Towering cliffs, strange rock formations, numerous caves, dense forest, glens, meadows, and flowers all surrounded by crystal clear water make Flowerpot Island one of the best attractions on the Peninsula.
There were originally three flowerpots on the island (one fell down in 1903). These seastacks were created by waves pounding at the cracks in the limestone, gradually wearing away the softer lower limestone from the harder dolomite top. The resulting shape resembles a giant flowerpot. Other relics of the ancient sea that once covered all the Great Lakes area are the caves located 20 meters above Georgian Bay.
Flowerpot Island Trail Map: http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/on/bruce/visit/visit6/visit6c.aspx
Parks Canada Tobermory Visitor Centre Trail Map: http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/on/bruce/visit/visit6/visit6b.aspx
The Legend of the Flowerpots
The legend tells of Shining Rainbow, a princess of the Ottawa tribe, and Bounding Deer, a prince of the Chippawa, enemies of the Ottawa. The two met while the tribes were on peaceful terms at the beautiful Saugeen River near Southampton. They soon fell in love but it was not a love without complications. Not only were they from different tribes, but Shining Rainbow's father had promised her to a warrior from her own tribe. War again was also looming between their peoples.
So one night in the Moon of the Strawberries (June), Bounding Deer pushed his canoe away from the shore at Saugeen for the last time. The fact that it was the last time did not worry him for in the centre of his graceful canoe sat Shining Rainbow and she was leaving her people forever. The canoe slipped like a slim, swift bird through the waters. Pursuit was inevitable. For hours Bounding Deer's paddle rose and dipped in the moonlight and when the moon had made the shadows short, they were within sight of Manitoueses. This was a sacred Island off the mainland of the 'long-point-that-juts-out-into-Lake Huron', as the natives of the Bruce Peninsula called it. This was the home of the lesser devils and of Little Spirit, and of a thunder bird egg. No Indian who had set foot on this island ever returned.
Pausing, they listened to the quiet, and for a moment Shining Rainbow thought she heard paddles behind her. Looking, she saw far behind, three large canoes - and the moonlight gleaming on twenty paddles!
They had little chance to out race the three canoes so Shining Rainbow offered to throw herself over the side of the canoe and swim back to meet her fate allowing her lover to escape. He would not listen to her. "It might be that the Little Spirit would have more pity on us than your brothers" he said. Shining Rainbow agreed, so when they saw that their pursuers would not fail to take them, they turned straight to shore.
No sooner had the bow of Bounding Deer's canoe touched the shore when giant waves lifted the other canoes and a deafening crash rang across the waters. When the canoes were steadied again, they saw that the island had been split in two! There on the shore were the petrified figures of the two they had followed. The Little Spirit had once again spoken to his people!