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Seeking Trip Advice - Killarney Provincial Park (Philip Edward Island) + Upper Peninsula (Michigan)

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Hey All,

I'm planning a three week road trip over in September to explore and do some day paddles and multi-day paddles in the Ontario Canada, Upper Peninsula (Michigan), and Northern Wisconsin area.  I have a few places that are high on my list to explore:

Philip Edward Island (Killarney Provincial Park - Ontario Canada) <-- multi-day trip

Pictured Rocks (Upper Peninsula - Michigan) <-- day trip

Grand Island (Upper Peninsula - MIchigan) <-- multi-day trip

Keweenaw Peninsula (Upper Peninsula - Michigan) <-- multi-day trip (but planning to do day paddles)

By the way, I'd love to do Isle Royale, but I can't pack that trip in on this go ahead.  But will definitely fit it in on a future vacation!

I am wondering if anyone on NSPN has ever visited any of these areas before and if anyone may have any advice?  Since I'm packing in so much, I'm really only planning on probably 2 nights at each of these spots and will be camping along the way.  I'd be very interested in hearing whatever recommendations anyone may have for these or other spots worth considering.  Thanks much.  I look forward to hearing from the group!

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Amazing that you have brought up this area: I did an Isle Royale paddle trip last August, and am planning a Georgian Bay-Philip Edward Island trip this year, if I can manage it. My family (mom's side) is from Ontario and I've spent a good bit of family time on Georgian Bay. 
I explored Pictured Rocks on my way to Isle Royale: Grand Marais harbor would be the natural launch point for a kayak trip there, though the other end would be viable as well.  

Killarney is classic canoe/ portage country: many fabulous lakes, but almost all connected only by portage trails; planning a long kayak trip there would be tricky.  Campsites are reserved many months in advance.  

Philip Edward Island is excellent: Crown land so you don't need permits and reservations months in advance like the Provincial Parks, and a good number of route options, protected or exposed  ; innumerable  islands and campsites: a Canadian kayaker's paradise.  Classic Georgian bay scenery , meaning  endless rock, waterscapes,  dome -like islands  and pine trees. Make sure you have a 100% free-standing tent, or really have your guy-out system worked out; you'll be tenting on smooth rock or very shallow soil, which often  won't take tent pegs.   The starting point is close to Killarney Outfitters, a great place which can also help out with trip planning, shuttles , outfitting, supplies  etc. Great fish & chips in the area, made from Great Lakes  whitefish, which is interesting. Massasauga rattlesnakes are common.     

Edited by PeterB
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My wife has relatives in Tobermory at the edge of Georgian Bay. I haven’t paddled there yet but we have visited them a couple of times, and I want to take a kayak up there. It’s an incredible landscape and waterscape.

The water in Georgian Bay is also a crazy bright blue color for some reason. It’s Caribbean in hue, but certainly not in temperature. 

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Thanks much for the feedback.  (Peter) We'll have to compare notes on our Philip Edward Island experiences if you are able to make it happen this year.  I'm hoping for good weather and paddling conditions as that PEI area looks delightful for kayaking!

Joseph, that's interesting about Tobermory.  I almost planned to route my trip up that way instead.  The islands offshore there looked very appealing.  Perhaps a future trip will warrant it.

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