Georgian Bay, where Killarney Park meets Lake Huron is the place to kayak in the Great Lakes.
Accessing from the Chikanshing Creek, paddlers head south to reach gorgeous Phillip Edward Island.
The island's smooth pink granite shoals, narrow bays, and clear waters are a kayaker’s playground. It takes around two and a half days (approx. 50km) to circumnavigate, but paddlers can stay entertained by the hundreds of small rock islands on the south shore making for perfect day trips.
The area, currently designated as Crown Land is free camping for residents with no reservations required (vehicle permits still required). Non-Residents can purchase permits online or by renting accommodations such as a tent from a local business proprietor.
Browse trips run by our local travel partners
Rachael Sorochan is the leading Trip Planner for Killarney Outfitters, which prides itself on being the information destination for the Killarney area.
Providing complete outfitting services, trip planning and rentals, their Trip Planning Service gives adventurers all the information they need to explore and enjoy the park independently.
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If the winds are agreeable, a popular day destination is the Fox Islands. Located to the South of Philip Edward, the Foxes are a cluster of smaller islands, many with pebble beaches and warm blue water bays.
If choosing to paddle within the park Johnnie Lake makes for a beautiful day trip. One of the longer lakes in the park, Johnnie’s winding water helps kayakers avoid difficult portages.
Although many of the lakes in Killarney are considered ‘dead lakes’ due to the quartzite ridges, the surrounding waters play host to many of Ontario’s fish species. One day permits are available for purchase in Killarney town for all visitors. Please note that trout fishing in the park is limited.
Heading out the Chikanishing Creek, novice paddlers looking to get experience on the bay should head west to Dave’s Bay. As it is fairly sheltered this area is popular among canoeists and kayakers for a day sunning on the island or bass fishing in the reeds. On one of the larger islands, visitors may notice black netted silhouettes on the rocks from a time where fisherman used these islands to dry their tar covered nets.
Located in Killarney Bay, paddlers leaving from town head out towards Covered Portage Cove. A face visible in the high rocky cliffs has caused locals and regular visitors to refer to this area as Indianhead. It is also a popular destination for local cliff jumpers. Be sure to keep conscious and use safe boating practices as Killarney Bay is also a popular destination for the sailing community.
Best times to go:
Peak season in Killarney is definitely in August. Warm weather, minimal bugs, and the last days of summer vacation draw many visitors to Killarney.
Early season certainly brings less traffic and lots of sun, however depending on the year the bugs can be ferocious.
Looking to avoid the crowds? After the first weekend in September (a holiday in Canada) the weather is generally agreeable and availability for late bookers tends to open up!
If it’s the fall colours you seek, early to mid-October (although experiencing cooler temperatures) make for amazing photos.
Kayaking on Philip Edward Island is wonderful all season long. The islands do not experience the same concentration of biting bugs as one would find in the park. The fall, although beautiful does begin to see higher winds and is therefore not recommended for novices.
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