Northern Ontario is defined by granite rocks of the Canadian Shield, trees and lakes. Manitoulin Island is geologically part of Southern Ontario with its sedimentary limestone cliffs and areas of farmland. However, rocks, trees and lakes also dominate the landscape.
The Cup and Saucer trail covers 12 kilometers of ground with sections that are level and well groomed and other sections that are very steep to climb.
Many trees, including cedar, balsam fir, maple, aspen, birch and oak, grow in the soil and rock. We have had some severe summer storms this year and a number of trees with more shallow root systems were downed, completely blocking areas of the trail. There was evidence of work done to clear the debris, but in some places a new trail had to be made as there were too many trees down to restore the older paths.
I was amazed at the resilience of some of the stunted cedars that grew out of the rocks on the edge of the cliffs.
I am not fond of heights. After my experience of falling out of the boat earlier that day, I kept a safe distance from the unprotected edges of the escarpment. There were spectacular opportunities for a brave and well balanced photographer (not me!).
Next time there is an opportunity to return here, I will be prepared to take a day do the entire trail. Fall is a perfect time for a good hike as it is cool and the annoying mosquitoes and black flies of the spring and summer are gone. The colours in a week or two will be spectacular. (click to enlarge photos)
I found a book by Geoffrey Corfield called "Northern Ontario and Manitoulin Island: There is more to Northern Ontario than just rocks, trees and lakes. ". It is humourous account of the history and geography of the area. The author, also known for his cartoon "Inkblot", has written a couple of other books about Ontario. I cannot find his books on Amazon but his publisher is DESPUB, 2340B Clifton St., Allanburg ON Canada L0S 1A0