This past summer was the first time I ventured out to Philip Edward Island. If you’ve never been to this magical place, I suggest you put it on your bucket list. This island stretches along the shores of Georgian Bay and has tons of small islands surrounding its southern shoreline and many great places to pitch a tent for an overnight stay.
If you’re thinking of embarking on the adventure to Philip Edward Island and you don’t have a kayak, or one good enough for the journey, you can rent one from Killarney Outfitters who will drop it off and pick it up at the location you’re departing from.
I must say, I had no idea what to expect when taking on this adventure. My friends had gone up a night before me, and I had no other option but to do a solo trip to meet them. I started my expedition by driving to Killarney and parking at the Chikanishing Trail (side note: make sure you buy a parking pass. I decided to risk it and ended up with two tickets. Serves me right.). Once I arrived, I packed my gear in my sea kayak. One my kayak was ready to go I set out on the Chickanishing Creek. The creek was beautifully majestic, winding its way to the mouth of Georgian Bay. When you reach this point you’re exposed to big water, so be sure to bring a map with you so you’re aware of your route. Since I was solo, I had to be extra sure of where I was heading.
Once you’re on your way, the aqua clear water and windswept pine will greet you. Don’t be shy, take advantage of the many islands. Stop and explore, have a picnic, go swimming, and take it all in. It’s a pretty great feeling to venture out and be completely surrounded by untouched land. Most of the campsites are on solid bedrock so be sure to bring a free standing tent and some protection from high winds. I always suggest checking the wind levels before any kayaking adventure, there’s nothing worse than getting caught in strong winds on exposed water.
Our trip was only as long as the weekend, but to travel around the entire island could take you 5 days, as it’s a 50 kilometre trip. For some extra fun while camping, I suggest bringing a hammock, some floaties and a GoPro. We had a great time hanging out and telling stories by a campfire, kayaking to another island for a better view of the sunset, floating in the water, taking GoPro videos and cooking meals. I suggest bringing a cooking stove if you have room in your kayak. Camp meals don’t always need to be boring, cold pasta salad, pancakes, fried granola and coffee are all things you can enjoy. Check out Pinterest for tons of meal ideas and make sure to plan each meal to ensure you have enough food and water for the trip.
It was such a great weekend only to be topped off by the perfect engagement proposal. While we were taking our group photo before heading home, my brother asked me to take one last photo of him and his girlfriend. I happily obliged as they stood in front of the perfect backdrop of the sky meeting water and a sign reading “Killarney 2016” before them written in chalk. When I was snapping a photo, my brother got down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend – none of us knew this was his plan and came as a complete shock to us all. It was truly the perfect ending to an amazing weekend.
We’re so lucky to live in a place where we have beautiful destinations such as this one to explore for a day or weekend. I highly recommend putting this trip on your next summer bucket list so you can see for yourself just how special it is.
Written by Katelyn Grenko #PureOntario
Katelyn Grenko resides in Sudbury Ontario. She is a Marketing & Events Coordinator and is passionate about the outdoors. She can usually be found hiking, kayaking, travelling or behind the lens of her camera.