The Bruce Peninsula Grotto – Tobermory, Ontario - Atlas Obscura

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The Bruce Peninsula Grotto

This natural sea cave hides a small wonderland of natural turquoise beauty. 


Hidden in the cliff face of an escarpment on Ontario’s Bruce Peninsula, the lovely Georgian Bay’s cave known simply as “The Grotto,” has long attracted visitors with its startlingly blue waters and secluded beauty.

Carved from the natural stone over thousands of years of erosion, the Grotto has become one of the most popular destinations in Bruce Peninsula National Park. It accessible both from the cave mouth at Lake level and via a rocky chimney which can be found just off the main trail. The interior of the grotto itself is an open cave filled with amazingly blue turquoise waters. The waters are made even more stunning and vibrant thanks to the light that emanates from an underwater tunnel in the grotto. 

While the water is certainly beautiful, it is also known for being incredibly cold, although does not deter swimmers from diving in anyway. The cave is a favorite stop for people out on a hike, checking out the boulder beaches on the coast, or just looking for a nice, secret place to take in the scenery.

The Grotto is a popular attraction and very busy during the summer and on long weekends. Parking space is limited and quickly fills up. A new reservation system for the 4 hour Grotto parking time slots allows you to plan your trip in advance. Plan ahead to avoid disappointment.

The Bruce Peninsula park is home to a number of bears (in fact it’s logo is a bear’s pawprint), so watch your step on the way to the grotto, since no water is so clear that it’s worth wrestling a bear for.  

Know Before You Go

Access from the Cyprus Lake campground. Approximately a 45 minute hike. Maps available at the entrance and also a large map at the entrance of the trail. You can access the grotto by sliding down a hole. (not the best for claustrophobic people) and also by climbing down an escarpment of rock. For the extremely adventurous you can swim in the ice cold water around to the grotto. Several scuba diving groups also go down into the grotto.

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