Georgian Bay Islands
The park is located on sixty-three small islands or parts of islands in the southeastern part of Georgian Bay, an arm of Lake Huron, in the Canadian Province of Ontario. The park, which has an area of approximately 13.5 sq km (5.2 sq mi), was established in 1929. Access is by boat only.
It lies on the edge of the Canadian Shield, having both northern and southern species of plants and animals. The barren, glacier-scraped rock and windswept pines dominate the northern islands and northern Beausoleil Island.
Southern Beausoleil, with its thicker soils and rich hardwood forests is very different. One of the most remarkable features of these islands is the large variety of plants and animals which are found within a relatively small area. While larger more protected islands may have a variety of wildlife, the outer wind-swept and wave-worn islets support little life.
Georgian Bay is one of the last remaining natural habitats in the world for the Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake. It is protected by law in Ontario and National Parks. There is a fine of $150,000 or six months in jail, or both, for killing, capturing, or harming it under the National Parks Act.
See also: National Parks of Canada.
(This page was updated in November 2012.)