Beach camping near Tobermory with fishing

Clear constellations and ancient shipwrecks make Tobermory a must-see camping area.

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Beach camping near Tobermory with fishing guide

Overview

At the northern tip of the Bruce Peninsula, Tobermory is a quaint community nestled into the Niagara escarpment and the expansive waters of Lake Huron. Most famously known for multiple shipwrecks, it’s a scuba diving hotspot that draws campers from around Canada and beyond. Even on land, Tobermory is teeming with wildlife from black bears to snakes and rare plant species, bringing you face-to-face with the great outdoors. Stargazers delight in this Dark Sky Community (a place with strict guidelines on outdoor lighting), making it a prime location for studying the Milky Way. A variety of tailored accommodations are available in the area, from lakeside campsites perfect for fishing to RV parks and spacious yurts with washrooms and shower facilities.

Where to go

Bruce Peninsula National Park

Surrounded by rock slabs stretching out from the shore into Georgian Bay, Bruce Peninsula National Park is a superb location for summer swimming and hiking. Miller Lake offers treed campsites for pitching a tent and waterfront cottages for added luxury. Or choose Cyprus Lake Campground as a home base, and hike the 45-minute Bruce Trail to The Grotto, a cave featuring craggy rock formations sprinkled with clinging pine trees and a spacious natural pool inside—a solid spot for cliff jumping. Be sure to book advance parking reservations if you plan on driving—spots fill up quickly. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing dominate the trails in winter, but certain areas of the park may be inaccessible due to snowy conditions.

Fathom Five National Marine Park

A bucket-list destination for snorkelers and divers, Fathom Five National Marine Park has 130 square kilometres of water to explore, including 22 shipwrecks and islands with old-growth forests. Take a glass-bottom boat tour to peer into the depths of the freshwater ecosystems, or visit Flowerpot Island to see the solitary stacks of escarpment dotting the beaches. Independent types can opt for kayak and canoe rentals to venture out on their own.

Manitoulin Island

Manitoulin Island boasts the title of the world’s largest freshwater island. Arrive by ferry from the mainland (a two-hour trip), or drive over the iconic swing bridge (an Ontario heritage site). Kids love the sprawling green space, water park playground, and a midday snack at the picnic tables in Low Island Municipal Park. In the warmer months, spend the day horseback riding or exploring the water on a canoe tour. Activities extend into the winter season with snowmobile tours and ice fishing.

When to go

Hipcampers are spoiled with seasonal activities all year, so the best time to visit Tobermory truly depends on personal preference. May through September is popular for tent camping, biking, campfires, and swimming, while October offers colourful forests filled with changing leaves—an ideal time for hiking. Winter weather from November to early March brings snowy activities and crisp scenery, but some may consider bundling up and snagging an RV campsite to fend off the chilly temps that dip well below freezing.

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