The Cup and Saucer Trail

Reported to be one of the most popular hiking trails in Ontario, the Cup and Saucer Trail climbs onto the Niagara Escarpment on Manitoulin Island, about 14 miles SSW of Little Current; the trail head is off Bidwell Road, just east of Route 540.  The entire trail network is 12 km in length while the hike describe below is approximately 5.5 km roundtrip; visitors should be aware that two sections of the trail are especially steep and rugged.

The primary trail, marked with white blazes, climbs onto the ridge of Silurian dolomite to offer spectacular views east and north of the escarpment cliffs; a vast northwoods spreads out below the ridge, broken by Lake Manitou and several smaller lakes.  Near the East Overlook, a side trail (blazed with blue) leads westward to the other side of the ridge; there, one enjoys broad views of the North Channel and its component bays, backed (to the north) by the La Cloche Range.  The latter chain of white rock hills is composed of Precambrian quartzite, some 3.5 billion years old (among the oldest rocks on our planet); the hills represent the eroded base of a massive mountain range that once crossed this portion of Ontario.

Leaving Manitoulin Island, we headed west to Sault Ste. Marie and crossed into the U.S.; there we watched two large ships pass through the Soo Locks.  We then drove south to St. Ignace, Michigan, where our motel room offers a fabulous view across Lake Huron to Mackinac Island.  Tomorrow we'll  resume our journey along the Silurian Rim, exploring the north shore of Lake Michigan.