Lake Nipissing's Mysterious Manitou Islands

Chief Commanda II grazing the shore of Great Manitou Island

Located just 10 km's southwest of North Bay on Lake Nipissing you'll notice the mysterious Manitou Islands. These five islands are easily spotted from the shores at North Bay's waterfront and some days it even looks as though they're floating on water.

The largest island may be referred to as Ghost Island, Devil Island or the Great Manitou. Next in size are Little Manitou, Calder, Rankin and Newman Island. Exploring the Islands you'll likely see lots interesting plant life and of course, a beautiful view of the lake.

Sunset on Lake NipissingThe Unexplained

Despite their beauty, the islands remain uninhabited to this day. Ontario Parks also warns against overnight camping on the islands due to mysterious and unexplained past occurances. Many say that the islands are haunted by the Nipissing people after starvation broke out and were forced to flee after battling the Iroquois.

Of course, many have attempted to set up shop on the islands, but none have prevailed. The Great Manitou island once held a hotel and dance hall, yet was burned to bits and never replaced. An old a aegirine mine was also once part of Newman Island.

If That Isn't Odd Enough

Old Nipissing myths state that the Great Manitou Island will speak to you if you paddle too close. Some have described it as water gurgling in and out of the ancient volcanic pipes that the islands are composed of. Many people beleive that the 'voices' are warning paddlers to stay away.

See these mysterious islands for yourself looking out from the waterfront of by driving highway 17 west of the city. To get an even closer look, board the Chief Commanda II for the Manitou Island Scenic Cruise.

Lake Nipissing

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