Flowerpot Island

Flowerpot Island in Ontario is a breathtaking gem surrounded by turquoise waters

Flowerpot Island is one of those magical destinations in Ontario that transports you to another world, boasting striking and unique landforms you won't find anywhere else in the province.

Located in Fathom Five National Marine Park near the picturesque town of Tobermory, the island is roughly a 3.5-hour drive from Toronto, and only accessible via a 6.5-km boat ride.

The island gets its name from the two giant limestone rock pillars that resemble "flowerpots" (also known as "sea stacks"), which have been eroded over time by waves, wind, and ice.

The taller of the two geological posts measures around 3.6 m (12 ft) tall, with the smaller standing around 1.8 m (6 ft) tall. Small trees and vegetation have grown out of the limestone, leading them to resemble huge flower pots.

Besides the flowerpots, the island also has caves, a historic lightstation, and hiking trails you can explore. Off-shore, there are a number of shipwrecks that are extremely popular among scuba divers. 

The easiest way to get to Flowerpot Island is with a tour boat from Tobermory, offered by two private companies from mid-May to mid-October.

Blue Heron Cruises has glass-bottom boats which tour over the shipwrecks before bringing its guests for a half or full day excursion on the island, or you can opt for the quicker, open-air jet boats.

Bruce Anchor also has a fleet of glass-bottom vessels, which offer daily trips to Flowerpot Island.

Once arriving on the island, you can hike the Flowerpot Island Loop Trail from Beachy Cove to the flowerpots and caves, before continuing on to the lighthouse.

From there, most hikers backtrack on the same section, but the more adventurous can continue a full loop around the island, where you'll find rocky terrain and steep stairs.

The historic lighthouse on the island, originally constructed in 1897 and rebuilt in 1969, is recognized as a Heritage Lighthouse Protection Site.

Found on the northeastern point of the island, you can visit the museum in the Lightkeeper's home or climb up to the observation deck for some beautiful panoramic views.

With its crystal-clear turquoise waters, swimming and snorkelling are other popular activities at Flowerpot Island, but beware - the water is pretty frigid all year round.

For those who prefer to admire the water from afar rather than going for an icy dip, you can pack a lunch and enjoy it from the picnic shelters at Beachy Cove or at the lighthouse.

While there aren't accommodation offerings or food shops on Flowerpot Island, you're able to camp overnight at one of 6 campsites located near Beachy Cove. Due to the limited amount of sites, these fill up quickly so it's best to reserve well in advance.

As Flowerpot Island is within a national park, there's an associated entry fee for visitors. Currently, admission is $8.50 per adult, but if you're taking a boat tour, most have this fee included in their cost.

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