Perhaps the best known National Park in Ontario, Algonquin is over 7,500km2 and filled with forests, rivers, lakes and dozens of trails. The best part? It’s only a few hours’ drive from both Ottawa and Toronto, and its sheer size means you’ll probably want to stay for at least a whole weekend.
The park is accessible year-round, with everything from whitewater rafting in the spring and dog sledding and snowshoeing in the winter.
For hikers, there are small trails perfect for day-hikes, as well as multi-day trails such as the Western Uplands Trail which is 55mi (88km). As one of the larger parks, it’s also home to plenty of Canadian wildlife, so keep your eyes open for moose and bears.
The Georgian Bay area is without a doubt one of the most picturesque wilderness areas in Ontario. Georgian Bay is part of Lake Huron, and has over 30,000 islands and 1,243mi (2,000km) of shoreline.
On the shores around the lake you can find two popular parks: Killarney Provincial Park and Bruce Peninsula National Park, as well as Wasaga Beach.
This area has it all! Hiking and cycling trails of varying lengths, beautiful water for swimming, canoeing or kayaking, and plenty of wildlife. Georgian Bay also has a number of old shipwrecks, making it an awesome place for fresh water scuba diving.
It’s also a great spot for road-trips: the Georgian Bay Coastal Route is usually done in 7-15 days depending on your stops.
Given its northern location, Lake Superior is well off the beaten track for most visitors. But, as the largest lake in the world it has plenty to offer outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers.
It’s easy to spend days exploring the lakes, forests, hills, and waterfalls of this park. However, those short on time can also have a great experience with an 52mi (83km) road-trip through the park via the Trans-Canada Highway.
Canoeing and hiking are two of the top activities here, both of which can be done as a daily activity, or as a week-long voyage.
No doubt you have heard of the famous Niagara Falls, and while they are a must-see, the whole area is great to explore and easily accessible for visitors on a day trip.
There are 9mi (15km) of hiking footpaths, bouldering opportunities in the Niagara Glen, and a 33mi (53km) cycling trail along the Niagara River.
Point Pelee, on Lake Erie, is about 70% marshland and about 30% forest. Like the other parks, it’s great for hiking, cycling, and canoeing. But, the highlight here is the wildlife, specifically two annual events.
Point Pelee is best known for bird watching, especially during the spring migration. The area is actually nicknamed the ‘Warbler Capital of Canada’.
Another incredible experience is to see the monarch butterfly migration in the fall, as Point Pelee is part of their migratory route.
No matter what time of year you visit, Ontario’s wilderness offers adventure for anyone wanting to experience the Canadian outdoors.
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