What Travel Writers Say


Manitoulin Island, Ontario - Rockville Inn

Review by Mike Keenan

Rockville Inn, photo by B&B

Rockville Inn, photo courtesy B&B

Our Room There are three rooms here, one separate from the main house, the other two inside. We are in The Irene Room, a furnished bedroom with its own bathroom The Navaho Room is the other inside room with its own bathroom. The family unit with own entrance, consists of a Living/Dining area with stove and refrigerator, dining table, chairs and easy chairs. Access to deck overlooking the lake is through patio doors. The unit is equipped with a full kitchen and 4 piece bath. All kitchen utensils and bath towels provided. The comfortable bedroom has 2 Queen Beds, all bed linens supplied. Max 4 people. Self-catering; Barbeque on deck. with outdoor table and chairs. Free Kayak, Canoe and WiFi. This unit can be rented for a week at a reduced rate.


Bathroom: The bathroom is ordinary, serviceable and clean.

Decor: The decor is typically cottage-themed, the living area featuring large comfy chairs, a large fireplace replete with a mounted deer's head above, lots of local reading material and bright windows inviting in the light.

Features & History: Manitoulin Island is where Georgian Bay and Lake Huron merge in the north. It's a wonderful place to unwind after a ride on the Chi-Cheemaun ferry from Tobermoroy, a much more relaxed two-hour ferry ride on the Chi-Cheemaun (big canoe) which saves one the long haul through Sudbury. Manitoulin is a natural spa in itself, offering a stress-free environment with life moving at a much slower pace. Time and water seemingly flow together as the sun gently rises over crystal clear lakes.

"Watch out for deer!" we are continually warned. The best feature of this area is its isolation. It's wonderfully quiet except for the birds, and the sunset over the inn's adjacent lake is not to be missed. The inn or really a B&B is a remodeled farm house, on the shores of Lake Manitou. Rockville Inn has been accepted into the best places to Bed and Breakfast in Ontario. Carol and Ron Sheppard's Rockville Inn has been in business for 20 years

Activities: A great place to kayak or canoe and also to hike in such a peaceful setting.


Rockville Inn, photo by Mike Keenan


Breakfast: We enjoy a hot home cooked breakfast, including home-made bread and fresh fruit .

Service: Carol was a terrific source of local information and a pleasure to be with. An enthusiastic, knowledgeable lady! We had the run of the B&B to ourselves as she was only there in the morning.

Nearby Attractions: It's five minutes from the "Cup and Saucer", a famous landmark on Manitoulin Island and part of the Bruce Peninsula escarpment. It's ten miles from restaurants, a golf course and shopping. The landscape is one of lakes, flowers and wildflowers. It is a paradise for hikers and backpackers, cyclists, outdoor adventurers and water sports. Hiking trails are nearby and 40 minutes from the Wikwemikong Cultural Festival.

Carol directed us to Lillian's Indian Crafts at M'Chigeeng, not far from the comfortable inn. In the gallery/museum, Lillian Debassige proudly displayed her exquisite porcupine quill and birch bark baskets ranging in size from 1-8 inches, beautifully fashioned in myriad sizes and shapes for tourists to treasure back home.

The quillwork by Ojibwe, Odawa, and other Woodland tribes and accomplished artists such as Josette Debassige, Ann Pangowish and Victoria Oswamik requires patience and skill. Porcupine quills are plucked individually and carefully in
the spring, for when summer progresses, they fill with oily fluid. The quills were once dyed in baths of roots, flowers, ferns, berries or bark, but now commercial dyes are used. Attached to the birch bark where they dry, their new positions remain fixed.

Birch bark was the base of the material culture of most Woodland tribes - readily available, light-weight, flexible and long-lasting, used in the construction of wigwams, canoes, and stencils for decorating utensils such as cups, bowls and spoons. Containers for storage and cooking were also fashioned from birch bark. Important history and philosophy was recorded on birch bark scrolls.

Room Cost: Range $125 - $135.00. Private unit, 2 Queen Beds, full kitchen and 4 piece bath. Unit sleeps 4 - $145.00 per night. Private unit not part of the bed with breakfast. They do not allow pets or smoking.

Room Tip or Suggestion: All rooms are of equal value.

Address & Contact: R.R.#1Mindemoya, Ontario, POP 1SO (mid-centre and east on the island) Telephone: (705) 282 7720 (in season call May to Sept) carollsheppard@hotmail.com

Hotel Website:  http://www.manitoulin-island.com/rockvilleinn/

Proviso:  I was a guest of the Rockville Inn; however, editorial material above is solely my own and not reviewed by my host.

Old Barn down the road, photo by Mike Keenan View from the Inn, photo by Mike Keenan Rockville Inn sunrise over Lake Manitou, photo by Mike Keenan Carol Sheppard, photo by Mike Keenan

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Mike Keenan is a travel columnist for Troy Media. He produces a travel podcast - http://whattravelwriterssay.libsyn.com/ accessible on iTunes and Stitcher Radio and has been published in every major newspaper across Canada including the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and Toronto Sun. He has been published in National Geographic Traveler, Buffalo Spree, Stitches, West of the City, Seniors Review and Hamilton-Burlington's View Magazine. With hundreds of reviews, photos and helpful votes, he has earned Trip Advisor's "Top Contributor Badge" and is considered an "Expert" in both Hotels and Restaurant reviews. Mike posts photos to Pinterest where he has a following of five thousand viewers.

Welcome sign, photo by Mike Keenan

Welcome sign, photo by Mike Keenan

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Mike Keenan
Rockville Inn

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The Great Lakes Manitoulin Island has an area of 2,766 km2 (1,068 sq mi), making it the 172nd largest island in the world and Canada's 31st largest island. The island separates the larger part of Lake Huron to its south and west from Georgian Bay to its east and the North Channel to the north. Manitoulin Island has 108 freshwater lakes and four major rivers: the Kagawong, Manitou River, Blue Jay Creek in Michael's Bay and Mindemoya Rivers, which provide spawning grounds for salmon and trout. The island is physio-graphically part of Southern Ontario, an "eastward extension of the Interior Plains, a region characterized by low relief and sedimentary underpinnings". The island consists mainly of dolomite as it is a continuation of the Bruce Peninsula and Niagara Escarpment. This geological rock formation runs South into Niagara Falls and continues into New York State.    - Wikipedia

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Rockville Inn: http://www.manitoulin-island.com/rockvilleinn/
Lillian's Indian Crafts: P.O. Box 68, M'Chigeeng: http://www.lillianscrafts.ca/
Chi-Cheemaun: http://www.ontarioferries.com/en/manitoulin-island/
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manitoulin_island
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