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Bruce Peninsula National Park of Canada

Visitor Safety

Parks Canada is responsible for providing a public safety program that deals with the specific incidents and issues encountered within each heritage area. Although there is national coordination of the public safety program, levels of service and methods of dealing with incidents vary from one heritage area to the next.

For park emergencies dial 911 or Parks Canada Dispatch at 519-596-2702.


Our team of first responders is committed to ensuring your safety
@Parks Canada

While visiting Bruce Peninsula National Park, you are responsible for your own safety. Wilderness areas can be dangerous with unpredictable weather, wild animals, and rough terrain.

Swimming in Georgian Bay

Swimming in the clear deep waters of Georgian Bay is an unforgettable experience, however, it is deep, cold, and subject to rough waters, particularly along the rocky Georgian Bay coastline. Be mindful of the water conditions, temperatures and your own swimming ability. Cliff diving is dangerous and prohibited in the park.

Wildlife Encounters

Viewing wildlife is an exciting visitor experience, but it’s important to remember that these animals are wild. Wildlife encounters can be dangerous for both the visitor and the animal. By following a few simple guidelines, you’ll be helping to protect yourself and the animals in our park.

  • Don’t feed the wildlife.
  • Dispose of food items and garbage in proper animal proof garbage and recycling bins.
  • Keep your dogs on a leash.
  • Stay on the trails and don't pick up (harass) or remove any wild creatures from the park.
Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake
Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake
© Parks Canada
Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake

Bruce Peninsula is the only remaining stronghold for the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake in Canada. The rattlesnake is very timid and not likely to strike unless provoked. Here are a few simple tips while hiking in the park.

  • Stay on the trails.
  • Learn how to identify this snake.
  • If you hear the rattle or “buzz” of the snake, stop moving, locate the snake and move away slowly.
  • Wear above ankle hiking boots if hiking.
  • If you think you’ve been bitten by an Eastern Massassauga Rattlesnake, call 911 and immediately seek medical attention.

Complications from Massassauga Rattlesnake bites are rare.

Poison Ivy plant
Poison Ivy
© Parks Canada
Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy is fairly common on the Bruce Peninsula and can cause a severe itchy, blistering rash. Stay on the trails and learn how to identify the plant. Pets can also transmit the oil from their fur to you. Please keep your pets on a leash at all times.

Sun Smart

Remember to pack sun screen, a hat, water (refillable water bottle), and sun glasses, and keep yourself hydrated during the hot summer months. It’s easy to become dehydrated and over heated from the sun, especially when you’re exercising. If you feel unwell or dizzy, find a cool shady place out of the sun and drink water or electrolyte solutions. If condition persists, seek medical attention.

Backcountry Hiking

Pre-Hike Planning Tips!

  • Dress for the weather. Spring and fall can be surprisingly cool, especially on the coast. Pack rain gear and extra warm clothing.
  • Ensure someone has your trip itinerary including route, location, and expected return time.
  • Familiarise yourself with the area and know the emergency contact numbers.
  • Cell phone coverage is not reliable in the park, however it’s recommended you bring some sort of communication device along with you.
  • Wear proper hiking footwear.
  • Always pack a first aid kit; snacks and water; map/compass/GPS; extra warm clothing; and flashlight.
Winter Activities

Winter conditions can be dangerous - be prepared and cautious. Emergency response is limited during winter.

  • Arrive prepared! Winter services are limited in Tobermory and the park.
  • Cell phone reception is not reliable.
  • Make a trip plan and share it with someone.
  • Winter activity is more strenuous and daylight hours are short. Watch your time.
  • Be alert for exhaustion and hypothermia.
  • The shoreline becomes icy, especially at the Grotto/Indian Head Cove. The ice is often covered by snow. DO NOT APPROACH THE EDGE!
  • Monitor weather closely as winter conditions and snow depths are highly variable.
Drinking Water

Assume all river and lake water is unfit to drink unless first boiled for 5 minutes or adequately filtered. Water in campground washrooms and facets is potable. We encourage the use of personal refillable water bottles. If you chose to use a plastic disposable water bottle, please ensure that they are properly recycled in receptacles provided or packed out with you.

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