So this year I decided that we should try out a different kind of backcountry camping since we usually do canoe trips. So we thought we would try hiking, rather than canoeing and doing portages to get to your campsite, we would hike in to our campsite. We decided that we would go somewhere we are more familiar with at first and somewhere that we have been before but never actually stayed overnight. We decided to stay at Stormhaven which is an awesome place with so many views and caves to explore along the shore. Stormhaven is located in Bruce Peninsula National Park and is about a 5km depending on where you park. We started our trip on April 28th and returned home on April 30th.
We normally visit here when we stay at Cyprus Lake Campground, so we were very familiar with where we were going and new the terrain/challenges already ahead of time. I thought it was a good idea to know what we were dealing with ahead of time that way our first backcountry hiking trip would be an enjoyable weekend no matter what.
We were able to successfully book our campsite at Stormhaven and ended up reserving site SH9. We chose that site because it was right on the water and the view was amazing. We also checked out the sites along the trop (SH 1-5) and they were also really nice, all the sites have wooden deck tent pads. The only thing with the sites up top was that they were quite the walk from the water which makes getting water for cooking/drinking a lot harder.
So on our first day we hiked in which was about 4.5km, the terrain is a bit tough at some points especially when you have a big backpack on. We left the parking lot at 12:45 and got to our site around 2. It ended up being way warmer that day then what we had thought, which was good but wasn’t the best for hiking fully loaded.
It became clear to me quite fast that Derek was not a fan of the whole hiking thing. Although he didn’t complain, I could tell that he would much rather paddle and portage a canoe than hike to our campsite.
Once we got to our campsite we set up our tent and started getting settled in for the weekend!
One thing that we remembered but didn’t bring a lot of what rope. When we got to our site we realized that we needed rope to tie down our tent to the deck or surrounding trees. So while Derek set up the tent I went around to the surrounding campsites that were still unoccupied and cut the left over rope people had left. We managed to get the tent tied down with whatever we could find as well as the short pullout ropes that come with the tent that are normally meant for pegs. We could have used rocks hold down the side of the tent, but we decided rope would be more reliable.
The only thing that wasn’t so great was that it was super windy everywhere (obviously, cause we were right on the water) that we had to cook up by our tent which was sheltered by the tree’s.
We could have gone somewhere else or gone and cooked up top by the other campsites, but that would have been an inconvenience. We did have our wind shield but it kept getting knocked over no matter what we tried! Since there was enough wind by our tent still we decided it was okay since the wind was blowing the food scent otherwise we would have looked for somewhere a bit more sheltered.
Oh, and the view from our tent pad was awesome! It was interesting to stay here for the weekend because whenever we came and visited Stormhaven in the past we were only ever there for an hour or two. So being there for sunset and early in the morning was a really different and cool perspective!
Since we knew we really weren’t hiking that far in we decided that we would pack some food to make sure we had a really good breakfast the next morning. We packed bacon, back bacon, and eggs for our breakfast that morning, and it was so good! We did have to keep all the food covered since the wind was cold it was making our food go cold fast.
After eating an amazing breakfast, we decided to hike out to the iconic areas of the national park. We packed my bag with our lunch for the day, as well as got our camera gear ready for the day. We hiked to Indian Head Cove fairly quickly, we didn’t have a lot of weight on our backs at all and we were fuelled from our breakfast!
Like we expected the Grotto was also super busy, but we knew this would happen which was why we got there earlier so that we could take our pictures and then go find somewhere quiet and less busy for the afternoon. We weren’t able to go down the tunnel/hole by the Grotto because there was still a lot of snow in it, and the waves were huge down in the Grotto itself which made it unsafe.
Then we decided to back track and walk the trail and sit on the other side of Indian Head Cove. The rock ended up blocking the wind so we were able to enjoy sitting in the sun. No wind meant I was able to take pictures and videos without having to deal with the wind interfering with my video.
We sat and ate our lunch at what we called our little hideaway for the afternoon and took a lot of pictures and just enjoyed our time outside.
After spending an hour or two at our little spot, we decided it was time to hike back to our campsite since it was around 4pm and we wanted to be back in time to make dinner and not miss sunset.
We got back to our site and decided we wanted to explore the Cave Point which is at Stormhaven. We started along the Stormhaven shore and made our way to the bottom of the cave. Sadly the water was still to high for us to get directly underneath the cave but we still got real close. Check out the video of our adventure to Cave Point below!
We than cooked dinner, and headed off to sit and watch whatever part of the sunset we could. Because of where we were we could only see the sunset partially.
After the sunset we decided it was time to head to bed after a long day. Our Fitbit’s said that we walked 17km that day!
The next morning we woke up to the sound of rain on our tent and loud wind’s ripping through our tarp that was above our tent. We were quite happy that the rain decided to come at the end of our trip and that we had a nice sunny and warm weekend. We decided to take our tent down first and then the tarp because our tent was still dry for the most part. After taking everything down our hands were absolutely freezing as it was only about 5°C outside! So we packed out bags as fast as we could, scrambled up the staircase to the top of the trail and made our way back along the Bruce Trail to our car. We walked the 4.5km in under an hour! Walking fast on slippery, wet, mossy rocks is not the idea thing to do, but we did it and I only fell twice, which is surprising.
After getting to our car we changed into our dry clothes, grabbed some snacks and we were on our way back home. Overall, it was an awesome trip, a great first backcountry trip of the year!