hikes in Bruce Peninsula and Grey Highlands
Easy access to a beautiful and diverse range of landscapes makes the Bruce Peninsula and Grey Highlands such a great place to explore some of the most scenic and pristine terrain that Southern Ontario has to offer. The stunning waters of Georgian Bay and the rocky shoreline made up of the Niagara Escarpment create a wonderfully atmospheric setting that will make you feel as though you are in the Mediterranean rather than Canada, while the charming forests and hilly landscape of the Grey Highlands make for great inland hiking with breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.
While you might feel as though you are tucked away in some far-flung, remote corner of the province, both the Bruce Peninsula and Grey Highlands are easily-accessible from major population centres like Toronto, meaning that you will get the best of both worlds when planning a trip here. Whether your aim is to camp for a few days in a national park and explore the charming scenery of the Bruce or take a quick day-hike in Grey County for elevated views from the rocky outlooks of the Niagara Escarpment, there is no doubt that your next adventure in either of these stunning locales hill be a big hit.
10 Amazing Hiking Routes In the Bruce Peninsula and Grey Highlands
Hiking on the Bruce Peninsula or in the nearby Grey Highlands can be as easy or challenging of an experience as you want it to be, with a number of trails geared towards a wide variety of outdoor enthusiasts that range from families with strollers to experienced hikers that are familiar with multi-day treks. If you are interested in the latter, the famous Bruce Trail that cuts 890km across Southern Ontario passes through each of these regions, offering an enticing way to experience the varied landscapes across the province. For those looking to accomplish a much simpler day hike, countless options are available that range from easy forest walks along the elevated terrain of the Niagara Escarpment to relaxed strolls along the water’s edge in Tobermory. There are a wealth of breathtaking hikes in Southern Ontario, so why not get to planning your next adventure and check out this list of 10 amazing hiking routes that we’ve put together for the Bruce Peninsula and Grey Highlands regions:
- Mono Cliffs: An extremely popular trail that is fairly close to Toronto, hiking the Mono Cliffs is a fantastic experience that will take you through a lovely stretch of forest that is interrupted by the large rock formations of the Niagara Escarpment. The easy to navigate paths here make this a great option for a fun family adventure.
- Halfway Log Dump to the Grotto: A breathtaking hike along the shoreline of Gerogian Bay, this trail will take you to several scenic highlights, including the ever-popular Grotto and Indian Head Cove. You might have to work your way around a few tourists taking the short hike from the Cyprus Lake Campground, but the views are well-worth any disturbances.
- Lion's Head Loop: Another stunning hike along the edge of Georgian Bay, the Lion’s Head Loop will take you along a rocky outcrop for gorgeous views across the blue water. There are a few rugged stretches of trail that are mixed with easy forest walks, making this a great challenge for beginner hikers.
- Eugenia Falls and Hoggs Falls Loop: One of the most popular hikes in the Grey Highlands, the Eugenia Falls and Hoggs Falls Loop will take you through the steep terrain of Beaver Valley to visit each of these beautiful waterfalls. A secret rope ladder also provides the opportunity to descend to the pool below Hoggs Falls for a quick dip in its refreshing waters.
- Pretty River Loop Trail: This fantastic hike in Pretty River Valley Provincial Park is a beautifully scenic adventure that will take you through the forest to reach a vantage point atop a portion of the Niagara Escarpment. If you can make it out to this trail in the late-April/May window, you might even get the chance to experience the beautiful trilliums that blanket the landscape.
- Flowerpot Island Loop Trail: An amazing adventure that requires you to boat out to the island, the Flowerpot Island Loop Trail is an awesome outdoor experience that will provide you with some stunning views around Tobermory. While out on the trail, you will hike through the forests along this small island, eventually reaching the flower pot rock formations that are the result of thousands of years of weathering.
- Spirit Rock Trail: This quick hike near Wiarton will take you along the shoreline of the Bruce Peninsula for some gorgeous views overlooking Georgian Bay. Well-maintained and easy to traverse paths make this short adventure suitable for all skill levels.
- Horse and Marr Lakes Trail: The Horse and Marr Lakes Trail is a great hiking route in Bruce Peninsula National Park that takes you from the Cyprus Lake Campground to visit Indian Head Cove and the Grotto. While out on the trail, you will pass by several charming lakes, before experiencing scenic views across the striking waters of Georgian Bay. This is a great hike to do if you are already staying at the nearby campground.
- Burnt Point Loop Trail: Another great hike near Tobermory at the northwest tip of the Bruce Peninsula, the Burnt Point Loop Trail will take you through a beautiful stretch of forest to access several scenic viewpoints overlooking Georgian Bay. This is a great outing for hikers of all ages and skill levels.
- Old Baldy Lookout Trail: This awesome trail in Grey County will take you uphill for some amazing views overlooking the Beaver Valley from the rocky terrain of the Niagara Escarpment. Although there is a small amount of uneven terrain, this would still make for an amazing adventure that the entire family could enjoy.
When is the Best Time to Hike in the Bruce Peninsula and Grey Highlands?
The Bruce Peninsula and Grey Highlands see a relatively large amount of snowfall during the winter, keeping trails fairly wet into the late spring. As such, the best time for hiking here is during the early-May to October window, when trails are at their driest and weather is the most favourable. Trails will likely be the busiest during the height of summer, so planning a hiking trip for the shoulder seasons is a great way to explore the natural beauty of the area without the crowds, especially in some of the busier parks like Bruce Peninsula National Park.
Other Outdoor Activities in the Bruce Peninsula and Grey Highlands
With such a diverse range of landscapes between the Bruce Peninsula and Grey Highlands, it only makes sense that there is an equally wide range of activities that can be sought out to experience the beauty of each of these regions. In addition to hiking, summer in these areas is a popular time for activities like mountain biking along the escarpment, boating on Georgian Bay, canoeing/kayaking, fishing, rock climbing, and horseback riding. Winter brings a different set of interests into play, with skiing (downhill and cross-country), snowmobiling, ice fishing, and snowshoeing being popular pastimes.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Bruce Peninsula and Grey Highlands
Who was the Bruce Peninsula named after?
The Bruce Peninsula was named after James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin. He was the Governor General from 1847-1854 of what was at that time known as the Province of Canada.
Where should I stay when visiting the Bruce Peninsula?
If you are looking to explore the stunning terrain of the Bruce Peninsula, there are a few options for accommodations, with the best being a stay at a B&B in Tobermory or camping in the nearby Bruce Peninsula National Park.Read More
The best hikes in Bruce Peninsula and Grey Highlands
Yes, there are more than 10
Bruce Peninsula and Grey Highlands is so beautiful that we can not give you only 10 hikes. So here is a list of bonus hikes in Bruce Peninsula and Grey Highlands that you should take a look at as well
Are we missing your favourite hike?
Tell us! If you've got photos, a GPS track and know the hike, we'd love to share your favourite hike with the rest of the 10Adventures community.