Airplanes on skis?

If you’ve been to Parry Sound before, you’ve more than likely seen the floatplanes that take off from Georgian Bay Airways base located across the road from 40 Bay Street Bed & Breakfast. Many of my guests take advantage of their Fly & Dine to Henry’s – a world famous fish restaurant only accessible by air or boat on San Souci Island.

Normally, we don’t see the planes from November until April – but 2014 is different! One of their planes has been equipped with skis – to enable it to land on ice in the winter. I spoke with owner Keith Saulnier, to learn more about this new opportunity.

GBA on skis

Georgian Bay Airways stores their planes at the local airport over the winter. Once they arrive at the airport in the fall, the floats are taken off, and the planes are put on wheels. The skis are then installed above the wheels. The airplane takes off on wheels, and once it is airborne, the skis are hydraulically dropped down over the wheels. He says that it is not a lot different flying planes with skis than with the floats they use in the summer. What is different is the noise you hear when the plane lands on the fluffy snow topping Georgian Bay's ice – he describes it like the noise you here when you go down-hill skiing or snowboarding…a big shushhhhhh!

The plane will be used primarily to help the Ministry of Natural Resources with things like moose counts, monitoring ice fishing, etc. However, it is also available for charters, training for others that would like to be able to fly on skis and offering rides at various winter festivals.

So, if you happen to be at one of those winter festivals, and somebody says “Georgian Bay Airways is here giving tours” you aren’t hearing things!


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The Parry Sound Travel Guide

Parry Sound is a beautiful setting to live and visit. I have made this wonderful location my home since 2006 and am still discovering all the beauty there is to see.

After years of helping our guests get the most out of their visits, I created the Parry Sound Travel Guide I have put together a list of the most popular activities, with links to the appropriate web sites so that you can check them out for yourself! Each recommended itinerary describes the length of time and if advanced reservations required.

Depending on your budget, your interests and how long you plan to stay in Parry Sound, you can mix and match the options to explore the area in the way you want.

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40 Bay Street B&B Granola Recipe

Our "secret" recipe for 40 Bay Street Granola is no longer a secret! So many people have requested the recipe we have finally agreed to share it. Chef Simon created this recipe for us the second season 40 Bay Street Bed & Breakfast was open, and it has been a favourite ever since! Whenever it is baking (one of the many secrets!) people stop and ask what that heavenly smell is.

And guess what? It tastes even better than it smells!

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Cross-country skiing anyone?

Georgian Nordic Ski and Canoe Club has been an area fixture for 32 years.  A volunteer run organization, over the years they have expanded to include:

  • 30 km of winding trails for all levels of cross country skiers
  • The trails include performance (combined classic and skate), back country, single track and snowshoe
  • Memberships and daily passes are available
  • Ski, boot and pole rentals
  • Group and private lessons

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