Guarantee you’ll see the Grotto with a few nights camping at Cyprus Lake Campground in Bruce Peninsula National Park, and enjoy the beauty of the cliffs along the Niagara Escarpment at your own pace. This trip is bookended with a scenic drive along Lake Superior from Pukaskwa National Park to Lake Superior Provincial Park and a day exploring Toronto.
Enjoy the pristine, untouched nature of Ontario’s Superior Country with a stop in some of its Provincial Parks and its largest city, Thunder Bay. Thunder Bay is known for its natural landmark The Sleeping Giant. In the city take in a view of The Sleeping Giant at the Marina in Downtown Thunder Bay South or from Hillcrest Park. For an off-the-beaten-path view of the Sleeping Giant try Wild Goose Beach.
Your time in the Thunder Bay Region isn’t complete without visits to Kakabeka Falls, Sleeping Giant, and Ouimet Canyon Provincial Parks. For a foodie treat in Thunder Bay be sure to try their famous Persians (oval-shaped fried pastry, with pink-berry frosting) and Finnish Pancakes. Stop in for coffee at Calico Coffeehouse.
Lake Superior Provincial Park
Discover the hidden gem that is the scenic drive between Pukaskwa National Park and Lake Superior Provincial Park as you enter Algoma Country. Follow in the footsteps of Canada’s famous Group of Seven artists with Moments of Algoma interpretive installations. Look out over Lake Superior and Agawa Bay. Paddle the calm protected waters of Hattie Cove in Pukaskwa National Park, or take in the Agawa Rock Pictographs, accessible by foot Mid-May to Mid-September, in Lake Superior Provincial Park.
The world’s largest freshwater island, Manitoulin Island has something for everyone. Manitoulin Island can be accessed by road or by the RV and pet friendly Chi-Cheemaun Ferry. If you’re looking for scenic hikes, try Bridal Veil Falls trail off of Hwy 540 or the Cup and Saucer trail. The Cup and Saucer’s trailhead is west of the Hwy 540 and Bidwell Road junction. For a wild & serene moment go on an early hike in Misery Bay Provincial Park.
Don’t miss the Lighthouses on Manitoulin Island. Take in all of them following Manitoulin Island’s Lighthouse Trail, or stop in at lighthouses nearby other stops you make; there are lighthouses to be found all over the island! For a fine dining experience make reservations at The School House restaurant. Their ingredients are locally grown and sourced. The restaurant is in an original school house, built back in 1898. For some more casual fare try the craft pizza and craft beer over at Buoy’s Eatery.
Bruce Peninsula National Park
The Cyprus Lake Campground is a great spot to spend the majority of your days on this RV roadtrip. Bruce Peninsula National Park is the crown jewel of southwestern Ontario. The Niagara Escarpment along the Bruce Trail in Bruce Peninsula NP is a UNESCO designated World Biosphere Reserve. Staying at Cyprus Lake campground allows you to explore the Niagara Escarpment at a leisurely pace.
If you grab a campsite you’ll also be able to skip making parking reservations for the Grotto. The Grotto’s turquoise blue waters have made it world famous. If you’re unable to grab a campsite and the Grotto is fully reserved for the day, don’t worry! The beautiful turquoise waters of the Georgian Bay can be seen from many stops hiking along the towering cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment. Try Indian Head Cove or Little Cove, or try hiking from Halfway Log Dump to Stormhaven.
Be sure to book your Flower Pot Island Tour ahead of time during the busy season, as well. Crowds subside in the Spring and Fall season. For an inland flower pot formation, try hiking out to Devil’s Monument.
Be sure to make a stop in Tobermory and take in the Tobermory Harbor after your stay in Bruce Peninsula NP. Grab some coffee at The Coffee Shop and get ready to continue exploring the Georgian Bay.
Along the shores of Lake Huron, Sauble Beach is the world’s second longest freshwater beach. Grassy dunes, sea-glass green waves, and gentle breezes welcome you in for an afternoon relaxing on the beach. When you’re ready for a snack, stroll down Sauble Beach’s charming main street for a burger or pizza.
Nearby Wiarton is the home of Wiarton Willie, an albino groundhog who predicts the end of winter or 6 more weeks of winter every Groundhog Day. You can see Willie across from Bluewater Park from May to September. He does spend his winter season indoors, but emerges on February 2nd to make his weather prediction. Bluewater Park offers some nice views and strolls.
You can choose to stay alongside the water in the beautifully manicured Bluewater Park Campground. Or, if provincial parks are more your style, while exploring this area, you can choose to stay at Sauble Falls Provincial Park just north of Sauble Beach.
Owen Sound and Meaford
Owen Sound is a charming city on the south shore of the Georgian Bay. The locally owned shops, galleries, cafes, and restaurants of the historic downtown will treat you to a pleasant afternoon of urban exploration. Not to be missed is Birgit’s Pastry Cafe located inside Owen Sound’s Artists’ Co-op. She’s a potter, printmaker, and been a baker for the last 30 years. Using organic ingredients she bakes everything in-house, right down to the sandwich bread.
For a little bit of cheese and wine head just across the street to The Milk Maid. You can’t go wrong treating yourself to a finely curated cheese board (with cheeses like Buttermilk Blue and Mountain Oak Gouda) and wine. They even stock gluten-free crackers for anyone who needs a gluten-free option to place their cheese on.
If you’re a dog-lover you might want to save a bit of the afternoon to head over to nearby Meaford and visit Beautiful Joe Park. The park is a monument to the canine hero of the first Canadian Book to sell 1 million copies. The book tells the moving story of the abuse and rescue of loving canine, Joe. The park also has Beautiful Joe’s grave, and monuments to Police K-9 units, 9-11 Ground Zero canine rescuers, and service dog
The Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains is a year-round destination with a wide variety of outdoor recreation and shopping. During winter, skiing and snowboarding is popular, particularly at the Blue Mountain ski resort. Summer brings hiking and mountain-biking with it. The Village at Blue Mountain has many retail shops and boutiques like the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.
Swing by Thornbury Village Cider House and Brewery in the apple orchards of nearby Thornbury for some cider and beer tastings. Ciders and beer are all made on-site. Thornbury Village Cider House is a stop along the Apple Pie Trail which extends into Meaford and Collingwood. About 5 minutes away, Georgian Hills Vineyards is open 11 to 5 for wine tastings and also has a wine stop.
Continuing along the shores of the Georgian Bay you’ll find Collingwood. Collingwood is a charming town with quaint and delicious restaurants. You can base your RV at Craigleith Provincial Park between The Blue Mountains and Collingwood. When exploring Collingwood, a good place to start is their Visitor’s Center which also doubles as a museum. For lunch try a fresh salad at The Tremont Cafe.
The Port of Collingwood and Collingwood Arboretum both offer up relaxing afternoon strolls which are just the right mix of nature and urban.
Wasaga Beach is the longest freshwater beach in the world. Biking, birding, boating, fishing, and swimming are all popular activities available at Wasaga Beach. The park is divided into 8 beaches, and each one has its own parking lot. Wasaga Beach Provincial Park is day use only, but there is waterfront camping perfect for your Rv just 25 minutes away at Craigleith Provincial Park.
Toronto is Canada’s largest city and Ontario’s capital. Its cuisine in particular rivals that of its North American counterparts south of the border due to how diverse it is. Its unique neighborhoods are walkable and full of boutiques, bakeries, and cafes for you to discover. Those of you in Class B RVs will be able to find places to park, but like in many cities, you’re better off base camping at a nearby campground. Indian Line campground is a great option.
Don’t miss some tourist musts like the CN Tower, Royal Ontario Museum, The Distillery District, and Kensington Market. For delicious Mexican food that’s also very affordable, try Maizal in Liberty Village. Whatever your favorite cuisine is Toronto has it. Chinese, Ethiopian, Greek, Italian, they have it all.
Nadege Patisserie in West Queen West will whisk you away to Paris with its decadent pastries and fresh croissant sandwiches. For a little bit of people watching, try taking your pastry to go and sit down at Trinity Bellwoods Park. Toronto is a coffee lovers dream come true. With limited time, you can’t go wrong with any Balzac’s Coffeehouse locations in town.