Fathom Five National Marine Park

On the Bruce Peninsula, the final stretch of the ancient Canadian Shield’s edge, lies an underwater treasure of unparalleled beauty: the Fathom Five National Marine Park Reserve. This park, home to sunken relics and astonishing rock formations, promises visitors an unforgettable experience full of exploration, adventure, and discovery. Read on to find out how to plan your trip.

Fathom Five National Marine Park

Location and How to Get There

The Fathom Five National Marine Park (in English: Fathom Five National Marine Park), also known as the Five Fathom National Park, is located at the northern tip of the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario. Its coordinates are 45°19′17.04″ N, 81°37′33.96″ W. The park is accessible by land via Highway 6 and then by boat from the town of Tobermory, being relatively close to the Bruce Peninsula National Park.

History of Fathom Five National Marine Park

Fathom Five National Marine Park was designated as Canada’s first national marine park on July 20, 1987, but its history dates back thousands of years with the indigenous peoples of the area. It is famous for its collection of historic shipwrecks and diverse, pristine marine life protected within its 112 km².

Geology and Ecology of the Park

Geological Formation and Features

The park is characterized by impressive rock formations, a product of glaciation. The rock towers, known as Flowerpots, are an iconic example of erosion.

Marine and Terrestrial Biodiversity

The park is home to rich marine and terrestrial biodiversity, including several endangered species. Visitors can enjoy the sight of wild orchids, migratory birds, and an impressive variety of fish and corals in its waters.

Main Attractions and Points of Interest

Flowerpot Islands

The Flowerpot Islands, named after their pot-shaped rock formations, are a must-visit. They offer stunning views and are home to a variety of wildlife.

Big Tub Lighthouse

The historic Big Tub Lighthouse, located at the harbor entrance, is an emblem of the area’s maritime heritage. It provides a scenic and nostalgic experience not to be missed.

Shipwrecks and Scuba Diving

The crystal-clear waters of Fathom Five National Marine Park Reserve harbor 22 well-preserved shipwrecks, making it a premier destination for scuba diving. Visitors can explore these historic remains while enjoying the rich marine life.

Activities in Fathom Five National Marine Park

Water Activities: Diving, Kayaking, Swimming

In addition to scuba diving, the park offers a variety of water activities, including kayaking, swimming, and glass-bottom boat tours to see the shipwrecks and marine life. Each of these activities provides a unique way to explore the beauty and biodiversity of the park.

Hiking and Nature Observation

Visitors can enjoy a series of trails that traverse the park’s natural beauty, perfect for birdwatching and wildflower observation. The trails offer panoramic views of Lake Huron and the opportunity to enjoy the tranquility of the landscape.

Photography and Art

With its spectacular natural landscape and unique biodiversity, the park is a paradise for photographers and artists. The dawn and sunset lights in the park offer perfect opportunities to capture stunning images.

Accommodation and Services in the Park and Nearby Areas

There are various accommodation options in and around the park, from campgrounds to hotels and bed and breakfasts. Visitors can also find restaurants, shops, and other services in the nearby town of Tobermory.

Planning Your Visit: Best Time to Visit, Rules, and Regulations

The park is open year-round, but the best time to visit is between June and September when the weather is warmer. Visitors should familiarize themselves with the park’s rules and regulations to ensure a safe and environmentally respectful visit.

Conservation and Park Management

The park is managed by Parks Canada, which strives to protect its rich biodiversity and historical heritage. Conservation efforts include the protection of endangered species and the maintenance of the park’s ecosystem health.

Interesting Facts about Fathom Five National Marine Park

Did you know that the name "Fathom Five" refers to a nautical measurement unit? A fathom equals six feet and is commonly used to measure water depth. With so many shipwrecks and abundant marine life to discover, it’s easy to see why this name is so fitting for the park.