Province/Territory: Ontario

Paddle trip exploring local First Nations culture and traditions

  • 2,766 square kilometres (Manitoulin Island)
  • 108 freshwater lakes on Manitoulin Island
  • 04 major rivers run through the island

Connect with the spirit of water and the spirit of the Anishinaabek people as you embark on a magical sunrise canoe tour through the heart of Manitoulin Island. Before dawn, take part in a traditional smudging ceremony, a sacred rite to prepare for the day ahead. Then it’s time to take to the water. As you slowly dip your paddle into the water, watch the sun rise in this pristine, spiritual setting as a bald eagle soars overhead. Observe a sand hill crane catching his morning breakfast. Feel the simplicity of nature. As your canoe glides quietly through the glassy water, feel as though you have stepped into another time as your guide captivates you with tales of local legends and native history, stories that have been told from generation to generation. Back at shore, sip freshly brewed cedar tea and snack on bannock and berries, in true Anishinaabek tradition. Join in a traditional farewell ceremony with your small group, and feel connected to people who live in perfect harmony with nature.

Why you should visit

• Discover the magic of listening to a native drumming ceremony
• Find out how to make raspberry tea
• Learn about the four sacred medicines -- cedar, sweetgrass, tobacco and sage -- during a smudging ceremony
• Find out about the spiritual origins of a tobacco ceremony

Weather

• Manitoulin Island is hotter and drier in the summer months, with a cooler fall climate
Discover local weather information.  Research local weather patterns at Environment Canada’s Canadian Climate Normals Website.

Visitor information

Hours & Admission Prices
• Open seven days per week, May to October
Great Spirit Circle Trail Accommodations & Events Calendar

When to go

• Open May through October
• Experience a drumming session during full-moon tours
• September brings gorgeous fall foliage
• Sunrise tours are the least crowded; half-day, full-day and sunset tours also available

Need to know

• Seniors and children welcome and are not required to paddle
• Wear comfortable layered clothing to accommodate for weather
• Raincoats, PFDs and bottled water provided

Getting Here

• Located in Manitoulin Island, approximately 5 hours from Toronto
• Fly into Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), then take a short flight to Sudbury (YSB), rent a car and drive to Manitoulin Island
• Or rent a car at Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) and drive to Manitoulin Island, cross onto the island by ferry or swing bridge