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Bruce Peninsula/Lake Huron itinerary help

Bruce Peninsula/Lake Huron itinerary help

Jul 16th, 2006, 10:52 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 19
Bruce Peninsula/Lake Huron itinerary help

My husband and I are planning a mini-vacay from the heat of Detroit and our unfortunate lack of central AC. We'll be winding our way up the Lake Huron coast and plan to take in a mix of camping and B&B/inn for accommodations, hiking/small town sightseeing for activities, and turkey dogs on the grill/fine seafood for dining.

Our tentative itinerary:
Day 1 - The Pinery
Day 2 - Drive up to the Bruce, overnight at Bruce Peninsula Nat'l Park
Day 3 - Spend time in Bruce Nat'l Park/Tobermory, overnight at Tobermory (lodging TBD)
Day 4 - Drive home

A few questions:
-Does this itinerary seem too rushed? We're used to 3-4 hr drives and we plan to get up early on driving days, but we don't want to force the pace.
-Any suggestions for accommodations in Tobermory? I haven't begun to contact places to check on availability yet.
-We planned to sort of meander through Huron County on our way back, stopping off for dinner (but not staying) in Goderich or Bayfield. Any pros/cons of either?

Thank you very much!
DPT is offline  
Jul 17th, 2006, 05:20 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 329
If you plan on setting up camp for only one night in the Pinery I'd say this itinerary might be too much.

Almost better to leave very early, get to the Tobermory area, set up camp and stay for 2-3 nights in one place. If you decide to do the B&B thing, Lion's Head area offers a spot that looks quite nice and you would still be within a short distance of the sights.

We've actually stayed at Red Bay Lodge (years ago) and it offers 3 meals with rooms for as little as $85. It's pretty rustic but has a great location too.

There's lots to see and do in the area. We liked the trip over to the Flower Pot Island and the hikes.
. http://www.brucepeninsula.org/flowerpot.htm

As for the drive home, Bayfield would be my choice over Goderich mainly because it's a small town with alot of charm. Great little cafes, shops, marina and the view from the park on the water is beautiful even if you don't have time to go down for a closer look.

Hope you have a great getaway!
TobieT is offline  
Jul 17th, 2006, 06:05 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 19
TobieT, thanks so much for your response! Unfortunately I reserved a campsite at the Pinery before checking the post (how silly of me). We plan on driving out from Detroit pretty early on Day 1 so that should at least get us a full day and night at the Pinery.

Do you have any recommendations for restaurants in Bayfield? I've heard of The Red Pump and The Martha Ritz, but a they're a bit out of our price range for this trip. The Black Dog sounds promising.

Thanks so much again.
DPT is offline  
Jul 17th, 2006, 06:36 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 204
For starters, cross into Canada at Port Huron then take the 402 to 21.
We have been to the Pinery twice this summer. Once for 4 nights and once on a day trip. Check in time is 2:00 for the actual campsite, but you can get there much earlier and just enjoy the park. I would recommend the Carolinian Trail for a quick hike then rent a canoe ($10) or a paddle boat. Thaey also have kayaks. There is a rally nice bike trail as well, and they rent bikes. The man who does bird banding was there while we were there. He is well worth watching. We had our firewood confiscated due to the emerald ash borer (they replaced it for free), so if you are planning to bring wood, don't bother. You can buy it there for around $5 CDN. Also don't do Look-Out trail as it is covered in poison ivy.
You will have about a 4 hour drive the next day to the National Park and there are lots of things to do along the way. You could stop for lunch in Port Elgin or Southampton. At Southampton there is a tour of the Chantry Island lighthouse. A friend went and told me it was really good.
I haven't been to the Nat. Park but if you are going swimming, the water is warmer on the Lake Huron side rather than the Georgian Bay side.
I don't think you will be too rushed and I would encourage you to get off highway 6 and over to the lake along the way as much as possible. (Sometimes the lake road ends and you have to get back on the highway here and there.)
Have a great time!
lolly is offline  
Jul 17th, 2006, 06:45 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 329
If you leave early from Detroit you will still have a fair bit of time at the Pinery. If it's like today, you will want to get in the water and not sit in the car for 6 hrs. anyway. Phew!

I think the Martha Ritz serves salads, sandwich/burgers all day too so that might make a difference for you. It's very nice and the lunches I've had there were great. Just like homeade....okay, better.

Otherwise the Black Dog would be fine. We had drinks and a snack on their patio and everyone was quite happy with that too as I remember.

If you stop in Goderich you would certainly have a little more choice in restaurants, so you could always drive by a few to see if anything interested you before getting to Bayfield.


I know a friend of my daughter's worked at the Park House Tavern and it sounded well run though I've never been.

Hope that helps somewhat.
TobieT is offline  
Jul 17th, 2006, 07:16 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 19
Thanks for the great tips, lolly - I was planning on just picking my plot of sand and beachbumming it at the Pinery but my husband will appreciate the chance for a little more activity. And I hadn't worked out our trip further north; we'll try stop at Port Elgin or Southampton for lunch.

And thanks Tobie for the restaurant suggestions! We always like to balance a few days of grittiness and campfire food with a decent meal, so your input is definitely appreciated.
DPT is offline  

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