Horse and Marr Lakes Trail
The Horse and Marr Lakes Trail is a spectacular hiking route near the northern end of the Bruce Peninsula that will lead you around several charming lakes for stunning views overlooking the shimmering waters of Georgian Bay. While out on the trail, you will make your way past the shores of Horse Lake and along the edge of Georgian Bay to visit the picturesque rock formation known as the Grotto before returning along the edge of the Marr and Cyprus lakes. As this trail sets out from the Cyprus Lake Campground, this hike is perfectly paired with a fun weekend of camping along the wild expanse of the Bruce Peninsula.
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Route Description for Horse and Marr Lakes Trail
A beautiful trail that can be enjoyed by all, the major downside to the Horse and Marr Lakes Loop Trail is the high volumes of foot traffic that you will experience around The Grotto and Indian Head Cove. If you are looking to avoid at least a small proportion of people along the trail and experience some stunning views of Georgian Bay in peace, you might want to consider hiking this trail during off-peak times or in the shoulder seasons. Other than that, you will experience a bit of rough, rocky, and uneven terrain underfoot, so be sure to wear proper hiking footwear when out on the trail.
Even with a large number of other outdoor enthusiasts on the trail, this is still a fantastic hiking route that will expose you to some of the most beautiful terrain that can be found within Bruce Peninsula National Park. From charming lakes to the brilliant blue waters of Georgian Bay and the rocky lookouts at The Grotto and Indian Head Cove, you will have no shortage of amazing experiences along the Horse and Marr Lakes Trail. For a bit of added fun and easier access to the trail, try spending the weekend camping at the nearby Cyprus Lake Campground.
Setting out from the parking area, find the trail in the southwest corner and follow it for a short distance until you arrive at a junction. Head to the right and keep straight along the forested path for the next 220 m, where you will arrive at the scenic shores of Horse Lake. Continue on to the northeast for the next 1.0 km, passing through the tranquil atmosphere of the forest and crossing over a small creek before arriving at a junction on the shores of Georgian Bay.
Take the path on the left and follow closely along the shores of the bay, taking some time to enjoy the stunning views across the shimmering blue water. After 400 m, you will enter back into the cover of the forest and arrive at another fork in the path. Head to the left, climbing slightly uphill for 51 m to arrive at yet another junction. Take the path on the right and keep left over the next 335 m to make your way over the rocky heights above Indian Head Cove and the Grotto.
This portion of the hike offers the most scenic views along the trail, which unfortunately means that it will also be the busiest with tourists trying to grab the perfect photo of the scenic caves that have been carved into the rocky coastline by thousands of years of weathering. Washroom facilities can also be found here fairly close to the trail. Take your time exploring the shoreline and take in the stunning views that stretch out across the water before continuing along the trail to the west.
After another 400 m along the trail, you will descend slightly to reach a junction at Boulder Beach, another scenic lookout over the waters of Georgian Bay. This is a great spot to sit out and grab some sun if you have some spare time to kill. If not, head left at the junction to follow the trail south and leave the picturesque shoreline behind you. Here, you will have some nice views across Marr Lake, as you walk along its scenic western edge.
Roughly 0.8 km from the junction at Boulder Beach, you will pass under the canopy of the forest to arrive at a junction with the Georgian Bay Trail. Heading left here will take you back towards Indian Head Cove, so take the path on the right to make your way south on the return leg of the journey.
Keep left for the next 450 m, passing by the calm waters of Cyprus Lake and the Poplars Campground, before arriving at a junction with the Horse Lake Trail. From here, head right to follow the path to the car park where you started your adventure along the Horse and Marr Lakes Loop.
Insider Hints for Horse and Marr Lakes Trail
- Make sure to pre-arrange a valid park pass in advance or else you might have to wait at the gate to access the park.
- This trail is extremely busy during peak times, be sure to arrive early in order to secure parking and enjoy the trail in solitude.
- Proper hiking footwear is recommended, as sections of this trail are fairly rocky and uneven.
- Exercise caution in the areas around Indian Head Cove and the Grotto, as there are dangerous drop offs.
- Bring a swimsuit if you plan on taking a refreshing dip in the waters of Georgian Bay.
Getting to the Horse and Marr Lakes Trail Trailhead
To reach the trailhead for the Horse and Marr Lakes Trail from Tobermory, head to the southeast on ON-6 for 10.7 km and turn left onto Cyprus Lake Road. In 6.2 km, you will arrive at the parking area.
Horse and Marr Lakes Trail Elevation Graph
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Horse and Marr Lakes Trail Reviews
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