Camp at Stormhaven Beach

3.1 miles  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Rob Nelson

A relatively short hike to an amazing semi-private white stone beach surrounded by limestone cliffs. 

You need to plan ahead to make the most of this trip. Permits for backcountry camping in Canadian National Parks open up in mid-January and competition for popular places (such as this) can be fierce. Get the date nailed down before applying and get online right away. 

After you've secured permitting and travelled to The Peninsula, visit the park office to get the paper permits for the campsite and for your car. Drive back to the highway and go south to Emmett Lake Road and follow the signs to the Halfway Log Dump Day Use Area to park. Gear up. 

Walk a few hundred meters towards the beach and before going down to the beach take a left on the Bruce trail, as in an IMMEDIATE left, 6 inches past the sign that points left. This turn is very easy to miss and if you go down to the beach you've gone too far.

Travel along the path following blazes to Stormhaven, it should be under two hours. You will have a few areas where the trail follows along the edge of the cliff hundreds of feet above the water. There is a clearing, sign board and stairs down to the beach which should alert you to your arrival at Stormhaven.

There are four tent platforms below the escarpment along the beach (these are obviously the best ones) and more up top on the south side of the trail. The tent platforms guarantee a dry tent floor but you'll need a sleeping pad to make your sleep bearable. The tent platforms have hooks where you can tie your tent down, which may be necessary as the wind coming in off the lake can be strong although the trees do offer quite a bit of protection. There are bear-hangs available for food overnight and a composting toilet near the stairs. 

To the east is a big cliff with a cave, you can walk all the way to it along the shoreline if the waves are small. There are also a couple other caves down there hidden in the trees which are huge and have an amazing view across the bay. 

If the waves are big it's amazing seeing them crash against the limestone slabs in the middle of the beach and to hear them rearrange the cobble beach, when it is calm the lake can look like glass. Sun hitting the water over the white limestone bottom makes it look tropical (but doesn't make it feel like it until late August if you're lucky).

You can hike NW along the shore to the next beach, in the direction of The Grotto if you're nimble, don't have much stuff and the waves are small. 

Stay up late and check out the stars, the dark skies of the northern peninsula are fantastic, if you're really keen wake up early for a sunrise across the bay!

*no open fires are allowed and the area is closely monitored so please don't try. Plus, most of the trees along the escarpment are VERY old despite being quite small due to the harsh living conditions. 

Read More

Tags

Chillin
Camping
Photography
Swimming
Hiking
Bathrooms
Beach
Lake
Scenic
Swimming Hole

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Explorer

🥇Top Contributor

almost 4 years ago

Isolated and beautiful

When I was there the water was too cold to swim, but it was a beautiful, stony shoreline with white cliffs at both ends. Absolutely great spot for an overnight on Georgian Bay.

Additional camping spot

Farther south along the Bruce trail approximately an hour is High Dump which is another place to camp and is usually empty for the most part. It is a medium-high difficulty hike

Stay Nearby

44.564483,-80.891969, Canada

Owen Sound Koa

45.2984977614,-79.9063968658, Canada

Parry Sound Koa

Nearby Adventures

  • Cliff Jump at the Grotto

    What if you could free dive, cliff jump and embark on a hundred mile hiking journey, all in the same place? Well, you can!The Grotto is a small cave on the shores of the Georgian Bay. It is accessible by land, if you are willing to scramble down a...

  • Hike the Bruce Peninsula to the Grotto

    Start in the Little Cove parking lot where you'll hop on the Bruce Trail and follow the easy-to-spot trail markers. A map in the parking lot shows the distances and attractions along the trail. You will climb up rock trails and pass many amazing l...

    5.7 miles 190.3 ft gain

  • Hike the Granite Ridge Trail

    The Granite Ridge Trail is part of Killarney Provincial Park. In order to hike this trail you need to purchase a park permit. The trailhead is across the highway on the opposite side from the Killarney Provincial Park Office. It's well marked and ...

    1.2 miles

  • Hiking MacGregor Point Provincial Park

    MacGregor Point is a gorgeous spot year round, with different levels and lengths of trails for every hiker. In the summer, the park is filled with wildlife and the trails are well maintained. In the winter, this is a good location for both hiking ...