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Lion's Head Provincial Park
c/o MacGregor Point Provincial Park, R.R. 1, Port Elgin, ON, N0H 2C5
Phone: 519-389-9056
 
First known as Point Hangcliffe, the Lion's Head area is a popular climbing and hiking destination. If you plan to hike, note that this trail is not recommended for small children since there are no rails and numerous crags and sinkholes. If you do bring a youngster, at least put them on a leash.  
A view from the cliffs at Lions Head
 
One of the many chimneys
  History: The limestone rock formations in the Lion's Head area are over 400 millions years old. Glacial outwash and eroded potholes lie on the top of the Escarpment, while overgrown mounds of debris lie along the bottom.

Location: Getting to the Trailhead Once in the town of Lion's Head, hang a right on Moore Street and proceed for about two kilometres, until you see the white Bruce Trail blazes on the right. There is some parking at the trailhead on the roadside, but if it is too busy, park in the schoolyard about one kilometer back and walk to the trailhead.

 
Driving Distances: Highway Distances from Major City Centres (in kilometres)
* Windsor/Detroit 425
* Sarnia/Port Huron 290
* London 260
* Kitchener 210
* Hamilton 250
  * Fort Erie/Buffalo 345
* Toronto 250
* Ottawa 600
* Montreal 775
 
Front Country Camping: There is a small camping area on the rock beach. It is not serviced.

Reservations: 1-888-668-7275 / Park Information:1-519-389-9056

More Information:

Associations: Bruce Trail Association www.brucepeninsula.org

 
Clear water below the cliffs
 
A view from the hiking trail
  Hiking: The Lion's Head trail is part of the Bruce Trail. If you'd like to hike a loop, follow the forested trail into the trail, (check out the chimney rock on the way) then you'll emerge onto the stunning 200-foot cliffs. Hang a right. The trail leads around two sides and part of the third side of the peninsula before heading into the forested inland trail again.

The main and inland trail loop is approximately 18 kilometres. The inland trail is well marked thanks to the Bruce Trail Club; follow the blue blaze for about four kilometres. At the fork, continue to follow the blue blazes or you'll end up in McKay's Harbour.

 
About one kilometer further on, you'll come to an old logging road, turn left and follow it for about 500 metres; it'll turn into a path, stay on it until you reach the white blazes of the main trail again. Hang a left. Alternately (and my personal favourite), backtrack along the cliffs, which is an easier path to find and the views are something few tire of easily.

On a clear day, look to the south from the cliffs and you'll see Cape Dundas and Barrier Island; to the north are the cliffs of White Bluff, Cape Chin and Cabot Head.

 
Canoeing & Kayaking: The cliffs of Lion's Head are a stupendous backdrop for canoeing or kayaking. As a kid, my family sailed around that point dozens of times and it still thrills me. It's called Lion's Head for a reason and it's difficult to see the distinct rock formation from land.  
The shores of Lions Head
     
Rappelling
  Climbing: Lion's Head's spectacular cliffs overlook Georgian Bay and offer over 120 varied climbing routes ranging from 5.10 and up. Many routes have unclimbed lines, are reached by rappel, are bolted (most but not all), have good fixed protection and there are also some excellent lines that require a rack. Climb responsibly since this area is in danger of being closed due to misuse.

The cliffs face north and receive sunlight only in the late afternoon, which makes it a comfortable climb in the summer. Only the top 100 of the 200-foot high cliff is climbable. A helpful hint from some forgotten source is to bring two ropes and use one of them as a fixed rap line and carry the prusik cord.

 
Use the other rope to lead with but if it becomes too difficult, you can use the other line to reach the top - it's a lot easier than rappelling to the ground and hiking back to the marina in Lion's Head. Remember, you can't scope the routes first, which makes finding some routes quite difficult; take a guidebook or a friend who knows the routes

Winter Adventures: There are nearby cross country ski and snowshoe trails in the winter. Check out the trails at www.brucecounty.on.ca/tourism/snowmap-bp2.htm

 
Belay partner
 
 

Outfitters: There are a few outfitters that conduct guided trips of Lion's Head and Isthmus Bay:

Surrpounding region Central Ontario North
 
Flora and Fauna:The cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment support one of the most ancient and least disturbed forest ecosystems in North America. This park area is also known for its rare plant species and is part of the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve. The purpose of this 526-hectare nature reserve is to protect the rock formations and the plants unique to the area; please tread lightly.

Note: Along the trail, watch for poison ivy, which is common in the area.

Tourism

Out-There's Central Ontario North - The Muskokas, Bruce, Grey and Simcoe Counties
Out-There's Ontario

Official Site

Bruce Peninsula - Bruce County

Other Regions in Ontario

Out-There's Greater Toronto
Out-There's Prince Edward County

Accommodations

Restaurants

  • Lions Head Inn - (519) 793-4601, Lion's Head, Ontario
  • Tamarac Island Inn - Stokes Bay, Ontario

Weather - Bruce Peninsula National Park

Towns and Villages - Nearby

Citys or Larger Centers - Nearby

Attractions and Sites of Interest - Nearby

Links of Interest

Transportation

Maps

Map of the Peninsula - From Bruce Peninsula Tourism
Road Maps of Southern Ontario - From the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario

Official Site: Parks Canada Bruce Peninsula National Park and Fathom Five National Marine Park

Lions Head information & photo's courtesy Mady MacDonald (Mady's Bio)

 

 

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