Manitoulin Island contains a number of lakes of its own.
In order of size, its three most prominent lakes are Lake Manitou, Lake Kagawong and Lake Mindemoya.
The North Channel was part of the route used by the French colonial voyageurs and coureurs des bois to reach Lake Superior.
Manitoulin Island itself has 108 freshwater lakes, some of which have their own islands; in turn several of these "islands within islands" have their own ponds.
Lake Manitou, at 104 km Motors are prohibited on boats on Nameless Lake.
The same word with a newer pronunciation is used for the town Manitowaning (19th-century Odawa "Manidoowaaning"), which is located on Manitoulin Island near the underwater cave where legend has it that the spirit dwells.
The modern Odawa name for Manitoulin Island is Mnidoo Mnis (Spirit Island).
In addition to the historic Anishinaabe and European settlement of the island, archeological discoveries at Sheguiandah have demonstrated Paleo-Indian and Archaic cultures dating from 10,000 BC to 2000 BC.
By the 19th century the Odawa "l" was pronounced as "n".
Winter ice prevents ferry service during that season.
Manitoulin Island's soil is relatively alkaline, which precludes the growth of common Northern Ontario flora such as blueberries, but allows for the island's trademark hawberries.
The island also has four major rivers: the Kagawong, Manitou River, Blue Jay Creek in Michael's Bay and Mindemoya rivers, which provide spawning grounds for salmon and trout.
The Manitoulin Streams Improvement Association was formed in 2000 and incorporated in 2007.
The island has two incorporated towns (Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands and Gore Bay), eight townships (Assiginack, Billings, Burpee and Mills, Central Manitoulin, Dawson, Gordon/Barrie Island, Robinson and Tehkummah) and six Anishinaabe reserves (M'Chigeeng, Sheguiandah, Sheshegwaning, Aundeck Omni Kaning, Wikwemikong and Zhiibaahaasing.) During the summer, the population (12,600 permanent residents) on the island grows by more than a quarter due to tourists coming for boating and other activities in scenic surroundings.