journey

the bridge onto manitoulin

There are 2 ways to reach the Island. You can take the MS Chi-Cheemaun ferry that goes from Tobermory on the Bruce Peninsula to South Baymouth on Manitoulin. The ferry holds 143 vehicles and 638 passengers.The ferry ride is just under 2 hours and is a beautiful trip.

The other option is to drive around the Georgian Bay to Sudbury then through Espanola and down through the White Mountains (actually, white rocky hills). The last hour of this route is a very pretty drive, and once you've reached the island you will have to take the swing bridge to cross over. The bridge is usually open for vehicle traffic but for 15 minutes every hour (on the hour) it swings open to allow boats to travel through. Once you're on the island, it's about 30 minutes to the camp through rolling farmland interspersed with glimpses of a sparkling blue north channel.

chi-cheemaun

Either way takes about 6 hours from Toronto, but the ferry can be a nice break from driving.

The island does not really have any public transport, so trying to get here without a car will pose logistical problems. Hitchhiking is fairly easy on the island, but we would really recommend renting a car and driving up, or flying up to Sudbury and renting a car from there. From Sudbury it's a 2 hour drive to Viva Villa.

As you can see on the map below, we are centrally located on the island, which makes us an ideal base for sightseeing on the island.

map of manitoulin

Driving directions: If you're driving from the south, take Highway 400 north, through Barrie. Just past Barrie the road branches into highways 69 and 11. Take highway 69 all the way up to Sudbury. At Sudbury you want to get off the 69 and take Highway 17 west toward Sault Ste Marie for approximately 45 minutes until you reach a set of traffic lights on a corner with a car dealership, a large gas station, a Wendy's and a Tim Hortons. Take a left onto highway 6 at the lights which should be signposted to Espanola. Drive slowly through Espanola - many speeding tickets have been issued in town! Follow highway 6 through the white mountains and onto Manitoulin Island.

map of manitoulin

Upon reaching the island, you'll cross the north channel bridge, go past tourist information on your right, keep going straight, past the corner by the shell gas station until you get to highway 540. Take a left on highway 540 and follow that for about 30 minutes. You'll come to a town called M'Chigeeng (pronounced shih-geeng). Go straight through that, approximately 5 minutes later you'll start coming down a steep hill, and you'll see a small country road that carries on straight when the highway bends 90 degrees to the right at the bottom of the hill. This country road is called Concession 8. Turn onto this and follow for about 4 miles. Look out for our sign on the left! Concession 8 turns into Lakeshore Rd, so if you miss the turning and end up in Kagawong, look for Lakeshore Rd on your right and follow that about 3 miles until you see our sign. (pictured)

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