Touring Georgian Bay Islands National Park
One of Canada's older National Parks, Georgian Bay Islands is made up of a grouping of protected islands in the south east of Georgian Bay. The area is a jewel in Ontario, just a few hours north of the GTA – beautiful blue waters, a combination of sand and rock beaches (whichever you fancy), and hardwood forests.
Though we're not officially on the road yet, AJ and I were invited to the Park to get some training on site with Parks Canada Staff. And we couldn't have picked a better day for it! After spending some time in the morning reviewing Parks' policies on mountain biking and trail classifications, we were lucky enough to get a tour around GBI's largest island (Beausoleil) by boat.
It was great fun to get out on the water, but it was also a good reminder of the unique nature of the Park. GBI is only accessible by boat, which means that their average visitor is a boater, docking for a few hours to have lunch and go for a swim or a hike. Folks can also shuttle to the island by the Park's ferry service and stay overnight in cabins, or by camping.
To help families explore the island – including a beautiful northern shore showcasing Canada's rocky shield– the Park has recently started renting out mountain bikes. Utilizing some of the existing doubletrack and singletrack trails, visitors are now able to get around the island much quicker by bike. As the first National Park with a rental fleet of its own, it was exciting to see!
Thanks to Mark, Graham, and Andrew for inviting us, and taking us on a tour of the Park's trails!
We normally keep our feet (and bikes) on dry land, but today we got to cross to Beausoleil Island by boat!
A boardwalk connects the dock to Beausoleil's sandy shores and beaches. On a beautiful summer's day, staff say the docks are teeming with visitors.
We hiked up to a lovely canopy lookout, great for birdwatching and spotting wildlife.