Blue gold sunset with reflection on the beach Bruce Peninsula

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about planning your Bruce County Adventure? Great! We’ve got answers.

To book the Chi-Cheemaun you have to either call 1-800-265-3163 or visit ontarioferries.com. Just make sure you’re booking for the Chi-Cheemaun and not the other ferry in Ontario.

Please note that it is required that you have a reservation if you are taking a vehicle across. With only 140 spaces, they fill up quickly! If you are not taking a vehicle across and are crossing as a passenger you do not need a reservation, but it’s always good to have one just in case.

The Grotto is a very busy place in the summer, with its crystal blue turquoise waters and gorgeous landscape there’s no doubt as to why. Parks Canada has implemented timed parking for Cyprus Lake and the Grotto to hopefully help with the long lines and provide people with more certainty as to if they will be able to find a spot.

Plan and reserve in advance! When parking lots are full, there is no other access to the park. We do not recommend travelling to the park without a confirmed reservation.

There are five different time slots available, each with a 4-hour max, to allow more people to visit. The slots will only be valid for the day they are reserved for, and once the Grotto is fully booked, there are no other access points

The time slots are:

  • Time slot 1: 9:00am – 1:00pm
  • Time slot 2: 12:00pm – 4:00pm
  • Time slot 3: 1:00pm – 5:00pm
  • Time slot 4: 4:00pm – 8:00pm
  • Time slot 5: 5:00pm – 9:00pm

For more information on the time slots, please contact Parks Canada or visit: Parks Canada: Grotto Parking

During the summer months it is very likely that you will run into this problem if you don’t book ahead! Parks Canada has begun using time slots to allow for more visitors to be able to pass through the gates and work their way down to the Grotto.

If the Grotto is full and you need something to do to fill up either your entire day or the just the time until your reservation is booked for, see below for some fantastic ideas!

Top things to do on the way to Tobermory (or while your waiting)

We have five dog friendly beaches. Please remember to keep your dog on a leash and to clean up after it.

  • Lions Head Beach
  • MacGregor Point Provincial Park
  • Inverhuron Provincial Park
  • Kincardine Station Beach
  • Point Clark Beach

 

Bruce County is home to over 250km of Bruce Trail, with almost 100kms of that being side trails that create loops and alternate ways for you to hike the trail!! There are quite a few different hikes you can take that vary in length and difficulty, for example there is the Wiarton Loop that is 5.6km of easy hiking in the Spirit Rock Conservation Area or Boundary Bluffs that is 5.3km of moderate to strenuous hiking by Sydney Bluff. For the Top 10 Bruce Trail hikes visit here: Bruce Trail, but there are around 25 loops that can be done on the Peninsula! For maps on each of these loops you will have to purchase the Bruce Trail Guide from the Bruce Trail Conservancy online or at one of the locations below.

There are a few places on the Peninsula that you can get your copy of the Bruce Trail Map from the Bruce Trail Conservancy. If you would like individual maps instead of the whole book you can purchase them from the Bruce Trail Conservancy or access them on your tablet or phone.

Parkbus usually runs a bus from Toronto to the Bruce Peninsula National Park on a regular basis throughout the summer, however it is temporarily unavailable due to the pandemic and hopes to reopen later this summer, visit them at Parkbus.ca for more details.

Chantry Lighthouse is located off the coast of Southampton on a bird sanctuary island and is only available for visiting via a 15-minute boat ride from the Marine Heritage Society. This is a max 12 person – 2-hour tour of the lighthouse. The cost is $30 and it is highly recommended that you call ahead and book your tour as this is only run 3 times a day during the busy season.

The only spot you can camp in the Fathom Five National Marine Park is on Flowerpot Island, there are a total of 6 tent camping spots on the island with a wooden tent platform. The only way onto the island is via boat either your own, kayak, or via private boat tour from Tobermory. Camping permits are required. Please check the Parks Canada website for more information: Parks Canada.

Bruce County is the go to destination for Mountain Biking in Ontario. With 4 different tracts filled with trails running over rock, gravel, through trees and testing the limits, it’ll be a fun and crazy ride! For more information on Mountain Biking and the various locations please visit: Bruce County Mountain Biking. Remember to always ride within your own level of ability, with a helmet on and at your own risk.

If you have a question you can’t find answer to, we can help! Email info@explorethebruce.com or call 519-534-5344.

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