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Breslau, Canada
Level Contributor
11 posts
6 reviews

Thinking about taking a family vacation to Manitoulin Island in July or August. The thing is, I am terrified of the thought of my kids or dog running around playing and not paying attention (as kids and dogs do) and encountering a rattlesnake. How many people have encountered a rattlesnake? Thanks

5 replies to this topic
Newmarket, Canada
Level Contributor
2,991 posts
59 reviews
1. Re: Snakes?

Massassauga Rattlesnakes are most commonly found along the eastern and northern shores of Georgian Bay (and it's many islands) and up the Bruce Peninsula. They do exist on Manitoulin Island, but are far less common there. I wouldn't worry too much.

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
10,441 posts
140 reviews
2. Re: Snakes?

To put you at ease read the following info on it:


The odds of you seeing one are next to nil. I'm an avid canoeist and have only seen one and that was about 30 years ago. They are scarce and usually will hang around where they have protection such as very rocky waterfronts. Kids or even adults don't play in such places.

Do not worry. Important to know that they do not like human presence and shy away from humans.

Newmarket, Canada
Level Contributor
2,991 posts
59 reviews
3. Re: Snakes?

@Bonjours, I agree the chances of the OP seeing one are nearly nil, but I would disagree that kids don't plan in rocky waterfronts. I've spent all my summers cottaging and boating on Georgian Bay, and rocky waterfronts are the norm there. The rocks are our playground there! I actually prefer swimming from the rocks to a sandy beach.

I've personally encountered about a dozen rattlesnakes in the last 40 years. Nearly all of those were along the eastern side Georgian Bay. One was on a sand beach near the rocks, the rest were all on rocky outcrops. Most of my encounters happened while blueberry picking. I've also had neighbours at the cottage who've had their dogs bitten by snakes. But, it's not common, not a reason avoid a vacation, and is just not a concern on Manitoulin.

4. Re: Snakes?

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Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
469 posts
181 reviews
5. Re: Snakes?

I've been camping and canoeing in Ontario for over 10 years and have encountered about 4 Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnakes-and in many cases I was actively trying to find one.

Three of them were very small and immediately started to flee from us as fast as possible. Only one was big (about 1 m), its rattle had 9 rings and it was not intimidated by our presence. Ironically, we saw it on our campsite in the Massasauga Provincial Park, which is named after this very snake!

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