People swimming in clear waters.

Bruce Peninsula National Park is a perfect escape for nature and recreation

People swimming in clear waters.

Pack a picnic and a camera and prepare for a day out that you won’t soon forget!

Make a grand entrance

One of the most exciting ways to travel to the Bruce Peninsula is to ride on the Chi-Cheemaun ferry that links Tobermory and Manitoulin Island. Your ride on this passenger and car ferry takes you through the Fathom Five National Marine Park and is a great way to experience the remarkable views as you travel to your destination. Grab a bite to eat on board in the cafeteria, or lounge with a cocktail up top on one of the colourful Muskoka chairs.  

Take advantage of the peninsula’s natural beauty 

One of the highlights of taking a trip to Bruce Peninsula National Park is hiking over to the Grotto. The park’s most popular destination is a limestone cave containing a pool of clear and vibrant turquoise water from Georgian Bay. This natural formation is so stunning; you may even start to think you’re in the Southern Hemisphere! Make sure to pack a pair of hiking shoes and a water bottle as the hike is roughly 45 minutes long each way. Next to the Grotto is a beautiful inlet perfect for swimming. Afterwards, soak up some sun on some of the large, smooth rocks covering the area and enjoy being surrounded by the park’s natural beauty.

If you’re excited to get some swimming in, you’ve got several great options. Bruce Peninsula National Park divides two of the largest bodies of freshwater in the world. With Lake Huron on one side and Georgian Bay on the other, you’ll have plenty of room to stretch your legs and swim in peace. Singing Sands beach on the Lake Huron side is a family favourite featuring shallow, warmer water than on the Georgian Bay side. If it’s sweltering outside, you may want to keep to Indian Cove on the Georgian Bay side as that water is often quite chilly. Be careful, as all swimming on the peninsula is unsupervised, and there are no lifeguards on duty.

If you love camping, Bruce Peninsula National Park has a range of options, including drive-in, group and backcountry camping. If you prefer to enjoy more of the comforts of home on your camping trip, then give the park’s yurt accommodations a try. Each yurt comes with beds, a barbecue, a wood stove and a beautiful Cyprus Lake view.

To add to your sense of adventure, head over to the Halfway Log Dump, where natural boulders line the Georgian Bay shores that are perfect for rock climbing. Boulder the area in a unique and secluded part of the park. Enjoy the trail back and see if you can spot one of the park’s many native bird species! 

Explore the rest of the region

There’s a lot to do in the park and the surrounding area. While a weekend trip is perfect for fitting in the highlights, a more extended stay will give you time to enjoy everything else the area has to offer. Venture to the nearby town of Tobermory for scuba divinghiking, and kayaking. Then, experience some of the world’s freshest fish and chips before taking in some additional sightseeing. The nearby Niagara Escarpment has been named a World Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and is worth a visit. The escarpment includes Bruce Trail, one of Canada’s oldest and longest footpaths at 782 kilometres long.

Take in some culture by visiting one of Tobermory’s acclaimed museums and art galleries. For something unique, visit Margarethe Vanderpas Studio, where you can meet the artist and even commission a custom piece. Vanderpas specializes in Georgian Bay’s oil waterscapes and Lion’s Head and Bruce Peninsula’s limestone cliffs. If you’re interested in learning more about the region’s history, wander over to the St. Edmund’s Bruce Peninsula Museum, which has been operating since 1967. On the museum’s first floor, you can see how a log cabin was furnished in the 19th century. When you’re done, head up to the second floor to focus on marine history.

Last updated: October 16, 2023

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