Man­i­toulin Is­land, Ont.

Canadian Geographic - - CANADA’S BEST ISLAND GETAWAYS - —Steve Paikin

I’M NOT SURE I have ever seen any­thing as beau­ti­ful as the sun ris­ing over the North Chan­nel of Man­i­toulin Is­land in Lake Huron. I’m also not sure I’ve ever seen any­thing as fright­en­ing as a huge black bear walk­ing across the shore­line of my camp, right to­ward me, search­ing for food (par­tic­u­larly since I’d only re­cently seen The Revenant). In be­tween those mo­ments, Man­i­toulin Is­land has even more to of­fer. If you like the wa­ter, swim­ming un­der­neath the spec­tac­u­lar Bridal Veil Falls or jump­ing off the dock of the Austin H. Hunt Ma­rina in Ka­ga­wong are musts, and the sandi­est beaches are on the south side of the is­land, right near where the mas­sive Chi-cheemaun ferry drops you off. You won’t see any fran­chises on Man­i­toulin (they don’t al­low them), so we pre­fer to stop at Turn­ers’ de­part­ment store in Lit­tle Cur­rent, which now has a sixth gen­er­a­tion of Turn­ers run­ning it. And the 10,000-year-old pres­ence of In­dige­nous peo­ple is there for all to see, at ei­ther the an­nual Wik­wemikong powwow or Lil­lian’s sou­venir store in M’chigeeng, where an im­pres­sive young chief named Linda De­bassige heads the First Nation coun­cil. I may only get there a few weeks a year, but Man­i­toulin Is­land is my favourite place in all of Canada.

Swim­ming un­der Bridal Veil Falls, near the vil­lage of Ka­ga­wong.

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