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Bruce Peninsula National Park

The Bruce Peninsula is a georgious strip of land right next to Lake Huron on the eastern Canadian side. It divides Lake Huron and the Georgian Bay on its southern end. At the end of the Bruce Peninsula, where Lake Huron and the Georgian Bay meet, lies Tobermory, the touristic "hub" of the Bruce Peninsula. The last 20 miles of Bruce Peninsula right ahead of Tobermory are home to two Canadadian national parks: Fathom Five National Marine Park and Bruce Peninsula National Park.

Getting there

Getting there is fairly easy. From Hamilton on Lake Ontario, highway 6 leads directly all the way up to Tobermory. There is good shopping in Owen Sound in case you need to refill your food supplies. Otherwise, Tobermory also has a grocery store and an outdoor store. When coming from the north, A ferry can take you and your vehicle in a two hour trip from Manitoulin Island to tobermory. As of September 2007, it goes at least twice a day.

Places to stay

There are many private campgrounds along highway 6. Moreover, Bruce Peninsula National Park itself has a large campground. The national park campground is located next to Cyprus lake and many of the trails of the park connect to here. From the campground, it is abount a 20-30 minute hike to the Georgian Bay with its stone cliffs. The national park campround clearly benefits from its location and its nice campsites, as the facilities are fairly primitive. Moreover, there are two backcountry campsites in the park for which you need an overnight permit. Note that Bruce Peninsula is black bear country so you need to take appropriate precautions when storing your food. There are also a number of motels in Tobermory and along highway 6.

Exploring the park

Bruce Peninsula National Park can be explored by hiking on the well marked trails, which lead from the parking areas to the Georgian Bay. There are a number of attractions along the trails, such as the Grotto and the hanging cliff. The stony cliffs and beaches offer a great natural places to relax and bathe in the lake. Note however, that even in late summer the water is still freezing cold, but very refreshing. There is a separate part of the park at Dorces Bay, which has a lovely nature trail and a sand beach.
Overnight hikes are possible since the park has two backcountry campsites. Also, the park directly connects to the Bruce trail, which continues from the park all the way down to lake Ontario. Note that Bruce Peninsula is black bear country, so you need to take appropriate precautions when storing your food during your backcountry hike. Further information can be obtained at the park office.
The park and the Georgian Bay are also great places for canoeing and diving. Two dive shops in Tobermory offer dive courses, equipment rentals, and organize dives. People mostly dive for whip wrecks in this area. As the water is very cold even during late summer when it reaches its peak temperatures, people usually wear a 7mm wet suit.

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