Hi there! We recently visited Flowerpot Island in Bruce Peninsula and had a wonderful experience! We had heard a lot about this place and it really lived up to our expectations! As usual, I have included some travel tips and our experience at the bottom! You can also catch up on other other Bruce Peninsula adventures here!
Flowerpot Island is part of the Fathom Five National Marine Park on the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario, Canada. It is a remote island in Georgian Bay located 6.5 km off the shores of Tobermory. Flowerpot Island has two iconic stone “flowerpots” (see below) and clear turquoise waters. Flowerpot Island is perfect for a day half day trip or overnight camping if you are feeling more adventurous! Admission is free to Flowerpot Island this year with the 150th Anniversary of Canada!
We weren’t sure how much time to spend at the island (because you need to book your return trip up front) so after some research we settled with 4 hours and it was perfect. We were able to leisurely visit the flowerpots and hike the whole island in this time. By the time we returned to the dock, we were tired and ready to head back. Other people who had booked longer trips were also waiting at the dock to see if they could get an earlier boat back.
Seeing as it is an island, Flowerpot Island is only accessible by boat. There are two private tour boat operators that provide transportation to Flowerpot Island – Blue Heron and Bruce Anchor Cruises. Both are very comparable in terms of services and prices. We ended up selecting Blue Heron for no particular reason, but were very impressed with their services. They gave passengers the option to take their jet boats and/or glass bottom boat. I would highly recommend getting the jet boat heading to the island and the glass bottom boat on your return trip. We had Sophie (our puppy) with us and so we were limited to the jet boat both ways, but I loved how you could customize your boat experience! You also get a tour of the sunken ship wrecks, which was neat but a little anticlimactic.
Flowerpot Island is quite accessible and a easy/moderate hike around the island. There is a well groomed pathway to the flowerpots and then a more rugged/steep hike around the island. There are nice toilets on the island (to the left of the dock) and some snack/refreshments for sale at the house on the back of the island. However, I would still recommend bringing some snacks with you on your trip in case you get hungry!
Best Time to Visit
I honestly don’t think there is a bad time to visit Flowerpot Island! We decided to head over on the first boat since I’m not a fan of crowds and I wanted time to explore independently. Once we got off the boat, we went straight to the big flowerpot and had 15 minutes to ourselves before some more people started visiting. I have heard that the island can get busy during the summer months with tourists, so I would plan your trip during off hours or off season if you want a quieter trip. Even with more boats dropping off passengers, we didn’t feel crowded at the flowerpots or on the hike. Everyone was very respectful and seemed to be really enjoying nature!
Most Iconic View
The most iconic view is hands down the Small and Big Flowerpots. As soon as we saw photos of them, we knew we had to visit. They are so spectacular in person and absolutely MASSIVE! The tall white rocks statues and turquoise waters made for a very outstanding view. We definitely preferred the Big Flowerpot (pictured above and below) as it was larger and completely surrounded by water but both were beautiful!
If you have a bit more energy, I would highly recommend hiking around the island. We did the smaller loop that took us to the back of the island and the lighthouse. Unfortunately, the lighthouse was under construction during our visit but the adjacent house was a lovely pit stop midway through our hike! The hike has uneven ground and some stairs, but is quiet easy and very enjoyable! It took us about an 1.0-1.5 hours, including stopping for photos and a break!
We were super excited about Flowerpot Island and had been planning our trip for several week. I knew the boat companies allowed dogs on their jet boats but I wasn’t sure how Sophie would enjoy the trip. As soon as the boat started, the poor thing started panicking a little bit and was very uncertain about the whole experience. We ended up cuddling her in our laps and she was much happier for the remainder of the ride, even playing with the people around her.
The rest of the trip went just a smoothly! I was really worried about large crowds (I hate crowds) but we really lucked out and had the place mostly to ourselves. We had an amazing hike around the island and took a bunch of photos. It was really relaxing and made for a very enjoyable half day trip! I feel like I should have something more dramatic to say here, but it was honestly just a perfect morning and I would highly recommend making a trip out to Flowerpot Island.