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Old 01-10-2017, 05:19 PM   #1
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Tobermory to Manitoulin Island Ferry?

Next summer prrior to the WBCCI international in Escanaba, we are considering visiting Tobermory and Five Fathoms.

It seems that although financially absurd, we would like to take the ferry north and continue to Sault St. Marie.

Any advice or opinions on the ferry or Tobermory?
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Old 01-10-2017, 06:43 PM   #2
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Hi Dan, We've taken the Chichimaun ferry a few times when we vacationed on Manitoulin Island, but never with the Airstream. It's a nice trip, but too expensive for us with the trailer. If you go to International that way, you'll also get to experience the one lane swing bridge at Little Current leaving the island. That is easy with an Airstream. Done it many times, both ways.

There are several rustic campgrounds around the island if you have the time to stop for a couple of days along the way. We've heard good things about Batman's that you should directly pass, although we've never stayed there.
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Old 01-10-2017, 06:51 PM   #3
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I was curious about the geographic area being discussed so FYI here is the ferry:

https://www.ontarioferries.com/en/home/

Looks like a gorgeous area.

http://www.manitoulintourism.com/

Cheers,

Peter
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Old 01-10-2017, 06:52 PM   #4
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We took the ferry northbound in 2014 with no issues. We have a 25FB. The ferry does take reservations, which are advised for the busy season.

We stayed on the island for a few days, then drove off the island and around to the Soo.

By the way, Manitoulin Island is not a place to have your trailer break. We inquired about getting a repair done, and were told no one there is in the business. A mobile mechanic comes from the mainland once a week, except when he doesn't.

We didn't spend any time at Tobermory so have nothing to offer on that side.
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Old 01-10-2017, 07:06 PM   #5
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Five Fathoms including Flower Pot Island are beautiful places to see. Don't forget to drop into the National park Museum/Visitor centre.

We camp at the Cypress Lake National Park, no hook ups, but water fill up is available before heading to site. Very quiet and tranquil; enjoy the long senic hikes around the lake.

One word of caution; the National Parks of Canada will be free all year long this year as Canada celebrates its 150th birthday......so it will be busy, book well ahead; like now! You maybe be able to apply for a free National Park pass.

As for the ferry.....it's a bloody long but beautiful drive around Georgian Bay to get back up to the highway from Manitoulin Island. The ferry will cut well over a day, if not two, from your trip. As for loading onto, or disembarking, to and from the ferry, the tides shouldn't be an issue as the tidal range is only around 5- 40 mm.

How much it costs will depend on which one of the three AS trailers you own, you take?

https://www.ontarioferries.com/en/fares/

http://tobermory.com/services/ferry.html

Cheers
Tony
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Old 01-10-2017, 08:23 PM   #6
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Dan.....Taking the Ferry across to Manitoulin Island is very doable, just pricey as you can see in Tony's post.

To get you camped close to the ferry, here's a special spot where we have a seasonal Trailer site. There's about 6 full hook up sites that are available for rent on a short term basis. Reservations are a must. The camp is about 30 minutes from Tobermory and the ferry launch dock. A good lay over spot especially if you take the first crossing in the morning. Also a handy jumping off location if you care to tour Tobermory and surrounding area. The place is called "Mountain Trout Camp" and is located on a spring fed Gilles Lake. Great Trout fishing. Let me know if I can be of help. Don

http://www.mountaintroutcamp.com
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Old 01-11-2017, 12:37 PM   #7
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I would just take the ferry over to the island and back. It is a fun trip. They used to have have evening cruise packages with dinner. Not that Manitoulin isn't a nice destination but if you're only thinking Ferry... the cruise over and back is not that expensive compared to the cost of the trailer/TV fee
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Old 01-11-2017, 12:39 PM   #8
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Chichiman ferry

I took the ferry crossing last summer with a couple pals when we went north of Espanola for a week long fishing trip. We arrived on the dock the night before so we could get on for the first sailing of the day. Boondocking on the dock is fine, as long as you don't decide to set up camp, fire pit and all.
Reservations are a huge help, but it's not an absolute shoe in the door. If there is a heavy load or you don't show up within the requesite hour in advance you may lose that spot, and have to wait for the next sailing.
That said, the ferry price stucture is based on height and length. Height is important because they're going to spot you in the center rows as the outside lanes have a mezanine deck above that gets loaded with smaller passenger vehicles. At 9'-6" tall and tow vehicle hooked up to my 23' (24' in reality) we paid $175.00 one way. It sure was a nice start to the day though with approximately 7 hours driving time reduced from our route. Fresh out of bed we had our breakfast on board in the cafeteria.
The Bruce is an entire trip of its own. Cypress Lake campground is a must see, with many hiking opportunities. Everyone loves the grotto on the bay. Gillies Lake is a wonderful relaxing spot too, owned and operated by a very friendly couple. I'm glad too read they have some open sites again. Last time I was there, they were totally booked up with seasonals. I'll be checking it out again.

Jim
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:16 PM   #9
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We agree. The ferry cost is certainly less than the fuel cost and associated highway risk, of the alternative drive around the long way which takes virtually a full day and possibly more if you encounter a weekend travel day.

Rates calculated as indicated above. Reservations advised. Overnight at either end of the ferry trip on their dock is perfectly acceptable.

In the past 2 years we have used this modern ferry twice round trip. This past summer enroute to the Yukon, we towed our 30' onto and off the ferry twice without any issues. You will be required to shut off your propane fridge as they will inspect and tag your tanks as evidence they are saftied. The trip is quick enough you will not suffer any defrost of your fridge.

It's a fun ride. You can leave your dog in your vehicle or your AS. Enjoy!
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:44 PM   #10
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Gorgeous part of the world, we drove from chicago to toronto to tobermorry and over on the ferry then along the north shore of lake superior - which is breathtaking and down through the soo to mackinak island then home to chicago. Has to be one of the prettiest ferry rides ever, and we have been on some great west coast ferries. Go for it.
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Old 01-11-2017, 04:16 PM   #11
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We have booked 2 days camping on Manitoulin Island May 25th and will be taking the ferry on our way to the Yukon. I would be interested to hear of others who have travelled through Canada to the Yukon. Tips, do and don't stuff. We need to be back the 1st week in August. So have plenty of time to explore. We drive a SUV Tourag pulling a 30' Classic.
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 66Overlander View Post
Hi Dan, We've taken the Chichimaun ferry a few times when we vacationed on Manitoulin Island, but never with the Airstream. It's a nice trip, but too expensive for us with the trailer. If you go to International that way, you'll also get to experience the one lane swing bridge at Little Current leaving the island. That is easy with an Airstream. Done it many times, both ways.

There are several rustic campgrounds around the island if you have the time to stop for a couple of days along the way. We've heard good things about Batman's that you should directly pass, although we've never stayed there.
We stayed at Batman' s several years ago, and we found it nice.
We'll be back there on our next trip to Sudbury.
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanB View Post
Next summer prrior to the WBCCI international in Escanaba, we are considering visiting Tobermory and Five Fathoms.

It seems that although financially absurd, we would like to take the ferry north and continue to Sault St. Marie.

Any advice or opinions on the ferry or Tobermory?
Tobermory is a delightful place to visit' with nice hotels, a number of great eateries, and lots of nautical flavour to it.
Also, for the hikers, The Bruce Trail terminates there. (I've done the Bruce twice, and the Peninsula Section, five and three quarters times.)
Tobermory is well worth the visit, and has a number of campsites there. 'Lands End' is a good one.

The Chichimaun is a decent 45 min. Trip but with a trailer can be costly. They charge by the length of your whole rig.
Manitoulin Island has a number of campsites, although we just stayed at Batman's on our trip.
Decent and quiet place to stay, and not expensive.

Trailer Trash. ........."
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