Skip to content

Shuttle allows 'day trippers' to enjoy Beausoleil's fall beauty

'The fall is my favourite time to go. The colours on the trees are changing and you feel secluded,' said Georgian Bay Islands National Park official

Have you ever dreamt of seeing the sandy beaches, the windswept pines and granite shores of Beausoleil Island but you don't own a boat?

Good news. Georgian Bay Islands National Park operates two canopied shuttle boats that take visitors on half-day excursions to the island, providing enough time for a hike and a picnic.

"The fall is my favourite time to go. The colours on the trees are changing and you feel secluded," said Hannah Grabinsky, acting visitor experience manager for Georgian Bay Islands National Park.

The Day Tripper shuttle, operated by the park, costs $25 per person, with children under the age of five free, five days a week (not Wednesdays or Thursdays) in the fall until Monday, Oct. 9. Boats depart from the Honey Harbour government dock.

"To make the most of your Parks Canada Experience, reserve spaces on the The Day Tripper well in advance," said Grabinsky, noting people will get a confirmation and a suggested packing list for the island park.

Everyone from babies to extra large adults will be provided with life jackets and a safety briefing before departure for the scenic 15-minute boat ride.

"Safety is a huge priority," said Grabinsky.

There are three trips per day. The first two go to the south end of the island, Cedar Spring, and the last one goes to the north end, Chimney Bay. The first shuttle leaves Honey Harbour at 10:30 a.m. and picks up at Cedar Spring at 2:30 p.m.

The landscape of the island offers two vastly different experiences straddling two bio-regions, said Grabinsky.

Cedar Springs offers sandy beaches and a deciduous forest. There is interpretive heritage programming and guided hikes along the shoreline. The terrain is flatter and more packed down, making for easier hiking.

"You can get the feel for Cedar Springs with shorter distance trails such as a one kilometre," said Grabinsky.

At Chimney Bay, you will see the windswept pines, Canadian Shield granite and rocks. The trails are rockier with more inclines.

There are two lakes on the island, Fairy Lake and Goblin Lake. The Fairy Lake trail is a 2.5 km. loop trail which can be done with interpreters or on your own.

"You can tag onto your hike. The trails are all interconnected. It's very flexible. Even in the south end, you can have long or short hike," said Grabinsky.

At Cedar Spring, there is a visitor centre, a children's playground and bicycles for rent. There is also flush toilets and a water refill station. There are no food services on the island, so pack your own picnic.

Strollers are welcome on the Day Tripper but dogs and bicycles are not. Some private water taxis will transport dogs. Dogs are permitted on the island on leash.

In addition to day visits there are secluded campsites or waterfront cabins to rent.

To make a reservation on The Day Tripper call 1-877-737-3783.

For more information, visit the website:

Georgian Bay Islands National Park is part of the world’s largest freshwater archipelago. It consists of 63 small islands or parts of islands in Georgian Bay, near Port Severn, Ontario. The total park area is approximately 13.5 km².

Reader Feedback

Gisele Winton Sarvis

About the Author: Gisele Winton Sarvis

Gisele Winton Sarvis is an award winning journalist and photographer who has focused on telling the stories of the people of Simcoe County for more than 25 years
Read more