The Niagara Escarpment runs as the backbone to the Bruce Peninsula, creating a mosaic of habitats to explore. Hiking trails wind through the forests and along the rocky end of this UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, including part of the 782 km Bruce Trail, Canada’s oldest and longest footpath.
Hiking within the park can allow you access to some of the most spectacular scenery along the shoreline, but please wear proper footwear and be prepared so you’ll enjoy your experience while out on the trails.
Trails of Bruce Peninsula National Park
Here is a selection of popular trails in the park, for more trails and information see the Hiking Guide (pdf) or speak with park staff.
Cyprus Lake Area
Georgian Bay - Marr Lake Trail to Indian Head Cove and the Grotto
3km, 3.0 hours, difficulty varies from moderate to difficult
The Georgian Bay Trail is the quickest path to the park's scenic cliffs and shore. At the shoreline, this trail meets the Bruce Trail, giving hikers two route options.
Halfway Rock Point offers an excellent vista: on the northern horizon lie Flowerpot and Bear's Rump islands in Fathom Five National Marine Park. From here the trail enters Indian Head Cove, favoured by both swimmers and SCUBA divers. West of this cove are two sea caves, the Natural Arch, and further along, the Grotto.
These caves were carved from the rock face by centuries of waves beating on the porous dolomite of the cliffs. At least two underwater entrances lead into the Grotto from the Bay.
The return route via Marr Lake is identified by signs on the cobble beach west of Indian Head Cove. Be careful. This route is rough as it crosses the boulders along the shore between the Grotto and Marr Lake.
Horse Lake Trail
1km, 0.5 hours, moderate difficulty
This trail skirts the eastern side of Horse Lake and wanders through a great diversity of habitats (i.e. marsh, lake edge, woodland shoreline). The trail ends at a boulder beach on Georgian Bay. Here the options are to return the same way or continue along the shore in either direction on the Bruce Trail.
Cyprus Lake Trail
5km, 2.5 hours, low difficulty
For the less rugged experience, follow this trail around Cyprus Lake. A watchful eye will note the charred stumps from forest fires of the early 1900s. There are many access trails from the Cyprus campground and campers are encouraged to use this trail as their path to the Head-of-Trails.
Halfway Log Dump
1km, 0.5 hours, moderate difficulty
This short trail from the parking lot with bring visitors to a rugged cobble beach along the Bruce Trail. Hikers are treated to the sunning view of sheer cliffs and white cobble stone beaches. When exploring in either direction along the Bruce Trail or shoreline, hiker should be prepared for extremely rugged terrain.
Note: Hiking to the Grotto from Halfway Log Dump should only be attempted by experienced and well prepared hikers. The trail is rugged and requires roughly 3 hours each way. There are no taxi or shuttle services between park destinations.
200m, 5 mins, low difficulty
Take this short stroll to admire the small but astonishing plants that grow in the Singing Sands Fen habitat. This extremely delicate wetland is home to a variety of orchids and insect eating plants.
Forest Beach Loop
3km, 1.5 hours, moderate difficulty
Head though the woods and dunes along Dorus Bay toward the rare alvar habitat. This exposed bedrock may seem barren, but mosses, lichens and some rare flower species flourish in this harsh environment.
Little Dunks Lookout
800m, 25 mins, low difficulty
After climbing the tower at the Parks Canada Visitor Centre, head out along the trail to a platform view of Little Dunks on Georgian Bay, and easy glimpse of the crystal clear blue waters of the area.
1. Stay on the trails and watch your step. Carry a map and take note of the trail signs.
2. Be mindful of the time of day and weather conditions. Let someone know your hiking plans as cellphone reception is not always reliable in the parks.
3. Carry out your garbage, leaving nothing behind. Garbage receptacles are located at each trail head!
4. Keep your dogs on a leash.
5. Don’t pick up, harass, or remove wildlife. Don’t feed the wildlife.
Note: The Park Visitor Code (see Camping section ) applies everywhere within the park.
For more safety information please visit the Visitor Safety page of our website.