The Bruce Trail is one of the sacred gems of Ontario that most people have explored in some capacity, but few people have actually had the opportunity to walk it end to end. A few years back Fido and I were lucky enough to have 45 days to spend on the Bruce. In recognizing that that would not be enough time to walk the entire trail end to end, it was decided that we would start in the north and work our way down from there. As it turned out, the stretch along Bruce Peninsula National Park was so incredible that as soon as it was possible I planned to return. Recently we had that opportunity.
BPNP is located just outside of Tobermory Ontario, and runs south along the Bruce Peninsula’s eastern shore. As a national park there are numerous regulations that must be followed, all of which can be found at the park’s Welcome Center just outside of downtown Tobermory. For more information though do check out the Parks Canada Website along with many of the suggested links.
The best thing about exploring BPNP is the fact that the park offers a number of backcountry camping areas. These areas are completely dog-friendly, and for those amongst us looking for a great hike into the wilderness while still remaining within a few hours drive of a major city, you’ve found it! Most recently we stayed in an area called Halfway Log Dump (which is anything but a dump), but speaking from experience all of the backcountry areas are incredible! The one major downfall to these sites though is you must go to the Cypress Lake Campground (pretty far north in the park) to register for your site before hiking in, generally much more convenient to do from the south end of the park.
For a great, simple topographic map of the area, be sure to pick up The Bruce Trail guidebook – an incredibly valuable resource for anyone looking to find out more information about the area, facilities, flora and fauna, as well as where the trail runs as it winds its way through southwest Ontario. As more and more people are finding out about the park, there is no question that something is lost. In the end though, with such an amazing protected area to explore with your Fido, we all gain.