Tourism and Tours

Bruce Peninsula National Park | Let nature flow through you

Bruce Peninsula National Park

Bruce Peninsula National Park probably has the most wow factor landscapes in Ontario. With sea cliffs and flowerpots, it is a must-visit. Watch the landscape change before your eyes as you head north where evergreen forests give way to the rocky Canadian shield. This is the heart of cottage country so there are activities for the whole family with hiking trails, boat tours, cycling and camping. Read more: Epic Things to do in Ontario

Located on Georgian Bay Bruce Peninsula National Park houses one of the most wow destinations in Ontario. The Grotto is a secluded sea cave that sits on the shores of Lake Huron. The view from above is beautiful and you would swear that you are in the Caribbean rather than Canada. Be prepared to scramble down to the water where you need to squeeze through a hole to enter.

The Grotto is extremely busy in the summer and you must book entry in advance. A parking permit must be purchased ahead of time and entry is blocked in four-hour slots for timed entry.

What to do at Bruce Peninsula National Park

Sunset on the Georgian baySurrounded by the waters of Georgian Bay and Lake Huron, Bruce Peninsula lies along the Niagara Escarpment and contains Bruce Peninsula National Park and Fathom Five National Marine Park. These two magnificent national parks abound in natural wonders.

Bruce Peninsula National Park is the main attraction with its turquoise waters, dramatic cliffs, coves, spectacular beaches and large tracts of unspoiled forest. It is an extremely popular hiking destination. The park is also home to beautiful, rare orchids and several species of wildlife including black bears, reptiles and amphibians. Fathom Five National Marine Park, off the coast of the charming town of Tobermory, features more than 20 shipwrecks and several islands.

Bruce Peninsula National Park and Fathom Five national Marine Park

Season: Open year-round. Park facilities and services are limited in winter, with some self-serve options.

Visitor Centre: Located in the town of Tobermory, the visitor centre is open every day from mid-May to late October from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission fee: $7.90/person. Admission is free for youth 17 and under. An annual Parks Canada Discovery Pass is $69.19/adu

Visitor Centre

A stop at the Visitor Centre is a must as the starting point of your visit. In addition to advice and a wealth of information on the peninsula’s two parks, you can watch the feature film “Life on the Edge”, explore the exhibits, climb to the top of the lookout tower, and take a first short hike. The 1-km Little Dunks Trail will take you less than 30 minutes and leads through lush cedar forest to a viewing platform overlooking Little Dunks Bay, a secluded and scenic cove of Georgian Bay. If you are travelling with children, ask for the Explorers booklet which features games and activities.


At the northern tip of the peninsula is the charming, picturesque fishing village of Tobermory. Tobermory has two ports with the delightful names of Little Tub and Big Tub Harbours. These are very popular with tourists during the summer season. Near Little Tub you will find good restaurants as well as several boutiques and shops. The town is easy to explore on foot. There is free parking in many streets and large public parking lots. If you are travelling by RV go to the public parking lot on Legion Street.

Authentik Tip

The peninsula is very busy during tourist season. Plan your parking ahead of time, especially if you are travelling by RV. Some parking lots are limited and fill up quickly, so it’s best to arrive early to get a space.


Bruce Peninsula is a true paradise for hikers and offers many spectacular trails. However, the terrain is rugged in many places and can be hazardous, especially in bad weather. Always allow enough time to get back before dark. Wear appropriate footwear and be sure to bring along enough water and snacks.

Bruce Trail

Bruce Trail in Bruce Peninsula national parkThis famous trail is the most popular in the park. It stretches over 890 km from the town of Niagara Falls, Ontario to Tobermory at the northern tip of the peninsula. Within the park, the trail, which follows the Niagara Escarpment, is often rugged and uneven. From the cliffs, you will have breathtaking views of Georgian Bay! The Bruce Trail is marked with painted rectangles (blazes) to guide hikers. Allow 30 minutes for every kilometer you walk. This trail is rated moderate to difficult. You can access the trail at several locations and turn back whenever you want. Don’t forget your camera.

The Niagara Escarpment

The Niagara Escarpment is a long escarpment that runs east-west through Canada and the United States in the Great Lakes region. It is named for the cliff over which the Niagara River plunges at Niagara Falls. The Escarpment is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and has the oldest forest ecosystem and trees in eastern North America. Its Canadian portion is 725 km long, crossing Ontario from Lake Ontario (near Niagara Falls) to the tip of Bruce Peninsula, on Georgian Bay.

Poison IVY

Poison ivy is commonly found in the park. Sap from any part of the plant can cause a severe itchy, blistering rash. The severity of the rash depends on the person’s sensitivity and the amount of sap they are exposed to. Do not touch leaves growing in groups of 3! If you suspect you have come into contact with poison ivy, wash the area immediately with cold water and soap.

Paddle Sports

The turquoise waters of the Bruce peninsula You can take a canoe ride on the calm waters of Emmett Lake, Cameron Lake or Cyprus Lake. Ask at the Visitor Centre for more information. You can also explore the Marine Park by kayak or SUP (stand up paddle). The water is so clear that you can easily see the bottom of the lake. Depending on the chosen route, you will have the opportunity to observe shipwrecks and a lighthouse. You will need to get a permit from the Visitor Centre. Several private companies in Tobermory rent watercraft and offer guided tours.

On The Water Kayaks : 53, Bay Street S, Tobermory / 519-596-2626
Big Tub Resort Boat Rentals : 236, Big Tub Road, Tobermory / 519-596-2219

Fathom Five National Marine Park

Fathhom Five National Marine Park wrecksFathom Five National Marine Park is a National Marine Conservation Area located in the sparkling waters of Lake Huron, off the coast of Tobermory. It is a beautiful, unique freshwater ecosystem that features about twenty islands, rock formations millions of years old, lush cliff-edge forests, several species of orchids, and 22 shipwrecks. The Visitor Centre in Tobermory serves both Fathom Five National Marine Park and the Bruce Peninsula National Park. Tobermory Wave Adventures is a good company that offers interesting tours in the marine park from Tobermory.


There is lots to explore and enjoy under the water, whether you’re a novice or an advanced diving enthusiast. Fathom Five National Marine Park offers some of the best freshwater diving opportunities in the world. Clear, clean water, submerged geological formations and more than 20 historical shipwrecks offer a variety of underwater experiences. Before diving you must register and purchase a dive pass from the Visitor Centre or a local dive shop. Diver’s Den offers various diving tours and full equipment rental in Tobermory.

3, Bay Street / 519-596-2363

South of the Park

Devil’s Monument Loop Trail

Distance (round trip): 4.2 km loop
Time: 1.5 hours
Level: Moderate

This site is a little out of the way and is not part of the national park, bit it is worth the detour. Devil’s Monument is a rocky formation similar to the flowerpots of Flowerpot Island. You will also see a lovely waterfall. Be sure to hike all the way down to see the waves breaking on the rocky beach. A beautiful spot, and not very busy.

Greig’s Caves

This privately owned hiking trail features 10 limestone caves you can explore. You will need a flashlight for some sections of the caves and will also have to do some climbing. The hike will take you one to two hours. Wear good hiking shoes as the wet rocks can be slippery. Open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in tourist season. Admission is $10 per adult and $5 for children aged 2 to 12 (cash only).

Where to eat

The Sweet Shop ($-$$)

This candy store is a must if you’re travelling with kids! For more than 40 years, the Sweet Shop has been producing fine confections in the old-fashioned way, one small batch at a time. They have a wide selection of candy, fudge, ice cream, sorbets, milkshakes and frozen yogurt for all tastes. Their caramel popcorn is heavenly! Friendly staff.

Open daily in summer.

Little Cove Bakery ($-$$)

Butter tarts are a classic in the region, and this bakery makes some of the best in town. Pastries, brownies, apple fritters, cinnamon buns… you will also have many other sweet treats to try. You can even get good sandwiches here. Picnic tables outside.

Open daily in summer.

BeaverTails ($$)

Another Canadian classic! A beavertail is something you must try at least once. This is the perfect place for a typically Canadian dessert or a high-energy snack before or after a hike!

Open in summer only, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Shipwreck Lee’s Of Tobermory ($$-$$$)

A real pirate bistro in the heart of the village! The fish and chips is especially popular. Quick service and friendly staff. You can eat on the outdoor patio or take it to go and eat at a picnic table in the Little Hub harbour.

Open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. in summer.

Tobermory Brewing Company and Grill ($$-$$$)

This brew pub offers an interesting selection of craft beers. As the place is very popular, you may have to wait a little, but you won’t be disappointed. The pub-style menu is delicious. For a tasty burger, ribs or poutine, accompanied by a good beer, you’re in the right place.

Open daily in summer from noon to 8 p.m.

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