The Heart of Georgian Bay has drawn visitors from all corners for as long as the term “tourist” has existed – and there is no shortage of ways you can explore the great outdoors in our little piece of heaven. Midland, Penetanguishene, Tay and Tiny offer many ways to explore the stunning Georgian Bay landscape by land or by water.

If you prefer land -

To explore by land, you have a number of options. Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre is home to 3,000 acres of provincially and federally significant wetlands and woodlands. Explore 25km of trails on your own or participate in daily programming during all four seasons to learn a little more about all the creatures that call the marsh home.

Every seasion offers a slightly different experience at the Wye Marsh. Register for a watercolour painting or photography workshop to view the wetlands from an artists’ perspective, or participante in a migratory birds or introduction to falconry workshop to expand your knowledge of the flying residents of the marsh. A unique event for fall is Marsh by Moonlight, during which participants are guided through the marsh by voyageur canoe after dark, to connect with nature in a whole different way. Pre-registration is required for all of theses events but you will not regreat joining in on any of them!

Stroll through Parc Rotary-Champlain-Wendat Park for great Georgian Bay view. This 90-acre waterfront park features amenities like a splash pad, playground and beach, but also tells the story of the history on Ontario’s oldest town through statues and monuments. During the summer months, the Penetanguishene Centennial Museum & Archives offers guided tours of the park, but in the fall, you can use the Heritage Penetanguishene website as an interactive guide for a self guided experience.

Whether you prefer cycling, hiking or birding, Awenda Provincial Park is a must-see for year-round explorers. Purchase a day pass or reserve a campsite for access to the entire park. Hikers can enjoy 31kms of trails with incredible views of Georgian Bay. Birders can search for one of 120+ bird species, including the endangered Cerulean Warbler. Paddlers can glide through the interior Kettle’s Lake – and yes, you can rent a canoe from the park office. And, of course, the park is home to some of the most sought-after campsites in the province, with or without electricity. Reserve your spot for camping up until October 11th.

If you’re more about hitting the green, there are three semi-private clubs eagerly awaiting your arrival. Book your tee time at Balm Beach Golf Club, Brooklea Golf & Country Club or Midland Golf & Country Club for a guaranteed good time. For course details, reviews and custom getaway packages, we recommend

For those who prefer disc golf over traditional golf, you will find an 18-hole course through Midland’s scenic Little Lake Park.

If you want to get on the water -

For those wanting to get out on the water, there are two new sightseeing cruise ships in the area, both offering fall colours tours until mid-October (weather permitting). The Georgian Legacy, operated by Landmark Cruises, is docked in Penetanguishene and may look familiar. The Spirit, operated by Georgian Spirits Cruises is docked in Midland.

Aboard either of these ships, you will be able to cruise through the magnificent 30,000 Islands of Georgian Bay. This area of Lake Huron is considered the largest freshwater archipelago in the world and because of that, is a UNESCO designated Biosphere Reserve. It is home to 840 native plant species, 170 types of breeding birds, 44 mammal species and 34 species of reptiles and amphibians. Cruising through the narrow channels and windswept pines of Georgian Bay is a don’t-miss experience in the summer months, which is only elevated by the burning yellows, oranges and reds of the trees as they change colours in the fall.

For a more intimate fishing or sightseeing experience, book a private charter with one of our trusted operators. If you have your own watercraft, there are marinas scattered along our shores, but if you don’t, Diverse Rentals & Vacations is your source for motorized watercraft and water toy rentals. Not only can you rent kayaks, stand-up paddle boards and canoes, but they also host private, captained boat charters through the fall months. These three hour cruises are perfect for up to 10 people – and you can even bring your dog! 

To hang on to every last moment of summer, visit one of the five publicly accessible beaches along the 70km of freshwater shoreline in Tiny Township. Of course as the trees change colour, the water gets colder, but the crowds grow thinner and you are still guaranteed a stunning sunset every night.

Visitors to the area can use pay-to-park stations at Balm Beach, Jackson Beach, Lafontaine Beach and Woodland Beach. The fifth, Bluewater Beach, is available only to those with resident parking passes.

Balm Beach offers the most amenities, including public washrooms and a playground, Balm Beach Bar & Smokehouse, and Georgian Grill & Arcade. These businesses are typically open until Thanksgiving Weekend, so get there while you can.

However you are exploring the Heart of Georgian Bay, remember to clean up after yourself and leave only footprints behind.

While you’re here, you’ll need a place to Stay and some great places to Eat. We’ve got you covered, so browse our website for more information.

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