Cup & Saucer, Manitoulin Island
Welcome to the top
I’ve hiked the Cup and Saucer trail twice now; first with my husband and this time with a group of ten. Both experiences have led me to my decision that it was worth the drive to get there.
This trail boasts 70 meter high cliffs that run 2 km long, as well as almost 12 km of hiking trails for all levels. Once you reach the East Lookout which is surprisingly part of the Niagara escarpment, you will be greeted with a 180 degree panoramic view of beautiful lush Manitoulin. Standing on that wide ledge and staring at that view you can’t help but feel you’ve conquered the trail.
Reaching the top included a celebration of friendship, moments of reflection, love of family, and of course a greater appreciation for our lovely natural surroundings.
Make the moment what you want it to be
Getting to the lookout is an amazing journey that leads you along a trail full of different terrains, at times steep rocky paths and narrow ridges that climb higher to the top. I highly recommend appropriate shoes as the climb can get challenging and could get very slippery in wet conditions. Remember to pack your water and a snack; the top is a perfect spot to rest and enjoy some refreshment before tackling the descent back down.
This was the first time that I hiked with a larger group. We had kids from age seven, and even my niece who was a novice hiker and pregnant complete this trail so I would say it is possible for all levels of experience. It is a longer hike so I would prepare yourself with little ones for mini breaks along the way. I usually pack some fruit, such as grapes or apple slices for a quick easy snack.
The Adventure Trail
Once you’ve reached the lookout you may think you’ve seen it all but if you are up for a challenge try the Adventure Trail.
The name speaks for itself, this trail that branches off from the white trail is for those that want something off the beaten path. It takes you down into a dark cave crevice where you really do need a flashlight or headlamp to see where you’re going, we used our phone light which worked as well. At the end of this cave you climb a man-made ladder to continue your adventure along some cool rocky terrain. Make sure you keep an eye out for the trail markers, as we somehow managed to find ourselves on the blue trail.
Depending where you connect with this path it will take you either to the white trail going back to the parking lot or up to the lookout. We found it heading up to the lookout and the sign was on our left with steps leading down to the cave entrance.