Reserved parking questions

Why are there parking time limits and reservations?

Bruce Peninsula National Park is a very popular location. Parking is limited. Time slot reservations allow travellers to plan in advance. 

How much does it cost?

  • Visitors are required to pay a parking fee per vehicle, admissions fee and reservations fee. A list of updated fees can be found here.
  • Youth 17 and under do not require an admission fee.
  • The reservation fee is charged per reservation and is non-refundable. 

What if I don’t get a reservation?

  • When parking is fully booked, there is no other access at that time. 
  • Check online for availability at Parks Canada Reservation System and plan your trip for another day.
  • Visit the national park in early spring or late fall when it is not as busy. 

Can I book my vehicle for the entire day (all time slots)?

You may only reserve one time-slot per location per day. 

Can I book for several vehicles at once?

  • You may book up to three different vehicles for the same time slot at the same location, using one credit card. 
  • The fee to park is charged per vehicle plus applicable day use and reservation fees. 
  • The reservation for each vehicle is linked to an occupant in that vehicle.  
  • Confirmation and matching photo identification may be requested upon entry.

What if I need to cancel or change my reservation?

  • Once a booking has been made, modifications are not permitted. 
  • Cancellations can be made 2 or more days before the reservation. For full cancellation policies, visit the Parks Canada Reservation System.  

What if I have a Parks Canada Discovery Pass or Bruce Peninsula National Park Season Pass?

Visitors with valid passes can get some of their money back. After your visit, bring your pass, reservation confirmation email, and the permits you get when you arrive, to the Cyprus Lake Campground. Staff will refund the Vehicle Permit and Day Use Permit fees. The reservation fee itself cannot be refunded. The refund will go to the credit card used to make the original booking. Refunds are only possible on the same day as your visit and can not be processed after you leave the area.

What if I show up late for my reservation?

You must check in within two hours of the start of your time slot. After that time, your reservation is forfeited.  

What if I want to stay longer than my reserved time slot?

For visitors who would like a longer experience, please consider visiting in the in early spring or late fall, outside of the reservation dates. You may also reserve a campsite at Cyprus Lake Campground, which is an easy walk to the shoreline near the Grotto. More adventurous visitors can hike to Halfway Log Dump and back in half a day from Cyprus Lake Campground, or can reserve a backcountry site with access to Halfway Log Dump along the Bruce Trail.

Is there any other way to access the Georgian Bay shoreline?

The Grotto and Cyprus Lake area, and Halfway Log Dump are the main access points for the Georgian Bay shoreline in Bruce Peninsula National Park. Reservations are required at those locations.

Pickups and drop offs are not allowed at either location.

Other locations with access to the water are limited. 

Please note pedestrians are not permitted on Cyprus Lake Road. All vehicles require a valid time slot parking permit to enter the Cyprus Lake area and Halfway Log Dump.

What if I am late getting back to my car and exceed the parking time limit?

Parking enforcement is in effect, including parking tickets and towing.

I’m camping at Cyprus Lake, do the parking time limits affect me?

Campers can hike to Georgian Bay from their campsites. If you wish to park in the main Grotto parking lot, or in the Halfway Log Dump parking lot, you will need to reserve a parking space for those locations.

What locations in the park have time limits and require reservations?

  • Time slot reservations are required at the Grotto and Cyprus Lake area and Halfway Log Dump for most of the season.
  • Learn more when parking reservations are in effect. 
  • All other places in the park are first come first served, and often fill up quickly.

Can I get in before my reserved time slot?

There is no early access. Please arrive no earlier than 15 minutes prior to your reservation time.

Can I give my pass to my friends when I leave?

Passes are not-transferable to others. 

What do I need to bring to check-in? 

At check-in you will need to provide your reservation confirmation and photo identification matching the name on the reservation. 

Can I show my parking confirmation email on my smart phone?

Cellphone signals are not reliable in the park. Please print a copy of your confirmation email in advance and bring it with you. 

Can I drop off and pick up my friends or family as long as I don`t park?

No. All vehicles require a valid time slot parking permit to enter the parking lots. Vehicles are not permitted to drop off friends and family without a valid permit. Please note pedestrians are not permitted on Cyprus Lake Road.

Grotto and Cyprus Lake area questions

How long is the time slot for the Grotto & Cyprus Lake Day Use Area?

Reservations for this area are for 4 hours.

What are the time slots?

The timeslots are: 

1. 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
2. Noon – 4:00 pm
3. 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
4. 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
5. 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

What can I see in 4 hours?

The hike to the Grotto and Cyprus Lake area shoreline is roughly a one-hour round trip. This provides more than enough time to explore the area before returning to your car. 

What are the trails to the Grotto like?

The Georgian Bay Trail to the shoreline is a wide, crushed gravel trail of about a kilometre. It has a few hills along the way. When it reaches the Georgian Bay shoreline it becomes a rocky limestone cliff. Sturdy footwear is recommended. Flip flops or high heels may not be suitable or safe. Know your limits.

Is it wheelchair or stroller accessible?

No. Although the path is smooth and wide, it does not meet the standards to be considered wheelchair accessible. However, many visitors using wheelchairs are able to get to end of the trail and view the shoreline.

Can I eat at the Grotto or the shoreline?

There is no food or water available at the Grotto, but visitors can pack in a picnic. There are no garbage facilities along the shoreline so visitors must pack out what they bring in. Open alcohol is not permitted. 

Can I have a family barbecue at the shoreline?

Charcoal barbecues are not permitted due to fire hazards. There are facilities for barbecues at the Head of Trails, close to the parking lot. If using a charcoal barbecue, dispose of used coals in the coal receptacle provided at the Head of Trails near the picnic tables. Open alcohol is not permitted.

How busy is the Grotto and shoreline?

The Grotto & Cyprus Lake area is one of the most popular attractions on the Bruce Peninsula. During the summer, thousands of visitors make the hike to the Grotto each day. If you are looking for a quieter visit, consider coming during the early spring or late fall. 

Is it safe to swim?

The water here is very cold and wave conditions are often rough. Even when waves look swimmable, undertows and currents present drowning hazards. If you choose to swim, please watch children carefully and swim within your ability. There are no lifeguards on duty in any area. Visitors choosing to swim do so at their own risk.

Halfway Log Dump questions

How long is the time slot for Halfway Log Dump?

Reservations for this area are for 6 hours.

What are the time slots?

The timeslots are: 

1. 7:00 am – 1:00 pm
2. 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm

What can I see in 6 hours?

The hike to the shoreline is roughly 40 minutes round trip. 

In 6 hours you can explore a large section of the beautiful Georgian Bay shoreline, hike the Bruce Trail along the clifftops, or combine both experiences for a memorable time before returning to your vehicle.

What are the trails at Halfway Log Dump like?

Halfway Log Dump Trail is a wide trail that used to be a logging road. It is fairly flat and even. There is a rocky, rugged section just before it reaches the shoreline. The shoreline is a combination of cobblestones and rocky limestone cliffs and outcrops.

Just before the rocky, rugged section leading to the shore, Halfway Log Dump Trail crosses with the Bruce Trail. The Bruce Trail is Canada’s oldest marked hiking trail, and runs from Tobermory almost to Niagara Falls. In this area, the Bruce Trail is rugged and rocky, with several inclines and declines. It has many scenic points overlooking the stunning scenery of the Georgian Bay shoreline.

Is it wheelchair or stroller accessible?

No. Though Halfway Log Dump Trail is wide and fairly flat it does not meet the standards to be considered wheelchair accessible. The rocky section immediately before reaching the shoreline makes unassisted wheelchair access impossible.

Can I eat at the shoreline?

There is no food or water available here, but visitors can pack in a picnic. There are no garbage facilities along the shoreline so visitors must pack out what they bring in. Open alcohol is not permitted.

Can I have a family barbecue at the shoreline?

Charcoal barbecues are not permitted due to fire hazards.

How busy is the shoreline?

Because of its expansive nature, Halfway Log Dump rarely feels busy. There is ample room for visitors to spread out and relax, or to explore the surrounding area without feeling too close to other groups. That said, some point of the shoreline are more popular and tend to attract more people.

If you are looking for a quieter visit, consider coming during the early spring or late fall.

Is it safe to swim?

The water at Halfway Log Dump is very cold and wave conditions are often rough. Even when waves look swimmable, undertows and currents present drowning hazards. If you choose to swim, please watch children carefully and swim within your ability. There are no lifeguards on duty in any area.  Visitors choosing to swim do so at their own risk.