Georgian Bay is located on the northeastern side of Lake Huron in Ontario. It features 32 historic lighthouses and 30,000+ islands. This quiet and peaceful region is one of a kind destination for anglers, boaters, kayakers, and hikers. During summer, the towing pine forest, magnificent cliffs, blue water, and dotted beaches create an atmosphere for nature lovers. Beausoleil Island part of Georgian Bay National Park is one of the famous islands for camping, picnicking, and hiking among weekend day trippers.

Road Trip From Toronto to Beausoleil Island

On a Sunday morning just landed at Toronto Pearson Airport from New Jersey, the plan was to rent a car and embark on a road trip north to Honey Harbor, from where I will catch the park’s Day Tripper boats to Beausoleil island, one of the 63 islands in Georgian Bay Islands National Park. Beausoleil is the park’s largest island, with facilities that include docks, 130 campsites, and eight rustic cabins. In addition, there are 11 trails ranging from wheelchair-accessible walking paths to more difficult ones.

It was dark at 5:30 am and very cold, below 0º C. The distance between Toronto and Honey Harbour is about 93 miles ( 150 km), and considering the smooth ride on highway 400 north, I took my time to enjoy the ride and stopped at a rest area for an early morning coffee. How can I miss Tim Horton’s when I am in Canada? Moreover, the first boat to the island is at 10:30 am, so there is enough time to relax and enjoy.

Georgian Bay
Early Morning coffee stop at Route 400 North Rest area.

A Quick Stop at Martyrs Shrine

I arrived in Midland, Ontario, at 8:30 am, enough time to explore. I just wanted to make proper use of the extra time I gained by speeding (just kidding). A quick stop by Martyrs’ Shrine, a Roman Catholic church in Midland, Ontario, was exciting. This place honors the memory of the Canadian Martyrs from the mission of Sainte-Marie among the Hurons. Even on a Sunday morning, there was already a crowd gathered at that location. I spent an hour or so exploring the area and continued my journey.

The Martyrs’ Shrine
First Stop at Martyrs’ Shrine a Roman Catholic church in Midland, Ontario

Finally arrived at the Day Tripper starting point in Honey Harbor and parked my car at the free parking lot. Still enough time on hand to wander around in Honey Harbor before I catch the DayTripper to begin my adventure.

Honey Harbour
The first DayTripper boat is not until 10:30 am so wondering around Honey Harbor by Georgian Bay

Even though I did not have a reservation, luckily was able to squeeze in, and being a solo traveler paid off. However, you may not get lucky like me, so, It’s always a good idea to make reservations ahead of time for the DayTripper. There are limited spaces on the boat, and they can quickly sell out. The scenic boat ride was about 15 minutes to Beausoleil Island’s Cedar Spring campground.

Honey Harbor
Parked my car and heading towards the counter was able to secure a seat – I guess being solo traveler finally paid off!

Best Time To Visit

During summer, Georgian Bay gets busy with speed boats, as are the National parks. The trails are usually heavily traveled. I visited in early October, and in my opinion, late September to early October is the best time to see the stunning fall foliage for which southwestern Ontario is so well known. Also, cooler temperatures are perfect for hiking, biking, or lounging on the cabin porch. I was able to capture a few nice fall colors.

georgian bay islands national park
Honey Harbor in Georgian Bay Islands National Park

Things to Do In Beausoleil Island 

Once you get off the boat, you can follow the Northern or Southern trails. The Southern Trails, including Georgian and Huron, are the longest, spanning from 2.2 to 4.4 miles (3.8 to 7.1 km), and allow for bicycle use. Northern Trails like Rockview, Fairy, Cambrian, and Dossyonshing range from 1 to 2 miles (1.5 to 2.5 km) and pass through a rich mosaic of forest communities.

Beausoleil island
The trees started to change color and the trails become less crowded!
Beausoleil island
Colorful fall in Beausoleil island
Beausoleil island
Lookouts and resting area available along the trails

There are Perfect Places for Camping in Beausoleil Island

There are Perfect Places for Camping on Beausoleil Island

The park has over a hundred campsites at nine different campgrounds. Able to enjoy spectacular views of Georgian Bay only steps away from the water’s edge. 

Camps Grounds

Cedar Spring campground offers amenities such as a tent, dinner shelter, sleeping pads, camping chairs, and a propane stove.

Rustic Waterfront Cabins

For comfort stay there are cabins on Cedar Spring and Christian Beach, the cabins offer more than the essentials: sleeping bunks, dining table, and chairs, barbecue, coffee maker plus scenic views. 

Southern Trail to Huron, Georgian Bay
Walk through the beautiful beech-maple forest in the south…

Wildlife Watch

Georgian Bay Islands National Park is home to fascinating wildlife and plant species.

Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake

Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake is a species at risk and is shy and non-aggressive by nature and is rarely seen in the wild due to its cryptic coloration and ability to camouflage. However, when feeling threatened, the Massasauga will rattle its tail as a warning.

Black Bears

Black bears visit the islands during the warmer months, searching for food. Generally, they prefer to avoid humans, although food left unsecured can attract them.


Raccoons are opportunistic creatures when it comes to looking for and obtaining food. Due to their behavior, people often call them the “masked bandits” of the campground.

Poison Ivy

This plant can be found throughout the park, usually along trails and in disturbed areas like campgrounds and day-use areas.

Honey Harbour, ON
It’s so colorful by the lake, Honey Harbour, ON

Book your Sightseeing Trip

There are a lot of beautiful places to visit and some exciting sightseeing activities to bring unforgettable memories back home. Please click on our affiliate link to see your options.

Hasan Mahmud

Traveler, Blogger, and Travel Photographer!

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