BRUCE PENINSULA NATIONAL PARK
Canadian National Parks are vast and charming, and as of 2017, there are 39 National Parks and 8 National Park Reserves, covering about 3% of the total land in Canada. I’ve been wanting to explore one in particular this spring, and have been waiting for the snow to disappear to finally begin my quest.
Bruce Peninsula National Park is located between Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, and is one of the most popular in Ontario, Canada, as they host hundreds of campers every season. An 8-hour drive from our Nation’s Capital, it’s the perfect camping spot for a long weekend! Who knew this little slice of heaven was right under my nose and in my province too?
Eric and I stayed at Lands End Park, a delightful campground in the heart of Tobermory located on the northern tip of the Bruce Peninsula. Although it may be a small town, Tobermory has a lot to offer, such as endearing shops and boutiques, a jaw-dropping harbour, and really great food.
Minutes away, you can find Sweepstakes, a Canadian schooner that sank in Big Tub Harbour in 1885, and considered to be one of the world’s most beautiful shipwrecks. Whether or not that crown can be bestowed upon any particular shipwreck, it is remarkably divine in the crystalline waters of the lake. A boat tour to Sweepstakes is available through Bruce Anchor, and I highly recommend it!
Tobermory is home to over 20 other historic shipwrecks, offering some of the best freshwater diving opportunities in Canada. If you’d like to get up close and personal with these shipwrecks, check out the numerous diving sites that Tobermory has to offer on Diver’s Den.
One of the highlights of our camping trip was Halfway Log Dump, a rugged white cobble beach right off the Bruce Trail, where we were treated to sheer cliffs that brought us spectacular views of the bay below. If you’re looking for a shorter hike, Halfway Log Dump is only 1 kilometer from parking, but will take roughly between 20 and 25 minutes to do, as it becomes quite rocky halfway through, so make sure to bring appropriate footwear.
The essence of this National Park lies in the trails; you can access many scenic areas only by hiking, which really is a beautiful thing. Maps and guides of these trails can be found on PBTC.
Here is a list of other little gems you can find along Bruce Peninsula:
- Little Cove
- The Grotto
- Dyer’s Bay
- Big Tub Lighthouse
- Devil’s Monument
- Mermaid Cove
- Flowerpot Island
- Dunk’s Point
- Driftwood Cove
I have only good things to say about this place as it was one of the best camping trips I’ve had up to date. We couldn’t cover everything, so I’d eventually like to go back. If you’re looking for an out-of-this-world experience, this one’s for you. From deep green forest hikes to crystal clear underwater caves, Bruce Peninsula National Park has everything a soulful adventurer could ever want.