Aptly named for its location on the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario, this National Park covers 156 km2 (around 60 mi2) at the heart of the UNESCO Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve. The landscape is carved with impressive limestone cliffs, caves with underground streams, lakes and ancient forests, containing some of the oldest trees in Canada.
Common wildlife to be observed in the park include white-tailed deer, racoons and squirrels, whereas more rarely spotted are black bears and the endangered Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake (dress appropriately to avoid being bitten). The extensive diversity of habitats on the Bruce Peninsula also supports a range of wildflowers, notably around 43 of Ontario’s 60 species of orchids and more than 20 fern species
The park is home to part of the longest and oldest footpath in Canada, the Bruce Trail, which covers in all 782km (485 miles). The section which falls within this park stretches between Georgian Bay and Lake Huron. There are a number of other self-guided trails for hiking to suit all ages and abilities, and if you’d like to explore the park’s wonderful vistas by water, there are numerous inland lakes and bays suitable for canoeing and kayaking. Swimming is permitted in several spots, both in the freshwaters of Cyprus Lake and Lake Huron and along the shoreline. Camping is also allowed in designated areas, although you’re advised to make reservations in summer when the sites are likely to be busy.
Picnicking and photography are popular pursuits; and in winter, the park is open for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
There’s even a designated area for bouldering along the shoreline at Halfway Log Dump.
The park is accessible from the south via Highway 6; or by bus from Tobermory