A Cruising Sailor's Best of Lake Huron's North Channel: Part 4

Best Towns (Part 4 of 5)
The towns in the North Channel are typically small and isolated from larger population centers. This lends itself to a certain charm and quaintness. You won’t find Wal-Mart and Home Depot nor a Starbucks on every block, which means you might have to sometimes search and improvise to meet your needs. But typically cruisers are known for their ingenuity and self-sufficiency, so no worries!

For Quaint Adventure: Kagawong, Manitoulin Island
Kagawong is a small, out of the way stop deep inside of Mudge Bay on Manitoulin Island. Kagawong isn’t a major stop for provisioning. There’s a small market store across the street from the marina, but they carry very few groceries. If you want a bigger selection you’ll have to hoof it a mile or so up the hill on the way out of town and stop in at the gas station that carries a few more provisions such as milk, frozen meats, and canned goods. The point is, don’t come to Kagawong for provisioning. Come to Kagawong to visit the unique St. John’s Anglican Church (“The Sailor’s Church) and see the nautical d├ęcor, including the pulpit made from the bow of a sunken boat. Come to walk under Bridal Veil Falls as water falls down from up high. Come to let the kids wander through the rock maze and the bush maze or slide down the spiraling water slide at the beach. Come to have a quiet lunch experience at Tweebles, an Irish teashop. Simply put, come to Kagawong for quaint adventure.

For Amenities: Little Current, Manitoulin Island
Little Current boasts several marinas all within easy walking distance to town. With over 2,000 residents in the surrounding area, Little Current is also the largest town you are likely to visit while in the North Channel. As such, you can find just about anything you might need from a hardware store to multiple coffee shops. There is also a choice of two groceries stores, though neither is convenient for walking if you plan to purchase more than just a backpack full of goods. You can, however, request a ride back to the marina for a nominal fee. You’ll also find a good selection of restaurants to choose from and plenty of souvenirs and clothing stores as well. There are nearby parks to walk to, internet access (WiFi) in many locations and an active community with several events and activities held along the waterfront throughout the cruising season.

For Provisioning: Gore Bay, Manitoulin Island
In addition to the fine chandlery at Canadian Yacht Charters mentioned in previous posts, Gore Bay also offers a large grocery store within reasonable walking distance from the marina. There are also a few local bakeries, LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) for beer and liquor, and a small hardware store. If you can’t find what you need in Gore Bay you likely won’t find it anywhere else in the North Channel either.


  1. Manitoulin Island looks like a great place to cruise to or stop over. The amenities that you will need are mostly present there.


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