney (Hwy 637 west, north of French River).  Be sure to stop along the way at the French River Visitor Centre.  Here you will enjoy views of the French River gorge as you wander across the suspension bridge on your way to Recollet Falls.  Continue on to Killarney, a quaint village nestled at the base of the La Cloche Mountains.  If you didn’t get your fill of Georgian Bay whitefish last night, be sure to check out the amazing fish & chips at Herbert Fisheries Mr. Perch right on the dock!

Distance:
Parry Sound to French River – (120 km (76 m), 1 hr 40 min)
French River to Killarney – (105 km (65 m), 1 hr 30 min)

Accommodation Options:

  • Killarney Mountain Lodge
    Village of Killarney, Killarney
    Directions: In the Village of Killarney
    P. 1-800-461-1117
    http://www.killarney.com

Dining Options:

  • Herbert Fisheries Mister Perch
    21 Channel Street,, Killarney
    P. 705-287-2214
  • Killarney Mountain Lodge
    Killarney
    P. 1-800-461-1117
    http://www.killarney.com

Things to Do:

Day 3

Today is the perfect day to check out Killarney Provincial Park, the jewel of the Ontario Parks, made famous by the group of seven artists who captured its beauty.  Take a Motor Cruise to Baie Fine Fjord with Killarney Mountain Outfitters (you choose your activity level), or visit George Lake at the Park’s main access point for a paddle or a hike.
 

Accommodation Options:

  • Killarney Mountain Lodge
    Village of Killarney, Killarney
    Directions: In the Village of Killarney
    P. 1-800-461-1117
    http://www.killarney.com

Dining Options:

  • Herbert Fisheries Mister Perch
    21 Channel Street,, Killarney
    P. 705-287-2214
  • Killarney Mountain Lodge
    Killarney
    P. 1-800-461-1117
    http://www.killarney.com

Things to Do:

Suppliers:

Day 4

After an early breakfast, make the trek to Sudbury (Hwy 69 north).  While in the city, enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Bell Park Boardwalk, before checking into your local accommodations.  Once you’re settled, head to Onaping (Hwy 144 North) and the A.Y. Jackson Lookout.  The lookout offers a scenic view of High Falls as it plunges 55 metres (150 feet) into the Sudbury basin.

Distance:
Killarney to Sudbury – (110 km (67 m), 1 hr 30 min)
Sudbury to Onaping – (40 km (25 m), 40 min)

Accommodation Options:

Dining Options:

Things to Do:

Day 5

Today you’re heading to the World’s Largest Freshwater Island, Manitoulin Island (Hwy 17 west of Sudbury to Hwy 6 south).  Enter the Island at Little Current, by crossing the oldest swing bridge in North America.  Built in 1913, it still swings 15 minutes on the hour to allow marine traffic to pass.  Once on the Island, head to Kagawong (Hwy 540 West), for a walk and some site-seeing at Bridal Veil Falls.  Take a dip, pull up a picnic table, and then follow the trails to the Bay.  If you’re traveling with your bike, be sure to take advantage of the limited traffic and magnificent scenic views by cycling Manitoulin’s backroads.   Don’t forget to make reservations for the Chi-Cheemaun for tomorrow’s sailing.

Distance:
Sudbury to Kagawong – (165 km (105 m), 2 hr 30 min)
Kagawong to South Baymouth – (80 km (50 m), 45 min)

Accommodation Options:

  • Queen's Inn
    19 Water Street, Gore Bay
    P. 705-282-0665
    http://www.thequeensinn.ca
  • Thorburn House
    1 Thorburn Street, PO Box 145, Gore Bay
    Directions: Corner of Thorburn & Borron Streets
    P. 705-282-2253
    http://www.onlink.net/~thbb/
  • White's Point B&B
    522 Whites Point Road, Little Current
    Directions: (Whites point road is 2 kms south of Little Current on Hwy 6)
    P. 705-368-2803
    http://www.bedbreakfasthome.com/whitespointbb/
  • Meldrum Bay Inn
    25959 Hwy 540, Meldrum Bay
    Directions: Corner of Hwy 540 & McDonald Street
    P. 877-557-6145
    http://www.meldrumbayinn.com
  • The Dunes B & B
    5400 Hwy. 551 , Providence Bay
    Directions: In Tehkummah, take sideroad 10 off of highway 6, then turn left at government road and right on highway 551. Located just past the trailer park.
    P. 705-377-6134
    http://www.bbcanada.com/thedunes

Dining Options:

Things to Do:

  • Chi-Cheemaun
    8 Eliza Street - Tobermory, Tobermory or South Baymouth
    P. 1-800-265-3163
    http://www.ontarioferries.com
  • Bridal Veil Falls
    Kagawong
    Location: Hwy 540 at Kagawong
  • Cycle Manitoulin Island's Backroads
    Manitoulin Island
    P. 705-368-3021
    http://www.manitoulincycling.com/
  • Swing Bridge
    Little Current
    Location: Hwy 6 to the information centre for parking.

Day 6

Catch the morning ferry crossing to Tobermory aboard the Chi-Cheemaun.  (Be sure to check in one hour before your sailing to guarantee your reservation).  Once you dock Tobermory, enjoy some time wandering the streets of this picturesque fishing village while you await your boarding on a Flower Pot Island excursion.  Once on the island, wander the trial to the former lightkeeper’s house.  Back ashore, check in at your accommodation before heading out to enjoy dinner at one of the local eateries.

Accommodation Options:

Dining Options:

Things to Do:

Day 7

This morning, go exploring in Bruce Peninsula National Park (Hwy 6 south of Tobermory).  Park at the head of trails, and hike the main trail to the Grotto, a natural sea cave formed by years of Georgian Bay wave action.   When finished exploring, carry on down the Bruce Peninsula (Hwy 6 south), into Owen Sound, stopping at Inglis Falls for a breathtaking view as the Sydenham River cascades over the limestone cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment.  If you’re up for a walk, take the Pines Loop through the forest.  If it’s a more energetic hike you’re looking for, take the trail to Harrison Park.

Distance:
Tobermory to Owen Sound (105 km (65 m), 1 hr 40 min)

Accommodation Options:

Dining Options:

Things to Do:

Day 8

Travel to the Town of The Blue Mountains (Hwy 26 East) today, for some caving and a gondola ride to the top of Blue Mountain.  Once at the top, enjoy a picnic, or walk the trail to Scenic Caves Adventures.  Whatever way you get there (by car or by foot), be sure not to miss this opportunity to explore the labyrinth of caves and crevices.  Before leaving the Caves, venture cross Ontario’s Longest Suspension Footbridge, for a view while suspended above the world!  If you’re travelling with bikes, cycle the Georgian Trail, a rail trail running between Meaford and Collingwood.

Distance:
Owen Sound to Town of The Blue Mountains (60 km (40 m), 1 hr)

Accommodation Options:

Dining Options:

Things to Do:

  • Hike or Bike the Georgian Trail
    Collingwood to Meaford
    Location: Various access points between Collingwood & Meaford
    P. 705-445-7722 / P. 1-888-227-8667
    http://www.georgiantrail.ca/
  • Open Air Gondola
    108 Jozo Weider Blvd, Town of The Blue Mountains
    Location: The Blue Mountain Village Base Area
    P. 705-445-0231 / P. 1-877-445-0231
    http://www.bluemountain.ca/green_gondola.htm
  • Scenic Caves Nature Adventures
    260 Scenic Caves Road, The Blue Mountains
    Location: From Collingwood, drive west on First St. to the First St. extension. Continue west on Mountain Rd which becomes Grey Rd 19. Follow the traffic circle onto Scenic Caves Rd. Follow this road to the top of the hill.
    P. 705-446-0256
    http://www.sceniccaves.com

Day 9

On to Wasaga Beach today (Hwy 26 to Mosley St.), the World’s Longest Freshwater Beach.  A trip along the Blueberry Trail will take you to Ontario’s largest parabolic sand dunes for bird watching opportunities.   Next find your way to Midland (Cty Rd 92 East to Elmvale, Left on Cty Rd 27, then Left on Cty Rd 93), and the Wye Marsh, a designated “Important Bird Area”.

Distance:
Collingwood to Wasaga Beach (20 km (13 m), 30 min)
Wasaga Beach to Midland (37 km (24 m), 40 min)

Accommodation Options:

Dining Options:

Things to Do:

  • Blueberry Trails at the Wasaga Nordic Centre
    Wasaga Beach
    Location: Follow River Rd W to Blueberry Trail South, then follow the signs to the parking lot.
    P. 705-429-0943
  • Wasaga Beach
    Town of Wasaga Beach
    P. 705-429-2247 / P. 1-800-292-7242
    http://www.wasagabeach.com

Day 10

Today is your last day on the Georgian Bay Coastal Route!  Travel to Honey Harbour (Hwy 12 East, to Hwy 400 North, then take Honey Harbour Road) this morning, where you will catch the Daytripper for a boat ride to Georgian Bay Islands National Park for a day of exploring Beausoleil Island.  Be sure to bring a picnic lunch.  Walk the Huron Trail south, before catching the Georgian Trail north to Christian Beach, an excellent spot for a picnic.  Head back along the Christian Trail to Cedar Point, where you will catch the boat back to the mainland, and your Georgian Bay Coastal Route adventure will come to an end until next time.

Distance:
Midland to Honey Harbour (37 km (24 m), 40 min)

Things to Do:


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