August 11, 2020
RANKED NO.1 ON TRIP ADVISOR FOR NATURE ACTIVITIES ON MANITOULIN ISLAND!
History: The Cup and Saucer was one of EBC's first nature reserves. 300 acres were acquired in 1999 with an additional purchase of 45 Acres in 2001. There are over 8 kms of hiking trails through deciduous forest, over rocky outcrops ending at towering cliffs with views over the North Channel on one side and Lake Manitou on the other. The side "Adventure" Trail takes you through rock crevasses and up cliff scaling ladders.
Significant Features: The cliffs are called “Cup and Saucer” because the higher Cup is perched on the lower Saucer formation. The lower is the older Ordovician deposit which is 450 million years old, while the higher cup is slightly younger and dates back to the Silurian period, approximately 430 million years. The deposits were laid down in a tropical sea, then south of the equator. Subsequently the soft soils around that sea were eroded and scraped away to reveal magnificent 70m cliffs. The forests here are mixed deciduous dominated by Oak on the highest plateau.
The Cup and Saucer reserve protects 3 species of conservation concern: Purple stemmed cliff brake, Roberts fern/limestone oak fern, and Wallrue spleenwort.
Location: This reserve is accessible from Highway 540. Starting in Little Current, travel west on Highway 540 for approximately 20 km to Bidwell Road. Continue on Highway 540 and you will find the new parking area and trailhead on the east side of the road. To view this reserve in Google Maps click here.
Trails: The Cup and Saucer Trail on Manitoulin Island takes you to the top of the Niagara Escarpment for views north-west over West Bay and east over Lake Manitou. The Niagara Escarpment outcrops are found on both EBC’s property and on privately owned land. Please stay on the marked trail and respect the landowners who generously allow us to enjoy the trail throughout the year.