Points of Interest
Ice Lake is the name of a rural community that is, as much as anything, a state of mind. It’s named after the relatively small (but not tiny) lake across which, via causeway, Highway 540 passes. Gore Bay is just west of here, about 7 km. But Ice Lake has its own personality as a neighbourhood.
The shallow lake is so named, according to local lore, because it’s the first Manitoulin lake to freeze over and, in the spring, the first to thaw.
There is a tiny housekeeping resort on the lake, Evergreen Resort, accessible from Highway540 is intersected by Beange Road, heading south. This is the eastern most part of the Municipality of Gordon/Barrie Island and Robertson Road eventually reaches Lake Kagawong where there is a bustling private cottage community. On the way down, it passes the Ice Lake Community Hall, a stone buttressed affair, that served in its day as the community’s one-room school. Nearby is the Ice Lake Church of Christ which has been Manitoulin Island’s sole representation of this denomination since the 1880s.
In the Ice Lake area:
A nearby road leads off to the Strawberry Point Christian Cap on Ice Lake. Going north from Highway 540 on Beange Road, the road Ts into Gordon’s Fifth Sideroad (The Fifth past) the front door of the retail part of Burt’s Country Meats.
Stressing “retail” is important because this generation of the Burt family on this farm decided nearly 25 years ago to operate a self-contained organic farm, complete with its own inspected abattoir. Cattle, pigs, chickens, turkeys are raised here organically, slaughtered and butchered here and the products are sold through the retail store (which is only open Fridays and Saturdays because the same people who serve customers those days are busy farming the rest of the week.) It’s a unique business model on Manitoulin.
The Fifth carries on westward as a “back door” entrance to Gore Bay. It’s been paved, and made extra wide, so it’s a great route for bikers and hikers.