• The Grotto, Bruce Peninsula National Park, Ontario. (Photo: Kyle Blaney/CanGeo Photo Club)

To boulder in Bruce Peninsula National Park is to experience 360 degrees of sublime natural beauty. With Georgian Bay’s glittering waters on one side and the Niagara Escarpment’s towering cliffs on the other, the area is perfect for climbers who want to immerse themselves in the peninsula’s landscape while pushing their physical abilities.

Part rock climbing and part acrobatics, bouldering focuses on mastering difficult routes at a height you wouldn’t mind falling from, since ropes aren’t used. The boulder-strewn stretch of beach known as Halfway Log Dump (a nod to the area’s logging past) offers a variety of routes for different experience levels.

Learn more about how to best enjoy this activity, which has a low-impact on the environment, with the guide below.

When to go
The bouldering season begins and ends with the opening of closing of Emmett Lake Road, which is not ploughed in the winter. Early spring and late autumn weather can be highly variable, but summer will be a bit busier, so plan according to your preferences.

What to bring
Bouldering doesn’t have a lot of equipment requirements, but you’ll be safest and happiest if you bring proper climbing shoes and a crash pad. Bring along a bathing suit too if you’d like to cool off in the water post-climb. However, note that being next to the water means that even summer temperatures can be cool, so make sure you have some warmer clothing to change into should the mercury drop. This is remote location with few facilities, so it’s not a bad idea to have some toilet paper with you in case the restroom at the parking lot is temporarily without.

Where to stay
Bruce Peninsula National Park offers a variety of different places to stay. Within the park the possibilities include: drive-in sites at the Cyprus Lake campground, group camping or yurt camping at Cyprus Lake, backcountry camping along the Bruce Trail at Stormhaven or High Dump.

Where to eat and drink
Bouldering is good exercise, and you’re likely to be famished afterwards. Grab some grub in nearby Tobermory. Ancient cedars café serves up healthy local cuisine with menu that features many vegan and half meat based dishes, with many options for gluten sensitivities as well. All animal products come from local farms and as much produce as possible comes from the farmers markets in town. If that weren’t enough, they’ve got a patio overlooking the picturesque Cornerstone Golf Club.

Fun fact
Fathom Five, Canada's first national marine park which sits right next to Bruce Peninsula National Park, includes 22 shipwrecks in its waters.

Read before you go
Hewers of the Forests, Fishers of the Lakes. This book presents the history of Tobermory and the St Edmunds Township between 1870—1984. The second edition features improved photographs and is printed and published by the local Tobermory Press.