Beardrop Harbour

Beardrop Harbour, ON

Lat: 46° 9.559   Long: 082° 38.214

Quick Reference:

  • Port Type: Anchorage
  • Monitors VHF: n/a
  • Charts: CHS 2268/69
  • Customs: No
  • Coast Guard
  • Transient Docking
  • Anchorage
  • Diesel
  • Gasoline
  • Potable Water
  • Pump Out
  • Washrooms
  • Showers
  • Laundry
  • Repair Services
  • Provisions
  • Pharmacy
  • Hospital/Clinic
  • Banks/ATM
  • Restaurants/Pubs
  • Shopping
  • Internet
  • Amenities
  Important Numbers


Harbor Distance (nm) Harbor Distance (nm)
Spragge, ON 9 N Meldrum Bay, ON 26 SW
Turnbull Is., ON 8 W Gore Bay, ON 19 S
Aird Is., ON 9 E John Harbour ON 2 S
Benjamin Is., ON 21 E Little Current, ON 35 E


The North Channel is considered on of the finest sailing grounds in the world. Extending from west to east, it is bounded on the south by Manitoulin Island and on the north by a network of smaller islands. Lying between these islands and the mainland is Whalesback Channel and McBean Channel. These two smaller channels offer simply stunning scenery. They offer a cruising sailor an experience unmatched virtually anywhere else on the Great Lakes.

Beardrop Harbour is an incredibly beautiful anchorage located near the west end of Whalesback Channel, on the north side. It can be a popular anchorage but there lots of room for vessels to space themselves out.


NOTE: It is important to pay attention to your navigation when sailing in the North Channel. The bottom and the shorelines are rocky and lack of attention can result in serious damage to your boat. In addition to charts and a chartplotter, a very handy tool is an old-fashioned lead line. (mine is simply a very heavy steel nut tied to a 50 ft piece of line, marked off in feet). Enter anchorages and constricted passages slowly and having a bow lookout can be very helpful. Many people are reluctant to sail these waters because of fear of this rocky environment. That 'fear' should engender caution, not avoidance. Plan well and go carefully and you will see a spectacular part of the Great Lakes. Others have and you can too.

The approach to Beardrop Harbour is clearly marked on charts. From the charted Whalesback Channel, go to a point approximately 100m / 330' west of the charted Turtle Island. Turtle Island is a small rocky islet surmounted with a starboard-hand navigation marker (RED triangle). From that point, alter course to the northeast (approximately °45) and move to the harbour entrance. Beardrop Harbour is entered by a narrow (84m/275 ft) passage.

Once inside the entrance, hold to the centre of the channel, passing a small islet on the south, about 900m/2950' in. There is a rock ledge the extends from the islet so keep to the centre of the channel. Once past that, note the cluster of small islets and rocks on your port bow. Bend your course to starboard to pass to the south of these. Those rocks are frequently lurking just below the surface.

Past these, you are in the harbour proper. It is about .8 nm long and 425m/1,400' wide at its widest. There is open water at the east end but it is not a navigable passage. There is excellent anchoring throughout the harbour. It is also an excellent 'hurricane hole' if the weather turns bad.

About 3/4 of the way along the south shore of Beardrop, there is a 'cut' between two islands (Bear Fall) that leads back out into Whalesback Channel. It is uncharted but some brave souls now and then try to take it with varying degrees of success. There is a large boulder lurking beneath the surface in the centre of this narrow cut. While I would not take my sailboat through there, it is a perfect excursion in a dinghy.


There are many places to anchor safely along either shoreline of Beardrop Harbour








Beardrop Harbour offers some of the classic "Group of Seven" artists' representations - bare rock faces, windswept pines, lone pine trees tenaciously gripping a thin soil. It is beautiful to see and one can easily explore the mainland or the nearby islands. Note that this harbour is part of the Serpent River First Nation and the land should not be disturbed.

Return from Beardrop Harbour to North Channel

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