"Bruce Peninsula National Park" Bruce Peninsula National Park by Faiza-Ifrah

Why visit this World Biosphere Reserve?

It was in early 2009 when a visitor to VT asked a question on VT Travel Forum regarding long-distance hiking that he could do in various national parks of Canada. I had advised that the national parks in Ontario at least should be out of his scope, because they are too small to cater to his taste for long distance adventure hiking. I was guilty at my response though. I discussed it with other family members and we all agreed that we should hike through some national parks of Ontario to see what unique geological and biological features they have and whether adventure hikers would enjoy hiking through them. Since Bruce Peninsula National Park happens to be closest to us in Southern Ontario, it was natural that we would start from this park.

Bruce Peninsula National Park is a part of a much larger ecosystem, with Niagara Escarpment (a World Biosphere Reserve) as a backbone. Our forays into other conservation parks under Niagara Escarpment are covered under other Ontario Destinations.

The national park is located in close proximity to densely populated Southern Ontario and is therefore, very popular with the tourists who are attracted to its rugged scenery and Georgian Bay shoreline.

The Park can be reached by taking north exit of Hurontario Street (Highway 10) of Mississauga from Highway 401. Continue till Highway 10 north joins Highway 6 north (coming from Guelph) at Owen Sound. Follow Highway 6 north past Owen Sound and Wiarton (a town at the base of Bruce Peninsula) all the way to the picturesque Tobermory, which is the last town on Bruce Peninsula with a population of 4,200.

Hiking on the Bruce Trail

A section of the 782 km-long famous Bruce Trail runs through the national park. Since it offered varying degree of difficulty all along the shoreline, we decided to hike on it starting from High Dump in the west to Overhanging Point in the east. Inclusive of access trails through the dense forests, this meant a total of 25 km, but certainly felt like much more than that due to several stretches where the trail went over cobbled beaches (see picture).

Our plan for hiking

The plan was to first of all visit the Registration Centre, buy tickets, and get as much information as possible. Then hike in sections from landmark to landmark as follows:

1. From Cyprus Lake Parking Lot and Registration Office towards north to Halfway Rock Point by the Georgian Bay Lakeshore = 1 km
2. From Halfway Rock Point westwards to Grotto by the lakeshore = .25 km
3. From Grotto westwards to Overhanging Point by the Lakeshore = 1 km
4. From Overhanging Point double-back to Grotto and Halfway Rock Point = 1.25 km
5. From Halfway Rock Point eastwards to Cave Point by the Lakeshore = 1 km
6. From Cave Point eastwards to High Dump by the Lakeshore = 7kms
7. From High Dump southwards to Crane Lake Parking Lot in the forest = 8 kms

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Unique geological features, close to Toronto, another national park close by
  • Cons:Fickle weather of Georgian Bay
  • In a nutshell:It is an adventure hiker's and conservationist's haven
  • Last visit to Bruce Peninsula National Park: Jul 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (20)

Comments (10)

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    May 28, 2011 at 12:27 PM

    Excellent introduction explaining the motivation to visit this and other parks in Canada. Wonderful photographs of a rugged, beautiful area. Great find on the motel. Loved the Grotto and found Cliff jumping fascinating.

  • Greggor58's Profile Photo
    Oct 14, 2010 at 8:42 PM

    Its pretty and rugged country isnt it here..climbing or hiking over rock like what you found along the lake shore is difficult anywhere..Beautiful photography Faiza!Thanks for the tour!

  • icunme's Profile Photo
    Sep 22, 2009 at 7:59 AM

    Outstanding photos & detail - the Grotto is stunning. Cliff jumping photo reminds me of Giampiero in Sardenia! Grazie for great tour, Carol

  • glabah's Profile Photo
    Sep 21, 2009 at 10:51 AM

    Looks like a really interesting set of formations in this National Park.

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Sep 8, 2009 at 2:10 AM

    Stunning coastal scenery! I certainly would enjoy the walks that you did. Aren't people silly, disobeying the signs about the diving, so dangerous!!!

  • goutammitra's Profile Photo
    Jul 30, 2009 at 6:51 PM

    Faiza: This is surely one of the better pages on any biosphere reserve. Did you do snorkelling? All four of you really had very good time. I am also impressed your advice on safety while visiting forest, no one gives or follows.

  • madamx's Profile Photo
    Jul 27, 2009 at 8:20 AM

    Faiza, looks like you did some hard work on the trail and off the trail! Thanks for visiting my Yoho pages -- hope you can come out this way soon ~ Helen

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Jul 26, 2009 at 1:07 PM

    Well, I must say, you have done an excellent job on this Bruce Peninsula Park page. What a wonderful trip and experience for your family. Great pictures and very useful information for other visitors.

  • Jul 25, 2009 at 8:21 PM

    Faiza, I thoroughly enjoyed your new page, especially the picture of the cliff jumper whom, as I stopped to observe your photos, reminded me of my mine time spent in Makarska, Croatia: it was here where I too enjoyed engaging in some daredevil theatrics.

  • pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo
    Jul 25, 2009 at 12:10 AM

    Some great page you made. Excellent trip report and sound advice. PJ


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