Red Bay/Mar Get Away to Red Bay
Public boat launches are located at Red Bay and Oliphant. Red Bay beach has a lovely playground and shaded picnic area with toilets. It is perfect for families with small children since it has minimal traffic and is sheltered. Its shallow, sandy shoreline warms up quickly. The meandering coast presents limestone flats and outcrops interspersed with pockets of sand - an intriguing area for beachcombing. Red Bay Conservation Area is a dune landscape on Reid’s Point, southwest of the Red Bay Park and beach. A shady picnic area is located at Mar on Hwy 6. This is also the turn-off for the Berford Lake Park, just 3 km. to the east, with its lovely beach, playground and artesian well.
Oliphant Fen Boardwalk, located at Oliphant 1.5 km. north of the dock, is a 470-metre boardwalk that provides access to a delicate wetland. Colourful wildflowers like Fringed Gentian, Indian Paintbrush, Lady's-Slippers and insect-eating plants grow in the fen. Petrel Point, just north of Red Bay and St. Jean Point, north of Howdenvale, are other nature reserves.
The Rankin River is navigable from Sky Lake to Boat Lake where the river meanders through marshes that shelter osprey and Black terns. River access is possible from three locations: The Red Bay Road runs west from Mar and crosses between Sky Lake and Isaac Lake that have some of the best bass and pike fishing in Ontario. Rankin River Wildlife Area has a boat launch located beside the bridge on County Rd 13. Isaac Lake Nature Reserve has a picnic area, boat ramp and numerous nesting sanctuaries for waterfowl. It is located at the east shore of the lake on Isaac Lake Rd.
Fishing Island Boat Tours offers pontoon boat cruises and Glass Bottom Boat tours from Oliphant dock or Little Red Bay Marina to the islands where passengers can enjoy seeing wildlife, scenery and shipwrecks. Tours depart daily May to October daily at 10 a.m., 12:45 p.m. or 2:30 p.m.; reservations must be booked ahead at www.fishingislandtours.com or 519-372-6309.