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Bruce Peninsula National Park

Hiking to the Grotto


@Explore The Bruce

The Grotto and Indian Head Cove are two of the top tourism attractions in Ontario, and for good reason. The natural rock formation and surrounding crystal clear water create a unique and memorable visitor experience. The increasing popularity of these sites require that visitors to Bruce Peninsula National Park and those wanting to visit the Grotto are well prepared and have the information they need to experience these sites safely and plan their trip.

a line up of cars at a kiosk
Cars entering Cyprus Lake
© Parks Canada

When deciding to visit the Grotto and Indian Head Cove, here is what you need to know:

  • During the summer months, parking to access these sites fill to capacity daily, resulting in visitors being denied access. Consider planning your visit during non-peak hours or in the spring and fall. There are several other destinations and activities to explore when the parking lots are full.
  • The hike to the Grotto takes roughly 30 minutes along the 1.6 km Georgian Bay Trail. Although the trail to the shoreline is hard packed, the shoreline itself is rugged uneven limestone, while the descent into the grotto involves climbing down 12m (40ft) over a rocky open cliff.
  • When the P1 parking lot is at capacity, visitors are required to park in the P2 parking lot, which is a 50 min hike to the Grotto and Indian Head Cove.
    the shoreline packed with people
    Indian Head Cove is a popular swimming destination
    © Parks Canada
  • There are no garbage facilities at the Grotto or Indian Head Cove and you are required to carry out your garbage.
  • Open alcohol is not permitted at the Grotto, Indian Head Cove nor anywhere else in the park other than your registered campsite.
  • Cliff diving/jumping is an illegal and extremely dangerous activity in the park and is enforced by fines and evictions.
  • The water at Indian Head Cove and the Grotto is very cold and wave conditions are often rough. Even when waves look swimmable, local tows and currents can present drowning hazards. Swim at your own risk. There are no lifeguards on duty.

We hope you enjoy your visit to both Bruce Peninsula National Park and Fathom Five National Marine Park. During the peak season, please expect delays, line ups and being turned around at the Cyprus Lake Gatehouse. With some trip planning it's our hope that you are able to access the sites you want to visit and if not, take the opportunity to experience the other attractions this region has to offer.