Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

While I find myself living in Southampton these days, I’m not originally from the area. This means that everything is still new and exciting to me, and I have spent most of this summer out exploring and trying to take in as much as possible of this incredibly beautiful area.

There have been weekend camping trips, Saturday hikes, Sunday drives to nearby towns, afternoon beach hangouts, downtown wanderings, and plenty of photos of those infamous Huron sunsets.

But, my favourite experience yet?

The Explore the Shores Sightseeing Flight Tour.

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

It’s not much of secret; I love to fly and I pretty much live for adrenaline.

So when pilot Dave asked me, “Do you want the regular take-off, or the fun take-off?“, you can imagine what I replied.

The fun take-off“.

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

I had no idea what the “fun take-off” entailed, but I was excited to find out. Dave pushed forward and we took off down the runway. After what felt like a few seconds, with only a small portion of the runway behind us, we lifted slightly into the air. Instead of actually driving the plane down the rest of the runway to gain momentum, we hovered parallel above it at full speed toward the end.

Dave looked at me and asked, “ready?“. I smiled and nodded.

He pulled back and the plane lurched directly upward in one smooth motion and we rocketed into the air like human slingshots. Moments later, my stomach caught back up with us, and I laughed in excitement.

It was the perfect start to a sightseeing flight, and I couldn’t wait to see all of the areas that I had recently been getting to know on land.

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

We headed southwest from the Owen Sound Airport, crossing over spans of fields, ponds and forests.

 

Southampton

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Generally, the tour takes you directly to Sauble Beach, but as I’m living in Southampton, Dave was happy to take a quick detour over to the small Lake Huron town at the mouth of the Saugeen River.

As we soared into town, I pointed down and said “hey, that’s where I live!“, over Wade’s house. We circled back around for another look, and I was able to get a ton of shots of the house and yard.

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

I could see the house, shed, driveway, hammocks, fire pit, picnic table, raft and the pond that I walk the pups around every day. It was such a cool thing to be able to pin point every little detail from such a unique angle.

The sightseeing flight is obviously an awesome activity for people visiting the area–but the added bonus of seeing your own home/business for anyone living in the area might just be even better. I think I’ll have to get a big framed print for Wade!

 

Chantry Island

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Chantry Island is a small island just off the coast of Southampton, and home to a migratory bird sanctuary and one of the oldest lighthouses on Lake Huron.

The Island is also the subject of thousands of sunset photos from Southampton Beach–voted one of the best sunset views in Canada. I’ve always seen the island from afar, so it was pretty exciting to look at it from a bird’s eye view.

 

Sauble Beach

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Not only is it close by now (a mere 15 minute drive away), but flying over Sauble Beach brought back memories of taking road trips up there with my two best friends in high school.

I spotted the parts of the beach the would hang out at, the marina motel that we stayed at, the streets we cruised around on, and of course, the famous Sauble sign at the main beach that we took so many photos of.

I’ve been back since then, but it was fun to remember all of that from high above, when I could spot all the locations at once.

It was also eye-opening to see just how long Sauble Beach really is, from that elevation in the air.

 

Bruce & Grey County Countryside

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

From speckled herds of cows in the fields, to snaking blue rivers through the vast green forests, to ghostly swamps claiming hundreds of mini trees in the distant ground below.

Both Bruce County and Grey County are home to miles and miles of dense forests, dozens of large ponds and lakes, and several scattered towns and villages between farmers fields and river valleys.

I’ve always enjoyed looking at aerial photography, but to see it in person really brings to life that geographic canvas that the Earth really is–and in this case, the Brice Peninsula was the canvas.

 

Oliphant
(a.k.a. the tropical islands of Lake Huron)

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

I hadn’t even heard of Oliphant before we flew over it, but OH MY GOD–was I blown away.

Just off the coast from the town of Oliphant, exists a magical group of 70 islands scattered across three kilometers of sparkling shoreline.

As we approached, the turquoise water appeared more like that of the Sea surrounding a tropical Caribbean Island. The bleach-white alvar limestone bedrock reef and shallow shifting sands gave a look similar to the patterns of the Great Barrier Reef, with colours fading from orange to yellow to white. Below the waters surface you can make out the paths that glaciers from millions of years ago etched into the sea floor.

 

Wiarton Wrecks

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Just north of the city of Wiarton are two well preserved shipwrecks, the Lothair and Edward S. Pease (top) and the Whicher’s Mill (bottom), from the early 1900’s. The shipwrecks are located southwest of the Colpoy’s Bay pier.

I’ve always seen photos of them from water level, and after seeing them from above, I’m planning to do a kayaking trip over them later this summer.

 

Flying the Plane

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

As we approached Georgian Bay, Dave asked, “do you want to try flying it?“.

My eyes widened, I made a strange noise of excitement and uncertainty, but ultimately said “YES!“.

I grabbed a hold of the control wheel on my side of the plane, Dave let go of his, and suddenly I was flying. He gave me instruction of what to do to move up, down, and side to side. I experimented a bit with different movements, and flew us along for a few minutes.

It was probably the most exciting part of the tour.

 

Georgian Bay

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

The stark contrast to the Lake Huron shorelines are evident in Colpoys Bay and Georgian Bay, as the depths of the water drop off much more significantly to a deep and dark blue hue.

We flew along the waving coastline until we soared clear over the open waters of the Bay, spotting several islands and fading shorelines in the distance.

From there we wrapped around the tiny Kemble Mountain and headed back to the Owen Sound Airport for landing.

 

Some more photos from the tour:

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

The Cessna 172; a 4 seater aircraft is ideal for sight-seeing because the wing is above the cabin giving excellent ground visibility

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Coast of Georgian Bay

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Cigar Island

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Dave kept opening the window for me so I could take photos. Now, that’s multitasking.

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Chantry Island

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Fog over the Bay

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Snaking rivers

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Coast near Sauble Beach

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Islands outside of Oliphant

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Where to next?

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Southampton Beach

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Georgian coast

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Mouth of the Saugeen River, in Southampton

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Looking out over Southampton

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

The edge of the Niagara Escarpment. If you look closely you’ll see ‘Skinner’s Bluff’ sticking out over the edge. This is one of the many spots that Dave pointed out to me, that I added to my list of places to go hiking later this summer.

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Look out, Seattle’s behind the controls!

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Mouth of Sauble River

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Southampton

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Wade’s House

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Crystal clear waters along the Saugeen Reservation

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Shipwrecks near Wiarton

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Denny’s Dam and Thorncrest Outfitters

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Southampton’s ‘big flag’

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Swooping over Sauble

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Dave Kalistchuk: Owner/Flight Instructor

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Hay Island, White Cloud Island and Griffith Island in Georgian Bay

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Chantry Island lighthouse

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Chantry Island

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Little red house, on a little green island, in a little blue bay

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

Ahhhhh!

Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air @seattlestravels

I flew on the Explore the Shores Tour,
but Owen Sound Flight Services offers other area tours
including the Bruce Peninsula Tour (the one I’m dying to do next!)
and Waterfalls from Above.

Don’t forget to follow them on Instagram.

This tour is $255 for 3 people.

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5 Responses to “Exploring the Shores of Bruce Peninsula from the Air”

  1. Daviator
    July 16, 2015 at 12:46 pm #

    Wow great compillation Seattle! I had such a blast flying you around and the pictures you took are just awesome! Looking forward to next time! P.S. The Beaver Valley in fall is pretty outstanding too 🙂

    …Daviator

  2. George Curelet-Balan
    July 20, 2015 at 6:53 am #

    Amazing pictures!

  3. Brandi
    July 20, 2015 at 8:46 am #

    Your pictures have brought tears to my eyes! I have lived in this area most of my life, thank you for reminding me of the beauty! WE ARE BLESSED!

    • Seattle Dredge
      July 20, 2015 at 11:05 am #

      Ah, glad you enjoyed them :] It’s definitely a beautiful area.

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