Everything you need to know to visit Ontario's natural grotto this summer

Jun 24 2021, 8:30 am

You have to see it believe it. This natural beauty is something you have to experience in person, and it’s just a four-hour drive from Toronto.

The Grotto at the Bruce Peninsula National Park is unlike any shoreline you’ll see in Ontario. The area, known for its clear blue water, has a sea cave that simply can’t be missed.

Near the town of Tobermory, The Grotto is known as one of the top tourist attractions in the province. The Grotto is a natural wonder and memorable place to experience Ontario like you’ve never seen it.

This summer, the Grotto parking has been reduced by 50% to support physical distancing. You’ll also need a parking reservation to visit. Parking is available in four-hour pre-booked slots.

Parks Canada also notes visitors will not be permitted to climb into the Grotto since physical distancing is not possible. You can still enjoy the view from above.

So you’re ready to head for the road trip? Keep these points in mind while planning your trip this summer.

The Grotto at Bruce Peninsula National Park

Meg Wallace Photography/Shutterstock

How long does it take to hike?

The hike to the Grotto and Indian Head Cove is roughly one hour round trip, according to Parks Canada. “This provides more than enough time to explore the Grotto, Indian Head Cove and the surrounding area of Georgian Bay Shoreline before returning to your car.”

Grotto parking 

The Grotto is a very popular attraction. Parking space is limited and quickly fills up. The time slot parking limits help to ensure there is access to enjoy a Grotto experience. Reservations allow you to plan your trip in advance.

When is it open? 

The Grotto is officially open to the public from June to October.

Reservation is mandatory 

You will need to reserve your time slot for Grotto parking. When Grotto parking is fully booked, there is no more Grotto access at that time.

What are the time slots?

These are the times available for parking according to Parks Canada:

1) 9:00 am – 1:00 pm 2) 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm 3) 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

4) 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm 5) 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

How to book?

Reserve online at www.reservation.pc.gc.ca or call 1-877-RESERVE (1-877-737-3783).

How much does it cost?

The parking fee is $11.70 per vehicle plus applicable day use and reservation fees.
Day use fees are $7.90 per adult, $6.90 per senior and $16 for a family group. Youths 17 and under are free. Online reservations have a fee of $6.00.

Where is it?

The Grotto is located at Bruce Peninsula National Park, which is about 4 hours from Toronto.

DH Toronto StaffDH Toronto Staff

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