Our Beginnings on Manitoulin Island
In 1991, Terry and Rita Gordon moved to Manitoulin Island from Sudbury, Ontario. At the time, Terry was a self-employed taxidermist. To attract more business, Terry & Rita put a full size bear-mount along the road and people would stop and take pictures and videos recording themselves doing all sorts of funny poses and faces.
It was at that moment that they knew they were onto something and created the Mounted Animal Nature Trail, which showcased a variety of mounted animals they had collected over the years and interpretive information along a walking trail in the interior of the park. The Mounted Animal Nature Trail was made Canada-famous when the Arrogant Worms, a Canadian comedy band, recorded a song about the trail on their C’est Cheese album and it was played on CBC (a lot). Rita & Terry woke up to a wave of inquiries and buzz about their unique business.
Over their 25 years in business, the Gordons have embarked on many different ventures on the land that currently makes up Gordon’s Park. At one point, our current campground was a 3D archery range. The main office/interpretive centre was the Hoot & Howl, a restaurant/bar and music venue. During the Christmas season, for several years, our main pavilion and surrounding outside area was turned into miniature villages with an outdoor light display of over 16,000 lights. Our nature trails doubled as cross-country ski runs where we hosted moonlight ski events in the winter months and in 1996, what is now our Dark Sky Preserve was host to 700 Guides and Scouts for their annual Rendezvous.
As the business grew to incorporate accommodations and other activities, the business was rebranded as Gordon’s Park as it exists today. Terry & Rita, and their team, are anxious to welcome you to the Park. We hope you visit soon.