HIKING THE BRUCE TRAIL: DAY 1 – HALFWAY LOG DUMP TO STORMHAVEN

Yes.  This is in Ontario.  More specifically, that crystal blue water is Georgian Bay in Bruce Peninsula National Park along the Bruce Trail.

 

This is my favourite spot to hike in Ontario.  I remember spending time in the park as a child with my family as we would drive up to Tobermory to take the Chi-Cheemaun (ferry) over to Manitoulin Island.  I more recently rediscovered the park 2 years ago with Vicky and my BFF since grade 9 Steph.

 

There are some places you go to and think “wow, I HAVE to come back and spend more time here”.  The Bruce is one of those special places.

How is this even Ontario?

This trip came about last minute.  I was spending a girls weekend near Barrie followed by a visit to my parents in Southwestern Ontario afterwards.  I was so close to The Bruce Peninsula that I couldn’t NOT visit (it’s a solid 8-10 hour drive from Ottawa on a normal day).  I looked at Airbnb and booked a private room at The Fitz Hostel in Lion’s Head (about 30mins + drive to the park).

Picture courtesy of The Fitz Hostel

The holiday Monday morning I left the cottage and drove to the hostel, dropped my stuff off and drove to Cyprus Lake campground to hike to The Grotto and Indian Head Cove.  However when I pulled up around 2:30pm, I was told about some new timed parking (explained better here) they had implemented and I had to come back at 5pm which meant my hiking time was cut in half.  Instead of waiting till 5 and wasting precious hiking time, I referred to my trusty map and drove to the Halfway Log Dump parking lot.

Let’s be real: Halfway Log Dump does not sound like an attractive place to hike.  But even with cloudy skies and chillier temps it turned out to be fantastic afternoon.  I had the mindset going into the hike of “we’ll see what happens and how far I get” with a turnaround time of 6pm.

Maps are important!

With map in hand I blazed along at a quick speed making great time on the dirt trail.  At one point you have the option to stay on the Bruce Trail or to follow the rocky coastline…guess which one I chose?

White Rocks and Crystal Blue Water along Georgian Bay
Cliffs are the bomb

Like everywhere else in Ontario the water was higher than normal along the shoreline.  At one point the only way I had to continue was to take my boots and socks off, pull up my leggings and go knee-deep in the freezing water to continue on.  These kids followed my very bad example.

Kids following my bad example of how to cross the water.

Eventually the knee-deep water turned into “you have to swim across this” water, so I headed back into the woods to find the trail again.  An hour and a half in I came across the campground Stormhaven (which sounds WAY COOLER than Halfway Log Dump).

 

At this point I spent some time checking out the campsites and the rocky beach.  I stacked some stones and set the timer 47 times to get this one picture.

I took my time heading back to my car the same way I came, and decided to get up early the next morning to explore my original plan of hiking to The Grotto.

 

With Lots of Hiking Love,

Mary Anne

 

Link to trail hiked: Halfway Log Dump

Where I stayed: The Fitz Hostel

This is the cutest and best little hostel I’ve ever stayed in.  Very clean, accommodating.

Where I Ate: Harvest Moon Organic Bakery

STOP HERE AND EAT EVERYTHING, SO CUTE AND DELICIOUS.

Mary Anne Ivison

Mary Anne loves hiking, mossy rocks and her gig as a radio personality. She is in pursuit of becoming an ADK 46er and touching every mountain on planet Earth.

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