CANADA
Ready to travel! Prêt à voyager !
organicroadmap@gmail.com

Boat Tour | Kayaking | Bon Echo Provincial Park | Summer PHOTOBLOG

Mazinaw Rock at the Narrows

From the first moment I saw the 330-foot tall Mazinaw Rock, I only wanted to get closer. Every time I saw boaters and paddlers along the cliff face, it only made me long for our time on the water.

We spent much of our first days at Bon Echo Provincial Park exploring the trails, so cruising and kayaking were being saved to give our legs breaks while at the Park.

Bon Echo Provincial Park - Visitor Center

The Visitor Center

Before heading on your cruise or kayak, make sure to explore the displays dedicated to interpreting the pictographs on Mazinaw Rock and a replica of one of the paintings.

You’ll also find numerous photos with information explaining what they are believed to represent and the meaning of the spiritual dreams painted on the rocks.

Greystones

Greystones Gift & Book Shop

We purchased our tickets at Greystones for both the Wanderer Boat Tour and the Mugwump Ferry ride to the Cliff Top trailhead. 

Friends of Bon Echo runs the store and gift shop – all proceeds go right back into the park!

Wanderer Boat Tour

Bon Echo Provincial Park - Wanderer Boat Tour

45-minute interpretive tour

The boat tour cruised along the shoreline while the guide spoke about Bon Echo Provincial Park’s history.

We saw the Visitor Centre, Greystones, Cabin on the Hill and a few campsites from the water. The tour boat coasted past rocky outcrops, kayakers, and campers out for a swim before crossing Mazinaw Lake to the cliffs.

During the return alongside Mazinaw Rock, our tour guide taught us about this region’s natural and indigenous history, stopping beside the cliffs when it was safe to have a closer look at the rock formations and pictographs.

  • Bon Echo Provincial Park - Wanderer Boat Tour
  • Bon Echo Provincial Park - Wanderer Boat Tour

Of the many incredible rock formations we marvelled at, Turtle Head really stood out – it’s easy to see where its name came from!

Bon Echo Provincial Park - Wanderer Boat Tour

There were some small and ancient trees whose roots are clinging to life on the bare cliffs.

As we gazed up at the rockface, we caught sight of rock climbers on the cliff face and hikers waving from the viewing platforms along the Cliff Top Trail – those little people really gave perspective on how big Mazinaw Rock really was is.

  • Bon Echo Provincial Park - Wanderer Boat Tour
  • Bon Echo Provincial Park - Wanderer Boat Tour
  • Bon Echo Provincial Park - Wanderer Boat Tour
  • Bon Echo Provincial Park - Wanderer Boat Tour
  • Bon Echo Provincial Park - Wanderer Boat Tour
  • Bon Echo Provincial Park - Wanderer Boat Tour

Paddling on Mazinaw Lake

With options to launch your own boat, watercraft or rent a canoe, kayak or paddleboat from Bon Echo Outfitters at the lagoon, it’s easy for anyone to explore Upper and Lower Mazinaw Lake.

When we paddled through the Narrows channel toward Upper Mazinaw Lake, we encountered big waves and heavy chop caused by the lake’s deep waters rising to the shallow Narrows. Water was constantly cresting over the kayak and soaking me – so thankful my camera was safe in a diving case!

Two hundred and sixty pictographs have been painted the rockface. You might not be able to spot them all, but you can certainly take the time to appreciate the ones you can find when your paddling on the lake, instead of the limited time available on a boat tour.

  • Bon Echo Provincial Park - Kayaking
  • Bon Echo Provincial Park - Kayaking
  • Bon Echo Provincial Park - Kayaking
  • Bon Echo Provincial Park - Kayaking
  • Bon Echo Provincial Park - Kayaking
  • Bon Echo Provincial Park - Kayaking

If you’re looking for an extra challenge, try the Kishkebus Canoe Route (1.5km portage/21km paddling loop, moderate to difficult) around the rock to the nature reserve on the east side.

Other paddlers report that this is an all-day adventure, taking on average seven hours, so make sure you set off early! Also, depending on the time of year – and beaver activity – there may be unmapped portages to navigate low waters and dams.

Sunset on Mazinaw Rock

We returned to the Narrows to watch a natural wonder unfold. As the sun’s rays touch the granite, its colour saturation increased until the rock is glowing golden before it fading into darkness.

I watched canoers paddle into the dying light for a unique perspective on Mazinaw Rock – I instantly wished I was on the water as well! Perhaps next time!

The dying light sent streaking colours across the sky, casting beautiful reflections across the waters. With the last sun rays, Mazinaw Rock lit up with a last crimson glow. This fiery display lasted but a few minutes, but I’ll remember it forever.

  • Canoeing on Lower Mazinaw Lake
  • Canoeing on Upper Mazinaw Lake
  • Bon Echo Provincial Park - Sunset
  • Bon Echo Provincial Park - Sunset
  • Bon Echo Provincial Park - Sunset
  • Canoeing on Upper Mazinaw Lake
  • Canoeing on Upper Mazinaw Lake

Not only does Bon Echo Provincial Park have a plethora of activities for day-trippers, but there are also many options for overnight adventures!

From Hiking to Paddle, easy access to backcountry Camping, plus Glamping options from cabins to yurts, Bon Echo has it all.

With such a variety, you’ll be able to find the right site for your level of comfort and exploration goals!

Bon Echo Provincial Park, Ontario. 📍 Lands of the Anishinabewaki ᐊᓂᔑᓈᐯᐗᑭ, and, Omàmìwininìwag (Algonquin).


Add this Photoblog to your Pinterest

Read about Bon Echo’s trails in these hiking blogs! Explore hiking paths through forests, wetlands, past lakes and up to Mazinaw Rock’s clifftop!

#notsponsored – In 2019, Mike and I travelled for Lennox & Addington and created a two-part series, “Can You Hear the Bon Echo?” and  “Can You Hear the Bon Echo? Chapter 2” experience blog. I shot hundreds of photos over the course of our three days exploring Bon Echo Provincial Park, many of which didn’t appear in the blogs, and I wanted to share the images with you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!
%d bloggers like this: