Beausoleil Island

Beausoleil Island in Ontario is an outdoor-lover's paradise with epic sunsets

Beausoleil Island is a breathtaking gem in Ontario to add to your travel bucket list, with a rich history, diverse ecosystems, and numerous recreational opportunities.

Located in Georgian Bay Islands National Park, Beausoleil is the largest of the park's 63 islands, and is only accessible by boat.

Unless you have access to your own water vessel, you can catch the DayTripper water taxi out of Honey Harbour, which brings you right to the island in about 15 minutes.

There are two drop-off points on Beausoleil: Chimney Bay on the north end, or Cedar Spring in the south. Cedar Spring is the hub of the island where you'll find a visitor centre, bicycle rentals, beaches, and hiking trails.

Chimney Bay in Northern Beausoleil is more isolated but truly showcases the beauty of the island, with fantastic hiking trails, diverse wildlife, characteristic bedrock and wetland environments.

Upon arrival, it's obvious why the park has inspired so many of the Group of Seven's paintings. Its name alone means "beautiful sun" in French, and if the weather is right for a sunset, it's easy to see why.

The striking landscape has exposed rocks of the Canadian Shield dotted with windswept pine trees, expansive hardwood forests, and the glistening waters of Lake Huron.

Depending on which part of the island you wish to explore, there are numerous hiking trails to follow, extending over 30 km long.

If you're on the north side, try the Rockview Trail, a 1.5 km path which will bring you to beautiful views of bay inlets. You can continue on to the Georgian Trail to the south part of the island to view the historic Brebeuf Lighthouse.

There's also the 2 km Massassauga Trail, named after the resident species of Rattlesnake. You'll follow the Eastern shoreline on this rocky trail, and while it may be home to some slithering friends by the same name, they typically shy away from humans.

Besides hiking, there's also a lovely sandy beach to lounge on after going for a paddle through the islands or a swim in the clear waters. Christian Beach has a golden sandy shoreline and is a prime spot to catch the sunset.

To fully immerse yourself in the island's natural surroundings, consider a stay at one of the waterfront cabins, or book a good old-fashioned campsite.

The water taxi to the island costs $24.96 per person, and park admission is an additional $6.25.

Lead photo by

Mary Baratto

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