June 17, 2021
Well, here we are finally camping in 2021 despite COVID! Our travels to cypress went smoothly. There was some road construction on Highway 6 that delayed us for 15 minutes or so. Getting into the campground was pretty easy. You basically fill out your forms in advance and hand them to the registration agents. Quite a big scam though, as they then charge you a daily fee per person per day on top of the camping fee. That’s a crock of shit! I will have to write a letter about that.
The campsite is fairly small and right on the edge of a swamp. We were worried about mosquitoes, but the weather is cooler so they aren’t bad at 17C or so. It is strange to see that there is nowhere to put your garbage at night other than drive out to the gate. That’s different than it used to be. I took Tamara on a wild goose chance thinking I had seen bear-proffer dumpsters. Oh well… (Later we discovered there are dumpsters at the Head of Trails)
We did a 3km hike up horseshoe lake trail, to the Bruce Trail past the grotto and the Marr Lake Trail on the way back. We got rained on a bit but it wasn’t epic. Doing that section will allow us to avoid the high traffic areas for the next hikes on the Bruce Trail.
In general, I’d say the campground is full but still quiet. There are some really big groups of folks here that seem to be awed by the park. It is beautiful but oddly seems smaller than I remember which is probably because of our recent hiking. Tomorrow we head north to Little Cove. That’s a 20km hike! I hope we can do it.
June 15, 2021
We got onto the trail by 10:15, heading west towards Tobermory. I took the wrong trail getting there, but that was ok as we hiked the Georgian Bay Trail for a change. That would leave Cypress Lake trail as the only one left to do. We hiked along the Bruce Trail (Hike 10) going through the Grotto area again and then to Loon Lake. There are a few ‘dumps’ there, which are really huge rock deposits. It was neat, you could hear the waves pounding on the shore and dragging the rocks back out. It was a memorable sound. The water is a beautiful turquoise/blue that is reminiscent of Cuba but very cold! There are lots of look-offs along the top of the escarpment with a view of Bear Rump island. Hiking shoes are definitely needed on the rocky dumps and trails so we are thankful for those. There are also some poison ivy sections but we seemed to have avoided that.
Loon lake was beautiful. We captured some pictures of turtles sunning themselves on logs. Birds were present but hard to photograph in the trees. They need to make cameras that zoom by sounds or on objects that are moving.
There was a good hike through the woods, the Cypress floor was soft. One section walked down a shallow crevasse for a long time. That was neat.
Finally, we got to Coony’s dump at around 1:30 and had lunch and washed that down with some mimosas.
June 16, 2021
We headed east along the Bruce Trail (hike 11) heading towards Halfway Dump. A dump is a huge outlay of rock deposits. The hike should be considered difficult. There are some challenging spots but most people in reasonable mobility should be able to do it. There are some look-offs that are truly spectacular.
We stopped at the backcountry Stormhaven campsite and noted the bear poles where you can raise your food stores up high. Apparently, this is a beautiful spot down at the waterfront with huge boulders. Somehow we didn’t know that! And just kept hiking the trail. Too bad we didn’t research more ahead of time. There are outhouses there.
We ended up at Halfway Dump. It was cool and we decided to go to the far side of the dump (east). We got back on the Bruce Trail but it never wandered back down. We turned around after a km or so and headed back.
We started the hike at 10:20 and finished by 5.
That night we went down to a spot on Cypress Lake and enjoyed a sunset with a container of wine.
June 17, 2021
We packed up site and headed south to Wiarton, where we did bruce Trail Hike 12.