Trip Planner : Canada / Ontario / Bruce County / Tobermory / Nature / Fathom Five National Marine Park
Fathom Five National Marine Park, Tobermory
Categories: National Parks, Wildlife Areas, Nature & Parks
Fathom Five National Marine Park is a National Marine Conservation Area in the Georgian Bay part of Lake Huron, Ontario, Canada, that seeks to protect and display shipwrecks and lighthouses, and conserve freshwater ecosystems. The many shipwrecks make the park a popular scuba diving destination, and glass bottom boat tours leave Tobermory regularly, allowing tourists to see the shipwrecks without having to get wet. Many visitors camp at nearby Bruce Peninsula National Park and use the park as a base to explore Fathom Five and the surrounding area during the day.Fathom Five also contains numerous islands, notably Flowerpot Island, which has rough camping facilities, marked trails, and its namesake flowerpots, outlying stacks of escarpment cliff that stand a short distance from the island, most with vegetation (including trees) still growing on them.The Save Ontario Shipwrecks Ohio chapter explored an Ontario wreck in Fathom Five Park in 1986.Established in 1987, the park represented a pioneering departure for the national park system, which had centered on land-based conservation until then. Its designation as a National Marine Park foresaw the creation of others, though nomenclature for such units would morph into National Marine Conservation Areas, leaving Fathom Five as the only National Marine Park. Despite its unique name, it is categorized as an NMCA, and is deemed the first one in the country.Add Fathom Five National Marine Park to your Tobermory travel itinerary, and discover new vacation ideas by using our Tobermory tourist route planner.
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This location, along with much of the Bruce Peninsula, is well worth the drive to visit. Show people photos of the beautiful blue waters, and they don't believe that this is in Canada! Boat tours arou... read more »
This is partially and underwater park and partially a collection of lovely and often deliciously lonely islands. There are plenty of opportunities for divers with varying degrees of skill and, if need... read more »
Although Fathom Five National Marine Park is spread over several islands, this is a review of Flowerpot Island - the only island open to public. First of all, this place is beautiful like you've never seen before! So why 3 stars? Well, it's not suitable for everyone, especially the very young and the elderly. If you're planning a trip to Tobermory and want to take the boat cruise over to Flowerpot Island, here's what you can expect: nature at its best! If you're a nature lover this is definitely the spot for you but bear in mind that if you're bringing kids along, they're going to get tired, bored and some of the areas such as the beach are just not safe for the kids. It's a rocky beach, not a sandy beach, which means it's not as fun and safe for kids. The rocks are slippery and depending on how strong the surf is, probably not safe for swimming either. A very important thing to keep in mind is the considerable amount of climbing up/down involved to fully enjoy the park. Once you're past the ferry dock area, the hiking trail elevates and you have to climb down rocks to get to the water. This is true for both the large and the small flowerpots (the name of the island comes from two rock pillars on its eastern shore, which look like flower pots). So if you want to get to the rock formations, you'll have to climb down around 50-100 feet, depending on the spot, from the hiking trail to get to the water. Another attraction on the island is a cave. Again, if you want to see the cave, you have to climb up approximately 100 feet to get to the cave entrance. The one positive is that this climbing is not on the rock or the trail - there's actually a wooden staircase to get to the cave. In my opinion, still not worth it because it's a steep climb. But if you have the energy and the will or you know something about caves that I don't, go for it! So remember there's considerable amount of walking, climbing up/down involved on the island, with the hiking trail being damp or wet. Wear proper shoes or you'll regret it. Last but not least, I saw a few elderly people sitting on the side of the hiking trail because they ran out of steam or just couldn't keep up with the activities involved. I kinda felt sorry for them because it's just not the place to bring your grandparents to. They will NOT enjoy it. I guess if you have to bring elderly people along, let them rest in the picnic area near the ferry dock. As far as I know, that's the only place with benches and a covered area.
There's so beautiful, calm, and clean. I chose this place for my family vacation. We are five adults. I booked a room with two double beds through a website, but I got a cottage with two rooms with a double bed each. I'm very satisfied with this cottage. Its place was very good condition which are eage of the beautiful lake, very calm, safety, easy driving, and free parking. Moreover the national park, where is Grotto area, was great sightseeing. We went into the lake water which was so cold but we were enjoying that feeling of cold. It was very fun!! We will keep this memory forever!
A must for anyone living n working within any major cities to come and spend some time outdoors to smell the trees n to enjoy mother nature at her best without travelling south of rhe border. You got some beaches, cabins n motels and the clear water of Lake Huron n Superior on both side of the islands for you to enjoy cruising, row boat. kayaking. canoeing, swimming so come n visit
A must-see if you are visiting the Tobermory area. The island is true Ontario wilderness, so be prepared for rocky trails, snakes and bugs. Wear solid shoes or hiking sandals. Bring a picnic, but pack it in a backpack or something that is easy to carry. Make sure you visit the lighthouse keeper's station to learn a little bit about the marine history of the island. There is a small shop there where you can purchase cold drinks, and small snacks and souvenirs. In 2015, the shop accepted cash only. Be prepared for large groups of people on weekends during peak tourism season. We camped there for two nights and loved it.
Flowerpot Island is awesome for hiking and there are a bunch of nice sights all around the Island to look at. Its undeveloped so bring food, water, and a swimming suit.
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