Hiking the Coastal Alvar Trail-Part One

Wednesday, May 8, 2019, was a glorious day. I left by 10 for Misery Bay Provincial Park on the southern coast at the western end of Manitoulin Island. But being on island time, I first headed in the opposite direction to Providence Bay at the foot of Auberge Inn’s street.

Loveliness greeted me! Fresh air. Crisp breeze, Bright sunshine. Expansive beach. And the lapping waters of Providence Bay.

There is a marina of sorts with a building sporting provincial and national flags.

On the right was a children’s playground with one adult in sight and on the swing. I think I embarrassed him and he left before I took the photos. To the left was a boardwalk leading to a lookout and the nearby Mindemoya River. Thanks to Wikipedia , I learned the river got its name from an Ojibwe word that means “old woman.”

I walked a bit and chatted with a young hand-holding couple coming back from a morning beach walk.

I’m always attracted to boats at the water’s edge so stopped for a closer look at the row boat.

Time to leave and as I turned this huge mural caught my eye between the trees.

The drive had several large swings and took nearly an hour. Of course I stopped along the way to take photos of the farm land. I think these will be for irrigation, but let me know if for something else.

Loved the cows. A farmer I interviewed the next day said they refer to these as cows on the rock.

We were checking each other out.

Almost there

There. Interestingly, while Misery Bay is a provincial park, it’s entirely managed and staffed by volunteers.

The lure of Misery Bay is the globally rare Alvar plant communities. Alvar is only found in a few places on Earth. Unless it’s spring bloom, they can look like cracked parking lots.

It was such a perfect crisp sunny day with light breeze. As I drove in the parking lot I saw I was the only one there. Okay, then. Here I go. I knew I wanted to get to the water so looked on the map and picked the Coastal Alvar Trail.

I headed out to do the walk to the bay and back, about an hour roundtrip plus (many) stops to take photos. Here’s the building run by volunteers although too early in the year.

I’m going to load this up now because I’m at my daily high-speed limit. I’ll finish the Coastal Alvar Trail in the morning.

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