Short and Sweet V1 **
While the bouldering at Cape Croker has potential, it has seen little recent development, and only a small part of what is available is documented here. The rock is solid and the problems are fun, with most of the climbing being on pocketed dolomite. With such little activity you can expect the problems to need some cleaning, so bring your sense of adventure, and your brushes.
The beautiful setting and convenient camping make Cape Croker an excellent weekend destination. The Lowball and Ceuse boulders offer some true highball bouldering, and both have easy toprope access for those without nerves of steel. Note there is poison ivy in the area, so be on the lookout if you stray from the trails.
The boulders are located in Cape Croker Indian Park. A $10 per vehicle day use fee or a camping permit are required.
Conditions can be good from May to October. The rock doesn't see much direct sunlight and dries slowly, so the best conditions will be after long dry periods.
Cape Croker is located on the eastern shore of the Bruce Peninsula, about a half hour drive north of the town of Wiarton. From Wiarton take Highway 6 north for 3.4km (2.1mi) and turn right on Bruce Road 9. After 6.1km (3.8mi) turn right on Bruce Road 18. Follow this for 5.2km (3.2mi) and turn left on Purple Valley Rd. After 4.9km (3.0mi) turn right on McIver Rd. Follow McIver Rd. for 1.6km (1.0mi) and turn left into Cape Croker Indian Park. After entering the park take the gravel road past the turnoff for "The Beaches" and park at the first pullout on the left for the Ladder area and the second pullout for the Cave area.
The approach to either area is approximately 350m with an elevation gain of 40m. The trail for the Ladder area is just past the parking pullout on the left. After a few hundred meters you will come to a split in the trail. Continue along the trail to the right to find the boulders. The trail for the Cave area is just before the parking pullout on the left. The Lower Cave area is approximately 250 meters along the trail and the Upper Cave area starts another 50 meters past it.
Camping is conveniently located in the park (519-534-0571), which is open from the first weekend in May to Thanksgiving day. Sites start at $27.75 a night (as of 2012) and pay showers and laundry are available. Reservations are recommended on summer long weekends.
There is nothing convenient, but Wiarton has a large grocery store and several restaurants.
The Cape Croker boulders are talus from the tract of Niagara Escarpment above. The Niagara Escarpment is a band of dolomite cliff that stretches 725 km from Northern New York, through Southern Ontario and into Michigan. Its formation began ~430 million years ago when the region was covered by a warm shallow sea. Over time, rivers washed sand and clay into the sea and the shells of ancient marine organisms accumulated on the sea floor. The riverine sediments were compressed to form layers of sandstone and shale while the shells compressed to form limestone and dolomite. Over the millennia, the sea retreated and the sandstone and shales were eroded away. The dolomite was more resistant to erosion and remained behind forming the Niagara Escarpment.
Should the boulders be too damp or the weather too cold for you liking, there are numerous good sport routes above the Ladder area that dry quickly and catch sun all day long. There are several hiking trails, beach volleyball and canoes for rent in the park. A short drive north leads to Bruce Peninsula National Park, where The Grotto and Halfway Log Dump offer excellent deep water soloing, hiking and swimming.