Terrace Bay, Ontario, Canada

THE SLATE ISLANDS (Click here for video)

Panorama of Slate Islands Lighthouse
At 224 feet high, the Slate Islands Lighthouse is the Tallest in the Great Lakes
 
The Slate Islands archipelago is formed of two main islands, five minor islands and numerous islets located 13 km off the shore of Terrace Bay. The islands cover 36 square kms and are accessible by boat or plane, usually from Terrace Bay or Rossport. The two largest islands, Patterson and Mortimer, surround protected waters, coves, bays and smaller islands.
 
 
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Map of the Slate Islands
Map of the Slate Islands
 
The Largest Shattercone on Earth!!!
Slates Shattercone
The islands are believed to have formed over a billion years ago when a large meteorite smashed into the earth. They are not made of slate, but mainly of metamorphosed, igneous rock and rise to nearly 400 feet, 122 m above lake level. When a meteorite, or nuclear blast occurs it leaves a rare geological formation called a shattercone which is a rock that has been subjected to a shock with extreme pressures .  The meteorite strike that hit the Slate Islands left a 10m long shattercone, which is the largest in the world.
 
Additionally, the glacial effects and pounding waves of Lake Superior have made the area rich in valuable and accessible minerals.
 
The islands are populated by a variety of species, most notably, the concentrated presence of woodland caribou, whose ancestors crossed from the mainland on winter ice in 1907. According to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, it is the largest unpredated herd of this species known. Other mammals found on the islands include beaver, muskrat, snowshoe hare, short-tailed weasel, red-backed vole, and red fox.
 
Herd of Caribou at Slate Islands
Caribou Herd at Slate Islands
Caribou Fighting at Slate Islands
Male Caribou Fighting at Slate Islands
 
A lighthouse was built on Patterson Island in 1903, to help ships locate the harbour at the nearby town of Jackfish, Ontario. Prior to 1935, the Slates were the base for numerous miners, loggers and other workers. Up until the 1940s, the islands were used to stockpile boomed logs from the mainland Lake Superior north shore for export on lake freighters to pulp mills in the United States. There are still signs of abandoned mines, rotting lumber camps and iron hooks drilled into rock to attach giant log booms.  
 
Slate Islands Lighthouse and Lightkeepers Private Camp Slate Islands Boathouse
Slate Islands Lighthouse & Lightkeepers Private Camp and Boathouse
 
Samuel Risley Coastguard Vessel at Slate Islands
Samuel Risley Coastguard Vessel at Slate Islands 
 
In 1985, the Slate Islands were protected as an Ontario provincial park. There are no facilities (except the cabins which are only to be used in emergency situations) and the islands’ remoteness is enforced by almost 9 km of water and its distance from large communities. It is frequented by naturalists, fishing parties, sailors exploring the Great Lake, and recently by an increasing number of sea kayaking parties. 
 
 
 
Emergency Cabin at the Slate Islands
An emergency cabin
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