Slate Islands

Terrace Bay, Ontario P0T 2W0

Slate Islands

Slate Islands Professional Review and Guide

"The Slate Islands are an almost circular group about 6 miles offshore at Terrace Bay. There are currently no charter boats to take kayakers out to the islands, so there is no alternative to making the crossing. Once there, however, the scenery is excellent, and the channel between Mortimer and Patterson Islands provides bombproof protection. A good plan is to set up a base camp somewhere in this channel and make day trips to the more exposed parts of the islands. There is no slate on the Slate Islands, but there are large beaches of flattened shinglelike stones on the south of Patterson Island. The Slate Islands may have been the site of a meteor impact millions of years ago, but the evidence of this will not be obvious except to geologists, some of whom think that the islands are the remnants of a crater formed by the meteor’s impact.

The Slates are also well known for having the largest herd of woodland caribou in the area, currently back up at 600 animals from 100 in 1997. With so many caribou in such a small area, your chances of seeing one are pretty high. Fishing is good here, too, and lake trout can be caught on the shoals and in the shallows in June. Later in the year they are hard to catch without trolling in deep water."

Slate Islands Reviews

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I Kayaked out to the Slate Islands on July 5 and camped on Patterson island for 5 nights at 3 different site. There are no actual backpacking trails on the islands other than one that leads up to the lighthouse, but there are some "breadcrumb" trails that were left by caribou counters several years ago. My son and I had fun looking for the orange tags tied to tree branches from the old barge camping site that leads back to mud lake. It is actually bushwacking due to the incredible deadfall and new growth of the pine trees. There was also swampy areas as we aproached the lake which did not have very good footing, so trekking poles are a necessity! We also kayaked around Patterson island on a beautiful calm sunny day, which was spectacular! We made the trip in 6 hours which included a one hour stop-over at the lighthouse for viewing and lunch. I would not call this group of islands a trail spot, but if you want solitude, good orienteering opportunities, great wildlife, (woodland caribou, bald eagles, loons, fox, wolves, etc) this is the place! Oh yes, we did hear wolves howling at night, I don't care what the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources says!

Slate Islands Photos

Trail Information

Terrace Bay
Nearby City
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
Three to five days
Spring to fall, weather permitting
Terrace Bay MNR Office 807-825-3205
Local Contacts
Canadian topographic maps: Schreiber, Slate Islands, Pic Island at 1:50,000
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018