SLEEPING UNDER THE STARS
Places to stop along the Great Lakes in Ontario
Bridal Veil Falls
N 45°54'03" W 082°15'20"
Manitoulin Doesn't offer much in the way of free camping but there is a beautiful limestone swimming hole under a split plunge waterfall and in spite of all the people (maybe even because), it's a spectacular stop. A quick climb down the steel staircase from the parking lot and you’re there. Swimming into the plunge pool at the bottom of the falls, the cold water crashing down thirty-five feet onto your traps and neck is an amazing de-stressor and truly refreshing. Two paths along the sides of the falls also afford a chance to walk in behind them. You can walk up the Kagawong river towards the Mudge Bay, the river is nice and shallow or you can wander the hiking paths on both sides and on a nice day see some huge snakes basking. When I say huge the northern water snakes I saw sunning were the biggest snakes I’ve ever seen in the wild. Docile and easy to catch, twelve-year-old me would have been in heaven checking them out. If fifty-something-year-old me had to catch one just to see if I could and I can only imagine how enthusiastic the child in me would have been. Parents supervise and make sure no harm comes to the snakes as a result of an innocent curiosity, it falls to you to be responsible. The falls are also the end of the chinook salmon run where they return to where they were born to spawn. The falls are too high and it’s the end of their journey right there. I’ve never seen it but it is supposed to be spectacular to watch. Along the trails are benches to relax and bronze deer sculptures by Canadian artist Robert Cram of Vancouver. Some of the small feeder streams create a beautiful ambience with the gurgling of the waters flowing into the main river. A little exploring and I found my way to the top of the falls trying to create content and away from all the people gathered below the frogs have found themselves sanctuary. Any which way, it’s definitely the number one place I would recommend to visit once you hit Manitoulin Island. Obviously, a great spot for a nice refreshing swim on a sweltering day. At the top of the falls is a nice picnic area, and a French fry truck if your car is not already loaded with food for your travels. This spot is alive for want of a better adjective and gets two thumbs up.
© sleeping under the stars 2021