Wiarton is located on the shores of Colpoy’s Bay in Bruce County, Ontario. Wiarton is most famous for its furry, little groundhog, Wiarton Willie. Each February, the town throws a celebration in anticipation of Willie seeing his shadow or not and Willie generally makes headlines across the country. While Willie is a big draw to Wiarton, he’s not the only reason you should visit. Situated at the base of the Bruce Peninsula, Wiarton offers visitors a number of great things to do. With stunning views and lovely walks throughout town, Wiarton should definitely be on your list of places to explore.
Tour Bluewater Park
Bluewater Park is a main attraction in Wiarton and you’ll find many things to do here. Located right on the shores of Colpoy’s Bay, Bluewater Park boasts beautiful views of the harbour. In addition to the natural beauty of the park, you’ll find tribute to the famous Wiarton Willie. The park is home to a giant Wiarton Willie statue and shares a brief history on the little guy. Bluewater Park also offers camping facilities, a splash pad and playground, a restaurant, picnic areas and great trails around the water.
Hike to Skinner’s Bluff Lookout Point
Located just outside of Wiarton, you’ll find Skinner’s Bluff. Skinner’s Bluff is a beautiful, rocky overhang that protrudes over a valley of lush vegetation. The forest opens up and gives phenomenal views of the area and Colpoy’s Bay in the distance. From the parking area, it takes about 15 minutes down the Bruce Trail to reach Skinner’s Bluff. The terrain is a rocky and uneven in some areas, but overall the trail is an easy walk. If you’re interested in more exploring, there are additional trails that can be accessed from here as well.
Walk around the Spirit Rock Conservation Area
Spirit Rock Conversation Area offers visitors access to trails that lead to views of Colpoy’s Bay. The upper portion of the trail meanders through the forest to lookout points on the edge of the escarpment. You’ll eventually find a beautiful set of red stairs that takes you down the escarpment, towards the waters edge. The trails found here are fairly easy, but are rocky in some areas. If you take the stairs to the water, expect a bit of a climb going back up, but overall the trail is very manageable.
Visit The corran
Historically, the Corran was a seventeen room stone mansion sitting just above Colpoy’s Bay. Unfortunately, the mansion caught fire in the 70’s and was destroyed. You can now visit the remains of the mansion and view what the fire has left untouched. Some of the exterior walls are still in tact, while other parts of the mansion are in shambles with over grown vegetation. The Corran sits on the grounds of Spirt Rock Conservation Area and makes a nice stop after strolling the trails.
Explore the Bruce Caves Conservation Area
A short drive from downtown Wiarton will lead you to the Bruce Caves Conservation Area. From the parking area, it is just a short walk to the Bruce Caves. It is said that this cave system was formed somewhere between 7000-8000 years ago. The trail here is visibly marked and considered to be a fairly easy walk through the forest. Once you reach the caves, you can wandering into them and explore the inner beauty of the caves.
Stroll Downtown Wiarton
In downtown Wiarton, there are a variety of different shop fronts. You can find shops offering things from home decor to clothing to local treasures. Downtown Wiarton also offers a few restaurants and places to stop for a quick treat.
Day Trips From Wiarton
You’ll easily fill a couple days exploring Wiarton, but make sure not to miss out on some of the other fantastic places located close by. Given Wiarton’s location, just at the base of the Bruce Peninsula, there are a ton of other locations in Bruce County waiting to be explored. From Wiarton, you are able to explore waterfalls, sandy beaches, take epic hikes and see many historical lighthouses within a very reasonable drive. Click the links below to learn more about each destination.
- Owen Sound Waterfalls – 20 minute drive
- City of Owen Sound – 20 minute drive
- Sauble Beach – 20 minute drive
- Lion’s Head – 25 minute drive drive
- Southampton – 30 minute drive
- Chantry Island – 30 minute drive + boat ride
- Port Elgin – 40 minute drive
- Meaford – 55 minute drive
- Flowerpot Island– 55 minute drive + ferry
- Tobermory – 55 minute drive
- Thornbury – 1 hour 5 minute drive
- Kincardine – 1 hour 10 minute drive
- Goderich – 1 hour 40 minute drive
- Bayfield – 2 hour drive
*All driving times are approximate
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