Monday, August 27, 2012

Nothing Miserable About Misery Bay! #ManitoulinSpotlight

I think I've found a little slice of Heaven.

It seems pretty crazy that I've been living on beautiful Manitoulin Island for eight years now, and the other week was the first time I had ever been to Misery Bay Provincial Park!  Okay, you got me.  I didn't even know we had a Provincial Park on the Island!

 I was shocked to see how crystal clear the water was!  You could walk out for what seemed like forever and the water remained shallow.  It was perfect since we had some little ones with us on our excursion.  The water was perfect.  The perfect temperature for swimming!

I have to thank my friend, AdventureGirl for introducing us to this breathtaking place.  It was such a fun, relaxing, refreshing day! Just being at Misery Bay made all my worries melt away.
 Misery Bay looks as though time had stood still and the land remained untouched by man.  Apart from some of the landscaping and general maintenance of the park to make it easy for park visitors to navigate, it really does look like it's nature just the way it was meant to be. Spectacular!

A little bit about Misery Bay:

  • Located on Manitoulin Island, the largest fresh water island (within a fresh water lake) in the world.  
  • Misery Bay Nature Reserve is located on an ancient flat rock sea bottom, known as an alvar.
  • The Great Lakes Basin has the only alvars found in North America, and most of the alvars found in the world.
  • Misery Bay Nature Reserve, because of its unique natural environment is also home to some special flora and fauna.
There is absolutely nothing miserable about Misery Bay! 

I was curious about how Misery Bay got its name, and found this on the website:

"According to local lore, the earliest settlers—lacking hay—came to the foot of the bay to cut marsh grass for their livestock.

One warm June day in the early 1880’s, a pioneer was cutting marsh grass there when two men approached in a small boat. The boaters shouted, “What is this place called?” Hot, tired, and swatting black flies, the farmer called back, “Misery!”
What the farmer did not realize was that the boaters were government surveyors, mapping the island. The surveyors wrote that name down, and it stuck. So this beautiful spot with its clear water, unique rocks, bountiful wildlife, and lovely wildflowers continues to be known as Misery Bay—a misnomer puzzling to today’s visitors." 

 There's an information centre/interpretive centre for visitors to educate themselves on all the flora and fauna, as well as the history of the park. The Summer staff we spoke to was very helpful and friendly. The kids had so much fun on our 'educational outing'.

Whenever I think I've seen the most beautiful part of the Island, I keep finding more hidden gems.  Isn't that photo just amazing? Misery Bay looks so pristine and so welcoming. I can't wait to visit again before the Summer is over.

Admittedly, it is quite the stretch of driving to get to Misery Bay from our part of the Island, but it is so worth it!  My 3.5 year old describes it as being "at the other end of the Earth"! Too funny!

It really is a hidden treasure though. If you visit Manitoulin Island, please make sure to check out Misery Bay.  If you live on Manitoulin Island, I hope you take the time to enjoy yet another place that makes Manitoulin so special.


Brandi Yee said...

What a beautiful new place you've found! I seriously can't believe how clear that water!

Kathryn Lavallee said...

How gorgeous! I love discovering treasures close to home like that; it's like you're new to your home all over again! :)

Christine said...

I KNOW! This is going to sound crazy, but I thought I had died and had gone to heaven! Seriously, it's THAT spectacular! So gorgeous and so relaxing!!!

Christine said...

I totally agree! I love playing tourist in my own backyard! :) Very exciting to discover new places close by!

Nolie said...

I am so jealous. Our water here is so gross. I think all our beaches were closed for 75% of the summer.

Monica said...

I love staycations where you can play tourist in your own backyard. I have never been to Manitolin Island, but my son has and he has told us how beautiful it is!!

Canadian Dad said...

That looks amazing Christine! I can't wait until next summer when my kids will be ready for Provincial Park life! We spent a lot of time this summer discovering all of the things our own town has to offer, so I totally get where you're coming from!

Mama Ash said...

That looks lovely!
We usually go to Alban and it would be a nice drive to the island to visit Misery Bay and you too :P

Mom vs. the boys said...

I love provincial parks, this one looks amazing, what a great beach!

Christine said...

REALLY!?! Ooooh! That is so sad!! So gross too :(

Christine said...

Oh! You'll have to change that soon! Come and visit us!

Christine said...

Canadian Dad:
Oh! Your kids will love it! Granted, there are so many fun things to do where you live!!! At least you're not too far from some really nice provincial parks!

Julia said...

I would love to photograph it! What a funny way for a place to get it's name.

~ The Country Mouse ~ said...

I was just telling Sheri last week what a wonderful life you have on the Island. Your world just seems so serene. Thanks for the tour of Misery Bay :)

Nicole said...

So beautiful and serene!! I have to make a point to visit Manitoulin Island one of these days!

Wendy S said...

A hidden treasure! What a great place to pretty!

Tammy inRdream said...

What a beautiful picture of your shadows!!! Looks like a great place to build memories!

Katrina Brady said...

Boy could I ever just relax there! Looks so peaceful!

Shashers Life said...

how it got its name is funny! I've often wondered how we came up with some of the names around here! :)

Little Miss Kate said...

Looks beautiful! Maybe we can visit when I come up next summer!

Deanna T. said...

What a fantastic place you've discovered! Completely gorgeous! Would love to visit here someday.

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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