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Hiking

Killarney Park has several hiking trails that provide breath-taking views of the diverse scenery that this park is well known for. The trails are well marked, and trail guides provide detailed information on unique geological features, wildlife nearby, and other points of interest. Several trails are relatively short and are perfect for day-hikes. One can even borrow from the park office knapsacks containing compass, trail maps, first-aid kit, and binocular - all  free of charge. One windless morning, as the weather tries to decide between showers and sunshine, we went on the Granite Ridge Trail. The trail winds through old fields and forests, farm roads long abandoned and then cleared as hiking trails, and ascends into higher grounds with clear view of the white rocks of the La Cloche Mountain. Here one is gazing at the transition of a geology zone, dating back 2.3 billion years. An hour later we reach the South Lookout, where one can see Collinís Inlet and Phillip Edward Island in the distance, and Georgian Bay stretches forever into the horizon.

La Cloche Mountain Range

 

Bog

 

The Cranberry Bog Trail, by contrast, leads one through the interior part of the park and provides some of the loveliest scenery of the parkís marshes and small lakes. Wetland plant species can be seen in abundant, including sundew, leatherleaf, and cranberry. Ducks scatter around us, and two great blue herons gracefully sweep past. The trail starts at the Park's main campground at George Lake, which is a beautiful lake of sparkling blue water perfect for canoeing: 

George Lake

 

Clusters of berries seem to be everywhere, nature's reward for tired and hungry hikers. Especially if one ventures a short distance from the trails, blue berries are plentiful, sweet and juicy. We wonder if bears are nearby, waiting impatiently for these human intruders to pass, or perhaps lying in ambush ready to pounce.

Berries Blue & Pink

 

We come across artists who try to capture this picturesque landscape made famous by Group of Seven paintings:

 

The East Lighthouse Trail takes one from the edge of the town and starts near the lighthouse guarding the east entrance to the Killarney Channel. This trail follows the contour edging the lakeshore and winds through bogs, marshes, rocky outcrops and boulder-strewn shoreline. 

 

Georgian Bay Shore

 

Off this rocky shore lies the open water of the bay, serene and soundless on this windless afternoon. On stormy days, this stretch of water is treacherous and unforgiving. A memorial by the Killarney Channel pays respects to shipwrecks in days gone by, when boats were the primary means of transportation in this part of the country. At places nature provides refuge for small vessels in the form of sheltered inlets and small bays such as this. One can imagine kayaking or sailing in a small dingy into this bay and camp for the night, keeping warm with a small fire on the rocky shore, and gazing over the endless dark water under a starry sky.

Rocky Bay

 

 

 

Georgian Bay Shore, Collins's Inlet in the Distance

Sail to Baie Fine