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Highlights Of Hiking The Bruce Trail In Bruce Peninsula NP

Highlights of Hiking the Bruce Trail in Bruce Peninsula NP

I spent a few days hiking several sections of the Bruce Trail that runs through Bruce Peninsula National Park. The National Park is part of a World Biosphere Reserve. People come from all over the world to see the rugged cliffs and the Caribbean-hued water that is part of the Georgian Bay. Reportedly there are 1,000 year old cedar trees too. What there isn’t mid-week is a single park ranger to answer any questions or provide information due to massive cuts at Park Canada. That seems very short-sighted in my estimation. But I digress.

Bruce Peninsula National Park

The park is still very much open. You fill in some paperwork for park passes ($11.70 per vehicle per day) – and camping spots should that be of interest and then head out to whatever areas you want to see. Most people head for the gorgeous area around the Grotto. Yesterday when I started out it had just finished raining hard and by the time I reached the Grotto on the Georgian Bay I could hardly see a thing because of dense fog. Fortunately towards the end of my hiking day it started to lift. I don’t know how common fog is though I had it again today.

The main trailhead starts from Cyprus Lake. There are a range of trails to choose from starting from here. Most are easy down to the Georgian Bay but then there level of difficulty is all over the map from easy to very difficult.

Any trail that is marked with a white blaze is part of the Bruce Trail. The Bruce Trail is the oldest and longest marked hiking trail in Canada – running 893.9 kilometres. It starts in Queenston Heights Park near Niagara Falls and finishes at Tobermory at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula. In Bruce Peninsula National Park there are approximately 21 kilometres of the actual Bruce Trail.

Here is a look at some of the beautiful scenery along the Bruce Trail in Bruce Peninsula National Park that I enjoyed.

"Starting off in the woods"

Starting off in the woods

"First wildlife I saw in the park - a big honking toad"

First wildlife I saw in the park – a big honking toad

"Overhanging rock"

Overhanging rock

"View down from Overhanging Point"

View down from Overhanging Point

"The water is crystal clear through here"

The water is crystal clear through here

"The Grotto - one of the most popular sites"

The Grotto – one of the most popular sites

"More Caribbean hued water not far from The Grotto"

More Caribbean hued water not far from The Grotto

"The water looks inviting but it's so cold"

The water looks inviting but it’s so cold

Caribbean coloured hue to the water

Caribbean coloured hue to the water

"Coming upon a foggy beach where the fog is just starting to lift"

Coming upon a foggy beach where the fog is just starting to lift

"Finally some sunshine"

Finally some sunshine

"View down the coast from the top of the cliff"

View down the coast from the top of the cliff

"Beautiful view from the Stormhaven campsite"

Beautiful view from the Stormhaven campsite

Bruce Peninsula National Park is located 289 kilometres northwest of Toronto. It’s about a four hour drive to reach the park.

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Highlights of Hiking the Bruce Trail in Bruce Peninsula NP

Leigh McAdam


Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 57,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

This Post Has 46 Comments
  1. Your photos – as usual are beautiful. They have an almost haunting quality about them. . .quiet, solitude, being alone on the trail, a moving post, this one!

  2. Beautiful photos Leigh! Places like this are why I hike. Scenery is amazing and I am at peace just looking at the photos 🙂

    I really want to spend some time exploring the outdoors of Canada.

    1. @Jeremy Thanks for your lovely comment. I hope I can continue to entice you up to Canada. We’re not as exotic as other parts of the world but I bet you’d love the beauty of the place.

  3. I’ve never been, but from your pictures it’s something that definitely resonate with me. We have some awesome hikes in Western Australia too, but quite different to those in Canada.

    1. @Johanna From everything I’ve read in western Australia I would definitely like to visit and hike. You’d find the Bruce Peninsula area very rugged, almost desolate feeling in places but very beautiful.

    1. @Sophie Initially I wasn’t happy about the fog as I always find it a tad disorienting but in the end I agree – it lent a lot of atmosphere but glad it burned off at least for a short while.

  4. Hi Leigh, I have not heard of Bruce Trail. It sounds amazingly long and it looks spectacular. I love wooded trails that run along the water. The color of the water is stil stunning eventhough it’s not sunny. It must be incredible when the sun shines. But I enjoy the foggy atmosphere; it looks mysterious. Thanks for taking me for another gorgeous hike!

    1. @Marisol The whole of the Bruce Trail hike is quite an undertaking. I met 5 ladies who were doing sections over the course of 8 years and planned to finish in June. That’s one of the best things about being out there is running into people like this and hearing their stories.

  5. Amazing scenery, Leigh. The mist is a problem but I’ve got to say, it gives it a lovely, ethereal feel. Hope the sun stays out so you can finish your time in Bruce Peninsula in good weather.

  6. I read about it in Lonely Planet Canada, and had it marked as a possibility on our 2010 trip, but we never found the time. It looks like it lives up to it’s reputation. Canada is so huge and has so many worthwhile sights and walks!

    1. @Jan You really have to pick specific area when you come to Canada and concentrate on them or you spend all your time in transit. The park is lovely and relatively easy to access from Toronto but remote too. There’s a ParkBus that now leaves Toronto and takes you there on weekends.

  7. I always keep on hiking because of the wildlife and the scenery. I love the photo of the water being so inviting but so cold as well. Enjoy your hike :)! Lovely landscape.

  8. Ooooo gorgeous photos! The sea looks magnificent, esp with the mist hanging. And the green of the trees is just beautiful. Thanks for taking me there for a visit.

  9. A shame about the budget cuts in the parks. I was really surprised about the color of the water — I wouldn’t expect that Caribbean hue in Canadian waters. Lovely pics you got on the trail. Glad the frog cooperated and kept still while you got his pic.

  10. Beautiful photos, Leigh! I knew about the Bruce Trail but I have never hiked it and I did not know that it was in a National Park. I really need to familiarize myself with a list of our National Parks! The colour of the water is amazing – I didn’t know about that either!

    1. @Lisa I lived in Toronto for years and never visited the park either. It’s exciting to explore areas you’ve heard about for years – especially when they more than meet your expectations.

  11. I haven’t heard of Bruce Peninsula National Park but now I want to visit. Those pictures and scenery from the Overhanging Point are just inviting and beautiful. I really love the unexpected Caribbean hue of the water. Awesome shot of the frog – I can almost feel its bumpy skin texture.

  12. So, so beautiful – maybe even more beautiful because you did such a good job of capturing the fog. Obviously there are a lot of wonderful places in Canada that I know nothing about! Guess I need to head north more often.

    1. @Cindy Yes you do – and I’m glad you’re coming to TBEX. There is a lot of great country I’m hoping to discover in Canada over the next 18 months. I’ve just got started in Ontario.

  13. I am truly captivated by your realistic photos and the way you used words for this trail. Wonderful post indeed. 🙂

  14. I always knew I was lucky, but now I know I’m luckier than I thought. My family owns land that abuts the park and includes lots of lakeshore as well as a beautiful glacially formed inland lake.

  15. We used to have a family cottage just north of Lion’s Head. I still go up to the Northern Bruce Peninsula every summer! It’s the most beautiful place in the world. Thank you for sharing these gorgeous photos! If you go up in late August or early September, you can probably handle the water temperature. If you swim on the Lake Huron side it’s much warmer and sandier!

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