Family day long weekend? Time to explore the great province of Ontario. For this trip, we decided to explore the Bruce Peninsula, a place we had only driven through a few years prior on our way to Manitoulin Island in 2011. With the car loaded up, including a two fresh sets of snowshoes (awesome Christmas gifts), we were on the road to Wiarton, Ontario where we’d be meeting up with my sister and her boyfriend. Shout out to Bob Bell at The Spirit Rock Outpost and Lodge for some great accommodations, hot coffee every morning, and some solid knowledge of the local trails.
A 30 mintue drive from our lodge brought us to the trail head at Lion’s Head. It was around -28C before a windchill, so a shorter hike through the trees was the name of the game. We used the Moore Street Side Trail and did an out-and-back to the Lion’s Head Lookout in about three hours.
The final approach to Lion’s Head Lookout can get the knees shaking. The drop-off to the right is a long way down, and with no way to know what that small snow bridge will support, it’s a good idea to jump right over.
Oh right, it’s -28 degrees Celcius. Hitting the lid to break the seal, we though we’d managed to split the Nalgene wide open. Fortunately, just the ice inside.
The metal water bottles didn’t fare so well. It stayed shut until we got back to the hotel.
An hour drive up Highway 6 from the lodge and we turned into Cyprus Lake Road. Hiking along the East edge of Cyprus Lake and up to the Marr Lake trail, our end goal was to reach The Grotto. This famous Ontario landmark is often visited in summer, but on this frosty holiday Monday, we had the trail to ourselves.
Cyprus Lake empties into Horse Lake.
If you’re doing the trail in winter, the Marr Lake Trail is much more fun in snowshoes, wrapping through the forest with some fun switchbacks. The Georgian Bay Trail is much more flat and mellow for the trip home.
Boulder Beach living up to it’s name, even in Winter.
Inside the Grotto looking out towards the surrounding cliffs.
A great sunset just outside of Markdale to cap off the weekend and the long drive back to Toronto.