If you think of Bruce Peninsula National Park in Ontario, Canada, you probably instantly think of The Grotto. It is one of the most identifiable landmarks of Bruce peninsula national park, carved deep into the rocky shoreline of Georgian Bay. The Grotto was formed over thousands of years of being pummeled by the relentless waves of Georgian Bay.
The Cliffs Above The Grotto
The Grotto is only accessible via an easy 3 kilometre hike from the main parking lot within the National Park. Once you pass Indian Cove Head, the main beach where the turquoise waters beckon, hang a left and you are almost there. It is easy to walk right by the Grotto as there are no signs. Usually you’ll know because there are groups of people milling around. Once you arrive, you will also be on the cliffs, 12 metres (40 feet) above the cave so you’ll have to find a way to descend safely.
Descending into The Grotto
There are two ways to access The Grotto, down the side of the cliff or via a tunnel through the rock. The tunnel is as too narrow for me and my gear so I went the cliff way. While the path to get from the parking lot to this point was relatively easy and accessible, the route to the The Grotto itself is anything but. It is a difficult climb among the treacherous, jagged rocks so make sure you have good solid foot wear to descend safely to the cove where the entrance of the grotto lies.
While lots of people take a dip in the frigid waters inside the Grotto, only a few thrill seekers dive deep below the surface and through a tunnel which opens up on the other side of the rock and into the open waters of Georgian Bay. Inside The Grotto, you will see light coming through the water from the other side.
The best time to view The Grotto is early in the morning when the crowds are not too large. Go early enough and you might be the only one in the cave as I was albeit briefly.
Sun sets in August are unique as the path of the setting sun penetrates the cave, very briefly and in small, piercing, rays.
The Grotto in Bruce Peninsula National Park is an unforgettable site you won’t want to miss. More on this awesome national park is coming soon, so make sure you subscribe.
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