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Home > Canada > Ontario > Bruce Peninsula National Park

Bruce Peninsula National Park, Ontario (View Photos):

Near Tobermory, Ontario, Bruce Peninsula National Park introduces visitors to scenes of staggering beauty. A segment of the vast Niagara Escarpment overlooks the clear, blue waters of Georgian Bay. In recognition of the escarpment's unique ecosystem, the United Nations designated the entire escarpment as a World Biosphere Reserve in 1990. Throughout the park, hikers will find freshwater lakes, bogs, diverse plant life, and a dense forest of Eastern white cedar, balsam fir, and quaking aspen. Flowering orchids, of which there are an amazing 44 species in the park, herald the arrival of the late Spring season. Typical northern wildlife like deer, foxes, racoons, and black bears are present, as are numerous species of birds. Visitors should be careful not to disturb the Massasauga rattlesnake, a venomous reptile that makes its home on the Bruce Peninsula.

The best way to explore the park is by taking a hike along the Bruce Trail, a renowned 535 mile footpath that spans the Niagara Escarpment from Tobermory to Niagara. Some of the most spectacular scenery along the Bruce Trail is found in the park. The sculpted cliffs of the escarpment enable robust hikers to enjoy glorious views of Georgian Bay. The mesmerizing waters of Georgian Bay are so irresistibly beautiful that they resemble nothing if not a huge lake of liquid glass. The deep blue-green waters are crystal clear but quite frigid, at least up until summer. Only during the late summer weeks are these waters tolerable enough for swimming.

It is quite fortunate that Bruce Peninsula National Park was established in 1987, for it represents the largest remaining piece of wilderness in heavily developed and populated Southern Ontario. Although the park sounds like a paradise, it should be noted that the widespread presence of mosquitos and flies can make hiking this area in Spring and Summer a rather uncomfortable experience, so come prepared with the proper anti-bug accoutrements. Most people start their exploration of the park from the Head of Trails where most of the parks' choice footpaths begin. From here, the famous Bruce Trail as well as the beautiful shoreline can be accessed by taking a 25 minute stroll along the Georgian Bay trail.

Recommended Day Hikes:
Bruce Trail (from Indian Head Cove to Little Cove)
Round Trip Length: 9.0 miles one-way, 18 miles round-trip
Trailhead location: From highway 6, turn onto Cyprus Lake Road and drive to the end of the road, then park at the Head of Trails area
Level of Difficulty: Very Strenuous
Attractions: This difficult 9-mile hike explores one of the most impressive sections of the Bruce Trail. Along the way, you will see panoramic views of Georgian Bay from the edge of the Niagara Escarpment, overhanging cliffs, beaches covered with white rocks and boulders, thick forests, and - if the timing is right - colorful wildflowers. Be sure to use sturdy hiking boots. To get to Indian Head Cove, take the Georgian Bay Trail to the Bruce Trail and turn left onto the Bruce Trail. The cove is a few minutes away

Georgian Bay-Marr Lake Trail
Round Trip Length: 1.9 miles
Trailhead location: From highway 6, turn onto Cyprus Lake Road and drive to the end of the road, then park at the Head of Trails area
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Attractions: A loop trail that combines both forest and shoreline scenery. The shoreline is difficult to walk on because it is covered with white rocks and boulders which makes it easy to lose one's footing. Views of Horse Lake and Marr Lake can be seen along the way

Recommended Points of Interest:
Indian Head Cove & The Grotto; Overhanging Point; Halfway Rock Point; Cyprus Lake; The Bruce Trail (from Indian Head Cove to Little Cove); Singing Sands Day-use Area; Halfway Log Dump

Helpful travel tips and observations
If you have the time, a more than worthy excursion involves a boat tour of nearby Fathom Five National Marine Park and Flowerpot Island. The glass-bottomed boat tours leave from Tobermory and explore the incredible waters of Georgian Bay, including a number of shipwrecks. Passengers are dropped off on Flowerpot Island for a few hours to explore a pair of striking rock chimneys on the shore and a tall lighthouse. As mentioned above, the Bruce Peninsula is mosquito and fly country, so come prepared. The bugs can be vicious in forested areas, but relief is provided by the waters of Georgian Bay and its associated breezes

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More Photos:  Page 1 > Page 2 > Page 3 > Page 4

Indian Head Cove, Bruce Peninsula National Park, (June 2007)

Indian Head Cove, Bruce Peninsula National Park

Indian Head Cove, Bruce Peninsula National Park, (June 2007)

Indian Head Cove, Bruce Peninsula National Park

Indian Head Cove from the Bruce Trail, Bruce Peninsula National Park, (June 2007)

Indian Head Cove, Bruce Peninsula National Park

Indian Head Cove, Bruce Peninsula National Park, (June 2007)

Indian Head Cove, Bruce Peninsula National Park

Georgian Bay from the Bruce Trail, Bruce Peninsula National Park, (June 2007)

Georgian Bay, Bruce Peninsula National Park

Overhanging Point, Bruce Peninsula National Park, (June 2007)

Overhanging Point, Bruce Peninsula National Park

Georgian Bay shoreline, Bruce Peninsula National Park, (June 2007)

Georgian Bay shoreline, Bruce Peninsula National Park

View of the Niagara Escarpment and Georgian Bay, Bruce Peninsula National Park, (June 2007)

Niagara Escarpment and Georgian Bay, Bruce Peninsula National Park

More Photos:  Page 1 > Page 2 > Page 3 > Page 4

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