Discover Georgian Bay Islands National Park

Welcome to Georgian Bay Islands National Park, a pristine sanctuary nestled within the heart of Ontario’s Georgian Bay. Spanning over 14 square kilometers, this collection of 63 islands offers a diverse tapestry of landscapes, from windswept pines to rugged granite shores, all set against the backdrop of the shimmering waters of Lake Huron. Established in 1929, Georgian Bay Islands National Park is not only a haven for outdoor enthusiasts but also a vital sanctuary for diverse ecosystems and wildlife.

Home to rare species such as the Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake and the elusive red-headed woodpecker, the park boasts a rich biodiversity that reflects the unique geology and ecology of the region. Visitors to Georgian Bay Islands National Park can explore pristine forests, paddle along tranquil waterways, or unwind on secluded beaches while immersing themselves in the natural beauty and serenity of this Canadian gem.

Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a deeper connection with nature, Georgian Bay Islands National Park promises an unforgettable experience in one of Canada’s most cherished natural treasures.


Top 3 Facts About Georgian Bay Islands National Park


Island Diversity

Georgian Bay Islands National Park encompasses a total of 63 islands, making it one of the largest island-based national parks in Canada. These islands vary in size, shape, and geological features, offering diverse landscapes for visitors to explore.


Visitor Numbers

Georgian Bay Islands National Park attracts over 120,000 visitors annually, making it one of the most popular national parks in Ontario. Its accessibility from major urban centers like Toronto and its reputation for stunning natural beauty contribute to its popularity.


Protection Status

Georgian Bay Islands National Park was designated a National Park in 1929, making it one of the oldest national parks in Canada. Its protected status ensures the preservation of its unique ecosystems and cultural heritage for future generations to enjoy.

Camping and transportation in Georgian Bay Islands National Park

info_iconBackcountry camping permits required for wilderness camping opportunities.

How to Get to Georgian Bay Islands National Park

Getting to Georgian Bay Islands National Park involves a combination of driving and boating. Here’s how to get there:

  • By Car: If you’re coming from Toronto, the closest major city, the drive takes approximately two hours. Simply take Highway 400 north to Highway 69, then follow the signs to Parry Sound.
  • By Boat: Once you reach Parry Sound, you’ll need to access the park by water. The main access point to the park is the town of Honey Harbour, which is approximately a 30-minute drive south of Parry Sound. From Honey Harbour, you can launch your own boat or take a water taxi to the park.
  • Water Taxi: Several water taxi services operate out of Honey Harbour, providing transportation to the park’s various islands. These services typically run from May to October and may require advance reservations, especially during peak season.
  • Private Boat: If you have your own boat, you can navigate the waters of Georgian Bay to reach the park’s islands. Be sure to familiarize yourself with navigational charts and park regulations before setting out.
  • Tour Operators: Some tour operators offer guided boat tours to Georgian Bay Islands National Park, providing a convenient and informative way to explore the park’s natural beauty and learn about its history and ecology.

Places to Stay Near Georgian Bay Islands National Park

While there are no accommodations within Georgian Bay Islands National Park itself, there are several options for camping and lodging near the park. Here are some suggestions:

  • Campgrounds: There are several campgrounds located near Georgian Bay Islands National Park where visitors can pitch tents or park RVs:
    Beausoleil Island Campground: This campground is located on Beausoleil Island, part of the park’s archipelago. It offers both tent and RV camping, as well as amenities such as washrooms, showers, and picnic areas.
    Honey Harbour Campground: Situated near the town of Honey Harbour, this campground provides a convenient base for exploring the park. It offers tent and RV sites, as well as facilities like showers, laundry, and a convenience store.
  • Cottages and Cabins: If you prefer more comfort and amenities, consider renting a cottage or cabin near Georgian Bay Islands National Park. Several rental properties are available in the surrounding area, offering waterfront accommodations and various amenities.
  • Bed and Breakfasts: There are also bed and breakfast establishments located in nearby towns such as Honey Harbour, Parry Sound, and Midland. These cozy accommodations offer a comfortable and personalized lodging experience, often with homemade breakfast included.
  • Hotels and Motels: For those seeking more traditional hotel accommodations, there are numerous hotels and motels in nearby communities like Parry Sound, Midland, and Penetanguishene. These options offer a range of amenities and price points to suit different preferences and budgets.
  • Backcountry Camping: For a true wilderness experience, visitors can explore backcountry camping options on Beausoleil Island and other nearby islands within the park. Permits are required for backcountry camping, and visitors must adhere to park regulations and Leave No Trace principles.
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Best Time to Go to Georgian Bay Islands National Park



Summer is the peak season to visit Georgian Bay Islands National Park, offering long days of sunshine and warmth. July to August provides ideal conditions for boating, swimming, hiking, and camping on the park’s picturesque islands.

With clear skies and balmy temperatures, visitors can explore the park’s rugged shores, sandy beaches, and lush forests while basking in the beauty of Georgian Bay. Summer also presents opportunities for wildlife viewing, as many species are active during this time, including turtles, beavers, and various bird species.



Winter transforms Georgian Bay Islands National Park into a serene and tranquil wilderness, blanketed in snow and ice. From December to March, the park becomes a winter wonderland, offering opportunities for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, ice fishing, and wildlife tracking.

Despite the chilly temperatures, winter visitors are rewarded with unparalleled solitude and breathtaking views of the frozen landscape. The park’s islands take on a serene beauty, with snow-covered forests and ice-clad shores providing a peaceful retreat for those seeking a true winter wilderness experience.



Spring in Georgian Bay Islands National Park brings the awakening of nature after the winter slumber. During this time, temperatures begin to warm, and the landscape bursts into life with the emergence of wildflowers, budding trees, and migrating birds. April to June is an excellent time for birdwatching as numerous species return to breed on the islands, filling the air with their songs.

Visitors can also enjoy peaceful paddling excursions amidst the tranquil waters of Georgian Bay, taking in the sights and sounds of the natural world awakening from its winter dormancy.

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Must-See Attractions

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Beausoleil Island

The largest island in the park, Beausoleil Island, is a hub for outdoor activities and scenic exploration. Visitors can hike along well-marked trails, swim at sandy beaches, and enjoy picnics with panoramic views of Georgian Bay. Be sure to visit the Visitor Centre to learn about the island’s natural and cultural history.

Cave Point

Located on the eastern shore of Beausoleil Island, Cave Point is a dramatic geological feature formed by ancient sea caves and limestone cliffs. Visitors can explore the rugged coastline, marvel at the intricate rock formations, and watch for wildlife such as birds and turtles.

Snug Harbour

Snug Harbour is a historic harbor village on the mainland near Georgian Bay Islands National Park, serving as a gateway to the park’s islands. Visitors can stroll along the waterfront, visit the local marina, and enjoy scenic views of the bay.

Helpful Tips: Making the Most of Your Adventure to Georgian Bay Islands National Park

Plan Ahead

Plan Ahead

Research the park’s facilities, activities, and regulations before your visit. Check the park’s website for updated information on permits, camping, and boat rentals.

Pack Appropriately

Pack Essentials

Bring appropriate clothing and gear for outdoor activities, including sturdy hiking shoes, sunscreen, insect repellent, and plenty of water. Don’t forget to pack a map, compass, or GPS device for navigation, especially if hiking or boating.

Respect Wildlife

Stay Safe on the Water

If boating or kayaking, wear a personal flotation device (PFD) and be aware of weather conditions and water hazards. Georgian Bay can experience rapidly changing weather and rough waters, so check marine forecasts and be prepared for the unexpected.

Stay Informed

Choose the Right time

Consider visiting during the shoulder seasons of spring or fall for fewer crowds and cooler temperatures. Summer is the busiest time in the park, so be prepared for more people and limited availability for accommodations and activities.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Georgian Bay Islands National Park

No, the park is accessible only by watercraft. There are no roads or bridges connecting the islands to the mainland.

Permits are required for camping, backcountry hiking, and certain other activities within the park. Visitors should check the park’s website for permit requirements and regulations.

Georgian Bay Islands National Park is home to a variety of wildlife, including white-tailed deer, beavers, turtles, and numerous bird species. Visitors may also spot smaller mammals and reptiles during their visit.

Yes, there are several hiking trails on Beausoleil Island, ranging from easy strolls to more challenging hikes. Trail maps are available at the Visitor Centre, and trailheads are marked throughout the island.

Boaters should be aware of speed limits, navigation hazards, and protected areas within the park. Certain areas may be closed to boating to protect sensitive wildlife habitats.

Yes, there are designated swimming areas at certain beaches on Beausoleil Island. Visitors should exercise caution and adhere to posted safety guidelines.

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