At the mouth of Georgian Bay in the province of Ontario, lies Fathom Five National Marine Park (alongside Bruce Peninsula National Park). This Park was the first National Marine Conservation Area established in Canada and within its boundaries are nineteen islands, the most famous of those being Flowerpot Island. Parks Canada, which is committed to protecting spots of natural and cultural significance, has worked for years to maintain national parks and is now actively working to apply their mandate to marine ecosystems like Fathom Five. This takes a much more in-depth understanding of the ecosystem and of the marine life that lives off the coast of Fathom Five National Marine Park.
Established as a national marine park in 1987, Fathom Five has a long cultural history. Over 8,000 years ago First Nations people hunted caribou along those rocky shores and Tobermory's unsteady coast gained a reputation for danger among sailors.
Escape to the cool, clear waters of Fathom Five National Park and experience the rich cultural legacy of the park for yourself - a history that includes twenty-two shipwrecks and some historically significant lighthouses. The park's freshwater ecosystem and many shipwrecks bring over 8,000 divers to its waters every year. If you plan on a diving trip, be sure to register with the park's office. There are also glass bottom boat tours that carry visitors to the shipwreck sites and over to Flowerpot Island. Kayaking is popular and the six campsites located right on Flowerpot Island offer visitors the opportunity to enjoy overnight kayaking trips.
The Bruce Trail, which runs from Niagara Falls to Tobermory, is a must for hiking and wildlife enthusiasts. Visitors can hike all 700 kilometres of the trail or can access it at several points for shorter walks.
To help tourists learn more about Fathom Five, Parks Canada offers educational programs during the months of July and August. These tours include a boat tour on the M.S. Chi-Cheemaun and a hike on Flowerpot Island where visitors can see the Island's famous flowerpots (rock formations that resemble flowerpots) and a really broad range of wildflowers and animals. Parks Canada also arranges educational tours of Fathom Five for school groups.
If you are more comfortable arranging companies such as Tobermory Adventure Tours arrange packages to suit everyone's interests and skill level. These companies outline their services online.
The closest town to Fathom Five is Tobermory which offers visitors a variety of accommodation options, including motels, inns, campgrounds and bed and breakfasts, as well as restaurants and recreational activities.
An easy driving distance from the rest of Southwester Ontario, Fathom Five National Park and Bruce Peninsula National Park are popular weekend getaway destinations for those who enjoy getting out of the city and cottages in this area are much sought after.
Diving, kayaking, hiking and relaxing - Fathom Five offers something to suit everyone's tastes!