Sunset at waterfront cottage rental on Manitoulin Island, Northern Ontario Canada


Providence Bay,
Manitoulin Island
Ontario, Canada

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Ontario Tourism Vacation Getaway Outdoor Adventure Package

Weekend of Rocks & Fossils on Manitoulin

Table of Contents
Brief Description
Package Pricing
Availability Dates
Package Duration
Package Details
Package Participants
Package Suitability
What's Included
Bring it with you
Available options
Term & Conditions
Calcite geode, weekend getaway on Manitoulin Island, Ontario tourism vacation
Calcite geode, similar to ones from High Falls, Manitoulin Island, Ontario, Canada

Brief Description:

Self-guided weekend for rock and fossil hunting on Manitoulin Island, Ontario Canada

Comments from Previous Participants:

Dear Glenn & Judy:
We sure had a great time!!  John
[local Manitoulin Rock & Fossil expert] was great!!  So was the weather, the rocks and the wildlife.  Sorry we broke a glass.  Here is a Toonie to replace it.  We hope to book again in the near future.  Thank-you.     Tamara & Gang   :-)

Package Pricing:

Off-Season:      $ 265 CAD + 13% HST
                        ($60/person/weekend for extra people)

Ferry Season:   $ 345 CAD + 13% HST
                       ($75/person/weekend for extra people)

Prices are for 4 day, 3-night weekend, for up to 5 persons.  For more than 5 people, there is an extra charge for each additional person.

Children under 5 yrs. old are free.

Gastropods. Ordovician (left)  and Horostoma grasilis from Silurian era (middle) , and modern penny (for scale, on right)

Availability Dates:

This package is available every weekend in the Winter/Spring between:

March 15  till June 15 inclusive

and every weekend during the Fall/Winter between:

Sept. 15 till Nov. 15 inclusive

subject to prior booking of this and other packages.

This weekend package is not available during Prime Season (June 16 - Sept. 15).  For a week-long adventure during Prime Season, see  Week-long package

Tools (sledge, prospector's hammer, and assorted chisels) will be available for use during your stay.


3 nights, 4 days

Friday noon till Monday 11:00 AM


Silver broach jewelry made with Manitoulin fossil trilobite.

Details about the Package:

Manitoulin is famous for its rare alvar bedrock outcroppings; 450 million yr. old dolomite and limestone (recognized by Natural Resources Canada, Nature Conservancy, Environmental Protection Agency in the USA, and as a United Nations UNESCO Biosphere).  Many of these rocks are rich in fossils of ancient plants and animals.

In addition, most areas of Manitoulin have a rich coating of glacial till and moraines of rocks and boulders transported hundreds of miles from the Canadian shield, then dropped by the retreating ice over 15,000 years ago.  These glacially deposited rocks include volcanic (Obsidian or volcanic glass, granite, basalt, and andesite porphyry), sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks strewn about on the surface.

The fossils of the Manitoulin area are renowned world-wide. They represent some of the oldest existing fossils formations and have been studied by many experts in the fields of geology and paleotology since the 1910's. The fossils have been dated as far back as the Silurian and Ordovician period. These geological periods are part of the Paleozoic Era dating between 395 to 440 million years ago (dinosaurs were 150 million years ago, humans first appeared 425,000 years ago). Those interested in these rocks and fossils can take rubs (pencil impressions onto paper from rock surfaces), or take home a few pounds of rock samples for your new or expanding rock collection.

One of the local sites has collected a wide variety of artifacts from early aboriginal and more recent European pioneer settler times (1850's onward). Information on a local archaeological  dig, which resulted in the discovery of stone implements dating 9600 years ago, can also be obtained. Special events and courses are held during the summer months.

M'Chigeeng Trail, on a nearby First Nations Reserve includes two trails, one along the bottom of the Niagara Escarpment bluff and the other going to the very top; with the Bear Caves and Fossil Rock Point as two spots of particular interest.

See BBL's photos on rockhounding and Manitoulin fossils on our Manitoulin glacial beach treasure trove.

Package Participants:

Minimum 1 person

Maximum 12 persons (due to available sleeping accommodations in the cottage where you will be staying).

Participants should be capable of walking on uneven ground.  Ability to climb sloped area or work in proximity to a rock face or rock cut is an asset.

Young rockhound with her shovel and goody bag for found treasures.

Package Suitability:

This package is designed for small groups and families.  The package is ideal for parents with children 8 yrs. old and above.

Children above the age of 3 will generally be able to fully participate in the recommended activities.  Their keen eyesight and "close to the ground" stature is ideal for rock and fossil hunting.  Children between 1 and 3 will be able to participate on a limited basis.  Once children have been shown what to look for and congratulated for their finds, there is no stopping them.  Children under 1 years old will usually have to be carried, and slings or backback carriers are not generally suitable for stooped over position often needed by rockhounding.

What's Included?

  • Lodging for up to 12 persons at BBL's waterfront cottage
  • Self-guided itinerary and recommended activities at BBL and surrounding area for interesting rocks and fossils.
  • A prospector’s hammer and tools for your use during the stay
  • Reference books on rocks and fossils will be available for use during your stay.

Books on Rocks and fossils will be available for your use during your weekend adventure

Bring it with you

  • Safety glasses or monogoggles (protection from flying rock chips, available from local Canadian Tire store)
  • Sturdy shoes with excellent ankle support (open toe, flip flops, sandals, etc. are NOT recommended)
  • Cotton work gloves
  • Sturdy goody bag for carrying your discovered treasures
  • Your favorite compass (compasses are available at BBL for your use during the weekend)
  • Food and clothing
  • Sleeping bag or bedding (blankets, sheets, pillowcase), BBL supplies 6 double beds with foam mattresses
  • Sunscreen lotion, personal toiletries, etc.

Available options & customization:

  • Also available as a week-long package
  • Local Manitoulin experts in rocks and fossils are available for personalized instruction, expert guiding, and assistance in your fossil & rock hunt (subject to availability and prior booking).
  • Add-ons for horseback riding, swimming, boating, hiking, nature trails, animal observing, canoeing, fishing, cycling, bird watching, and many others.  See BBL's website for further information on Manitoulin activities.
For more information, E-mail BBL Book your Fossil & Rock Vacation Package

Term & Conditions:

Package requires at least one responsible adult, 25 years or older, in attendance. Children participants must have the prior written permission of their parent or legal guardian. Participation and cottage rental are subject to BBL's approval of your rental application, and your signing of liability waiver & indemnification agreement. Rental deposit of $500 CAD is due with submission of package application, and becomes your Damage Security Deposit. Payment of full package price is due 3 months prior to the start date of the package, or upon acceptance of application; whichever is last to occur. Damage Security Deposit for cottage rental is fully refunded within 2 weeks after end of package (assuming no damage or loss identified by post-package inspection). You are recommended to obtain cancelation insurance, as there is no cancelation nor refund for booked vacation periods.

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Latest Update: April 26, 2013 11:24:24 -0400