‘Wow! Is that really Canada?’ was my first thought when my friend Sara suggested and sent me photos of Bruce Peninsula National Park as we were planning my trip up to Ontario to visit her. An easy way to sell me on any destination is with scenic panoramas and hiking opportunities, and this Ontario gem easily looked to provide both.
What is Bruce Peninsula National Park?
Bruce Peninsula National Park is a national park on the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario, Canada. Located on a part of the Niagara Escarpment, the park boasts stunning cliff scenery overlooking crystal clear Georgian Bay waters. As well, as one of the largest protected areas in southern Ontario, the park offers several opportunities for outdoor activities.
What is worth seeing in Bruce Peninsula National Park?
At 156 square kilometers, there’s no shortage of things to see or do in Bruce Peninsula National Park. Here are a few key favorites:
- Visitor Center and Observation Tower – The Visitor Center features exhibits for all ages, a theater, and is the starting point for the Burnt Loop Trail. The Observation Tower provides outstanding views overlooking the park.
- The Grotto – A natural sea cave where the Bruce Trail and Georgian Bay Trail meet.
- Niagara Escarpment – Along the Bruce Trail is the Niagara Escarpment, a long cliff that towers over the crystal clear waters of the Georgian Bay.
- Hiking trails – The park has several trails varying from easy to advanced difficulty. For a list of trails, lengths, and difficulty levels, visit here.
- Camping – There are several campgrounds that offer semi-wilderness camping in the park.
- Swimming – On the Lake Huron side of the peninsula, Singing Sands features shallow, warmer water in a sandy shore setting. The Georgian Bay also offers swimming options, but be cautious of the cliff-like shoreline and cooler water temperatures.
There’s also opportunities to go kayaking, canoeing, and try bouldering. Maps of Bruce Peninsula National Park can be found here.
What should I bring with me?
Essentials are water, sturdy shoes, and a picnic (there’s no food for sale in the park).
In warmer months, add insect repellent, sunscreen, and a bathing suit to the list. If you’re planning to swim in the Georgian Bay, water shoes can help provide grip and protection from the rockier shore.
How much does it cost to enter Bruce Peninsula National Park?
It’s free! Since 2017 is the 150th anniversary of Canada, or #Canada150, entry to all Canadian national parks is free. Get your free pass here or at park entrances nationwide.
Where is Bruce Peninsula National Park?
Bruce Peninsula National Park is located 300 kilometres (a 3.5 – 4 hour drive north) from Toronto, Ontario. The park is accessed via an all-season highway.
Have you been to Bruce Peninsula National Park? What’s your favorite Canadian National Park?