Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Camping Recap - Bruce Peninsula

 Settle in as I recap our camping weekend at the beautiful Bruce Peninsula National Park.  For the last couple of years we have managed to book a weekend of camping with our neighbour friends. This year we chose this campground.  Three families arrived on Thursday night and one more joined on Friday night.  Another family that usually joins us wasn't able to come this year. We know we are so fortunate to have this group of friends.

We left on Thursday and stopped for lunch in Shelburne at Superburger.

We made good time on the highways, I love driving across rural Southern Ontario.  We checked in at our campground.

We were the first family to arrive. 

With another family arriving fairly soon after us. The boys started building a fire.  On our earlier camping trip this summer, we had a fire ban, so they were keen to starting burning this time!

We woke up to a cloudy morning with a chance of showers.  Q was up early with me and got right into his Froot Loops, a camping treat.

Another fire in the morning keeps the kids entertained.  It did rain slightly but nothing that required jackets, umbrellas, or tarps.

The kids wanted to chop down an old dead tree (that was mostly a stump) but I said they weren't allowed to use an axe, so they found a rope and pulled it down instead.


Then we set out for our day's adventure.  Bruce Peninsula National Park is known for the "grotto" which is a beautiful rocky shore with bright blue water, it looks almost tropical.  It's quite popular and you need a timed reservation to visit, but if you're camping there, you can go whenever you want. We hiked our way to the grotto and spent some time swimming.

It was clearing up as we were hiking and it was nice and sunny when we got to the grotto.

We were so lucky that the water was calm, so although we had the little kids wear a lifejacket, it was not bad for swimming.  This place also has a reputation for being cold, but we found the water very pleasant.

Then a couple of us swam over to the cave, and other hiked.  I swam and it was the right choice, I don't think I would have enjoyed scaling the wall.

How pretty!

It took me a few times to get up the nerve to jump but I finally did it and screamed the whole way down.

It is a pretty busy spot and although we could have stayed longer, we didn't enjoy the big crowds and so we decided to head back.

Chips and drink time!

We teach them young here!

We went for a swim after supper.  It was a nice night, but the water was shallow and the rocks were slimy so not easy getting in and out.

Saturday was another cloudy day with a few light showers as we ate breakfast, but again, nothing that bad. 

Pancakes for breakfast.

And another fire.

E is our late riser!

Since some of our group only arrived on Friday, they went to the grotto on Saturday morning and the rest of us went to the Singing Sands beach.  Again, we started the day with clouds and it turned into a perfect sunny day.

E was acting like a seagull, those are his wings.

The water went out for so long without getting very deep.  It was good for non-drowning purposes, but not as fun for just swimming around.

Our plan had actually been for a morning boat cruise to Flowerpot Island but it was cancelled due to the wind and rain, luckily we were able to rebook for 5:30 instead.  After the beach we headed into town, Tobermory, to meet up with the rest of our group and we got some food at a rooftop patio. 
Then it was time to head to the boat.

All aboard!

It was a glass bottomed boat.  If we had been on the earlier cruise we could have gone to see the shipwrecks, but that part of the cruise was omitted from the later timeslot. Still neat to see under the boat though.

Another change was that we only had 1.5 hours on the island instead of 3 hours, so it meant we really only had time to walk to the "flower pots" and go swimming.  No time to hike the whole island.

It was so nice to swim!  Worth the trip for that.

On the way back a few of us stood at the bow of the boat and got splashed by the waves, it was so fun! It was like a ride at Canada's Wonderland but it lasted for 30 minutes!  I had so much fun, and so did the kids.
(I'm the adult in the black hoodie)

We were late getting back, but we still had a fire of course and roasted some hot dogs.

We had to check out at 11:00 on Sunday morning so there was no sleeping in.

It was chiller that morning, but sunny.

We never did get a group photo, one of the families had to take off earlier than planned due to an injury, but all is fine now, and even without a group photo, we still had a great time and memories were made!

We had a good drive home, got everything unpacked, showered, poured a drink and relaxed.  

Not sure what we'll do next year, but I hope we continue this tradition!


  1. Oh my goodness, this looks like such a WONDERFUL trip!! I'm not big on camping (not in a tent at least-- I don't sleep well), but you make it look fun!

    Lauren @ Don't Mind Our Mess

  2. I loved reading about your trip and looking at your photos. Sounds like you all had a wonderful time and lucky you to have other families to camp with. The kids must have had a wonderful time! I have fantastic memories of camping when I was a kid. We never went camping with our kids when they were young and I wish we had. Instead we used to go for a week to a cabin by the beach with the in-laws (ho hum)