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“Great night at Gordon's”
Review of Gordon's Park

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Gordon's Park
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 July 2015

We had a wonderful clear night at Gordon's and saw the planets through the telescope. First time seeing the moons around Jupiter and the rings around Saturn! Due to the full moon, the sky was fairly light, but we had a very good informative experience, thanks to Paul.
Our cabin was very clean and comfortable. The outdoor kitchen is very handy and the washrooms were spotless! The pool was nice and warm for an early evening dip.
Gordon's also provides information in their welcome pamphlet listing all sorts of attractions and points of interest on the island.
Would definitely stay here again.

Stayed: July 2015, travelled with friends
Thank gailian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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30 - 36 of 64 reviews

Reviewed 1 July 2015

I've noticed a few bad reviews here but I will say our experience was definitely great both times we've stayed. We camped (I think the value is with the camp sites, maybe not so much with the tipis or cabins?) and had a great spot both times. There were less people this time so we didn't get to meet as many people in the outdoor kitchen/eating area but still had a great time. The concept of the outdoor kitchen is brilliant - using their bbq, stovetop and sink are huge timesavers and it gives you the opportunity to chat with others. Last time our kids made some new friends which they still talk about.

This time there were no organized hikes offered because we were there slightly before the summer season started but Paul let us know one night that he was going to try to call the owls. He did and we were treated to 2 barred owls swooping through the campground hooting away. It was very cool!

We found the showers great and the outhouses and toilets didn't stink for us. It wasn't very busy when we were there but they keep things well maintained. The staff are all very nice and accommodating, in our experience.

We'll be back one day for sure!

Stayed: June 2015, travelled with family
Thank Cindy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rita G, Owner at Gordon's Park, responded to this reviewResponded 18 October 2015

Thank you for being a repeat customers, we are happy that you enjoy our park. Fantastic that you were able to see the Barred Owls when Paul called them. We call them Jelly & Bean and this summer they had offspring who are so cute, we call them Kit & Kat. We had several guided "Owl Prowls" this past June and also "Night Hikes" where we would call the owls, people really loved taking pictures of them, it was fantastic. Also, we have flush toilets in the park in addition to the privies and have put in two more wash stands where people can freshen up in the morning and brush their teeth at night. Hope you get a chance to visit us again soon.

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Reviewed 12 February 2015

My friends and I decided to go to Gordon's Park as it was the only place that advertised an "Aurora Borealis Weekend" on Thanksgiving. The park is very simple but it was beautiful with all the trees changing colour in the fall. This place is for people who enjoy being outdoors and are ok with eco-friendly activities.
The eco-showers provided a really nice quick hot shower in the morning. Rita was enough to provide us with towels because we forgot to pack them. The outdoor kitchen was a great way to meet other campers and share dinner. The flush-toilets were clean and very convenient. There are also clean latrines available in the camp site.
We camped the first night and stayed at a trailer for the other two nights. The trailer was old but clean and warm and provided the shelter we needed for the night. The high prices are reflected on the maintenance of the park and the eco-amenities.

The weather conditions were not favorable at all as every night was cloudy and we couldn't see the stars until the second day for just a very short period of time. We understand that the Park can't control the weather but it was disappointing to drive all the way up there with very high expectations to see the Northern Lights and not being able to see much of the sky. Still the astronomer taught me some tricks to take photos of the sky and got some nice shots for a beginner.

We bit the bait of the Aurora Weekend (we wouldn't have gone that far to camp otherwise) , we were sad not to see much of the sky, but in the end we were really happy we did because the island is beautiful in the fall, we saw the Salmon's run in the Bridal Veil Falls (about 45 minute drive from the park) and enjoyed the amazing sights of the the Cup and Saucer hiking trail (40 minute drive). The Chi-Cheemaun ferry was also a great experience.
These are things worth advertising as they are consistent every year, but I understand that the auroras attract more visitors. The staff was friendly and we enjoyed hearing stories around the bonfire with other guests.

I will return when I'm certain that there's a lot of solar activity and clear skies.

  • Stayed: October 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Catalina D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 December 2014

We spoke extensively with Rita before coming to Gordon's Park and she kept urging us to book as they were "filling up quickly". When we arrived there was no-one else staying there, and no-one came until we left. We told Rita we were flying from Mexico and would need bedding etc, and that we were interested in star-gazing. Yet the amenities provided were minimal and when we asked for any help it was an enormous effort. For example, the park had turned off the water so we could not shower, so we asked to use the B&B ones... such an inconvenience! I'm not sure exactly why we were paying this huge amount, staying in this cabin was worth 1/4 of the price. We feel so cheated because of the lying. If you are going to shut the park when people are coming stay, tell them and charge less! We didn't come all the way to Canada to sit in a miserable, closed cabin park! Literally everything in the park was shut: no star-gazing session given (despite asking and being told YES), no pool, golf, bathrooms, nature centre... We came at the end of the season but Rita failed to tell us ANY of this information. Instead she lied and made out the place was brimming... so she charged us the full price and yet we had NO facilities whatsoever. Rita had assured us there would be plenty to do and enjoy even at the end of October and yet everything was shut. We didn't mind too much as we wanted to relax, but paying so much for a cabin, and having no information or facilities, just made Gordon's Park look like a money-grabbing scam. If I were to go again i would definitely stay somewhere friendlier, with honesty and adequate value for money necessities.

  • Stayed: October 2014, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank thetouringrosie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rita G, Owner at Gordon's Park, responded to this reviewResponded 14 December 2014

Hello Roseanna & David, thank you for your post and review of your experience with us in our Stargazing cabin at the end of October. The end of the season is very difficult to service due to the temperatures at this time of the year, sometimes we already have snow and below freezing temperature which means that we have to shut off our water supply so that the pipes don't freeze. It was not a problem for you to use the showers in the bed & breakfast as we did not have any bed & breakfast guests at the time. The information on the stargazing cabin sent to you in our email correspondence back and forth explained that it is a rustic but comfortable cabin located in our dark sky preserve, and this same information appears on our website. It is an ideal location for stargazing as it is located in the RASC (Royal Astronomical Society Canada) designated Dark Sky Preserve and you simply step outside your door to observe the vast and beautiful wonders of the night sky with your naked eye. Again, as per our email to you a 2 hour guided astronomy experience was optional and available to you for an additional fee that included our park astronomer guide, observing through our park's telescope, and with wide angled binnoculars and an amazing laser guided tour of the night sky. At this time of the year it is also possible to see Northern Lights and since you had indicated an interest in astronomy and the Aurora Borealis I did encourage you to book your retreat in the hopes that your wishes would come true. We cannot however, be responsible for the weather or control nature, it is always a blessing to be in the right place at the right time when we get to witness these startling gifts of nature. The opportunities for touring our island and finding commercialism is limited in the off season however we did provide you with our "Rita's Pics" that highlighted beautiful natural sites and hiking trails on the island including Misery Bay Provincial Park, Bridal Veil Falls, 10 Mile Point Look Out, Michael's Bay, Great Spirit Circle Trail and the Villages on the island. These natural places and main towns are always open to explore. You were indeed our last tourist for the season, we remained open for your visitation only due to your enthusiasm for viewing the night skies and our interest to accommodate you. We would love to have you visit us again although we realize that England is far away. Wishing you all the best as you continue to travel and explore the world.

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Reviewed 13 August 2014

We stayed in a tipi and had everything we needed to be comfortable as inexperienced campers with no gear. There were many nice small touches such as hand soap at the excellent outdoor kitchen, lots of grates and skewers available for campfire cooking, and a campsite drying line for wet clothes. The pool, playground and mini putt were quite nice for our kids, aged 4 and 8. I do wish they would offer some packages such that hikes, archery etc are included because the cost for extras do add up and not every experience was worth the individual prices paid. However I can understand that during a busier period they might have to limit participation in some way. As mentioned in a previous review, the single bathroom sink is not adequate even when the park is not busy, I can't imagine what it would be like if the park was full.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
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Thank juliejuliette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2014

I just had a great weekend at Gordon's Park! I was there with a friend for the Women's Weekend. The owners Rita and Terry, and their staff are great hosts. There's lots of opportunity to get in touch with nature - nature trail, edible wilds walk, a pond brimming with frogs, owl calling, dark sky preserve, and more. There's also some features to make things more comfortable - in-ground solar-heated pool with lovely pool deck, solar showers, flush toilets, outdoor summer kitchen, and bunkies for those of us who prefer not to sleep in a tent. There's also art hidden here and there on the trees, in the washrooms, on the buildings, etc. We created some art ourselves - yarn bombing, painted dragonflies and crafty cards. We did a zoomba class and got a foot soak. Plus the food was amazing. I'll be coming back with my family for sure!

Room Tip: The campsites 6, 7, 8 are closest to the showers and washrooms.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank J M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2014

We booked 2 camp sites with bunkies for 6 of us. The bunkies were clean and the beds were decent. The place is really just a campground, much like any other, and their "nature interpretive centre" is just a room with some information on cards and a few stuffed creatures, I certainly wouldn't pay to see it.
The star gazing is basically going out to the field on your own after an in-class talk, we were excited about it but then opted out once we discovered what it was. Their hiking trail wasn't bad.
The outhouses really, really stink. The supplies weren't really replenished frequently enough.
Their pool is pretty small.
We were hoping for more since it is a "Designated Dark Sky Preserve" and all, but we really didn't need to go all the way there to stargaze, it was pretty disappointing. Overall my expectations weren't really met, but too often advertising makes things sound way better than they really are.
We also had a kerfuffle over the hydro at our site; we had plugs available which we used and then at some point the electricity was cut off. There is no mention of an extra fee for hydro at the camping cabins on their website. We were told by the owner, Rita, that we'd have to pay for hydro. For over $100/night we would have thought they could have included the hydro as customer service but they wanted to argue over it instead. The whole thing left a bad taste in our mouths, we were really ready to leave but we were only there for 2 nights so we stuck it out.

Manitoulin is lovely, so when we go back it will be to a nice B&B, not Gordon's Park.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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7  Thank RaspberryTrip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rita G, Owner at Gordon's Park, responded to this reviewResponded 23 April 2014

Thank you for your review, we would like to comment further.

Gordon's Park is an Eco Park, much more than just a campground. Our operations incorporate Eco principals including educational programming, solar energy, water conservation, no light pollution, a designated dark sky preserve, Eco showers, recycling, composting and so much more.

The Nature Interpretive Center provides information on trees, wildflowers, edible wilds, mushrooms, fossils, animals, astronomy and Eco systems, and is enjoyed by thousands of school children, scout groups and nature enthusiasts every year.

We are disappointed that you did not truly get to enjoy the worth of the nature interpretive center and our educational hiking trails which are included free of charge for guests of our park.

It would appear from your comments that you did not participate in the educational Thursday nights Astronomy or the Public Observing Sessions with Laser Guided Sky Tours because these guided events include observing with telescopes, wide angled Bausch & Lomb Binnoculars and a laser guided tour with a green laser pointer of the night sky. Had you participated we are confident you would have enjoyed the evening, as many others have and whom have posted so on Trip Advisor.

Operating an Eco Park on a seasonal income means developing as capital funds become available. A pool with solar panels in Northern Ontario is a substantial investment and pools in general are not plentiful at operations in the North. Our pool is not huge but it is mighty and guests enjoy it. This year, we are adding flush toilets and are doing that with conservation of water usage in mind.

Clearly, the reason your group was disappointed with your stargazing experience is because your group did not take advantage of what we had to offer.

The designation for our dark sky preserve meant we had to have our dark sky site measured for darkness with a Sky Quality Meter Reading, taken by various persons at various times of the year. In addition to these dark sky ratings, it also meant we needed to meet light pollution guidelines, no obstruction from trees, viewing from horizon to horizon, submit photographs and measurement of the site, make a commitment to no future lighting at the site, provide an access road, etc. and other strict requirements. I would also like to share that the designation process involved participation by several educated astronomers, some astronomy professors and members of astronomy clubs and the astronomical society.

The reason there is no mention of hydro on our website for our camping cabins is because it is not something we offer. Your group found electrical outlets in your area and decided to use them without permission.

Guests that stay with us, including your group while you were here, enjoy several free perks - nature center, hiking trails, free high speed internet, and use of our summer kitchen with BBQ, 3 burners, pots, pans, coffee maker, kettle, counter space, hot and cold running water, and party tent with picnic tables.

Hydro electricity is an expensive commodity that continues to have soaring price spikes, it is not realistic to expect an operator to absorb this cost, nor are we familiar with any campground that does not charge a fee for use of electricity.

We are glad you found Manitoulin Island lovely, and we at Gordon's Park are pleased to be able to offer a wonderful outdoor nature adventure to those who appreciate our Earth and share our environmental interests.

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Additional Information about Gordon's Park

Address: 18777 Hwy 6, Tehkummah, Ontario P0P 2C0, Canada
Region: Canada > Ontario > Northeastern Ontario > Manitoulin Island > Tehkummah
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Speciality Lodging in Tehkummah
Price Range: $38 - $105 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled in Nature, Gordon's Park on Manitoulin Island has a B&B, camping sites, Tipis and Cabins available. We have an Educational Nature Centre and Hiking trails + an extensive summertime calendar of events. We're just 15 minutes from the ferry docks. ... more   less 

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