Parks / Ontario
Five National Marine Park
The best known part of Fathom
Fives terrestrial area is Flowerpot Island,
its geological history readily evident in its
limestone cliffs, the caves carved high in the
cliffs above the trail, and the flowerpots
- tapered columns at the waters edge.
Cobblestones rounded by wave action, mark where
the beach of a small bay once cut deeply into
the land. Cove Island is the largest island
and, due to its closeness to the mainland, it
has the greatest variety of wildlife including
deer, bear and rattlesnakes. On the smaller,
more remote Flowerpot Island, red squirrels
and garter snakes are the most visible wildlife.
Mature sugar maple is found only on Flowerpot
Island; on Cove Island, white birch predominate;
the only dominant deciduous site of aspen and
white birch are found on Russel and Otter islands.
Tamarack and several varieties of mosses thrive
in abundance wherever moist lowlands occur.
Where the cool damp soil creates a bog-like
habitat, the blooming of plants, such as the
43 species of orchids, is an occasion of much
interest. Orchids like the calypso, also called
fairy slipper, and the Alaskan rein, maintain
a symbiotic dependency on specific fungi, making
them almost impossible to transplant. The islands
are also home to the dwarf lake iris, Indian
plantain, and 20 kinds of fern.