Wildlife Holidays/Tours to ONTARIO Slipper Orchids and Trilliums with Greentours Natural History Holidays
Slipper Orchids are the stars of the show. Under pale green maple canopies are magnificent stands of Large Yellow Lady’s Slipper, rare red and white Ram’s-head Lady’s Slipper adorn the dunes of Singing Sands, and the vinous Moccasin Flower carpets mossy northern forests. Cypripedium parviflorum seems to be everywhere. Undoubtedly most spectacular will be the magnificent pink pouches of the Showy Lady’s Slipper and our tour finishes at Purdon where several thousand of these glamorous orchids will make for a tremendous finale.
Calypso Orchid nestles amongst mosses on scenic Flowerpot Island at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula, a hundred kilometer long finger of dolomitic limestone jutting into the heart of Lake Huron. Forty-four of Ontario’s sixty-odd species of orchid are found amongst the woodlands, fens, dunes and limestone ‘alvars’ that make this such a unique landscape. Fen Orchids and Tall White Orchids join Pitcher Plants and Indian Paintbrushes in calcareous mires, whilst under shade we’ll find Striped Coralroots and both Trillium grandiflorum and yellow Trout Lily. Other treasures include lovely Iris lacustris and the regional endemic Lakeside Daisy, as well as Red-backed Salamanders, Northern Leopard Frogs, Sandhill Cranes, Pileated Woodpeckers and Eastern Bluebirds.
We’ll traverse Manitoulin Island to reach Killarney’s mountainous wilderness of sapphire lakes and jack pine ridges, considered one of Ontario’s crown jewels. There are gems amongst the flowers too with Nodding Trillium, the gorgeous Corydalis sempervirens, and the Rose Pogonia to look forward too. We’ll look for Black Bears and Moose amidst the majestic landscapes of the Algonquin Provincial Park. Otters and Beavers inhabit myriad lakes and rivers whilst in Black Spruce-dotted bogs we'll find Fringed Polygala and Trailing Arbutus, Goldthread and Hooker’s Orchid. A superb wildflower show, impressive mammals, and some very beautiful and approachable birds, all with the wonderful wild landscapes of Ontario providing a fitting backdrop.
Flowers, particularly Orchids. Also Birds and Mammals.
We will be ambling no more than four or five miles in any one day, and always at a slow pace, ideally suited to photography.
Included in the Price
All flights. All transport, accommodation and meals inCanada. Services of your leaders. Please note: drinks, tips, and items of a personal nature, including insurance, are not included.
Minimum is 4 and the maximum is 15. Only one leader will accompany a group of 8 or less.
After a night in the modern Hilton Garden Inn in Cambridge we’ll move north to Tobermory at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula. We’ve four nights in the spacious and comfortable rooms at the Big Tub Harbour Resort. Moving across Georgian Bay we’ll spend three nights at the very fine Killarney Mountain Lodge, beautifully situated on a dramatic pink granite coastline. Next is a real treat, with four nights at the gorgeous Bartlett Lodge, a bastion of comfort in the wilds for almost a century. On the shore of Cache Lake, the lovely wooden cabins are large and very comfortable, and the restaurant serves absolutely fabulous four course dinners! Lastly we’ve one night at the New Life Retreat, whose plainly furnished but light and comfortable rooms look out over a hundred acre organic farm a few miles from Purdon Fen. All rooms and cabins on this tour have en suite facilities except for the last night where there is one bathroom for every two rooms.
For the first three nights of the extension to Vancouver Island we’ll stay at the wonderful Blackrock Oceanfront Resort in Ucluelet, a truly lovely hotel that combines contemporary comfort and quality service with an amazing natural setting. As its name suggest this hotel has wonderful sea views and the hotel design, with lots of space and natural light, really seems to bring the environment right into the heart of the hotel. The next two nights are at Hidden Cove. The ocean-front cottages overlook Johnstone Strait. This little lodge is surrounded by fantastic natural habitat. Excellent meals are served in a restaurant with large windows which means that you never need to leave the view or stop the bird and mammal-watching! The last night will be at the gorgeous Moonwater Lodge in the south of the island just a fifty minute drive from Victoria Airport yet with what are reckoned to be some of the finest views in Canada. The rooms are beautiful too!
Outbound UK return flights are from London Heathrow, London Gatwick or Manchester* direct to Toronto (returning from Vancouver if you join the Extension). Other indirect routes from regional UK Airports* are available. *These routes may incur a supplement.
Please contact us for prices of an upgrade to premium economy which is available on some flights.
Generally warm and often sunny! Temperatures are in the range of 14°C to 28°C. Rain is likely to be in the form of showers or occasional more prolonged spells.
Two day pre-tour visits to Niagara Falls are also available.
How to Book
Contact us to check there is availability for the number of places you require. Download a booking form or contact us and we will send one to you. Complete and send to us. You will receive confirmation of your place and then a detailed information pack will be dispatched to you about twelve weeks before departure. This will contain up-to-date health information.
Flower, bird and mammal checklists are available.