Hosts of the Great Manitou Star Party Gordon’s Park

Hosts of the Great Manitou Star Party

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Gordon’s Park

Your hosts Rita, Terry, and Jen Gordon welcome you to Gordon’s Park. Located on Highway 6 a half kilometre north of Highway 542 in Tehkummah, it features an outdoor wildlife museum, mini-putt golf, 3D and FITA archery, a children’s playground, horseshoe pits, one-on-one basketball area, and roaming wild peacocks!

In addition, there are washroom facilities, bus tour facilities, ample parking, a picnic area, snack bar, and a tepee. All is handicapped accessible. Pets on leashes are welcome, as are RVs. Available on request are guided tours, picnic lunches, haywagon rides, and BBQ for groups.

Gordon’s Park is, however, a camping-only facility. If you’re looking for a little more creature comfort, the Island offers a full range of accommodation. Contact the Manitoulin Chamber of Commerce for details.

Click on the following to learn more:

Camping | Safety | Environmental Responsibility

Gordon’s Park Survival Guide

Part I: Camping at Gordon’s Park

Star party camping takes place on the “back 40” at Gordon’s Park. Several large, natural clearings provide an excellent astronomy environment – easy access, yet totally dark. The section of the road from Hwy. 6 into the star party site is being widened and resurfaced. However, it is still “single lane”. Maximum caution required.


The observing site is not a formal campground. Amenities are limited.

  • There is no hydro. Battery power required. Batteries can be recharged at the Gordon’s home.
  • Water will be available at the observing site. Guests can also fill their jugs directly from the well at the Gordon’s home. You are encouraged to do so – fresher water, less work for organizers.
  • Washrooms will be rebuilt, relocated or replaced. Outhouses at Gordon’s Park will be supplemented with 2 or 3 porta-potties, which will be serviced during the event. Your assistance in keeping washroom tidy is appreciated.
  • Washstands will be placed around the site for the convenience of our guests. Again, please clean after using.
  • Garbage Removal will be provided. Guests are required to bring their trash to a designated collection area.
  • Gordon’s Park will provide approximately 20 Picnic Tables. We may have as many as 80 groups on site Friday and Saturday night. Therefore, sharing is mandatory. Preference will be given to families and larger groups. Guests should bring their own lawn chairs and collapsible tables, if possible.
  • Ice will be available at the Gordon’s store. Also available – pop, bottled water, chips, chocolate bars and other light snacks, film, nature books, souvenirs, maps, pamphlets, etc.
  • Breakfast Service: Rita and Terry Gordon are planning to offer a breakfast service at the pavilion beside their home.
  • Message Service: A message board will be constructed on site for organizers and guests. Organizers will post phone messages (received at the Gordon’s home), special events, etc. Guests are invited to use the message board to exchange information.
  • Public Pay Phone: A written request has been sent to Manitoulin Telephone. We are hoping for a positive response.

Anyone with basic camping equipment and a bit of experience should find the site very comfortable. The better prepared you are, the more fun you’ll have. If you’re a raw beginner, give us a call before you head to Manitoulin Island. We’ll be happy to answer your questions.

Basic camping equipment:

  • A sturdy, waterproof tent.
  • A couple of tarps (and some rope).
  • Warm, comfortable bedding.
  • Warm clothes for late night observing.
  • Lawn chair(s).
  • A small, portable table.
  • Large water jug.
  • Campstove.
  • Lantern (and/or candles).
  • Lighter (and/or wooden matches).
  • Dishes, cutlery, cookware.

Part II: Safety

  1. Stick to the Trails: Gordon’s Park is a great place to hike with several kilometers of groomed trail winding through mature hardwood forest. For the protection of this lovely property, and for your own safety, please stick to the established trail system. Do not remove fossils, damage exhibits or destroy signs marking the trails.
  2. Children at Play: Children are welcome to use all of the facilities at Gordon’s Park including the playground, mini-putt golf course and snack bar. However, children under 12 must be supervised. Parents should know there is an unfenced pond on the property.
  3. Sunscreen, Please: The weather on Manitoulin Island tends to be hot, dry and sunny. Use sunscreen, drink plenty of water, wear a hat and sunglasses, seek out shade during the hottest part of the day.
  4. All vehicles entering the property do so at their own risk. Roads are single lane; use caution. Maximum speed 5 kilometers per hour. The property owners will not be held liable for injuries or accidents, nor will the organizers of the Great Manitou Star Party.

Part III: Environmental Responsibility

  1. A Burning Issue: Fire is an ever-present danger in the backcountry. Be extremely careful with open-flame cooking devices, make sure smoking materials are completely extinguished and safely disposed of. A communal fire pit will be establish for the Great Manitou Star Party. The fire pit will also serve as the designated smoking area. Please be advised Gordon’s Park is governed by the MNR Fire Restrictions Code.
  2. Garbage Disposal: Wildlife is abundant on Manitoulin Island. Keep your campsite clean to discourage unwanted visits from our furry friends. We are making arrangements to recycle or compost as much waste as possible. All guests will be expected to cooperate.
  3. Pass on the Glass: When purchasing beverages or food products for use at the Great Manitou Star Party please avoid glass containers. Choose metal, plastic or paper. Never leave glass containers lying on the ground where they can become safety hazards.
  4. Water: All participants are encouraged to bring full containers of water from home. Water for refills will be readily available.

Carter Bay

This huge, private ecological development is located on the most pristine waters of Manitoulin Island. The waterfront on Carter Bay hosts a spectacular secluded beach, renowned for its pure white sand and the largest natural sand dune area found anywhere in the Northern Georgian Bay region.

This wonderful property is available to guest of the Great Manitou Star Party for daytime recreational use and for night time astronomy excursions. If you wish to find out more about the Carter Bay Eco Resort development project, we encourage you to contact Mr. Arend Van Vierzen at 1 (705) 377-4955.
The Carter Bay property has been made available to the Great Manitou Star Party through Mr. Van Vierzen’s generosity. In exchange for this privilege, we ask that you read and respect the following “Survival Guide”:

Carter Bay Survival Guide

Part I: Safety

  1. It’s Wild! Carter Bay is a true wilderness park — 7,000 acres of virgin forest, 17 kilometres of undeveloped shoreline, etc. Feel free to explore, but remember: You can get seriously lost out there. Stick to established trails; travel with a buddy.
  2. Hey … Where Are The Kids? Your children are your responsibility; make sure you know where they are at all times. Be especially diligent at the beach; there are no lifeguards.
  3. Sunscreen, Please. The weather on Manitoulin Island tends to be hot, dry and sunny. Take the normal precautions: Use sunscreen, drink plenty of water, wear a hat and sunglasses, seek out shade during the hottest part of the day.
  4. Heads Up! Keep your eyes peeled for hazards at all times. It’s no fun stubbing your toe on a jagged rock or smacking your forehead on an overhanging branch. Carter Bay is a remarkably gentle place, but you still have to be alert. A first aid kit is available a Star Party Headquarters should you require treatment for minor injuries.

Your Safety Is Your Responsibility. Carter Bay Eco Resort is a “use-at-your-own-risk” facility. Common sense is the visitor’s best insurance policy. Carter Bay Eco Resort will not be held liable for injuries or accidents, nor will the organizers of the Great Manitou Star Party.

Part II: Environmental Responsibility

  1. Fire! Forest fire is, by far, the most serious threat to this magnificent wilderness. Don’t be responsible for an ecological tragedy. Be extremely careful with open- flame cooking devices, make sure smoking materials are completely extinguished and safely disposed of. Never toss cigarette butts onto the ground; fires can smoulder for days in the undergrowth before they ignite.
  2. Walk Softly. The sand dunes are extremely fragile; explore with care. Stick to established paths. Stay on the flats. Never climb on top of the dunes.
  3. Garbage In; Garbage Out. As with most wilderness parks, visitors are required to remove their own garbage. There’s a public dump on Government Road, just east of Providence Bay. There are recycling centres in Manitowaning and Little Current.