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Wreck Island (Massasauga Ontario Provincial Park) - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Day Trip Report
Trip Dates: September 3-5, 2008
Nearest City: Perry Sound, ON, Canada
Difficulty: Moderate
Submitted by: Robert Keeler

Description:

Wreck Island is a nice 30km (23 mile roughly) day roundtrip paddle in the Ontario Massasauga Provincial Park. As always, I prefer to pick a campsite for backup in the case the weather changes dramatically as my favorite access is out of Peteís Place close to the end of Lake Healy Road, the southern access point for the park. One can drive out another 2kms to the end of the Lake Healy Road, park in the local marina and save $4.00 (but lose the ability to stake out a backup campsite).

There is one camping site on Wreck Island and oddly enough itís often open. The site is in a small very protected bay on the southeast tip of the island. There is a nice hike along the shore to the next bay just due west of the site that features a path that leads to the northern side of the island just a hundred or so meters from edge to water edge. Wreck Island also has an established hiking trail at the public dock site at the southwestern tip of the island. Itís a popular spot during the summer for boaters.

There must be a hundred different ways to reach the island from Peteís place, but there are two channels that must be used that are both interesting and challenging (the discovery of each) to reach using line of sight reckoning. I try to use line of sight navigation wherever possible, keeping my GPS as backup. Letís face it, we draw four inches of water fully laden, the channels along the way where boats canít go are the most fun part of the paddle. Finding Wreck Island is always a challenge even though I know quite clearly that I must pass on one or the other side of Sharpe Island or else end up way off course. Which of course happens when I feel adventurous and have some extra time.

Wreck Island is one of those places that constantly surprises me each trip I make to it. Itís popular with most of the kayak groups that are run by the local outfitters. This is a very peculiar island as it gets a great deal of winter wind that has shaped and sculpted the north shore of the island, exposing many white quartz veins among the pink granite. The island also gets a great deal of southeastern summer exposure to the elements which creates beautiful pink beaches and smooth rocks. I could spend months examining the geological formations in this park, for which Wreck Island seems to me a favorite place Iíve paddle.

Iíve padded most of the Georgian Bay and with the exception of parks of the out banks of Killarney (Philip Edward Island) the Massasauga Park in my opinion is, besides being more convenient to Toronto, much more diverse in flora and fauna.

On the writing of this report, there are still no signs along Hwy 69/400 denoting this part. In my opinion, the area is the last great wilderness area in the Georgian Bay and many are determined to keep it that way. Itís clean, very lightly used and very accessible. Within a few kilometers one can be on the edge of the barrier island blue water of the Georgian bay, or just a few paddles away from the main north/south channel for those few Megayachts that have found this remote paradise as the Massasauga offers many protected deep water shelters regardless of the direction of the prevailing winds

Iíve done the megayacht trips in the Caribbean in the winter. The Massasauga is the best place Iíve seen in North America that sparks the interest in summer big boating I still harbor deep inside. There is no doubt it is the reason I find the area so very interesting to paddle. Iím a boater at heart. Whether itís a six foot twin diesel or an 18 foot composite kayak. Funny, but either way Iím the happiest I can be. I always look at ROI (return on investment) Kayaks and Canoes rule.

Accommodations:

30,000 islands, 300+ public water sites, unlimited crown land sites

Fees:

5-9.8 depending on launch site

Directions:

Lake Healy Road from Mactier, exit 189 off Hwy 400 north from Toronto

Resources:

Garmin GPS, Blue Water Charts


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