A Community of South Bruce Peninsula
Start with Colpoy’s Bay, just north of Wiarton. Settled a decade before the nearby town of Wiarton, this lakeside village, founded in 1863, stretches along the shores of Georgian Bay. Once home to sawmills, a general store, church and community centre, the village also has a pier, a classic place to fish or take photographs of a wide swath of the Niagara Escarpment that dominates both side of Colpoy’s Bay.
Continuing along Bruce County 9, a right turn onto Road 18 will take visitors into the Purple Valley. Named either for a purplish haze that hangs over the farm fields or for the profusion of wild blue flag iris that grow along the road, Purple Valley is home to a long-running annual maple syrup festival each spring.
Drive on to Mar just a few dozen kilometers north of Wiarton on Highway 6 and home to one of the best and longest-running flea markets in Bruce County. No, Mar was not named for the planet but for Braemar, one of the ancient Celtic earldoms of Scotland.
This area at the base of the Bruce Peninsula is rich in inland lakes like Berford, Boat, Skye and Issac, where pan fish await your bait. You can hike, bird, mountain bike, or explore the Rankin River wetlands in a canoe.
Believe It or Not!
If you choose to fish or paddle the waters of Boat Lake, be on the lookout for a sunken twelve-metre steamer called the Waterwitch. Originally built for trips up and down the shallow Saugeen River from Paisley to Walkerton, the Waterwitch was transported on sleighs in the winter of 1883 to Boat Lake where she was used for years to haul logs to the mills at Sauble Falls. When the timber ran out, the little steamer was abandoned. It is still there, somewhere.
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