The Georgian Bay Coastal Route is nothing short of inspirational. Taking this journey in an RV rental allows you to stop where you please and adapt the itinerary as you go. Ontario is blessed with many natural wonders, but they all seem to converge around Georgian Bay with clifftops, beaches, waterfalls, hiking trails and national parks spread across 30,000 islands and a shoreline stretching 2000km. For the freshest air and an outdoors adventure like no other, a Georgian Bay road trip in an RV rental will change your life… and Motorhome Republic can make it happen.
As part of Lake Huron, Georgian Bay was initially a major trade route and includes a variety of settlements – its popular moniker is the ‘Sixth Great Lake’. The Georgian Bay Littloral is now a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, illustrating just how important this freshwater archipelago still is. And the great thing for any motorhome travellers in Canada is that you can start your RV rental trip in Toronto. Just pick up your RV and head north – it’s that simple.
DAY ONE, Toronto to Honey Harbour, 165km, two-hour drive
So, you’ve collected your Ontario RV rental in Toronto and are ready to head north on Highway 400. A GPS and maps are very handy, although the route is relatively straightforward. Check on the condition of the RV with the supplier before you depart, making sure any bumps and bruises are all ticked off… and it’s time to get going.
In only two hours you can be relaxing at your first port of call, Honey Harbour. And it’s here where you have a few decisions to make and may require a couple of nights’ accommodation. One must-do is a day trip to Georgian Bay Islands National Park. The only transportation is by water, with the Day Tripper visitor vessel departing the Park Dock – this will also take you to Beausoleil Island. The NP is great if you’re travelling as a group or with the family, from the initial boat ride to the easy-to-navigate hiking trails. Fairy Lake is perfect for a summer dip and getting back to nature. Pack your bikes for a cycling adventure through Finger Point. Beausoleil has a wealth of park trails to enjoy, ranging in distance from 0.3km to the Georgian Southern Trail across 7.1km.
You will probably be pretty exhausted after all of that and need to rest-up for the evening. There are quite a few camping options around Honey Harbour:
Lafontaine Carefree RV Resort, 240 Lafontaine Road East, RR 4, Penetanguishene, Ontario
Victoria Harbour Beach and Marine Resort, 10 Winfield Dr, Victoria Harbour, Ontario
Wasaga Pines Family Campground, 1780 Country RD 92, Elmvale, Ontario
DAY TWO, Honey Harbour to Parry Sound, 80km, one hour
It’s difficult to list all of the tours, attractions, activities and things to do in Parry Sound. And no matter what season you land here, the various colours, tones and contours of the region are incredibly alluring – but summer is a real thrill. Parry Sound is a paradise for those who love boating, fishing, diving, sightseeing and exploration. Indulge your senses at the numerous provincial parks such as Massasauga and Killbear, jump in an All Terrain Vehicle with Bear Claw Tours, or go water cruising into the wild.
This is a region built for tourism, so RV accommodation isn’t too difficult to find. However, always try and book as far in advance as possible, especially during summer months.
Richmond Lake Park, 3 Leisure Lane, Parry Sound, Ontario
Oastler Lake Provincial Park Campground, 380 Oastler Park Drive, Ontario
Manitouwabing Tent & Trailer Park, 545 Centre Road, Parry Sound, Ontario
DAY THREE, Parry Sound to French River or Sudbury, 95km, one hour 51-minutes
Continuing along Georgian Bay and past Franklin Island, Highway 69 is the simple road north – so it’s virtually impossible for you to get lost in your sturdy Ontario RV rental! However, you may wish to deviate along some of the many interesting back roads. Grundy Lake Provincial Park is just south of your destination, with French River Provincial Park to the west. French River was the first designated Canadian Heritage River, with more than 100km of canoeing routes – if you’re feeling ambitious, make for the rapids. Other adventures include motorboating and wilderness paddling. Camping options are a little bit more restricted, but here are some options.
- Sportsman’s Park, 274 Daoust Lake Rd, Alban
- Loon's Landing, R. R. #2 Alban
Head north to Sudbury for a few more motorhome camping sites:
Carol Campsite RV Park, 2388 Richard Lake DR Sudbury
Fairbank Provincial park, Park Rd, MR 4, Levack
DAY FOUR, Sudbury to Killarney, 106km, one hour 40-minutes
Around halfway through your Georgian Bay adventure, you’re now moving into RV heaven. At this northernmost point of the trip there are some wonderful sights – this is where you may require itinerary flexibility to stay the odd extra night. First up is Killarney Provincial Park. Prepare to be amazed by the crystal-clear lakes, wildlife including bobcats, deer, moose, reptiles, amphibians and a variety of birdlife. The Observatory is also a great place to snap some pictures. Just south is Philip Edward Island, considered paddling heaven under the glorious La Cloche mountain range. But late June to mid-August does see the waters at their most crowded.
Now, it is possible to base your RV at Killarney Provincial Park but it does not have electrical service, although you can access bathrooms and a tap at any time of the year – but don’t forget the park permit.
DAY FIVE, Killarney to Manitoulin Island, 280km, four hours
Now this particular navigation is somewhat repetitive, as you travel back on the same road from Killarney up to Sudbury, before heading on to Manitoulin Island. However, an alternative idea is to go directly from French River to Kilarney, then Kilarney back up to Sudbury – entirely up to you.
Whichever route you take, your arrival point of Manitoulin is well worth it. The planet’s largest freshwater island, in Lake Huron, has to be seen to be believed. There are more than 100 inland lakes with a scattering of islands to enjoy. The community is very much focused on respect for the environment and use of natural resources – in effect a step back in time. People are friendly, campfires are essential and this may well be the high-point of your Ontario RV rental road trip.
Highway 6 will lead you there via the Swing Bridge and fortunately there are numerous motorhome accommodation options, including:
Mindemoya Court Cottages & Campground, 604 Ketchankookem Trail, Mindeyoma
Batman’s Tent and Trailer Park, 11408 Hwy, #6 Shegiandah Bay, Manitoulin Island
South Bay Resort, 21214 Hwy 6, South Baymouth, Ontario
DAY SIX, Manitoulin Island to Tobermory (Ferry)
Here’s where your Georgian Island motorhome trip takes a slightly different turn and you can take a rest from driving. About 25 minutes south of Manitoulin Island is South Baymouth, which is where you catch the ferry to Tobermory onboard the Chi-Cheemaun, replacing Highway 6. The trip takes about an hour and 45 minutes and runs four times a day peak season, twice a day off-peak.
You will then arrive at the beautifully named Tobermory, a virtual stone’s throw from Bruce Peninsula National Park. Here you will find around 160km of trails, forest, cedar trees and lakes. Ideal for hiking and kayaking, this protected area offers awe-inspiring sunsets. A must-do is underground cave of The Grotto – described by one traveller as heaven on earth. Don’t be surprised if you spend the whole day here and need RV accommodation in the park itself or nearby:
Tobermory Village Campground, 7159 Highway 6, Tobermory, Ontario
Cyprus Lake Campground, Bruce County, Ontario
High Dump Backcountry Campground, Northern Bruce Peninsula, Ontario
DAY SEVEN, Tobermory to Owen Sound/Wasaga Beach
You’re on the final stretch of this epic Canadian journey, with Owen Sound just over 100km away. It’s time for a return to city life, although you can keep things organic with a trip to Inglis Falls and Harrison Park. Wasaga Beach is another 85km, so around one hour and 20 minutes, but well worth an overnight stay. As part of the longest freshwater beach in the world, it’s hugely popular with locals and travellers alike. There’s a Provincial Park for all the family, but you may just want to stroll down the beach or take a dip! Wasaga Pines Family Campground is a great spot for accommodation.
And then it’s time to travel back to your starting point of Toronto, via Highway 400, which is around 130km. As one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Toronto is a great way to start and finish this Canada RV rental road trip. Attractions here include:
The CN Tower is more than 550m high and you can even enjoy a full circle, hands-free walk. And if you’re feeling OK after that, have a bite to eat at the 360 Restaurant.
Royal Ontario Museum and Art Gallery of Ontario are a welcome double dose of Canadian culture.
Park up your Ontario RV rental and get out and about to Toronto Islands or Casa Loma Gothic Revival House and gardens.
Hugely popular is Fort York, with various military fortifications and buildings – a truly unique experience.
Why RVs in Canada are the perfect companion
The Motorhome Republic Georgian Bay road trip encompasses everything that RV travel in Canada has to offer. There’s a variety of landscapes and huge selection of outdoor activities. Pack up your kayak, bikes, paddle-boards… whatever you need to attack the great outdoors. The scenery is breathtaking and the sunsets a sight to behold. So, what are you waiting for? In case you still have some time to spare after this trip, you could head East to Montreal and the beautiful Atlantic provinces.