georgian bay islands national park

This breathtaking island is the ultimate camping destination two hours from Toronto

Just two hours north of Toronto exists Georgian Bay Islands National Park, the world's largest freshwater archipelago and smallest of Canada's National Parks in one.

Over 60 small islands help form this 3,459 acre, boat-only park along the Georgian Bay. Windswept white pines, exposed Canadian Shield and thick forest, beautiful enough to inspire the Group of Seven, make up the landscape.

The isolated backcountry scenery isn't that out of reach either. Beausoleil Island, the largest of theΒ islands in the park, comes with a ferry service, 100 campsites, 10 private cabins, and oTENTik rentals.

The DayTripper boat shuttle from Honey Harbour to Beausoleil is available from May until October and reservations are required. Or you can take your own boat, kayak or a water taxi over.

You can stay at the fully-serviced Cedar Spring Campground or go for an even more secluded experience at one of the four hike-in cabins right on Christian Beach. These accommodations require a 1.8-kilometre walk from the drop-off dock.

Although best known for kayaking and boating with a number of docks along the clear waters, the island also has over 30 kilometres of hiking trails to explore.

Northern trails highlight the scenic bedrock of the Canadian Shield and bring you through wetland areas. Fairy Trail (2.5 kilometres) is a must-hike lakeside loop.Β 

While trails in southern Beausoleil meander through the deep forest like in the case of the Lookout Trail. The 1.5-kilometre route leads to a viewing platform for vistas over the lush forest canopy and Georgian Bay.

The mix of ecosystems also means a high diversity of plants and wildlife. There are more reptile and amphibian species than any other national park in Canada. You might also spot woodland caribou, moose and black bears.

Whether you go for a few nights or just pop over to the island for the day, Georgian Bay Islands National Park is worth the trip.

Lead photo by

Georgian Bay Islands National Park

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