Two Parks, Two Experiences
The Bruce Peninsula National Park (BPNP) is known for its most iconic feature, the Grotto. Hundreds of thousands of people visit the rocky beaches at the Grotto every year and yet very few of those visitors get to experience the beauty of the rest of the park. We had the opportunity to tour the trails and other attractions with a member of the park staff as we did rolling trail assessments over two days. We were fortunate enough to stay in one of the 10 newly built yurts at the campground which are located within strolling distance of Cyprus Lake. The sandy bottomed lake is perfect for swimming and the water is warm long before the water in Georgian Bay. If you want the full beach experience you can head over to Singing Sands located on the Lake Huron side of the peninsula. If you are looking for a quiet beach with spectacular views or bouldering opportunities then the area at Halfway Log Dump is the place for you. There really is much more to Bruce Peninsula than meets the eye so if you are headed there for a visit take the time to explore the park.
After our short visit at Bruce Peninsula we headed across the bay to Georgian Bay Islands National Park (GBINP). Beausoleil Island is only accessible by boat but the Park is now offering shuttle services to access the island for people who don't have their own boats. With a large campground, several cabins, and mooring for boats, visitors are encouraged to spend a couple of days exploring the island. There are family friendly cycling trails that connect the campground to the hiking trails on the north end of the island. With beautiful hardwood forests and rugged Canadian Shield there is plenty of terrain to play on.
During our Trail Building School with park staff and a few outside volunteers we demonstrated the art of benchcutting, rock armouring and reclamation techniques. Like many of our projects, the goal wasn't to punch in a large section of trail, but to leave a textbook template for the builders to refer back to when it comes time to repair or build new trail.
A big thank you to Jeff from BPNP for being our guide and for letting us catch up on work in his home. Thank you to Graham and Andrew from GBINP for the fun boat rides and sharing the island experience with us.