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Ways to Experience Bruce Peninsula National Park
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Reviewed July 15, 2011

We stayed at Cyprus Lake for two nights this summer. Our main goal in visiting the park was to see Tobermory, but we ended up enjoying the area hiking and swimming as well!

We took a longer hike to the Grotto and Indian Head cove, along a gorgeaou rocky beach. The water along this side of Georgian bay is very blue and gorgeous. Cyprus Lake itself is also very nice, with a sandy beach and warmer water. We spent a morning at Singing Sands, and were very impressed! The beach is made up of extremely soft sand that goes on forever. The water is also warm compared to the rest of Lake Huron. The hiking is also good at Singing Sands, and we even saw a rattlesnake there.

As for Tobermory, the town was somewhat overpopulated with tourists. We took a boat cruise to Flowerpot Island, but there were so many people it wasn't very enjoyable. Also,w e were only on the Island for one hour. Make sure to schedule at least two hours on the island if you want to hike the loop to the lighthouse.

The village of Tobermory was pleasant in the evening. The Fish and Chips Place was great! We also stopped at a pub that overlooked the harbour.

We stayed in the Poplars section of Cyprus Lake. I would recommend this area to anyone camping with a tent. There is a decent amount of privacy and the camp sites are pretty big. There is running cold water and ancient bathrooms, but no showers.

Date of experience: July 2011
46  Thank blueberry819
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed June 28, 2011

We stayed at the Cyprus Lake Campground in the tamaracks section for just 1 night solely to see 'The Grotto' and Indian head cove...We should have stayed longer! It was a short walk to the head of the trails and from there roughly 30minute hike to the Grotto area. You would definitely need shoes to hike here as it's not a smooth walkway but with lots of curves and small hills and lovely nature!
The Grotto area is beautiful with the clear blue water and cliffs...
Because we were staying overnight we paid the campground fee of $34 otherwise there is a day use fee. The beauty of staying at the campground is that you can experience all of beauty of the Bruce Peninsula and do mini day trips as well.

Date of experience: June 2011
22  Thank Mmalhi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed June 26, 2011

We left from Windsor during the long May Canadian weekend. We were by Owen Sound in about 5.5 hours (taking the Ontario route, not Michigan), and then from there 1 hour to Tobermory at the north tip of the Peninsula.

The famous natural rock formations are on an Island slightly north of Bruce Peninsula, called Flowepot Island. At the north tip of the peninsula is a town called Tobermory. I think this is the place to stay if you go there, it seemed like the largest town in the area. A lot of hotels, 10-15. Maybe 8 or more restaurants, 1 fairly high end, a steak place, a bunch of fish places, etc.

From Tobermory there's a few ways to get to Flowerpot island, there's boats that take you there in 15 minutes or 25 minutes with a diversion over some sunken ships (take this), or if you have more time, there are 2 hour cruises that take you to other islands. These boats leave you on the island and can pick you up in 2 hours or 4 hours, etc. On flowerpot island we did the two main hike trails which took about 1:20 minutes for us with stops to take pictures, etc.

The 2nd day we went hiking at the Bruce Peninsula Hiking park. Amazing rock formations, very interesting hikes along the rugged water edge. The cave that you have to climb down to - amazing. The hike is not very easy. If you go along the water for the best views, you're constantly stepping on uneven rocks, climbing rocks etc. (see photo) If you stick to the forest trail, you'll miss the amazing views, and even that trail is not easy with many steps, you have to hold onto trees to step up, etc. We hiked there for about 4-5 hours. We thought this area was even more amazing then the Flowerpot island hike, incredible for Ontario. We heard many people say how beautiful Canada is.

I would recommend going here later in the season if you can. The water is incredibly clear and inviting and blue, but it was 3-5°C in May. Kayaking would definitely be fun if it wasn't so cold and they are available for rent. We also saw a few people (3-4 groups) go scuba diving with double wet suits.

I would not recommend bike rental for this area of the peninsula because there's not bike trails near the water. Even the trails in the forests are not for bikes, a lot of steps, some 5-8 inches high, but as for all the views you need to hike on the rocks by the water. We also drove around the Lion's Head area, we were as close to the water as the road would permit us, and I suppose you can take bikes there but the views from the road were not that spectacular.

When I was showing people photos from the area, they were all amazed by the scenery and blue water, their first thought was that I had gone to the Carribean ..

Date of experience: May 2011
25  Thank Frank0075
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed May 30, 2011

We had an incredible time hiking and camping at Cyprus Lake and the surrounding area. The trails were well-maintained and beautiful.

The locals were very friendly, but totally unhelpful. The car battery died at the campsite, and when we called for a ranger to boost us, we were told "It's against our policy to boost cars, because it could be a liability issue if someone gets hurt." Because we went in the off-season, there were no other campers around. We had to call in a tow-truck from Tobermory, which resulted in an unexpected $70 bill and a missed ferry!

We thought we would try fishing, and visited a nearby facility that advertised boat rentals. Because we are inexperienced boaters, the (very friendly) lady advised us "My husband would have to show you how to operate it, and right now he's busy fixing the dock and would be annoyed if I disturbed him." So we were a bit disappointed that we didn't get to fish on our trip, but there was enough to do to keep us busy elsewhere.

So in summary, the main reason for our trip was to experience nature, which was well worthwhile. The only disappointing aspect was the people.

Date of experience: May 2011
3  Thank bassboss85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 13, 2011

I want to keep this review brief as to do any justice to/for the Park would take a novella's worth of words. The Bruce Peninsual National Park is a outdoor adventurer's wonderland... there is room to roam and explore for everyone from the nature walker, the serious hiker, canoers, kayakers, fishers, nature photographers - it's all there in this majestic and breathtakingly beautiful preserve.

I want to particularly hone in on Cyprus Lake Grotto - it is some of the best of the best of Georgian Bay, a truly beautiful locale that showcases the crystal-clear pristine waters of the Bay (if you're brave, you'll swim in those cold waters - and I highly recommend you do!). What makes the Grotto so fabulous is the underground cave to which strong swimmers can explore. Also, for the intrepid divers, you can climb the angelstone cliffs and jump.

For those doing more than a daytrip to the area, you can camp at the Cyprus Lake Park. The Grotto itself is about a 45-minute hike from the park entrance/camping grounds to its shorelines. The hike itself is fantastic and for the flora aficionados, an amazing journey of discovery for rare orchids, trilliums and ferns native to the area. Be sure to wear good walking shoes for the trek into the Grotto - and bring/wear your swimsuit, sunglasses, a towel and some sunscreen for day at shore's side.

For the photographer, you will be kept busy capturing all the amazing scenery and unique angles of the area. I've included a couple photos of my last trip in to the Grotto and the official website has even more great shots of the area and key information on directions, park fees/camping, hours open, etc.

If you're in Ontario and traveling through the Bruce Peninsula during the summer months or one of the many visiting Bruce Trail trekkers, be sure to make this a "must-see" on your list of things to do.

This is a gem of a place worthy its worldwide recognition and appreciation.

Date of experience: July 2010
59  Thank Carrie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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