About 3.5 hours northwest of Toronto is Bruce Peninsula National Park. We had the opportunity to do some car camping there last summer. Charlene and I have never been car camping before so it was a unique experience from the get go. We also had the opportunity to share in this adventure with her sister’s family. Once again, another first for us. We have never traveled with anyone else in this capacity.
Bruce Peninsula National Park is a relaxing 3.5 hour ride north of Toronto. After checking in with the main office and buying firewood from them, we arrived at our camping site mid-afternoon. We planned this trip to be right after the August Civic Day holiday, to avoid the crowds that come into the park for the long weekend. When we arrived, we passed the garbage dump which was overflowing with trash from the long weekend. I was hoping our site wouldn’t be close to this because that garbage would be like dinner bells for local bears. We unloaded the truck and set up both of our tents in no time at all. It was convenient to just pull the stuff out of the car and set up at that spot rather than what we usually do and canoe 30km with gear and food.
I always feel that camping in August is wonderful because you avoid black flies and a lot of the mosquitoes that would swarm you early in the camping season. Bruce Peninsula Park has some well marked trails and is also connected to the Bruce Trail. That evening Charlene and I went for a walk on a trail along Cyprus Lake, the lake that we were staying at. We were able to capture a lovely sunset. That evening I was able to stay up with Charlene’s brother in law and his German Shepherd and chat over a large camp fire (these are great dogs to go camping with). While looking up you could see the stars so clearly, living in the big city of Toronto this isn’t something that we get to see very often.
The next day we arranged to go on a hike to “the Grotto”. It took us about 45 minutes to hike from our site on Cyprus Lake. One thing that I really wasn’t a fan of at this park or while hiking was the excessive amount of garbage people threw into the bush or left on the trail. This is one of the reasons I love going to parks so much, it is supposed to be peaceful and clean. Even when we went to The Grotto people had thrown so much garbage in a pile, that the pile was over a meter high of water bottles and candy wrappers. Disgusting! I’m not sure if this is a result of us car camping and it attracting people that are either first time campers or perhaps this was the first time in the wilderness for many people. But it was apparent that something was definitely different on this trip. I wish I had taken more pictures to illustrate this and I even made a point of complaining to the park suggesting that maybe they need more don’t litter signs.
We enjoyed relaxing at the Grotto and even went into the water. After we went hiking along the Bruce Trail for a while. We passed Boulder Beach which was a beach that was full of rocks, made for some interesting hiking.
The car camping made it convenient to drive into the town of Tobermory and also visit Flowerpot Island which I will write about in another post. All in all it wasn’t a bad trip, Bruce Peninsula Park is somewhere worth visiting if you are looking for a weekend away. More Information about the park and camping can be found by clicking here Bruce Peninsula National Park.