And so, the journey continues on day six of our eight-day Northern Ontario RV adventure through northern Ontario.
Today marks the beginning of part three, and our anticipation is palpable.
We are on the verge of crossing off a monumental item from our bucket list – Manitoulin Island, the world’s largest freshwater island, nestled amidst the pristine waters of Lake Huron. With its quiet roads, stunning views, minimal traffic (just one traffic light on the entire island), numerous lakes, extensive hiking trails, and breathtaking scenery, we knew visiting the island was a must when planning our RV adventure in Northern Ontario
DAY 6 – Elliot Lake to Manitoulin Island – 217 km
We are very excited as we embark on the next part of our adventure. We are grateful for the opportunity to experience Manitoulin Island’s wonders, which we have been looking forward to for a long time. Finally, we are about to make that dream a reality. Let’s go.
First thing First, Getting here
If you plan to visit, it’s important to note that you are limited to two options since this is an island.
- Option number one and the one that works for us coming from the north. We follow Highway 6 to Little Current and cross the Little Current Swing Bridge, one of Canada’s few swing bridges.
- Option number two: You can take the MS Chi-Cheemaun ferry from Tobermory on the Bruce Peninsula to South Baymouth on Manitoulin Island between May and October. The ferry ride lasts approximately 2 hours and offers an exciting experience as you travel across the beautiful waters of Georgian Bay. We highly recommend making reservations in advance.
Welcome to the island: Little Current is the bustling hub of Manitoulin Island, and it offers a delightful array of local shops and restaurants. During our visit, we treated ourselves to a delicious lunch on the patio of Anchor Inn and strolled along Main Street and the picturesque waterfront to explore the local shops. Later, we stopped by Manitoulin Brewery to shop for tonight’s refreshments and then headed to Ten Mile Point Trading Post, which has an impressive collection of unique local souvenirs and captivating artwork. We enjoyed exploring this beautiful establishment and couldn’t resist taking a piece of Manitoulin Island home with us.
We set camp at Providence Bay Tent and Trailer Park as our home base for exploring the island. Our spacious site provided easy access for our 28-foot RV, plus convenient beach access and essential amenities.
We didn’t venture very far during our first attempt to explore the area. As we crossed the road from the campground, we were welcomed by Providence Bay Beach, considered one of the finest in Ontario. Its pristine sandy shores and crystal-clear blue waters were so inviting that we ended up spending quite some time there.
In the community of Providence Bay, which is located nearby, we had the opportunity to relish mouth-watering fish and chips at Huron Fish & Chips, enjoy aromatic coffee and delicious sweets at Providence Peace Cafe, explore the charming souvenirs at Mutchmore, and listen to live music at the Harbour Center. While it is possible to access Providence Bay by road from the campground, we found that strolling along the boardwalk on the beach’s edge was a much more enjoyable way to get there.
DAY 7 – Manitoulin Island, Let’s Explore
“The early bird gets the worm.” With a list of stops on our agenda, we roll out early.
Our main reason for the early start is our first stop. Bridal Veil Falls, an awe-inspiring 11-meter high cascade, is an absolute must-visit.
You can walk behind the curtain of rushing water, which we did, and take a dip in the natural pool at the falls’ base, which we did not but should have.
Bridal Veil Falls is perhaps Manitoulin Island’s most popular attraction. The parking by the falls is limited, especially for a large RV. Arriving early meant we could get a parking spot.
There are more parking options in the nearby hamlet of Kagawong. You will find plenty of parking room for larger RVs and hiking trails to the falls here.
The community of Kagawong is a hidden gem where you can find an abundance of fresh produce and exquisite handmade crafts. We satisfied our sweet tooth during our visit by trying out some delectable treats at Manitoulin Chocolate and Boobahloo Candy. We also enjoyed exploring the charming shops and galleries in the area.
We make our way west to Gore Bay and the Split Rail Brewery, where we are greeted by the scent of Jamaica coming from the barbeque. The jerk chicken is delicious, as is the beer.
We settled in for the sunset at Providence Bay Beach, which does not disappoint, before returning to our campsite for our last campfire of this adventure.
DAY 8 – Destination Home
We hoped to continue our trip aboard the MS Chi-Cheemaun ferry to Tobermory, but our schedules did not align, so we retraced our steps north over the Little Current Swing Bridge and Highway 6.
We stop by the Big Nickel in Sudbury. The nine-metre (30 ft) replica of a 1951 Canadian nickel is located at the Dynamic Earth Science Museum. Enjoy a guided underground tour, multimedia theatres, engaging exhibits, and an outdoor science park here. We participated in the Dynamic Earth experience on a previous visit, so we grabbed a selfie with Big Nickel this time around.
Lunch at Hungry Bear Restaurant, French River Trading Post is a must; the burgers here are excellent.
Our final official stop on our eight-day Norther Ontario RV adventure is at the French River Provincial Park Visitor Centre. The centre exhibits the fascinating history of the First Nations, French and English cultures that have inhabited, laboured and journeyed through these waters for centuries. Additionally, you can explore the river gorge by walking across the bridge outside.
What an adventure, eight days and 2600 kilometres on the odometer, and we wish we could keep rolling.
Are you planning your next RVing adventure in Ontario? Follow your wanderlust to northern Ontario and create unforgettable memories on your next RV journey.