bruce peninsula park

Bruce Peninsula National Park has reopened but grotto remains closed

Select parts of Bruce Peninsula National Park, one of the most popular destinations for a summer day trip from Toronto, have officially reopened to the public just in time for the season.

Located a four hour drive north of Toronto, in Tobermory, Ontario, the 156 square kilometre green space borders Georgian Bay and Lake Huron, and boasts its own set of lakes in the Niagara Escarpment region, along with a ton of activities that include camping, swimming, hiking and more.

Unfortunately, not all of the park's amenities are available yet, and popular attractions like the Grotto caves and swimming area remain closed due to the pandemic.

But, many of Bruce's trails are open for day use — including the Singing Sands boardwalk and trail, Little Cove area and portions of the eponymous Bruce Trail — along with parking lots and washroom facilities with reduced capacity.

The portion of Bruce Trail between Crane Lake and Little Cove is still closed off, as is the visitor centre, viewing tower, Indian Head Cove and Halfway Log Dump.

The Instagram-worthy Flowerpot Island and nearby Sauble Beach are also sadly off limits until further notice, though some other beaches in the area are open for limited use.

Anyone planning a trip to the park should also note that some accommodations and other services in the area are still closed as a result of the health crisis.

Overnight camping is also unfortunately not yet permitted, which is a rule that still applies to all national parks across the board, even the 29 from coast to coast that are partially or fully open as of June 1. This will last until at least June 21.

The other National Parks that residents are now free to enjoy in some capacity in Ontario are Rouge National Urban Park, Georgian Bay Islands National Park, Thousand Islands National Park and Pukaskwa National Park.

As Parks Canada notes, "being outdoors and in nature brings a number of health and wellness benefits. It is important that people have access to natural spaces where they can go to get exercise and fresh air." But, physical distancing and other orders still need to be heeded as we cautiously wade into the first stages of reopening.

Meanwhile, provincial parks Ontario-wide have been open for nearly a month, and private campgrounds have been given the green light to start prepping for the season and taking future reservations.

Lead photo by

Dan Sedran

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