Animal Bar

2016 Bruce Peninsula Hiking Festival

We are home to some incredible spectacles of global history as demonstrated by the planet's changing surfaces, reformations, additions, erosions and etchings and so much more. So much has happened on this large globe we call our home and an incredible amount of recent (as in the last couple million years) activity is visibly apparent on the Bruce Peninsula. Join our geological experts and local treasures and explore our ancient history and cultural heritage up close and personal.

  Download Poster                               Pre-Registration & Online Payment

CHECK-IN/REGISTRATION is open for the weekend between the hours of: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

All hikes meet at the Parks Visitor Centre in the lobby. See "Festival Headquarters" at the bottom of this web page for more help.
Morning hikers gather for 8:30 am, leave by 8:45 am sharp.
Afternoon hikes gather at 1:00 pm, leave at 1:15 pm sharp.
Boat ride to Flowerpot Island meets at Blue Heron Dock.

Little Cove

Friday, September 30, 2016 Schedule

1:00 pm

Hike Flowerpot Island

Cruise over to Flowerpot Island on a Blue Heron boat for a spectacular hike and behind the scene tour of the lighthouse! (Weather dependent, extra charge for boat). Pick up your passes and instructions at the Festival headquarters at the Parks Canada Visitor Centre by 12:30 on Friday. Location: Blue Heron Dock (The Blue Heron Co.), 24 Carlton Street, Little Tub Harbour, Tobermory. Dock location: Google Maps

7:00 pm

Guest Speaker

Peter Russel, geologist, author and teacher

Peter Russell

"Hiking among the Red Rocks of Arizona"

Peter Russell is from the University of Waterloo and one of the authors of "Manitoulin Rocks! Rocks, Fossils and Landforms of Manitoulin Island". Come and enjoy his presentation about the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona. He was instrumental in founding the University of Waterloo’s Earth and Environmental Sciences Museum. Peter has created numerous travelling exhibits, a mineral gallery and founded a rock garden. He now volunteers for the Earth and Environmental Sciences Museum and the Waterloo Wellington Children’s Groundwater Festival. As a curator he won the Ontario Heritage Award.


Saturday, October 1, 2016 Schedule

8:30 - 11:00 am

Cryptic Fall Fungi South Cameron

Join guide Tyler Miller in a quest to find fall fungi on a south Cameron Lake loop.

8:30 - 11:00 am

Life in the Rocks Little Cove

Time travel to an ancient tropical sea where we will learn about the 450 million-year-old fossils of the North Bruce as well as the many other geological wonders along the Little Cove shore.

8:30 - 11:00 am

Winter Garden

Learn how to put your garden to bed for the winter. Join Joni Regan, The Bruce Peninsula Press’ Mrs Gardener for tips and a tour of her garden.

8:30 - 11:00 am

Geology at Cape Dundas & Rush Cove

Join Beth Gilhespy, Executive Director, Bruce Trail Conservancy, on a boots on the ground geological exploration of the Cape Dundas and Rush Cove area to see remnants of life more than 400 million years ago amongst the springs, ferns, clifflines and shorelines.

8:30 - 11:00 am

Geology of Singing Sands

Join local resident and well-known geology expert Darrell Cowell on an exploration of some of the areas he knows best. Unearth secrets of the ancient unfolding of our unique environment.

9:00 am - 3:00 pm

Featured Hike

On this hike, Doug Sweiger will be taking a small group out for the full day to places you are unlikely to find on your own.

9:00 am - 3:00 pm


Led by Laurence Acland. Spend the morning capturing images and the afternoon learning to turn them into works of art. Bring your camera-equipped cell phone with a full charge and chargers for the afternoon’s work.


1:00 - 3:30 pm

Bouldering: A Vertical Hike Halfway Log Dump

Grab hold’ of bouldering at Halfway Log Dump. Hike down to the shoreline and then scale up the designated bouldering routes. Crash matts will be provided, bring climbing shoes or running shoes.

1:00 - 3:30 pm

Fall Bounty Warder Ranch

At the end of Crane Lake road, this hike will be an off-the-beaten-path hike looking at everything the fall can offer. Come see the birds, the trees and even the bees navigating the perimeter of the Crane Lake complex through the historical Warder Ranch.

1:00 - 3:30 pm

Overhanging Point

Hike to the iconic landform feature with Bob Gray. Along the way see other earth science features such as bioherms and wave cut caves.

1:00 - 3:30 pm

Singing Sands Safari

Come to marvel at the amazing natural history stories at Singing Sands. From bug eating plants to amazing wildlife, enjoy an easy, flat hike through this coastal paradise with Jenna McGuire.

1:00 - 3:30 pm

Tour and Tasting Brewpub

Join us for a tour of The Tobermory Brewing Company. Tour includes a tutored flight tasting of locally brewed craft beer. “No additives, no preservatives, just clean crisp beer".


6:00 - 7:00 pm

Wine and Cheese

Wine & Cheese

Gather at the Parks Canada Visitor centre, visit with fellow hikers and talk about your day.

7:00 pm

Key Note Speaker

Beth Gilhespy, Executive Director of Bruce Trail Conservancy

Beth Gilhespy

From Anomalocaris to Zacanthoides

An Amateur’s Fossil Adventures in the High Rockies" and presented by Beth Gilhespy, the Executive Director of the Bruce Trail Conservancy. Beth, an amateur fossil enthusiast, made her first trip to the Burgess Shale in the Rocky Mountains’ Yoho National Park in 2011, climbing high up to the historic Mount Stephen Trilobite Beds as part of a Parks Canada guided tour. Whether it was the low oxygen levels or the euphoria of the finds, she was hooked! In 2014 she had the incredible fortune to join experts from the Royal Ontario Museum as a volunteer at a new Burgess Shale-like fossil site in nearby Kootenay National Park, where even more incredible finds have been made. Beth will take us on a visual exploration of her adventures in Yoho and Kootenay, showing the finds at historic and recent fossil sites and giving us a glimpse of busy Burgess Shale life a half a billion years ago.

All hikes meet at the Parks Visitor Centre in the lobby. See "Festival Headquarters" at the bottom of this web page for more help.
Morning hikers gather for 8:30 am, leave by 8:45 am sharp.
Afternoon hikes gather at 1:00 pm, leave at 1:15 pm sharp.
Boat ride to Flowerpot Island meets at Blue Heron Dock.

Bruce Trail Day
Bruce Trail Day Hike

Sunday, October 2, 2016 - Bruce Trail Day Hike

  •  Two choices of hike length (6.0 km or 11.0 km). Both loops will include a view of the spectacular vista across Isthmus Bay to the cliffs of Lion’s Head. This hike is free. 

  • Hike departure time is 10:00 a.m.

  • Meet (well before 10:00 a.m.) in the Richardson side trail parking lot (45.02046007880,-81.2837899317) on Forty Hills Road north of Lion’s Head at Whippoorwill Bay.

  • Google Maps Directions from Hwy 6 & Caudle Side Rd to parking lot.

  • Reference: BTC Maps 38 and 39, near km 86.2

  • Bring lunch. No dogs please.

Pre-Registration & Payment Online

Pre-registration, using the online Registration Form (below), is required since most events will sell out in advance. To register and pay online see the details below or contact the Festival Registrar Sheila Buckingham at 519 596-8337.

Pricing Overview

Arrow Bullet Festival Pass: $60.00 CAD > Covers all options EXCEPT Lunch & Flowerpot Island trip

Arrow Bullet Alternatively, you can register and pay for events individually.
        Friday evening Presentation: $10.00 CAD
        Saturday evening Wine and Cheese and Talk $20.00 CAD
        Individual Saturday AM event: $20.00 CAD
        Individual Saturday PM event: $20.00 CAD

Arrow Bullet Lunch $10.00 CAD > During online registration you have the option of asking for a lunch.

Arrow Bullet Full Day Event $40.00 CAD
Arrow Bullet Flowerpot Island trip $40.00 CAD


>>> Click here <<<

NOTE: During the online registration process you will be asked how you wish to pay. There are two options:
1) Paypal using a credit card. If you are using Paypal, register first then return to this web page and use Paypal that appears below.
2) cheque mailed to PBTC Hiking Festival, PO Box 122, Tobermory, ON N0H 2R0. (Cash can be accepted at the registration desk, but choices cannot be guaranteed.)


 Pay Online (Paypal - using credit card) 



Festival Headquarters: Parks Canada Visitor Centre, Tobermory



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