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Exploring Geography: Manitoulin Island

exploring geography at mama smiles

Learn about Canada’s Manitoulin Island from blogger Erin in today’s Exploring Geography post! Erin is a homeschooling mother of three who loves children of all ages, hiking, and a lot of coffee, but avoids spiders and clowns whenever possible. She blogs at The Usual Mayhem, and you can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. If she’s not there, she’s either teaching her weekly nature study class at Schoolhouseteachers.com, or hiding from the kids and eating chocolate. 

Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron

By de:user:Daniel FR (Image:Great Lakes Lake Huron.png) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The whole population of Manitoulin Island is only a little over 12,000 people. What this means is that you can drive for miles without ever seeing another person. In fact, assuming that my often-shaky math is correct, it’s an average of less than 5 people per km2! It has a large Native population, mostly Odawa, Ojibwe, and Potawatomi.

There are many farmers, including my bloggy friend Christine and her husband. There are many families who have lived on Manitoulin for several generations, and there are an equal number of people who just wanted a great, unspoiled, unpolluted country life for their families on what we joke is the island that time forgot.

Don’t get me wrong; Manitoulin Island has internet, phone, Netflix and satellite TV, and all the things we use for everyday life. What you won’t find is Tim Horton, McDonalds, or any other big chain fast-food joints, dollar stores, giant warehouse stores, or Wal-Mart. You have to drive about 2 hours off the Island to see any of those. What you do get is fresh air, a small-town feel, friendly people, and some of the most beautiful views in Canada.

misery bay

Misery Bay, a property with many hiking trails, donated to the Nature Conservancy of Canada

Manitoulin Island has rock beds (“alvars”) that geologists have dated back to 150 million years ago. Imagine walking on a piece of history like that, every time you go for a hike!

awesome fossil mark rock at m bay

We plan to live there full-time as soon as our house here sells (anyone want a beautiful home in small-town Quebec?!). If you are in Ontario, or planning a trip to Canada, don’t miss this beautiful summer spot!

Thank you, Erin, for introducing us to this wonderful place to live and visit!

MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

11 thoughts on “Exploring Geography: Manitoulin Island”

  1. Elisa | blissfulE

    Looks peaceful and lovely! Hope your house sells soon so you can live there full-time, Erin!

  2. I want to hide with Erin and eat chocolate too! Her island looks lovely. Is there much tourism there? I’d love to find a nice family friendly hotel and someday visit with the kids!

  3. It’s so pretty. I was thinking I’d have a hard time without a bookstore, but I’m slowly realizing I get most of my books through my Nook…… I still visit my brick and mortar store a lot, but do most of my purchasing online.

    1. I still don’t have an e-reader (other than my computer, which I don’t find especially portable), so I buy traditional books. Finding the e-options increasingly attractive, though…

  4. It looks absolutely stunning! I will admit that I had never heard of Manitoulin Island before this post – thanks so much for sharing it.

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