Easy Going 1st Day at Bruce Peninsula
It was for a short weekend of about 4 days. I have never been to Toronto and so finding a flight that was less than $200 round trip sounded like a steal. The thing is I have visited Niagara falls. So, it was necessary to look out for a new adventure, so to speak. Spring time travel is great for outdoors. I had to research what great outdoors were easy enough to get to from Toronto. I ended up discovering Bruce Peninsula National Park, near the little town of Tobermory (not to be confused with the band). This area offers a segment of the long distance trail known as the Bruce Trail. A hike of this segment provides stunning views of the coastline and white rock beaches. It was also known for the odd-shaped rocks deemed as the”flower pots.” Looking at the photos, I was enticed to pay a visit with the hopes that the photos I saw hold up to its depicted beauty, and they did!
Our flight out was at 6 am from Ronald Reagan airport with an arrival time of 7:30 am. The great perk about flying to Toronto is the short time it takes to fly. Easily, we were able to grab our rental car from Dollar. The plan was to stay at Cyprus Lake campground which is a National Campground. For about $25 a night, one gets to have a decent size campground with a fire ring and picnic table. The campground has toilets (that flush!) and sinks but no shower facilities. For a campground, it is reasonably clean and well-maintained. As it was still low season, we were able to book a site across the lake from which an awesome sunset view can be enjoyed amidst the annoying black flies and biting mosquitoes. Nonetheless, this is a small price to pay for enjoying nature.
We arrived at our campground on the first day at around 1 pm. We set up our tent and thereafter headed to the little town of Tobermory for lunch. We ate at Crowsnest Pub. The food was okay just for the purposes of a quick lunch. As we had been awake since 2 am that day, we decided to take it easy and do a short hike. Hence, we headed to the Visitor Center where they show a film about the park and the surrounding areas.
From the visitor center, you can do a 4-5 kilometer loop hike called Burnt Point with some stunning views of the shoreline. The trail is apart from the long distance Bruce Trail that we were going to hike the next day. The short hike was a nice warm up and neither one of us can complain about the views. Again, see photos below -
After our little hike, we decided to check out the lighthouse by the Big Tub area. The lighthouse is still fully functional and automated. It is situated on the shore with lovely views of the water. It appears kayaking and canoeing are popular activities and would allow you to navigate to the lighthouse from the town center easily as the water surrounding Tobermory is almost always calm. The lighthouse itself was nice to look at.
Thereafter, we decided to grab a bite. This time we went for some fish tacos in the center of town. The food yet again was mediocre - both the fish and chicken tacos. I knew my companion, who is a foodie, was a bit disappointed but then again in a small town like this it appears many operate their restaurants on a seasonal basis given that the rest of the year can be cold and quiet. Therefore, finding spectacular meals would be a bit of a challenge. We ended up driving one more time to the visitor center for some sunset viewing. As I was a bit exhausted at that point, I let my travel companion enjoy the sunset viewing on his own atop a platform looking over the peninsula and the town. It was a perfect way to end a beautiful, albeit long, long first day.