Wiarton Bruce Peninsula's "Base Camp"
Wiarton is the perfect place to explore the Bruce Peninsula from since it straddles two counties and provides plenty of services for visitors. Take a stroll along the Bluewater Park with its outdoor pool, sheltered picnic area, boat launch, splash pad, pirate ship playground and beach. The centerpiece of the park is the South Bruce Peninsula Heritage Centre inside the original railway station. It contains elaborate woodwork, a beautiful oval oak bench and historical exhibits. Information is located at the station. Beside the shore, a three-metre high, white dolomite statue entitled Willie Emerging pays homage to the revered rodent and town mascot, Wiarton Willie.
East of town toward Oxenden, the scenic route to Owen Sound along County Road 1 follows the shoreline, offering tremendous views of distant cliffs and islands from the Colpoy's Lookout picnic area. Big Bay names itself the “stone skipping Capital of Canada” since all the stones on its beach are flat pieces of shale. At Kemble, the Kemble Lookout presides over a panoramic view of the bay with an intriguing table of solid rock set with metal sculptures of dinnerware.
Bruce’s Caves are named after a hermit who once inhabited them at 502098 County Road 1 east of Oxenden. Sea caves are flanked by rock pillars and mossy cliffs festooned by unusual ferns. Hikers can clamber through huge archways and hidden tunnels.
Lake Charles Conservation Area has a secluded picnic spot and boat launch at the lake south of Oxenden via Side Road 10 and Conc. 24. Skinner’s Bluff is accessed north of Lake Charles via Centre Road and Colpoy’s Range Road. It has a magnificent view of the bay and islands from the Bruce Trail.
Spirit Rock & McNeill Estate Conservation Area is located on Hwy 6 north of Wiarton. A picnic area contains the ruins of an historic mansion. Trails and a spiral staircase descend the escarpment to the harbour.
The Bruce Peninsula Mountain Bike Adventure Park is located at 671 Bruce Road 9 in the Albemarle Forest Tract, which is interlaced with numerous trails that range from easy to gnarly with considerable rock outcrops to challenge cyclists. A practice pump track adjoins the entrance.
Farther north along Road 9, the hamlet of Hope Bay has a lovely beach and picnic area. The Bruce Trail circumscribes the bay where it encounters several glacial potholes along the north shore. These giant cylindrical holes were bored into the escarpment by massive whirlpools that ground boulders into the bedrock during the Ice Age meltdown.