Town of Lion’s Head, halfway up the Bruce Peninsula’s Georgian Bay coast has rugged limestone Niagara Escarpment resembled lion head with full-service marina for boats, sea kayaking.
We can’t help but toot our horn when it comes to the Bruce Trail. Hands down, we have the most dramatic section of the world-famous footpath. Here dolostone cliffs drop 10 stories into the turquoise abyss of Georgian Bay. Spots like these make you want to lay on your belly with your head over the edge and watch your spit.
From Wiarton to Tobermory, the Bruce Trail stretches 156 km along the Niagara Escarpment on the eastern edge of the Bruce Peninsula. Huge boulder beaches and massive caverns put you in the land of the giants. Crevices, steeps and stocky roots keep you focused. It’s a challenging trail – for sure.
Numerous access points allow for countless day trips. Side trails offer looped options. There are primitive campsites and drive-in public campgrounds en route. At the trail’s northern terminus in Tobermory, be sure to climb the Lookout Tower for a stupendous view, and also to get your picture taken in front of the Bruce Trail cairn.
White blazes mark the main trail, blue blazes indicate side trails, and to keep your bearings, “The Bruce Trail Guidebook” from the Bruce Trail Conservancy is indispensable. Another smart companion is a hiking map called “Bruce Peninsula Trail Club Day Hike Guide”, which folds out like a road map and provides pertinent details including distances, highlights and parking. This hiking map is readily available at local shops.
For multi-day packages, a wonderful organization called the Home-to-Home Network offers accommodation, meals, luggage transfers and shuttles for Bruce Trail hikers. You can trek lodge-to-lodge or hike selective segments from a cozy home base.
Great Day Hikes
• Bruce’s Caves (Near Wiarton; Guidebook Edition 24, Map 33, Reference #119.0) – From the Bruce Trail (and Bruce’s Caves parking lot), a 400-m access trail leads to a massive undercut cave with a crevasse at its back and a pillar at its front.
• Spirit Rock (Near Wiarton; Guidebook Edition 24, Map 33, Reference #2.8) – On a side trail of the Bruce Trail, this conservation area features the ruins of a 17-room mansion built in 1882, and a spiral staircase that winds down the escarpment. Picnic tables are on site.
• Jones Bluff (Near Cape Croker; Guidebook Edition 24, Map 34, Reference #26.6) – One of few points on the Niagara Escarpment where you can actually see the escarpment – in view on the other side of Sydney Bay. Numerous lookouts provide great photo opportunities.
• Jack Poste Side Trail (Near Hope Bay; Guidebook Edition 24, Map 35, Reference #49.7) – Massive, moss-covered boulders and large glacial potholes, scattered amidst the big trees of a mature maple forest.
• McKay’s Harbour (Near Lion’s Head; Guidebook Edition 24, Map 36, Reference #81.0) – It’s a demanding trek down and up the escarpment with a succession of lookouts over Georgian Bay. Hikers can watch rock climbers tackle one of the toughest spots on the escarpment. There’s a designated wilderness campsite on shore.
• Devil’s Monument (Near Cape Chin North; Guidebook Edition 24, Map 38, Reference #119.1) – Standing 14-m-high, Devil’s Monument is the largest flowerpot formation on the Bruce Peninsula. From it, a staircase leads down the escarpment to the water’s edge.
• Cyprus Lake (Bruce Peninsula National Park; Guidebook Edition 24, Map 40, Reference #156.5) – From Halfway Rock Point to the Overhanging Point, the most visited section of the Bruce Trail features Indian Head Cove, several caves including the Grotto [LINK], the Natural Arch and a big boulder beach.
• Little Cove to Tobermory (Near Tobermory; Guidebook Edition 24; Map 40, Reference #168.8) – This full day adventure includes lookouts, the Visitor Centre in Bruce Peninsula National Park, and the northern terminus trail cairn.
***Also, see “Hiking” under Things to Do.
Over 850 kilometres (531 miles) of coastline & sand, perfect for beach hopping & sunsets
The Grotto was carved out by the waves of Georgian Bay over thousands of years ago. It has the bluest water in Ontario!
Bruce Peninsula National Park is home to camping, cliffs and caves of the Niagara Escarpment create a dramatic setting for photography. Everyone must experience once in their lifetime hiking to the Grotto.
The Adventure Passport is a big scavenger hunt all over Bruce County. Participants are to visit a minimum 7 of the 12 Adventure Passport Stops to win an Official Explore the Bruce Adventure Passport T Shirt.
Bruce County Museum is celebrating 60 years! Stay tuned for all the exciting exhibits such as "Fore the Planet".
Immerse yourself in the history of Bruce County lighthouses by taking a self-guided tour through some of the best lighthouses in Ontario!
Over 500 km of footpaths to explore along the Bruce Trail, in nature preserves, provincial & national parks.
Roads climb up and over the Escarpment and run along some of Canada's most stunning shoreline.