13 Lesser-Known National And Provincial Parks In Ontario That Will Absolutely Amaze You

Untouched exploration!

If you look at the weather forecast for the next 7 or even 14 days, things are starting to look up for Ontario! We're finally getting that sunny spring weather we deserve with temperatures hovering around 10 to 15 degrees and not much lower. 

We can all finally breathe a sigh of relief because it looks like this icy, stormy weather was winter's last hoorah! That means it's time to get out there and explore all the great things that this province has to offer. 

We're so lucky to be living in the province of Ontario because even though we don't have towering mountains like the west coast or sprawling coast lines like the east coast, we're still surrounded by stunning nature. 

Ontario has a total of 6 national parks and 72 provincial parks! That's a whole lot of nature to explore so you better get started. Here's a list of the lesser known national and provincial parks that are perfect for untouched exploration. 


13. Pukaskwa National Park

Where: Heron Bay

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The breathtaking National Park is a hidden gem in Ontario that most people don't know about. It's home to the longest stretch of undeveloped coast line in the Great Lakes! You can also find boardwalk trail through marshes, suspension bridges, and incredibly clear blue waters!

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12. Point Pelee National Park

Where: Leamington

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Point Pelee National Park is one of the most stunning nature spots to explore in the province. You can walk along a 1 km floating boardwalk over water and marsh areas which are prime spots for wildlife spotting. 

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11. Thousand Islands National Park

Where: Mallorytown

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Thousand Islands National Park is one of the most unique spots in the province to explore since it's half in Canada and half in the US. There's so much to explore here it's almost insane, including the world's smallest bridge connecting the two countries pictured above, a beautiful historic castle, tons of tiny islands with adorable homes and so much more!

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10. Quetico Provincial Park

Where: Atikokan 

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This is another hidden gem for those who are looking for a more untouched natural experience in Ontario. Quetico Provincial Park is located in a remote area of Northwestern Ontario full of serene paddling opportunities, plenty of wildlife, and you can even see the Northern Lights here! 

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9. Killbear Provincial Park

Where: Killbear Park

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Killbear Provincial Park sits on a piece of land jutting out into Georgian Bay. It's close to Perry Sound, cottage country and has tons of family-oriented activities to enjoy. There's tons of campgrounds, shallow waters, beach areas, and hiking trails to take part in!

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8. Petroglyphs Provincial Park

Where: Woodview

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Located near Peterborough is this tiny provincial park that's jam packed with amazing nature and sights to see. It's the largest reserve for Aboriginal rock carvings, or petroglyphs, in Canada! It's also home to a lake called McGinnis Lake that's a unique type of lake called a meromictic lake where the layers of water don't mix making a bright turquoise sight! 

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7. Rouge National Urban Park

Where: Scarborough

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This is the only National Park located in/near the city and it's a beautiful place to explore during all seasons of the year! It is home to breathtaking natural landscapes including a rushing river, huge marsh areas, beaches, and stairways enveloped in lush forests.

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6. Awenda Provincial Park

Where: Tiny

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This beautiful provincial park sits on the shores of Georgian Bay and offers a great beach spot for those warm summer months. It's home to 2,900 hectares of lush forest areas to explore with tons of hiking trails, lakes for canoeing, and private campsites!

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5. Sandbanks Provincial Park

Where: Picton

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If you're looking for a provincial park with an amazing beach to relax on, this is definitely the spot for you! Sandbanks Provincial Park is home to the world's largest baymouth barrier dune formation and it's a great place for bird watching. 

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4. Killarney Provincial Park 

Where: Killarney

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Killarney Provincial Park looks like it came out of a painting, literally. The famous Canadian painters, Group Of Seven, painted their stunning nature landscapes here so you know it's going to be beautiful! 

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3. French River Provincial Park

Where: Alban

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Just South of Sudbury lies this stunning provincial park that paddlers and sunset lovers alike will enjoy. This was the first designated Canadian Heritage River where fur traders, trappers and missionaries alike used to travel! 

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2. Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park

Where: Bancroft

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This is Ontario's second largest provincial park located in the middle of Ottawa and Toronto. This is the park to visit for breathtaking sunsets, super clear lakes for swimming, still waters for paddling and tons of camping sights! 

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1. Lake Superior Provincial Park

Where: Wawa

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This massive provincial park offers so much to anyone who chooses to visit. There's endless natural beauty, white sandy beaches, hiking trails with stunning views, rushing waterfalls and dramatic cliffs, and tons of opportunities for stargazing!

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Mia Shabsove Soon to be graduate from Concordia University in Montreal. Originally from Toronto and yes, Montreal and Toronto are very different cities and no, I don't love one more than the other! My passions include eating pasta for every meal, squealing at every pug I see on the street, taking naps in hammocks, and rewatching episodes of Friends on Netflix. Follow my life adventures on Instagram: @miashabsove