The 30,000 Islands are truly spectacular as the world’s most extensive lake based island chain. Its glacier-scoured, granite islands dotted by windswept pines, contain some of Canada’s most incredible scenery, delicate ecosystems with rare plants and animals as well as culturally significant marine architecture, historic sites and shipwrecks. Most of the islands may be visited since they are designated as crown land, provincial parks, Georgian Bay Islands National Parks or Georgian Bay Land Trust properties that are collectively protected for conservation and heritage legacy purposes.
The McCoy Islands lie a few kilometres offshore from the Shawanaga Inlet and can be accessed by boat from the harbours of Pointe au Baril, Dillon or Snug Harbour. Camping is allowed on Big McCoy, Dart, Champion and several other islands along the north end of the Mink-McCoy Island chain. Islands belonging to the Georgian Bay Land Trust such as Chippewa and Little McCoy Islands may be visited for day use only. The outer islands let visitors experience a world "on the edge" where contorted trees cling to life on barren rock and plants that normally grow in the arctic such as Cotton Grass can be found. The islands also host an unusually large population of spiders and giant millipedes. Blueberries abound and sheltered, lucid coves are perfect spots for swimming and snorkeling. Stargazing is fantastic in this dark sky reserve where artificial lighting is non-existent.