Northern Ontario Road Trip

During the Labour Day weekend a friend and I did a road trip through Northern Ontario. We avoid the major highways (aka any of the 400 series highways in ontario) in order to take our time and stop at any place we found interesting.  The trip was to encompass McGregor Provincial Park, then making our way to the west end of Manitoulin Island, with a final night at Grundy Lake Provincial Park just south of Sudbury.

MacGregor Park

McGregor Provincial Park where we just wanted some place to lay our heads down before heading off to catch the Chi-Cheemaun ferry that would bring us to Manitoulin Island.  The park is quite small compared to the Pinery, but each campsite if fairly secluded so if you’re looking for a quiet time outdoors this is a good park to check out.  The campsites are have a bit more gravel than expected, so pitching the tent is a bit more difficult than first expected.  I’d recommend bringing a mallet or finding a rock to hammer the stakes in properly.

Mississagi Lighthouse

The highlight of the trip was to take the Chi-cheemaun ferry from Tobermory and head to the Mississagi Lighthouse and Campgrounds on the far west side of Manitoulin Island.  It’s not currently labelled on Google Maps and we made reservations be sending messages over Facebook.  Facilities are clean, there’s fresh water and firewood available for sale from the lighthouse staff.  The lighthouse is still active, but we couldn’t venture inside as it’s being renovated – hopefully our road trip next year will allows us to to see the improvements! Each campsite is furnished with a fire pit, a good sized cooking grate to cook and picnic tables.  Our site happened to be nestled within a grove of pine trees with a ten steps away from gorgeous views of Lake Huron.

By being so far west of the island, cell service is non-existent and it’s so dark that you can see the Milky Way.


Grundy Provincial Park

Our last stop on the road trip was Grundy Provincial Park, south of Sudbury.  I visited the park about a decade ago and always wanted to camp there; unfortunately I didn’t recall how crowded the campsites are as well as how easily noise traveled.  We even had a giant raccoon steal a package of hot dogs, but luckily we had extra meals planned for an emergency.  For day tripping, the park provides a few nice beaches and cliffs to jump off of.  If you’re going to stay a few nights, I’d recommend going about an hour more south and stay a Killbear.  All was not lost, however. We still had a great view of Grundy Lake with the ability to see the stars clearly at night.

Churchill Park Fall Photo Shoot

The Canadian Thanksgiving weekend provided gorgeous weather for a family fall photo shoot at Cambridge’s Churchill Park.   A sunny clear sky with leaves turning colour – a beautiful backdrop to work with.  Small children are always tricky to deal with and often you need to have patience to capture a moment – the classic family photo where everyone is smiling may or may not happen, but most of the time preserving authentic personalities is often better.  We headed out around 11am and could have ended up with photos with harsh shadows due to the mid-day sun.  Luckily Churchill Park has plenty of trees to soften the light.

To kick things off the kids didn’t really want to cooperate and knowing that I was there to take their photos brought out their wackiness.  I needed to figure out my camera settings so why not embrace the moment?  Some of them were the best shots of the outing!

This family has a greyhound which must be one of the most even tempered dogs I’ve worked with.  It didn’t matter what everyone else was up to he just stood there patiently without fussing around.

You don’t need to go far for a fall photo shoot and the best places are sometimes in your backyard.  Churchill park is a great little gem in Cambridge; interesting trails and play equipment for the kids making this a great place to capture memories.

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