Snowshoeing, Bruce Peninsula National Park, 2.0

All great landscapes demand an encounter in all four seasons to truly appreciate. This national treasure, Bruce Peninsula National Park, is no exception.

Hiking its full extent in the winter is a two day challenge, so bring out the snowshoes, stuff that ultra warm sleeping bag in the pack, and lets get it done. Don't forget piping hot tea in the thermos.

How about a roaring campfire at Cyprus Lake Friday night to get pumped for this epic? 

Itinerary:

Option 1: Friday, Feb. 28, as soon as possible, drive three hours to Bruce Peninsula National Park, Cyprus Lake Campground, Tobermory. Setup camp and get a fire going. 

Alternatively use The Princess Hotel in Tobermory which has reasonable off season rates ($65 including breakfast). Split between two or more its an affordable option for Friday night.

Option 2: Join the rest of the group en route, or at Cyprus Lake 9:00 am, Saturday.

Both options: Saturday, 9:00 am, start backpacking for Storm Haven campground via scenic viewpoint detours such as the Overhang and the Grotto. Setup camp.

Sunday, day hike further along the Bruce Trail possibly reaching Halfway Dump and Cave Point. Upon returning to Storm Haven pack up camp and hike an undocumented shortcut back to Cyprus Lake parking. Drive home anticipating a 9:30 pm arrival in KW.

Cost:

$30 (shared gas) + $8 (shared tent site Friday $24 / 4 ) + $9.80 (backcountry Saturday night) + $8 (shared parking 2 x $11.75 / 3) = $53.80 (something like that, National Parks rates get confusing)

Logistics:

All camping permits, front country and backcountry, are available from a self-serve kiosk at Cyprus Lake upon arrival. 

Please use the discussion space below to arrange ride sharing.

Difficulty:

First time winter campers are welcome but you'll want to take preparation seriously, there is little latitude for error this time of year. Winter hiking is physically more demanding due to heavier backpacks so being in excellent shape is advisable. There are no monster hills along this stretch but a constant bobbing up and down. The distance with full packs the first day is under 10 km.

Storm Haven, Saturday night, has a reasonably civilized washroom. Its so comfy I've had to kick campers out of it before, sleeping bags and all :)

Gear:

Snowshoes and traction devices for boots (for example Micro Spikes). Genuine winter boots. - 20 C sleeping bag. Well insulated camp mat. Tent. White gas stove (for example MSR Simmerlite) for melting snow to drink. Thermos/flask for keeping snow melted. The usual clothing layers for high output winter activity. A dry set of inner layers for the night is well worth the weight on an over-nighter. After hike booties are deluxe along with a serious down jacket for star gazing. Hiking poles make carrying heavy packs muck easier. 

Inspiration:

Due to winter storm road closures, our first attempt this winter ended up hiking the Bruce Trail north of Wiarton instead, eventful just the same.   http://www.meetup.com/KW-Backcountry/photos/19757692/ 

Slideshow from last winter's excellent adventure  http://www.meetup.com/KW-Backcountry/photos/12836552/199972992/#[masked]



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  • Jonathan James G.

    Hello Everyone, Now that meet-up has been consistently working I have uploaded some of my shots from the trip. Cheers!

    1 · March 18, 2014

  • Elena D

    Simply the awesomest group on meetup!!!! Thanks everybody for a great weekend. Gorgeous scenery and one of a kind experience!!! Thanks for all your kindness and support.

    March 6, 2014

  • Marv

    Cool, meetup.com is back online, way to go team. // Between Gavin and Elena there ought to be a campfire happening at Cyprus Lake tonight, don't miss it. Nancy, Johnathan and myself should be there by 8:00 pm. Ditto, don't miss breakfast at the Princess Hotel tomorrow at 8:00 am.

    February 28, 2014

    • Patti

      We've actually arranged breakfast for 7:30 should there be any other "princesses".

      February 28, 2014

  • Gavan D.

    Elena, I hope you get this message. I will be leaving later this morning give me a call and maybe we can hook up. [masked]

    February 28, 2014

  • Jonathan James G.

    Also if we are staying close to the vehicles on the Friday night I can bring some of my homemade beer. It's a little heavy to lug all the way to the Saturday night camp ground (plus it will freeze which is not ideal when in glass bottles), but it'll make a good treat for those camping on the first night

    February 26, 2014

    • Marv

      Dial back the start time Saturday another hour. Just kidding.

      February 27, 2014

  • Nancy M

    Hey Marv, I'm going to join you on this second attempt, I have all gear except a four season stove.

    February 26, 2014

    • Marv

      We'll have enough stoves, not to worry. Are you figuring on camping Friday night (I am)? If so Johnathon, you and me are a logical ride sharing cluster from KW. Laura and Patti are doing the Princess so I presume they are in another vehicle.

      February 26, 2014

    • Jonathan James G.

      Yes if you to are also leaving around 5:00ish I think it would be great if we could all car-pool!

      February 26, 2014

  • Marv

    I sent a Logistics 1.0 email Wednesday 3:00. Please check you got it.

    February 26, 2014

    • Jonathan James G.

      Hello Marv I didn't receive the E-mail. The reason being is that the E-mail address associated with my Facebook account is no longer in use (and I use Facebook to sign into meet-up). Problem is Facebook won't let me change to my current E-mail as it is associated with a Facebook page I manage(a page for my research group). Would you be able to send the logistics E-mail to [masked] Thanks!

      February 26, 2014

  • Gavan D.

    Hey Marv, what's your plan for the Friday. I plan on leaving early since I have the day off. How early are you planning on hitting the road?

    February 26, 2014

    • Marv

      Perfect, as per group email just sent I can't guarantee leaving KW before 5:30. But if you leave early Friday, grab a site and get a fire going at Cyprus Lake (assuming you're camping Friday) you'd be our hero for sure.

      February 26, 2014

    • Elena D

      Me the hero too:)

      February 26, 2014

  • Jonathan James G.

    I was also wondering about carpooling as well. I can probably leave the Waterloo area around 2:00-3:00pm Friday afternoon at the earliest (around 5:00pm would probably be ideal). If there are those interested we could head up in my vehicle (6 seat Dodge Dakota pick-up truck with room in the box for gear). Or I would happily travel with others as a means to split gas. I will be staying until Sunday as will.

    February 26, 2014

  • Elena D

    I was able to get off work early and will be leaving Toronto early afternoon on Friday, so I can get started on the roaring fire as promised in the trip description:)) Anybody who wants to carpool with me, let me know. I drive a 7-passenger brand new Honda van and am a professional driver. If you carpool - I will stay until Sunday, even if I have to sleep in my car.

    February 26, 2014

  • Elena D

    I must say this is an exclusive group with a very awesome leader!!! I have never met Marv or any of you yet, but Marv's generousity and complete knowledge along makes me feel very comfortable to go on this trip. Although we won't be in a complete wilderness in comparison to some places I 've been- I know how important it is to have a leader who cares and knows what he is doing.

    1 · February 26, 2014

  • Elena D

    How much fuel will I need to bring for the Butane stove.

    February 25, 2014

    • Patti

      I'm counting on HOT oatmeal! :)

      1 · February 26, 2014

    • Elena D

      ...at least not uncooked rice, which I think is the worst no matter how much spice you add:((. I can bring the canister of white gas camping fuel as well if it will help as I have a lot of it. I use this staff for removing the goo and some other stains off floors, bottles electronic equipment etc. It actually has amazing powers !

      February 26, 2014

  • Patti

    Marv, (I'm Laura's "friend"). I may be interested in your -18 bag if it is still available for loan. I have a few bags I am checking out tonight but not sure their ratings.

    February 24, 2014

    • Elena D

      I might go for the whole trip if I survive the first night!

      February 25, 2014

    • Marv

      We'll figure it out.

      February 25, 2014

  • Laura

    I'm coming along with a friend, we're planning on staying in Tobermory on Friday night and meeting up with you guys Saturday morning. Do you still have an extra stove?

    February 23, 2014

    • Marv

      Yes I'll bring an extra stove and fuel bottle.

      February 23, 2014

  • Richard

    Marv, looks like a great outing! And glad to see you've generated a good turn out. All the more reason to feel sorry that I won't be able to join you guys on this one after all.

    February 22, 2014

  • Jonathan James G.

    Hey Marv count me in, As always I have my 6 seat pick-up truck so as people join and need transportation I can help in that regard. Cheers!

    February 22, 2014

    • Marv

      Awesome, thanks.

      February 22, 2014

  • Ann

    I'm lacking in some of my own gear (tent that's suitable for hiking, stove), would any of this be communal on this trip? I have a -1 bag and I could get a +11 C liner, but would that be sufficient? I've done a fair amount of canoe camping and backpacking, just not winter camping yet. Thanks!

    February 22, 2014

    • Marv

      Yes much of this is communal, for instance stoves, I'll bring a couple. Tent sharing is also common. I prefer my own tent but have a collection of solo or double backpacking tents to loan. Tents don't need to be four season rated for a simple overnighter. // I don't recommend your current sleeping bag situation. You will freeze guaranteed. Depending on your height I can loan you something better, say a -18 to put your -0 into. Don't forget sleeping bag ratings assume a quality winter sleeping pad, the other half of the equation. // As always test gear outside at forecasted temperatures before committingng to backcountry camping.

      February 22, 2014

  • Marv

    Additional details. 1) Concerning 'car camping' Friday night. The main parking lot is plowed but the roads to individual campsites aren't. You'll need to haul your gear 100 meters. Toboggans work well for this. You can do the final pack of your backpack Saturday morning. 2) Concerning washroom facilities Saturday Night. Storm Haven has a deluxe setup by backcountry standards. No running water but the rest is comfy.

    February 21, 2014

  • Adreena

    Hmm. I know this trail. I am thinking about it. I will think some more before a decide one way or another :P (:

    February 21, 2014

    • Marv

      Just do it. I anticipate a bunch more signing up by next weekend.

      February 21, 2014

  • Laura

    Anybody have room for one extra in their car?

    February 20, 2014

    • Marv

      Yes room for two, bring a friend.

      February 21, 2014

  • Marv

    The first attempt at this winter classic, Jan. 26, encountered winter road closures. If hoping to repeat it this winter we'd better get going. The first melt is already upon us.

    Not to worry, replacement snow arrives next week.

    February 20, 2014

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