One of Ontario’s best kept secrets is the town of Lion’s Head, a three-hour drive from Toronto on Lake Huron’s Georgian Bay. This picturesque small town of 514 people is circled around a natural harbour and family friendly sandy beach. The village’s central location on the Bruce Peninsula makes it an ideal base for exploring the area. It was named for the rock formation located on the east side of town. The first settlers who arrived by boat, thought the escarpment face resembled a lion’s head in profile. We’ve never been able to find it; can you? There is a great marina and docking facility in the harbour, a sandy beach, playground (which is dog friendly), and a beachside campground. It’s a popular gathering spot for kayakers, canoeists and sailors. And within two blocks you’ll find numerous B & B’s, three restaurants, an ice cream parlour and a grocery store.
On Friday evenings in July and August there are free music concerts. Bring your lawn chair and enjoy a variety of musicians as they play in a very dramatic setting at the Lion’s Head Harbour. There is also a Farmers Market at the beach from June through September on Saturday mornings from 9am until noon. Also on Friday and Saturday nights in July and August, volunteers share their telescopes with visitors to see the stars, planets and talk about preserving a dark sky (weather permitting). There is viewing platform near the lighthouse with long range binoculars available. The Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association has a Facebook page under Dark Sky.
Lion’s Head has long been a favourite hiking destination on the Bruce thanks to its accessibility, rugged terrain and expansive views. The trails are challenging but not formidable and most routes can be enjoyed in an afternoon. Rising through the forest and meadow, the Bruce Trail climbs up through cedars and along the limestone cliffs past several lookouts, until it reaches the highest elevation at the Lion’s Head Lookout. From this spectacular vista, one can see down to the Village of Lion’s Head to the west and Isthmus Bay directly in front of you, the coast sweeps around to Whipporwill Bay, which reaches the spectacular White Bluff and further north, and finally to Smokey Head. Soaring birds, a bracing wind and the turquoise clear waters far below make this a view to remember.
The Bruce Trail, Canada’s longest and oldest footpath, comes down off the Niagara Escarpment and runs right along Lion’s Head’s beach; a great spot for a swim and lunch! All of our Hiking Holidays trips on the Bruce Trail enjoy a two-night stay in Lion’s Head.