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?
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.
$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)
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.
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 :)
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.
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]