Cup and Saucer Trail Manitoulin Island

Cup and Saucer Trail in Ontario has breathtaking panoramic views of an island

The Cup and Saucer Trail on Manitoulin Island is a breathtaking hiking trail, which offers unparalleled panoramic views from a striking cliff face.

If you're up for an adventurous getaway this summer, a 6.5 hour drive will bring you to the world's largest freshwater island, which boasts stunning trails, sandy beaches, and a beautiful waterfall that you can swim in.

The Cup and Saucer Trail found within the Cup and Saucer Conservation Area is considered one of the top hikes in Ontario, and draws in outdoor-lovers from across the country.

Named after its unique rock shape, Cup and Saucer is made up of two distinct areas: the cup, a steep-sided valley, and the saucer, a flat area at the top of the valley.

The area has 3 different colour-marked trails, extending over 12 km long. It's known for its challenging terrain, but is well worth the effort as the views are nothing short of spectacular.

Starting with a steep climb up the escarpment, the 5.1 km long main trail (indicated with red markers) can take anywhere from 1-2 hours to complete. The surrounding views are stunning however, leading you through lush deciduous forests and lakes to take in from several lookout points.

You'll also be taken past unique rock formations including limestone cliffs and crevices, which are a result of glacial activity during the last ice age.

After the climb, hikers will be rewarded with the views from Cup and Saucer Lookout that includes vistas of the surrounding countryside, distant hills, vast expanses of forests, and the sparkling Lake Huron.

For bird-enthusiasts, the trail is also an excellent birdwatching destination. The forests are home to a variety of bird species, including warblers, thrushes, and woodpeckers. You might also spot bald eagles and ospreys soaring overhead.

While the trail is open year-round, winter and spring can be more difficult due to slippery conditions. The summer months are the most popular time to visit, but just be mindful to leave no trace and stay on the marked trails.

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