The Massasauga Provincial Park has plenty of reservable campsites which are only accessible by water. Some are less than 30 minutes by canoe from the put-in point, others may require several hours of intensive paddling and even a few portages.
Since 2008 I have visited this park 5 times, once I camped on an island (Wreck Island) whose at least one other occupant was an inquisitive black bear. Actually, bears can sometimes be a nuisance and thus it is advisable to hang food on tree branches—otherwise be prepared for smashed coolers, stolen food and even damaged tents. Also there is a relatively good chance to come across the only venomous snake in Ontario, the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake—not a very common sight, though, as this species is quite rare and endangered.
We stayed for 3 days on a campsite located on the shore of Blackstone Harbour which was about 20 minutes by canoe from Pete’s Place and then paddled for almost 3 hours north to a campsite at Three Fingers Bay. Both campsites were great, although Three Fingers Bay was a designated mooring area and there were about 10 big yachts which spoiled the pristine view a little. The Moon River Marina, that we visited as well, had a store and an LCBO outlet (i.e., selling beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages). There are two hiking trails relatively close to Blackstone Harbour—the Moon Island Trail (4 km) and the Baker Trail (5.5 km). The latter starts at Calhoun Lodge and meanders around a blue heron rookery and the abandoned Baker pioneer homestead. It is also worth visiting the very picturesque Moon River Falls, less than 2 hours by canoe from the Moon River Marina. While staying at Three Fingers Bay, we paddled to Frying Pan Island, where the famous Henry’s Restaurant is located, and went to a small store which has an LCBO outlet with cold beer!
The whole area is quite scenic, has plenty of islands and bays and offers fairly good fishing. Wreck Island has amazing geological rock formations—the Wreck Island Trail (1.5 km) has a number of interpretive stops that explain the geology of the area. There are some private cottages in the park, cell phones worked pretty well. In the summer, especially on weekends, motorboat traffic can be quite heavy; their wake, especially in narrow channels or passages, may sometimes rock smaller crafts if they are not positioned properly towards the waves. Getting to some areas/campsites requires crossing of open and exposed waters of unpredictable Georgian Bay (which can be very risky or outright impossible to do if it is windy); therefore, it is important to listen to weather forecasts and have appropriate canoeing or kayaking skills—once I was unable to leave Wreck Island for several days due to strong winds and waves.
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