The Bruce Peninsula National Park is literally world renown for the exceptional quality of hiking. These are our recommended hikes, not in any particular order.
If you are venturing beyond Halfway Log Dump and the area around Tobermory it is recommended you pick up a set of the detailed maps available at multiple locations in Tobermory. The camping supply store on the left side of H6 before town reliably has the maps.
Burnt Point Trail
Good way to get your “feet wet” and get a sense of things. Not a difficult hike, could be done easily in a couple of hours. Park at the park headquarters in Tobermory. Check out the display in the headquarters, climb the tower to get expansive views, then head down the Bruce Trail and complete the Burnt Trail Loop. Doing the full list above will take an afternoon, then reward yourself with a pint at the Crow’s Nest Pub or the Tobermory Brewing Company in the harbour.
Grotto and Overhang Point
This is the obligatory Tobermory hike and should not be missed. Parking fills up at Cyprus Lake by noon (or earlier) most days in July or August, so get an early start on this hike. Start at the “Head of Trails” parking at the Cyprus Lake campsite. Most people will hike straight to the Grotto and hike back via the Georgian Bay Trail which is pretty much wheelchair accessible except at the end. Below we offer a much more scenic “off the beaten path” route that is more work but worth it. I’ve probably done this hike 30 times and it never gets old. Avoid the crowds and plan on this taking most of the day:
- From the trail head follow the Horse Lake Trail until it meets the Bruce Trail (at Georgian Bay).
- Turn left (west) and follow the Bruce Trail to Indian Head Cove and the Grotto. At the Grotto look for the rabbit hole (small tunnel in the rock) for the safest way to get into the Grotto, scaling the cliff as most uninformed people do is just asking for trouble.
- Continue west on the Bruce Trail to the Marr Lake Trail Junction (huge white rock beach).
- Continue on the Bruce Trail to Overhang Point. Just prior to the actual point there is a second rabbit hole (right beside the trail) that will allow you to drop in below the overhang. Alternatively, continue past the point and there is an easy trail to allow access under the overhang (very cool!).
- Continue descending below the overhang for fantastic swimming.
- Return to the Marr Lake Trail via the Bruce Trail
- Follow the Marr Lake Trail back to the trail head
Halfway Log Dump and Cave Point
Park at the Halfway Log Dump parking lot at the end of Emmett Lake Road. Follow the Halfway Log Dump Trail to Halfway Log Dump. Most people aggregate to the left of where the trail meets Georgian Bay. The rock formations 100m down the beach to the right are more interesting and this is the better spot for swimming. Return to the Bruce Trail and travel west to Cave Point. There is a small side trail that allows you to drop down into the caves that are the namesake of the point. The first cave is reasonably easy to access, the lower caves (some right on the water) take a bit more scrambling to access but are worth it. Return to the trail head the way you came. This hike will take most of the day if you take time to explore the caves.
Lion’s Head Point
It’s a bit of a drive back to Lion’s Head for this hike but the views are spectacular and you pass through multiple ecotypes on the hike. Parking is on Moore Street, travel to Lion’s Head Point and return will take half a day.