Killarney's Wilderness Trail - George Island, Killarney
The George Island Wilderness Trail is an 8 kilometre hike that crosses the western end of beautiful and historical George Island. Since the early days of European settlement, George Island has played an important role in the economic development of Killarney and the surrounding region. Much of the island was logged at the end of the last century, providing valuable lumber for processing.
An old tar vat, used for protecting cotton fishing nets, can be still be found along the trail, providing a glimpse into the area's fishing past. Today, many of the marinas along the channel side of the island provide services and fuel Killarney's largest industry; tourism. Now, most of the island has reverted back to a state of pristine wilderness, with diverse flora and fauna. The trail passes through towering stands of coniferous and deciduous forests, containing species such as trembling aspen, red pine, white pine, red maple, eastern hemlock, black spruce, balsam fir, white birch and white cedar.
Many of these trees provide cover and food for numerous songbirds such as the white-throated sparrow, hermit thrush, pine warbler, oven bird, and for other fascinating birds such as the pileated woodpecker and osprey.
The trail also passes by six beaver ponds and allows for close viewing of their dams and lodges. Moreover, these beaver ponds provide habitat for many duck species such as wood, hooded merganser, mallard, blue winged teal, and black and for many amphibians and reptiles.
The George island hiking trail provides a great opportunity to view many varieties of wild flowers and herbs. In the forested areas, star flower, may flower, bunch berry, blue bead lily and wintergreen predominate. In rocky areas, species such as low-bush blueberry, pale corydalis and harebell are common.
The George island trail also allows for a glimpse into the rich geological history of the area. This is especially the case along the shoreline, where the mainly pink granite of the island is littered by a variety of erratics. These erratics are rocks typical of another area that have been transported to the island by glaciation. Metamorphic, igneous, and sedimentary erratics may be identified.
A number of exposed rocky outcroppings allow for beautiful vistas of Georgian Bay, far off islands and the white quartzite mountains of the La Cloche range.
Recommended time for this hike: 3-4hours
Difficulty: Moderate. Mostly flat or rolling, with a few short climbs. Some exposed rocky surfaces, which may be slippery when wet.
Blow the whistle when your back the trailhead and the lodge will be right over to pick you up.
1076 Hwy 637, KILLARNEY, Ontario. Canada, P0M 2A0
1.705.287.2828 or Canada & USA - 1.888.222.3410
( located just 4 minutes West of the Killarney Park main gate )
Need a first night?
Visit..Killarney Mountain Lodge