The Grotto, Tobermory
If you’ve searched “the grotto” you would have seen many photos but nothing truly prepares you for how spectacular it really is. My first impression was the vibrant hues of the water which could easily be mistaken for a Caribbean coastline. That’s where the comparison ends for the beauty in the colours masks the cold Georgian Bay temperature. Dip your feet in and you will quickly be reminded you’re in Canada.
Grotto or Cove
While many have visited the Grotto some have left without actually seeing the main event. When you reach the end of the trail leading to the entrance many will turn right as a clearing is visible immediately on that side.
Most will mistake Indian Head Cove as the Grotto when it is actually beside it. Still with stunning views and water that is crystal clear it is the ideal spot for a snack or picnic.
Ensure you are wearing proper shoes before carefully stepping over large boulders to claim a spot and enjoy the incredible view.
Getting to the Grotto
To reach the actual Grotto site, turn right heading up along the Bruce trail over the incline. You will pass the Natural Arch which is a hole in the rock.
After taking photos of the natural arch head right continuing up the incline which leads you to the cliffside. Peering down you will see the opening of the Grotto to your right.
I took two different ways down to explore the Grotto cave. From experience climbing down the 12 meter cliffside is the easier way. It may appear steep and rather daunting, but the large rocks cut a natural path for you to step and climb down to the bottom.
“Everything you can imagine is real”
For Adventure Seekers
The Chimney Tunnel
An opening in the ground you can find on the clifftop that leads you to the opening of the Grotto entrance. This exhilarating experience involves lowering yourself down into a hole and carefully navigating and climbing down boulders.
I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone that doesn’t like small spaces. I also wouldn’t suggest this for young kids unless they are at least 5′ 2″ as it was difficult at times for me to reach certain surfaces.
Maintaining a 3-point contact at all times is key as there are moments where you can’t exactly see where you are going; more like feeling your way down. So I wouldn’t suggest holding a phone in your hand while attempting this climb down.
After exploring the cave, climbing back up the tunnel proved to be more challenging. The wet limestone is very slick and I lost my grip and fell backwards. Luckily no major injuries; some scrapes and a bruised ego, but I know it could have been much worse.
Would I do it again? Absolutely! Just with more caution, dry shoes and a go pro so I can film the entire experience.