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Hiking Ontario

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Hiking trails are everywhere in Ontario. Parks, conservation areas and nature reserves are just choc-a-block full of options and it doesn't stop there. Choose from heavily forested paths, to open fields or ridge hikes. Some of our favourites are the cliff and beach hikes along the Bruce Peninsula beside the shores of Georgian Bay. The ridges of Killarney are another wonderful option, but be prepared for some climbing and fancy footwork. Algonquin has a wide variety of options from shoreline strolls to strenous climbs to some wonderful overlooks. Bon Echo and Lake Superior parks have trails that will take you to thier petroglyphs along thier rocky shorelines. Hike to the feet of the giant, in Sleeping Giant Provincial Park outside Thunder Bay or take in the thunderous roar of nearby Kakabeka Falls in the park of the same name. If sand and sun are your idea of the great outdoors, take a beach walk at Wasaga Beach, Long Point or the aptly named Sandbanks Provincial Park.

 
 

The backpacking trails in the province are also good bets for day hikers. In the south you find the longest trail in the province (Canada?) running through one of the the most populated areas of the country but still maintaining a natural setting. The Bruce Trail works it's way from Niagara, around Hamilton and just above Toronto then heads north through cottage country before reaching it's terminus at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula. It's only one of many long distance trails you'll find in the provinces' southern reaches. Traveling north, things get a little more rugged, with long distance trails including some of the finest hikes in the east, such as the La Cloche Silhouette Trail in Killarney Provincial Park and the Voyageur Trail which makes it's way through both Pukaskwa National and Lake Superior Provincial Parks (in both instances it's referred to as the Coastal Trail within the respective parks boundaries). For more on Ontario's long distance trails have a look at our Backpacking Ontario page.

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Algonquin Provincial Park Hiking Trails

  • Booth's Rock Trail - Intermediate, Loop The Booth's Rock Trail is 5.1km long starting at rock lake and looping back in a rough triangle.
  • Centennial Ridges Trail - Intermediate/Expert, Loop Centennial Ridges Trail is about 10km long starting at coon lake.
  • Brent Crater Trail - Novice, Loop While only 2km long the trail leads to a 3km wide meteorite crater. Just off Brent Road.
  • Spruce Bog Boardwalk - Novice, Loop An easy walk through an interesting bog area which wouldn't be accessible without the boardwalk.
  • Hemlock Bluff Trail - Novice, Loop The trail is 3.5km starting from hwy 60 and looping up to Jack Lake.
  • Track and Tower Trail - Intermediate Towards the center of the park off hwy 60 the trail has a looped (about 7km)section or a longer section (about 10km) leading to Mew Lake Campground
  • Berm Lake Trail - Novice, Loop This is a nice trail looping around Berm Lake and starting just off Achray Road.
  • Bat Lake Trail - Novice, Loop Some climbing is required to the lookout on this 5k loop leaving from hwy 60.
  • Barron Canyon - Novice, Loop Far from the main corridor access from Highway 17 this is an easy walk leading to a spectacular vista over looking the Barron River.
  • Beaver Pond Trail - Novice, Loop This a nice walk for nature buffs with the work of the beavers being easily observed.
  • Mizzy Lake Trail - Intermediate, Loop This is a 13km loop through mixed terrain and touching on a number of lakes. The trail is just off highway 60.
  • Peck Lake Trail - Novice, Loop An easy loop off hwy 60 following the edge of the lake.
  • Two Rivers Trail - Novice, Loop A short trail off hwy 60 with some climbing to provide a nice view of the Madawaska.
  • Lookout Trail - Novice, Loop Only 1.9 km but provides a nice view of the surrounding country side, off hwy 60.

    Out-There's Algonquin - See our Backpacking in Ontario page for longer hikes.

 

Awenda Provincial Park Hiking Trails

The park has over 30km of trails, many of which intersect allowing you to customize your itinerary.

Beach Trail

Linear, 2km one way, easy. This is a a shared use trail, cycling is permitted. From the western most parking lot you can pick up the trail which will take you from second beach, to third and then across the small peninsula below the bluffs to fourth beach. Essentially a beach walk as the name implies, the trial can be completed in about an hour. There is restricted access for canines.

Beaver Pond Trail

Loop, 1km return, easy. Accessed from the western most parking lot, this is essentially a nature trail which passes several areas of beaver activity. You can increase your chances of seeing wildlife by taking the trail in the early morning or evening. If you choose to go in the evening give your self plenty of time to return before you loose the light and remember to always carry a flash light. Much of the trails length is a board walk. Wheelchair access.

Bluff Trail

Loop, 14km. This is the parks longest trail. You can access it from the parking lot across from the Bear Campground, or directly from the Deer Campground, or from several other intersecting trails such as the Nipissing. It takes its name from the section of the Nipissing Bluff which it follows. You'll find great views of Georgian Bay from the bluff. This is a mixed use trail, bicycles are permitted.

Nipissing Trail

Linear, 0.5km with a 32m elevation change (in the form of a staircase), easy-moderate. The trail is accessed from the western most parking lot. It climbs from here, up to the bluffs trail which allows for some great views of the Bay. Cycling is not permitted.

Brule Trail

Linear, 2km, easy. The trail heads through the forest where you can connect up to the Dunes Trail or keep on going to the parking lot across from the Bear Campground. You have the option of continuing your hike along the Bluffs Trail. The trial takes about 1 hour if you do an out and back. This is a mixed use trail and bicycles are permitted.

Dunes Trail

Loop, 3km, easy. The trail begins and ends at the additional day visitors parking. The trail follows through an interesting sandy area with diverse plant life, a good area for nature study. The area is fragile so please keep to the trail. This area contrasts with the surrounding hardwood forest. Cycling is not permitted.

Wendat Trail

Loop, 5km, easy. The trail wraps around Kettle Lake following closely on sections of the shore. A good area for wildlife viewing, if tread softly and you might just see a great blue heron. The trail takes about 1.5-2hrs to complete. Cycling is not permitted.

Out-There's Awenda - See our Backpacking in Ontario page for longer hikes.

 

Beaver Meadow Wildlife Conservation Area Hiking Trails

The conservation area has hiking trails which will take you through swamp, meadows and forested areas. From Picton take the 10 to the 11, the Conservation Area is on your left a short distance from where you pick up the 11.

See our Backpacking in Ontario page for longer hikes.

 

Bon Echo Provincial Park Hiking Trails

Bon Echo Creek - 1km, Easy

A short walk to the mouth of the creek where it empties into lower Mazinaw Lake.

Cliff Top Trail - 2km (one way) Llinear, Intermediate

While some sections of the trail are steep it's well worth the effort for the spectacular view you get from the top Mazinaw Rock. There are several viewing platforms along the length of this linear trail which are steep The trail is accessible by water only.

High Pines Trail - 1.4km, Easy.

The trail follows through a mix of forest, field along side a pond. There is an excellent view of the Mazinaw Rock about half way through the walk. Access to the trial is from the visitors parking lot just passed the park office in the Mazinaw Lake campground.

Shield Trail - 4.8km loop, Easy

An easy trail which follows along the historic Addington settlement road as it heads south then swings west passed two small lakes (ponds) before loopin back to the start. The tralhead is located at the parking lot on Joeperry Road just off highway 41.

Out-There's Bon Echo - See our Backpacking in Ontario page for longer hikes.

 

Bruce Peninsula National Park Hiking Trails

In the Cyprus Lake area, the trails are accessible from the Head of Trails area. Except for the Cyprus Lake trail, all of the trails lead to Georgian Bay and connect to the Bruce Trail. Head north along the Bruce and have a picnic at the Grotto at Indian Head Cove or south to the campsite at Halfway Dump.


Cyprus Lake Trail is an easy and very pleasant 5km trail hike that loops around the lake - access from the Head of Trails.


The Horse Lake Trail is an easy 1km to the bay along the shore of Horse Lake - access from the Head of Trails.

The Georgian Bay - Marr Lake Trail reaches out to the bay, then loops back to the head of trails. As the name implies, the trail passes by Marr Lake - access from the Head of Trails.

Singing Sands Self Guided Nature Walk is 1.5km and an easy walk. This is an area with a very interesting ecological history and is well know for its orchids. The trail is on the west side of the Peninsula in a separate isolated section of the park across the highway from George Lake.


Halfway Log Dump is accessible from Emmett Lake via the gated road. This 3km hike will take you to one of the most spectacular areas of the Escarpment that lies within the park.


On Flowerpot Island you'll find the Loop Trail which passes the flowerpot sea stacks and allows access to the light house. There's also an out-and-back in the form of the Marl Trail which takes you to the western side of the island. The Island is located off the tip of the peninsula from Tobermory and is accessible by boat or for expert paddlers, kayak.

Out-There's Bruce Peninsula Park - See our Backpacking in Ontario page for longer hikes.

 

Frontenac Provincial Park Hiking Trails

Hiking: 170 km of trails. To get a real understanding of each portages difficulty, trail orientation as well as detailed information on the park contact the Friends of Frontenac Provincial Park and order their map. The small cost of the map helps support the essential work they do.

Arab Lake Gorge - 1.5km, 40 min, Novice, Starts at trail center

Doe Lake Loop - 3.0km, 1-2hrs, Intermediate, Starts at trail center

Cedar Lake Loop - 15km, 4-6hrs, Intermediate/Expert, Starts 1.6km from trail center

Slide Lake Loop - 21km, 6-8hrs, Expert, Starts 4.3km from trail center

Big Salmon Lake Loop - 19km, 5-7hrs, Intermediate/Expert, Starts 4.5km from trail center

Arkon Lake Loop - 13km, 3-5hrs, Intermediate, Starts 1.8km from trail center

Little Clear Lake Loop - 9km, 3-5hrs, Novice/Intermediate, Starts 6.5km from trail center

Little Salmon Lake Loop - 15km, 3-5hrs, Novice/Intermediate, Starts 3.0km from trail center

Tetsmine Loop - 12km, 5-6hrs, Intermediate, Starts 9.6km from trail center

Gibson Lake Loop - 11km, 5-6hrs, Intermediate, Starts 11km from trail center

Hemlock Lake Loop - 5km, 3hrs, Novice/Intermediate, Starts 8.5km from trail center

Out-There's Frontenac - See our Backpacking in Ontario page for longer hikes.

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Georgian Bay Islands National Park Hiking Trails

There are 11 hiking trails in the park, ranging from 0.3 km to 8.2km.

Cambrian Trail: 2km, Easy. A short walk through classic Canadian Shield the trail is a loop off of the Fairy Trail in the north of Beausoleil Island.

Fairy Trail: 2.5km Easy-Intermediate. A winding trail through coulees and hills on the shores of Goblin and Fairy Lakes. It can be reached from the Rockview Trail in the north of the island.

Rockview Trail: 1.5km, Easy. A short trail overlooking Long Bay it connects the Fairy and Dossyonshing Trails to the Huron in the north of Beausoleil Island.

Dossyonshing Trail: 2.5km, Easy. A rather beautiful area that contrasts marshes and ponds with hardwood forest. This is an easy walk. The trail can be reached from the Huron via the Rockview Trail in the north end of Beausoleil Island.

Massasauga Trail: 2km, Easy. The trail gets its name from the endangered Massasauga Rattlesnake which along with other reptiles and amphibians take shelter in this area.

Portage Trail: 0.3km, Easy. The trail gets its name from its use by the the first nations peoples and early settlers.The trail goes through a wetlands area.

Huron Trail: 8.km, Intermediate, Mixed Use. The trail moves through the transition zone between the lowlands and the Canadian Shield country. It stretches along the eastern side of the big island and connects with several other trails and provides access to a number of the backcountry campsites. This is a good trail for bird watchers.

Georgain Trail: 5km, Intermediate. A shoreline trail along the west side of Beausoliel Island that takes you over stone and sandy beaches as well as the outcroppings of the shield. The trail connects to the Huron at the southern tip and northern section of the island. It can also be reached from the Christian Trail. A nice choice on a sunny afternoon.

Treasure Trail: 3.8km, Easy. The name comes from local lore of treasure buried in the area. The trail follows a ridge out to Treasure Bay. The trail can be reached in the south from Cedar Springs campground on Beausoleil Island.

Firetower Trail: 1.3km, Easy-Intermediate. This trail is a must do, after some climbing you are rewarded with an excellent view of Papoose Bay. The trail can be reached halfway along the Christian Trail.

Christian: 1.5km, Easy-Intermediate. The trail bisects the lower part of Beausoleil Island. connecting Cedar Springs campground to the group camping area at Christian Beach on the west coast.

All of the hiking trails are on the park's islands and can only be reached by water. There is a water taxi available from Honey Harbour but if your only going for the day make sure you have enough time to complete your hike and get back for the pick-up. Consult with the park for details.

Out-There's Georgian Bay Islands Park - See our Backpacking in Ontario page for longer hikes.

 

Killarney Provincial Park Hiking Trails

The following are brief descriptions of three self-guided trails in the park that lead from the George Lake campground.

The Cranberry Bog is a moderately easy 4km loop that takes about 2 1/2 hours to complete and leads you through bog, marsh and swamp, with plenty of beautiful plant life and birds for your appreciation.

The Chikanishing Trail starts at the end of the Chikanishing Road and is a moderately easy 3km loop with a lot of ups and downs over granite outcroppings. It leads you to Collins Inlet on Georgian Bay. The Chikanishing trail should take about 1 1/2 hours to complete.

The Granite Ridge is a moderately easy 2km loop that is steep in sections. The trail takes you to two lookouts with views of the park and out to Georgian Bay.

Other hikes are the East Lighthouse/Tar Vat Trail that begins right behind the parking area at Killarney's East Lighthouse. There are also two trails that follow parts of the La Cloche Trail, one a 14km trail that starts at the George Lake Dam and the other a 20 km trail that starts from Blue Heron Circle parking lot. The parks topology is surprisingly confusing and it's easy to get disoriented.

Note: Killarney's trails are often rocky and the rock becomes very slippery if it rains (or snows for that matter). Check the forcast before you set out and consult with the park for details on your hike.

Out-There's Killarney - See our Backpacking in Ontario page for longer hikes.

 

Lake Superior Provincial Park Hiking Trails

Interactive Trail Location Map

Nokomis - Intermediate, 5km loop The trail ascends fairly steeply to present you with a wonderful view, then follows along the ridge to a number of other lookouts. See if you can make out the Old Woman in the cliff face before you start the descent back to the trail head. The trail should take approximately 1 1/2 to 3 hours to complete. The trail is located in the north of the park off Highway 17 at Old Woman Bay.

Agawa Rock Pictographs Trail - Intermediate, 0.4km This is one of the largest collection of Indian pictographs in Ontario. The trail to Agawa Rock is notable for it's geological features. Be aware that the viewing area presents challenges and is exposed to the wave action of the big lake. The trail should take approximately 1/2 to 1 hours to complete. The trail can be accessed just off of Highway 17, north of Agawa Bay.

Peat Mountain Trial - Demanding, 11 km loop This is a ridge hike that will take you to the top of Peat Mountain (518m) and provide some splendid viewpoints. You can also connect into the the side trail which will take you to Foam Lake Lookout. The trail should take approximately 3 to 4 hours to complete. The trail is accessible from the Rabbit Blanket Lake Campground.

South Old Woman River Trail - Intermediate, 2.5km loop A pleasant forested trail which runs along the Old Woman River. The Trail can be reached from Highway 17 in the north of the park across the highway from Rabbit Blanket Lake.

Trapper's Trail - Easy, 1.5km loop Named for a trap line which was once active along it, the trail now shelters the wildlife providing a great opportunity to see beaver, marten and moose. There are two separate viewing platforms as well as a floating boardwalk. The trail can be accessed from Highway 17 in the central region of the park.

Orphan Lake Trail - Intermediate, 8km loop The trail has a little bit of everything. Working its way through forests,and along cliff sides, then following beside Orphan Lake before climbing to some wonderful overlooks. Descending to a beach along Superiors shore to Baldhead River and a waterfall, a perfect place to take a break before working your way back to the start. You can use the trail to gain access to the Coastal Trail. Orphan Lake Trail is accessible from Highway 17 in the central region of the park.

Pinguisibi Trail - Easy, 6km return, linear An ancient Ojibwa trail which takes you to a wonderful set of falls on the Sand River. Pack a picnic before you go and return along the same route. The trail can be accessed from Highway 17 just after crossing the Sand River as you head north.

Awausee Trail - Difficult, 10km loop The trail starts out as an easy jaunt along an old logging road before it heads up a ravine and climbs to lookouts which provide a view of the Agawa River Valley and Agawa Mountain. On the descent pick up the logging road which allows you to work your way back to the start. The trail is accessible from Highway 17 in the south of the park.

Crescent Lake Trail - Easy, 2km loop The trial takes you through mixed forests with hundred ear old pines. Work your way passed the shorelines of several lakes where you'll intersect with a number of the portages that make up the Crescent Lake Canoe Route.

Interactive Trail Location Map

Out-There's Lake Superior Park - See our Backpacking in Ontario page for longer hikes.

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Little Bluff Conservation Area Hiking Trails

A natural area along the shore, with cliffs that fall off into the bay providing a nice overlook. There are hiking trails or you can just walk the rocky beach. The area is frequented by birders. Take country road 8 from Picton to the where it branches onto the 17, follow the 17 to the "T" intersection and turn right (east) along the 16. Follow it for a short distance to the next "T", where you take the 13 to the right (south). Follow the 13 a short distance passed the intersection with the 10 and you'll find the Conservation Area on your left.

See our Backpacking in Ontario page for longer hikes.

Macaulay Mountain Conservation Area Hiking Trails

There are over 20km of shared use trails in the conservation area. In the winter the trails are used for cross country skiing and in the summer mountain biking and hiking. The escarpment is forested and you'll find hickory, ash, oak and maple. This is a great birding area frequented by ovenbirds, grosbeaks, woodthrushes and many, many more. So don't forget your binoculars. Some of the trails are extremely steep rising over 40 metres, good footwear is required. From Picton the Conservation Area is a short distance along route #8.

See our Backpacking in Ontario page for longer hikes.

 

Massassauga Point Conservation Area Hiking Trails

There are several hiking trails which take you into the Bur Oak Grove and the old Quarry through red cedar forests. You'll also find a cobblestone beach. Watch for raptors, including the ever present red tailed hawk. From Picton take the 4 to the 62, then take the 28 south just before the bridge. From the 28 take Marsh Road a short ways to Davidson, then follow Tops Line and Sunrise. Watch for the sign.

See our Backpacking in Ontario page for longer hikes.

 

Murphys Point Provincial Park Hiking Trails

There are over 16km of hiking trails in the park, ranging in length from the 0.5km Prospectors Bunkhouse Trail to the 6.5km (one way) section of the Rideau Trail, that passes through the park. You can hike out to the point and find a little solitude on the aptly named Point Trail or follow the Beaver Pond Trail, which will take you to the remains of the Silver Queen Mine. Through hikers on the Rideau Trail use the park as one of their major stops on route. Alternatively backpackers can use the park as the starting point on a trip to Ottawa or Kingston. You can also backpack a short distance to one of the canoe campsites on the point. This makes for a great introduction to backpacking for novices or kids. For information on the Rideau Trail click on the link.

Out-There's Murphys Point - See our Backpacking in Ontario page for longer hikes.

 

Pukaskwa National Park Hiking Trails

There are 3 hiking trails in the park that start near the Hattie Cove campground. The Southern Headland Trail is 2 km long and follows the shoreline. It takes about 1 hour to complete. The Beach Trail takes you to three beaches along the Lake Superior shores. Its about 2 km long and will take about 1 hour to compete.The Halfway Lake Trail is a more rugged and hilly trail that takes you around the lake. It's about 3.5 km in length and takes approximately 1.5 hours to complete.

Out-There's Pukaskwa - See our Backpacking in Ontario page for longer hikes.

 

Sandbanks Provincial Park Hiking Trails

Woodland Trail - 5km, Easy. from Outlet Beach to Dunes Beach. The trail will take you about 2hrs to hike.

Cedar Sands Trial - 2km, Easy, this is an interpretive trail with two viewing platforms. The trail should take you about an hour to complete.

Out-There's Sandbanks - See our Backpacking in Ontario page for longer hikes.

For a list of Ontario's long distance trails have a look at our Backpacking Ontario page.

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Backpacking & Hiking - International

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Outdoor Clubs and Associations - Canada

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Outdoor Clubs and Associations - International

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How To/Techiques

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Outdoor Magazines

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Outdoor Online Stores and Mail Order

  • Altrec - USA
  • Backcountry Gear Limited - Backpacking, Camping, Clothing, Moutaineering / Marmot, Gregory, Garuda, Integral Designs, Western Mountaineering, Moonstone, PUR, Walrus.
  • LL Bean - Outdoor Gear
    Mountain Equipment Co-op - Canadian Outdoor Store
  • Moletracks - Day packs, backpacks, fanny packs, compression bags and other accessories for camping, hiking, mountaineering.
  • REI - Outdoor Gear, USA
  • Search Gear - Search and Rescue Gear

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Maps and Map Sources

  • MapBlast - For road maps, go to Canadian Maps and type in a City and Province.
  • Topos sur le Web - Geographical Locator and Topographical Maps (French). Quebec
  • Canadian Hydrographic Service - Official Marine Navigation Charts and Nautical Publications including tide tables along with a dealer list.
  • Canada's national topographic mapping agency - topographic information for the Canadian landmass.
  • Chrismar Mapping
  • Dog Ears - Maps, Books, Canada
  • Dun-Map - Multimedia Mapping, Canada
  • Gem Trek Publishing - Specializes in producing detailed maps of the Canadian Rockies
  • National Atlas of Canada - Canadian Map Services, National Resources Canada
  • Pathfinder Maps - Topographic Maps, Nautical Charts for Canada and the United States, Canadian Aeronautical Charts.
  • World of Maps - Topographical Maps
  • Trailmonkey - Free Hiking & Mt. Biking, Maps and Trails site. USA

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Backpacking & Hiking Manufacturers

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Ontario Outdoor Retailers

Ottawa and Eastern Ontario - Ottawa, Kingston, Brockville, Cornwall, Smith Falls, Pembroke


 

Greater Toronto Outdoor Retailers - Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Scarborough


 

Central Ontario Outdoor Retailers - Muskoka, Algonquin, Bruce Peninsula, Georgian Bay, Lake Simcoe, Peterborough, Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton


 

Southwestern Ontario - Hamilton, London, Windsor, Kitchener, St Catharines, Niagara Falls, Brantford

 

Northern Ontario - Thunderbay, Sault St Marie, Northbay, Sudbury, Kenora


 

Mountain Huts

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Parks - Backpacking

National Parks

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Backpacking Provincial Parks

Alberta

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Resources

 

Links of Interest

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