The other bits of Georgian Bay Islands NP

On the north side of O’Donnell Point.

Most visitors to Georgian Bay Islands National Park know it from its single largest chunk, Beausoleil Island, and for good reasons: it’s where the campsites, cabins and other shelters, hiking and biking trails, and docks for transient boaters are. But the park’s holdings extend much farther than that. The park’s website has nothing to say about these other bits and pieces, but in the nearby Cognashene area, there’s a big chunk at nearby Bone Island, and another, less accessible holding at Portage Island. Farther up the bay, around O’Donnell Point and Twelve Mile Bay, you can find a number of additional islands/islets. Some are at Gillford Rocks and inside O’Donnell Point. The largest accessible holding is the Hatch Islands group, near O’Donnell Point, on the south side of the O’Donnell Point Provincial Nature Reserve. While none of these sites are available for overnight occupation, and the province advises of the wilderness reserve: “Camping is prohibited and recreational day-use for walking and nature appreciation is discouraged due to the sensitivity of the reserve’s natural values,” these spaces help preserve some wildness in a busy part of eastern Georgian Bay. Boaters with a bit of probing and daring can find anchorages far from the proverbial madding crowds.

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