What You Need To Know Before Heading to The Grotto in Tobermory

Before heading camping and deciding on a location where we would be going I did quite a bit of Google searches on where we could head to. My friend John who is an avid explorer and loves the outdoors had also given me suggestions prior to making my decision. Brendan and I decided the best place would be Bruce Peninsula National Park in Tobermory where we would camp on the Cyprus Lake campground, this gave us the opportunity to explore this beautiful national park. We had made a promise that we couldn’t leave the park without seeing The Grotto so we made our trek and just like from the images we searched on Google, when we arrived we were surrounded by the stunning cliffs, turquoise water and breath taking landscapes. This was a place I knew I had to share with the world so I’ve created a list of things you need to know before heading to The Grotto in Tobermory

  • You need a day pass for parking which you can purchase at the Cyprus Lake registration office for $11.70 per car but if you’re camping on the grounds your permit allows you to explore the Grotto and the surrounding sites for no extra fee. For the 2017 year, the parking day pass is free.
  • Day passes go on offer during 3 specific time periods: 7-11 am, 12-4 pm and 5-9 pm. Parking spaces are very limited so go early!
  • For the 2017 year parking is only limited to 4 hours and the free permits are given out on a first come, first serve basis. Once all the permits are gone, you’re SOL

    • The Grotto is not a beach, it’s actually a very rocky terrain surrounded by gorgeous turquoise water. With that being said, it’s not the best place to wear sandals and flip flops
    • You can bring a towel and sunbathe on a flat rock
    • The higher you climb, the nicer your views will be

  • The hiking terrain at the grotto can be quite treacherous
  • The Grotto is a 1 km hike from the parking lot
  • It’s illegal to jump off the cliffs. People have died in the past from either drowning or hitting the rocks
  • There are washrooms throughout the trail towards the Grotto and on the site itself. The toilets in the bathrooms are similar to an outhouse-they do not flush after you’re done doing your business but you must place woodchips into the toilet bowls to keep it from smelling like poopie

  • No matter what the season, even in the middle of the hot summer months the water is pretty darn cold
  • If you can withstand the cold water getting into the actual Grotto/cave is not too difficult. However, if you want to remain dry you’ll have to climb down a rather rocky slope. Be sure to go at a slow pace and watch your steps
  • No alcohol is allowed on the premise
  • It’s extremely busy during the high season months
  • You may see rattlesnakes
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