Calendar Image Fathom Five Marine National Park
Fathom Five National Marine Park is spectacular. Established in 1987, it is the first of its kind. Located along the Bruce Peninsula National Park, this archipelago is an extension of the Niagara Escarpment. Crystal clear waters, shipwrecks and the iconic pillars of ancient rock formations, dubbing this island with its flower pot title. It sounds as if it could be a destination spot somewhere in the Caribbean, but, it’s our Ontarian gem. Located 6.5 kilometers from Tobermory Harbour, Flowerpot Island is the only island in the Fathom Five to have camping, trails and facilities. An incredible place to visit, but it’s recommended you plan well for it!
This sheltered oasis is ideal for anyone who enjoys exploring Canada’s many natural environments. Incredibly, this area hosts one of the most diverse, rare and exotic collection of native orchids. There are 60 known species of orchid in Ontario, 43 of which are located on the island. The Calypso Orchid is one of the more common flowers to discover here, but it is still very rare. Parks Canada recommends viewing from a safe distance to preserve their sensitive nature. Tourists flock here to gaze at the wonders the island holds and in turn, a third of the orchids have been destroyed. Being a very particular flower, solitude is what benefits these plants the most.
Orchids and stunning views are just the start of what this little island has to offer. Rare ferns, stunted white cedar and 420-million year old dolomite cliffs express the dynamic textures of the area. Also, once a passageway for ships, this diverse paradise has over 20 sunken ships to explore below the clear waters. There is an incredible amount of activities for nature lovers alike, but not to worry, the only animals on this remote island are mainly red squirrels and garter snakes. You won’t need to fear running into a bear, but you will need to be mindful of the cliffs!
So, whether the diving, hiking, viewing or camping draws you here, it’s highly unlikely you’ll leave disappointed. Not only is it ecologically rich but it holds a wealth of history as well. With mid 19-century lighthouses still standing you can truly step into the past and absorb what cultured corners Canada has tucked away. All of this for us to enjoy, Flowerpot Island is a must on anyone’s adventure bucket-list.