The Bruce Peninsula Explorer took a roadtrip to Singing Sands in Bruce Peninsula National Park this week to see what’s new for 2018. Parks Canada recently undertook a massive reconstruction effort at the popular northern Bruce beach and fen area, to both improve the beach experience and restore approx. 2300 square meters of this fragile ecosystem.
So what’s new for 2018? Take a look:
To access Singing Sands, turn left (heading towards Tobermory on Highway 6) on Dorcas Bay Road. The first thing you’ll notice is that Parks Canada has built a larger parking area and relocated it across the road from the fen and beach. The old parking area has been replaced by modern new visitors’s facilities–more on those in a moment.
Slow your speed to no more than 30 km/h as you approach the crosswalk and watch for children! There are solar-powered pedestrian crossing signals that flash when the button is pushed, but you never know when a little one might get excited and dart out ahead of the family.
The first thing you’ll notice is the stunning visitors’ facility, complete with new signage and interpretive panels. There are information booths with programming schedules posted in the windows.
A bank of lockers are available for rent, so you can store any valuable while you head out for a hike or swim at Singing Sands.
A viewing platform accessible from the beach-side of the visitors’ facility gives you a great vantage point over the new picnic area and boardwalks.
You can even enjoy a hot lunch, grilled up on the public-use BBQ. Remember to pack out what you packed in, and use the bear-proof garbage and recycling bins provided to clean up after yourselves.
Everyone can now enjoy the fully wheelchair and stroller-accessible boardwalk, which spans the first 250m of the Wild Garden Trail. There’s an offshoot that takes you down to the beach, as well.
An elevated lookout gives you a 360 degree look over the Singing Sands fen and beach.
The boardwalk is constructed to improve accessibility, but also to protect the fragile ecosystem in the Singing Sands fen. You can continue on when you reach the end of the boardwalk, but be careful to stay on the trail.
You’ll see rare plants like the carnivorous purple pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea, pictured above) Dwarf Lake Iris, Tuberous Indian-plantain and Hill’s thistle in abundance. Be careful not to step off the plant and onto these delicate species!
Singing Sands in the Bruce Peninsula National Park is a great place to cool off with the kids. The water here is incredibly warm and shallow, allowing for wading out some distance without dropping off. Always supervise children and please note that dog are allowed on the beach, but must be leashed at all times.
Back at the main building, you’ll find brand new, modern and sparkling clean washroom facilities. Help keep them this way!
There you have it… the improvements at Singing Sands mean there’s never been a better time to spend an afternoon hiking, swimming and exploring here with family and friends. Singing Sands is an optional activity on your self-guided At the Top of the Bruce tour, an approximately 30km route you can complete in one day or extend over several for a fully immersive Bruce Peninsula National Park experience. If you have a week to vacation, add Down the Wild Huron Shore to your itinerary to explore the history, nature and culture of the Huron shoreline, as well.
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All photos and text copyright Miranda Miller 2018.