Official Tourism Website of Bruce County, Ontario, Canada

Getaways: Autumn Hiking on the Bruce Trail

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Fall Foliage Hiking on the Bruce

Now that it’s cooled down a little from the summer heat – it’s the perfect time to get out and find your favourite Bruce Trail loop. You may be asking yourself, what do I need to bring on a fall hike? Just grab a loose jacket, bottle of water, camera and your good hiking boots you’re ready to go! Uncover some of the most incredible views of Georgian Bay where eagles soar across the high cliffs. Look down and bear witness to the primitive rock formations piled high through the crystal clear turquoise waters of Georgian Bay. This section has the most scenic views of the entire 864kms of Bruce Trail and it’s not hard to see why. Come and see for yourself this fall!

Saturday Morning- Wiarton

We’ll start your adventure in the basecamp to the Bruce Peninsula and the home of Wiarton Willie. The first hike we’ll call the warm up – the Spirit Rock loop is a 2.8 easy hike that gives you some fantastic views of Colpoy’s Bay. Start off in the parking lot for the Spirit Rock Conservation Area off of Highway 6, a good opportunity for a photo op is just off the parking lot within the ruins of the Corran, a 17 room mansion which was built in the late 1800’s. Take the Spirit Rock Side Trail for some amazing lookouts over Colpoy’s Bay and for an added bonus, head down the main part of the Bruce Trail to the spiral staircase to get down to the shoreline!

Interesting Fact: Spirit Rock got its name from an old legend of two star crossed lovers from enemy tribes. When her tribe found out about the relationship, he was thrown over when the edge and she leapt to her death to join him.

Saturday Afternoon - Lion's Head

Now for the main event – Lion’s Head Lookout. Depending on the route you wish to take, this can be a 6.2km direct there and back or up to 17kms of hiking. Park at the end of Moore Street and start your hike on the main trail, it’s about 3.6kms to the lookout – so be sure to wear good hiking boots. With this lookout the photo above does not do it justice! Try as you might, a photo won’t capture the crisp air coming off the water, the height of the Escarpment or the absolutely stunning view from this spot. Once you’ve taken it all in start heading back, but be sure to pop over to the pot holes on the Lion’s Head Pothole Side Trail or the Giant Cauldron Side Trail before turning onto Moore Street Side Trail to get back to the parking lot. For those looking for a longer hike, be sure to pick up a Bruce Trail Guide to see all the available loops and lookouts.

This hike can be a little more strenuous than the others, so be sure to bring water and wear good hiking boots!

Saturday Evening - Lion's Head

After you have worked up an appetite hiking all afternoon, Spend an autumn evening in Lion's Head and head to the Lions Head Inn for a delicious dinner. Their specialty is Fish’n Chips, but anything on the menu is scrumptious. Take a walk along the Georgian Bay shoreline and Marina in Lions Head for a little relaxation before bedtime. Head to Taylor-Made B&B, where you'll rest your head for the night! This is the Bruce Peninsula's top rated B&B, so it will be sure to feel like home! Get a good night’s sleep and rest up for a Sunday full of hiking! 

Sunday - Tobermory

So you’ve woken up feeling refreshed and are rearing to go! That’s great! Grab breakfast at Marydale’s Family Restaurant or Rachel’s Bakery 50’s Diner then head over to the beach for an easy 1km loop with quite a few lookouts at the top of the escarpment. Now that the warm up is done, next up is Burnt Point loop, yes like burnt toast but with none of the burning smell or funny aftertaste! Park at the Bruce Peninsula National Park Visitor Centre and start on this 4.8km moderate hike. Following the trail will give you stunning views of the Fathom Five National Marine Park, Little Dunks Bay and Georgian Bay, be sure to have that extra memory card or room on your phone!

After this, it’s unfortunately time to head home and take a long soak in the tub to rest those muscles before heading back to work on Monday.

Want more hiking opportunities? Visit the Bruce Trail page for the Top 10 Bruce Trail Hikes