Best time to visit
With its close proximity to Southern Ontario, Bruce Peninsula National Park is no longer a hidden gem with visitation approaching 500,000. If you are on your way to Bruce Peninsula National Park we would love to see you, but we are experiencing a busy visitation season and access to services and amenities is more limited than usual.
When is Bruce Peninsula National Park the busiest?
Certain times tend to be busier than others; if you are planning to visit during June, July and August and long weekends you will experience crowds and limited or no access to parking lots and facilities.
These holidays and weekends are especially busy:
Victoria Day long weekend (May 18th to 21st)
Canada Day (June 29th to July 2nd)
Civic Holiday (August 3rd to 6th)
Labour Day (August 31st to September 3rd)
What is the best time to visit?Consider visiting the park during the early Spring or late Fall. During these times visitors can still find the turquoise waters of Georgian Bay while avoiding the larger crowds.
Use your GPS unit or online mapping application to check current traffic conditions. Be sure to check local travel conditions before you leave.
Current construction projects
Bruce Peninsula National Park construction page.
Road reportAlways consult road reports or 511 (select google traffic) before leaving.
Park entrances and parking
There are a limited number of parking spaces. For safety reasons, when these are all occupied we will not be able to accommodate more visitors. Gates can sometimes get busy. Thank you for your patience. Safety is our top priority so be sure to follow all instructions when entering the park.
There are various areas in the park where parking provides access to day-use areas.
Grotto and Head of Trails Parking
- During the busy summer season this parking lot operates on a reservable time slot permit parking system. The Grotto is an extremely popular attraction and the parking lot will fill up most days. Please keep your plans flexible and review access to the time slot permit parking lot.
- Open as of June 30th, 2018.
Halfway Log Dump
- Located at the end of Emmett Lake Road, this is a small parking lot that provides access to the shoreline of Georgian Bay. When this parking lot is full cars will be redirected to other day use areas.
- Located just outside the town of Tobermory, There is parking here to access the displays at the Visitor Centre, observation tower, and Burnt Loop trail. This site can accommodate more cars, however on weekends this parking lot will fill up, as will most parking lots in the area and it might be worth exploring other attraction farther down the Bruce Peninsula.
When parking lots are full, please remember:
- No illegal parking.
- The park is surrounded by private property, please do not park or cross private lands to reach the park.
- Follow instructions from Parks staff.
- Never park on vegetation.
- Parking for oversized vehicles (RVs, trailers) is extremely limited. Leave oversized vehicles in town, or in the visitor centre parking lot, if possible.
- Please watch your speed along Highway 6 and be mindful of wildlife and pedestrians while driving.
Reservation for park can be made through the Parks Canada reservation system at www.reservations.pc.gc.ca or dial toll free 1-877-737-3783 (1-877-RESERVE). It is not recommended to attempt to stay at the park with out a reservation as the campground is full for most of the summer.
If you are on your way to Bruce Peninsula National Park and you have not secured overnight accommodation in advance, when it is safe to do so, please consider turning around and visiting another time.
Contact Explore the Bruce for help planning for alternative places to stay.
- Get your Discovery Pass in advance.
- Make sure to reserve a place to stay.
- Reserve your time slot parking permit for the Grotto.
- Check for any seasonal closures or construction.
- Start you visit with a trip to the Visitor Centre to learn more about the area.
- Cell phone coverage in the area is intermittent. Brush up on more safety tips.
Have a great visit
Let us help you explore the area.