Our first day was spent mostly travelling. We stopped for lunch at Forks of the Credit Provincial Park which was handy since it was pretty much the halfway point of the trip. There were vault toilets and a couple of picnic tables there and what looked like some good hiking. We didn't do any hiking since everyone was keen to get to our campsite. We had a fairly quick lunch and we were off again. We arrived at the park around 2:00, got the site setup then went to check out Cyprus Lake.
Our second day was full of sighteeing at Fathom Five National Marine Park. We had booked a trip over to Flowerpot Island (about 2 weeks in advance) through Bruce Anchor Tours. When we booked we had a choice of which one their boats we wanted to take. We chose the open boat, called the Crusader, more because of the timing than anything but it turned out to be the right choice. It was a smaller boat but it was very easy to see over the side when the tour went over the ship wrecks and it was fun riding in the open air.
The tour began by heading into Big Tub Harbour to see two ship wrecks. The first was the 119 foot Sweepstakes, a schooner built in 1867. It lies on the bottom still intact from bow to stern. The second wreck was the City of Grand Rapids, a steamer that carried both passengers and cargo. It was amazing how easy it was to see these wrecks from the surface.
|Shipwrecks From Above|
Following the tour of the shipwrecks we were off to Flowerpot Island. We knew that the lighthouse and the caves on the island were closed this season but we still booked a four hour stay on the island. Had the lighthouse and caves been open I think we would have needed more time. We walked along the trail to Little Flowerpot. We spent a fair bit of time looking at the rock structure and playing in the water. We then moved onto the Big Flowerpot. Again we explored the area and played in the water. Before we knew it we were all getting hungry. We decided to make our way back to some picnic tables for lunch. We chose a table out in the sun rather than under the shelter. It was a cool day so a bit of sun would help warm us up. It was also the day of the solar eclipse so we figured the sun's rays wouldn't be full strength. We had a great lunch and enjoyed the scenery before catching the boat back. We'll have to make another trip to see the lighthouse and the caves on the island.
|Little Flowerpot From the Water|
|Windlass on the Sweepstakes|
|Bottom of the Hull of the City of Grand Rapids|
|City of Grand Rapids|
|City of Grand Rapids Boiler|
While we were snorkelling the girls headed to Mermaid Cove to explore and swim. They had a great time there then headed into Tobermory to do some shopping, at A Mermaid's Secret no less. By the time they were done shopping we were just arriving back in the harbour. We dropped off all of the snorkelling gear and headed for fish and chips at The Fish & Chip Place. The food was great, the service was quick and staff were friendly. It was a fun-filled day.
Across the road from The Fish & Chip Place we found this cairn that indicates the northern end of the Bruce Trail. Finding this made me want to hike all 890 km of the trail to find the other end. Alas, that's an adventure that will have to wait until some other time.
|Northern Terminus of the Bruce Traila|
|How Fathom Five Got Its Name|
|View from the Lookout Tower|
We followed the trail at the bottom of the tower to Little Dunks Bay and enjoyed the view.
|Resting At Little Dunks Bay|
|Little Dunks Bay|
We headed back to our campsite for some dinner and the wind was still just howling (as it did for most of our trip). As we ate we couldn't help talking about how windy it was. "Imagine how big the waves must be on Lake Huron!" So after we cleaned up the site we headed to Singing Sands, on the Lake Huron side of the peninsula, to watch the sun set. The bay is very shallow so you don't see the big waves up close but as we looked out into the open lake we could see the massive waves. It was a beautiful sunset and we decided that we should go back during the day for a swim.
|Strong Wind Off Lake Huron|
|Sunset at Singing Sands Beach|
|Indian Head Cove|
|Looking Down at the Grotto|
|The Way Down|
|On the Way Down|
|Inside the Grotto|
|Looking Out Into Georgian Bay From the Grotto|
|Time to Make Our Way Back Up|
We made our way across Boulder Beach, which was no small feat. The beach is just a bunch of loose rock which makes walking difficult (especially for little people). We did, however, make our way across the beach to the much more rugged section of trail. The trail was great and the kids were doing a great job of hiking.
|En Route to Overhanging Point|
|The View From Under the Overhang|
On the last day we packed up and headed to Singing Sands. We figured we could do some hiking then go for a swim. We had a great hike but we all thought it was a bit cool for swimming. So we had some lunch, packed up and headed for home.
What a great trip! This trip was quite different from most of our camping trips but we saw and did a ton. It seemed as though we were hardly ever at our campsite. Despite being so busy and seeing so much I feel that we really could have used another day or two to explore. There were lots of trails that we didn't get to explore and we didn't have a chance to paddle Cyprus Lake. All the more reason to come back some time.
Do you have any favourite activities to do while at Bruce Peninsula National Park or Fathom Five National Marine Park? We'd love to hear about them.