UPDATED: Summer 2022
Lion’s Head, Ontario located on the Bruce Peninsula approximately halfway between Owen Sound and Tobermory. Located on Georgian Bay and part of the Niagara Escarpment, Lions Head is surrounded by limestone cliffs which when viewed from the water resemble a Lion’s Head, hence the name!
Similar to Tobermory, you are rewarded with stunning rock formations with cliffs rising out of the clear Caribbean-looking blue waters – but don’t let that fool you, Georgian Bay, which is part of Lake Huron of the Great Lakes, is typically very cold!
Like most of the Bruce Peninsula, Lion’s Head is a popular location in the summer months and accommodation can book up fast and early and restaurants are often full.
The best spot is right at Lion’s Head Marina or Lion’s Head beach. I’d recommend going early to ensure you get a spot since space is limited (be careful not to park in a boat trailer spot). If you can’t get a spot at the marina you can unload and park elsewhere; Lion’s Head does a great job of highlighting all the public parking spaces on a large map sign that is located at each parking lot.
Paid parking is in effect from May 15 to October 15th and it isn’t cheap. At the marina/harbour, it’s $5/hour or all-day parking for a max of $30/day 6am-8pm. Lion’s Head Beach is $5/hr with a max of 3 hours. Other locations further from the water are $3/hr for a max of 3 hours. Parking via app or machine on-site for pay and display. If you pay via app you can extend your time, assuming you didn’t pay for the full allotted time, from your phone if you need to.
Launching from the Lions Head Marina there are two options: 1. boat ramp/docks. 2. the pebble beach (you’ll get wet walking out far enough to avoid bottoming out with your fin). Just southwest of the marina is Lion’s Head Beach where you are able to launch off the beach. The beach launch is also accessible and close to a parking area (check parking signs for up-to-date pricing and time frame. Keep in mind that 3 hours may or may not give you enough time to explore the area). See the above photo for parking locations, allotted time and price.
Both the marina and the beach have public washrooms on site and although both areas can get busy they have lots of green/beach space to gear up and get ready to head out. Or have an après-paddle picnic.
Lion’s Head sign at the marina looking out over the pebble beach launch point toward the “Lion’s Head”
Lion’s Head Marina parking is located beside the Harbour Lighthouse.
Keep in mind not only does the wind play a role in creating waves on the Great Lakes but boat traffic and reflection from the rocky shoreline will too.
Georgian Bay is typically a lot colder than the rest of Lake Huron. Often you’ll still need cold water paddle gear in late spring when you’re beyond needing it for other Ontario paddle locations. Be sure to check the water temperature too and dress for the water! See the blog posts on Cold Weather Paddling and Winter Paddling for more information.
Check the weather and know your abilities and limits! for more information.
To see the Lion’s Head and quickly reach some breathtaking views of the limestone hitting the clear waters of Georgian Bay head east towards Lion’s Head Provincial Park. Paddling west will take you towards Cape Chin and will be a long pebble beach paddle before hitting any bluffs.
There are spots to pull off the water but they are few and far between so be sure to continue to check the weather and wind conditions; it can be easy to get carried away with the beautiful scenery.
Paddling from the marina to Lion’s Head Point and back is roughly 7km.
- Go early to get an all-day parking spot at the marina or closer access to the beach.
- Loads of other things to do in the area such as hiking in Lion’s Head Provincial Park and Rock Climbing. Note: Lion’s Head Provincial Park Look Out requires advance booking online.
- Make it a couple of days of adventuring and continue onto Tobermory
- When paddling, be sure to look up and see hikers or climbers on the rock cliffs! You can often hear them before seeing them.
- Pack a snack/lunch to enjoy along the way.
- Check the wind and weather throughout your paddle. Conditions can quickly change.
- Great day trip from Sauble Beach
- The Bruce Peninsula is a must-visit with epic cliffs and crystal clue tropical-looking waters.
- Lion’s Head isn’t as far as Tobermory, typically less packed and just as beautiful views of the Niagara Escarpment and Georgian Bay.
- Kayak Ontario: Trip Lion’s Head
- Explore The Bruce: Lion’s Head
- Discover The Bruce Peninsula: Lion’s Head
- Paddle Guides & Rentals