Waterways Ontario
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The North Channel
Some of the Worlds Most Breathtaking Fresh Water Cruising

No doubt the scenery takes your breath away.  Windswept white pine trees grip granite islands… massive rocky headlands shelter peaceful anchorages where a walk ashore can take you back into the kind of wilderness where First Nations people felt at home.  Crystal waters mirror the blue of the sky and soaring sunsets promise quiet nights… illuminated by the moon, more stars than you ever imagined, and the Spirit Dance of the northern lights. 


You can camp ashore at many anchorages, on the deep pile of pine needles… or stay on board and let the water rock you to sleep. 


The North Channel is approximately 190 km (120 miles) long and 32 km (20 miles) wide at its widest point.  There is open water and myriad channels among its 300 islands.  And no matter how deep into the wilderness you may feel you have ventured, there’s always a town with provisions and a warm northern welcome not far away. 


Cruisers and sailors from the Deep South and Eastern Seaboard set out in the spring to spend their summers here.  As they travel north in Lake Huron or Georgian Bay, the “snowy” peaks above Killarney are their first landmarks at the eastern end of the channel.  The “snow” is actually quartz crystals but the uninitiated are often fooled. 


Some enter the channel from the west, at Sault Ste Marie where lake freighters climb to the northern ocean of Lake Superior. 


Visitors often arrive by car, with plans to enjoy the sights from ashore… to charter a sailboat or cruiser.  Many companies have sailboats and trawlers for families or larger groups.  Many boaters bring their own – cruisers and sailboats on trailers, kayaks or canoes on the roof.  No matter how you get here, the experience of the extraordinary North Channel will stay with you… and call you back. 

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