- One of Canada’s most beautifully surprising hidden treasures!
- Dog-friendly trails and beaches
- Please respect the sensitive ecology
The Grotto in Ontario’s Bruce Peninsula National Park is the crown jewel in the Canadian Park’s system. The white stone beaches, aquamarine freshwater lake of Georgian Bay and the ancient sea caves, leave you feeling like you are visiting the Caribbean or Mediterranean.
Located in the Bruce Peninsula National Park on the tip of the Bruce Peninsula. The Grotto is a pleasant and easy 30 minute walk from the closest parking areas. During busy times in the peak summer months overflow parking lots add an additional 20 minutes to the walk.
I first heard of the fabled Grotto through Chris who grew up in Ontario. When he was a child he visited this special spot with his grandparents, two brothers and two cousins. I can only imagine the magical sense of wonder and amazement upon seeing The Grotto for the first time. It’s a child’s dream. We visited during our road trip from Whistler, BC to Ontario the fall of 2016, when Tusk was only five months old.
Growing up in BC all I heard about Ontario was people calling it Onterrible! After visiting a few times I can confidently say nothing could be further from the truth. I was blown away that a place like The Grotto exists in Canada, I’m sure many Canadians have no idea, not many people have heard of this enchanted place.
We visited The Grotto in late September, the water was beautifully clear and amazingly warm. The swimming was seriously addictive! The climate on the northern part of the Bruce Peninsula is among the most temperate in Canada. The Grotto itself is a limestone cave which you can swim into from the coast, or climb into along a narrow ledge. The way the light hits the clear turquoise water is what dreams are made of! The area also features unusual rock formations and incredible views.
Bruce Peninsula National Park
An ecological treasure of global significance this park forms part of the iconic Bruce Trail, an 890km route, Canada’s oldest and longest footpath. This is the heart of the UNESCO Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve. Situated on Lake Huron, the area is filled with ancient sea caves, the rock dates back over 400 million years. At that time the region was covered by a shallow tropical sea. When the sea receded the magnesium in the water was absorbed the limestone creating dolomite, a harder rock which helped form the sea caves. You can see massive boulder like slabs of rock below the crystal clear water, a scuba divers dream.
Local fauna include; black bears, rattlesnakes, foxes, porcupines, skunk and deer. The park also boasts 40+ different types of Orchids! If you want to extend your visit to the park you can camp at Cypress Lake, there are 242 sites.
Top 3 Tips
- This is a very popular spot. Visit in the shoulder seasons, spring and fall; and early or later in the day to avoid the crowds.
- If you are looking for a more private spot, keep walking!
- Pack out what you pack in. Help preserve this special place.
The walk on the shaded trail was fun. I saw some friends and loads of people stopped to give me love. There were quite a few people on the beach and it was in the dreaded hot sun. I was tied up to a rock while they went swimming. I barked at people that came too close and the mischievous seagulls.