Diving & SnorkelingTobermory is an award winning diving location. There are some 20+ shipwrecks as well as underwater caves and geological features. If a boat is a problem, some shore dives or local charters are available. If equipment is a problem, this is available for rent at local dive shops in Little Tub Harbour. If you require lessons, the local dive shops will also be able to help you in this area. There are also areas close to shore such as the “Tugs” which provide opportunities for snorkellers. Again, equipment is available for rent at the dive shops.
Wake in the morning to bird song! The Upper Bruce Peninsula is an exciting place for the “birdwatcher” as a wide variety of birds inhabit or migrate through. Migration starts approximately mid-March to early April. By mid-April turkey vulture, hawks, falcons and eagles are returning. These are usually accompanied by grouse, great blue heron, osprey, hummingbirds, orioles, warblers, wrens & sparrows, woodpeckers, sandhill crane, blackbirds of every description – the list goes on and on. In 2005, a pair of Whooping Crane dropped by for a brief visit.
In the fall, migration south begins in September. In the winter, the many feeders attract chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers, blue jays, cardinals and juncos.
We have feeders surrounding the Inn for the enjoyment of our guests. For the amateur or serious “birding” enthusiast, the National Park staff and local experts are available to provide more information.
Bring your binoculars!
There exists a unique environment for plant life on the Upper Bruce Peninsula that everyone will enjoy. There are orchids in abundance as well as many of Ontario’s ferns. There also exists beautiful gardens. As the First Nations are aware, this is a sacred place.
Everyone is welcome to take a guided tour, or explore on your own, but be careful. The environment is delicate and you should stay on the trails, Ask at the front desk and we will direct you to some of the special areas.
There are over 40 species of orchids and approximately 39 different ferns. Dwarf Lake Iris, Yellow Lady’s Slipper, Showy Lady Slipper, Rose Pogonia, Fringed Gentian, Pitcher Plant, are just a few of the wildflowers to be found. Every spring Tobermory hosts an Orchid Festival. Join specialists for tours and hikes to view the spectacular flora to be seen only on the Upper Bruce Peninsula. Join us for the Saturday night guest speaker – a specialists with a camera! Make the Adventure The Bruce Inn your headquarters for this unique festival.
Bring your camera! Remember to take only photographs!
One of visitors favourite activities in the Tobermory area is the boat tour around the Islands of Fathom Five or the drop off on Flowerpot Island to hike the trail.
While on the Island, you can visit the Lightstation and spend some time with the volunteers working to restore and maintain the station. Or on a hot summer’s day you can take a dip in the waters off the Island or picnic along the shoreline, in a shelter provided by the Park or on one of the tables provided by the Lightstation volunteers.
A tour around the Islands or down the Georgian Bay shoreline to get a birds-eye view of the Niagara Escarpment is a special treat. The waters of Georgian Bay are a beautiful green/blue colour, clear and deep. The views are spectacular.
Your Hosts will be happy to provide you with information concerning these tours and the Tobermory Tour Boat companies.
The Tobermory area is quite unique from a hiker’s perspective. The two National Parks provide many trails to enjoy. To walk in the woods and view the many special wildflowers, to hike the hills and rocky shores of Georgian Bay – we have a suitable trail within a short distance of the Inn. Trails are of varying lengths and difficulty and offer very different and spectacular sights.
The world famous Bruce Trail, along the cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment, offers hikers some of the most strenuous hiking, but provide the most spectacular vistas.
Your Hosts have maps and details of all the trails in the immediate areas and can also provide you with details of other hikes within a short drive. The Crowsnest Deli or the local Foodland deli can provide you with sandwiches, etc. for your day on the trails.
Bring your hiking boots or hard-soled shoes, your backpack and your cameras!
Many individuals enjoy cycling up the Bruce Peninsula to participate in the many activities available in the Tobermory area. Some of the Peninsula’s back roads are suitable for this activity. However, this activity is not permitted on the trails in the National Park or along the Bruce Trail.
There are several excellent local areas for swimming in the Tobermory area. Your Hosts at the Inn can direct you to the best spots.
The Upper Bruce Peninsula forms part of the Trans-Ontario Provincial Snowmobile Trail. For trail information call (800) 565-5527 or Bruce County Tourism at (800) 268-3838. This trail is also shared by Cross-Country skiers. But skiers can also blaze a trail to the cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment through Bruce Peninsula National Park.
Just a short drive from Adventure The Bruce Inn is Cornerstone Golf Club.
Little Tub Harbour
If you like to shop or just take a walk, “Little Tub” Harbour has something for everyone. Little Tub Harbour is the location for the Tour Boats, souvenir shops, dive shops, Sweet Shop, Pub, restaurants, clothing & craft shops. Some of the boats that visit Little Tub are outstanding and it is enjoyable to just sit on the dock with a sandwich from the Crowsnest or Foodland Deli or munch on brittle or an ice cream from the Sweet Shop and watch the hustle and bustle of a busy summer’s day.
Tobermory is unique in that it has two harbours. The second harbour is called “Big Tub”. A visit to “Big Tub” light will provide an exceptional view of the Islands of Fathom Five National Marine Park. It should be noted that the Light is surrounded by private property and access to the shore is only permitted at the Light itself. Or sit on the decks of Big Tub Harbour Resort, enjoy a meal and watch the boats come in and out of the Harbour.
Two National Parks
Tobermory is fortunate to have two National Parks located adjacent to it.
Fathom Five is Canada’s first National Marine Park. There are several Islands, 20+ shipwrecks and unique geological features. The Niagara Escarpment sinks beneath the waters of Georgian Bay and rises again on Flowerpot Island.
Bruce Peninsula National Park forms a large part of the Upper Peninsula and is home to many unique and unusual features – the cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment and the Bruce Trail on the east site – to the sand dunes and alvars of Dorcas Bay in Lake Huron on the west side.
Parks Canada is currently constructing a new Visitor Centre located within walking distance of the Inn. It is expected to open in the spring or early summer of 2006. Come see us for the opening celebrations. Check our WebSite for more information as the time approaches.
Bruce Peninsula and Fathom Five offer unique opportunities for visitors to experience Canada’s National Parks. Your Hosts can provide information concerning activities and programs in the Parks.
While visiting Tobermory many visitors take a boat tour to Flowerpot Island. They choose between taking a trip around the Island or being dropped off for a hike on the circular trail. If you like, visit the Lightstation. Just a 20-minute walk from the dock, the Lightstation has volunteers working to restore and maintain the site during the summer months.
Stay at the Inn and enjoy a sunset cruise to Manitoulin Island and take advantage of the delicious dinner served aboard the Chi-Cheemaun Ferry. The dinners served are exceptional and the service is excellent. Dinner cruises are available on Friday evenings during the spring and fall and three evenings a week during July and August. Reservations are required as they book up quickly. To make a reservation call (800)265-3163