7 Unreal Places To Hike In Ontario This Fall
It's not called the glorious and free by coincidence.
It seems people are on different ends of the spectrum when it comes to hiking; at one end you have the die-hard "let's go, only 100 km more at a mere 85 degree angle!" type of hikers, then you have the people whose idea of a good hike may just be hiking up the stairs to the top floor at Holts. Whatever end you're on, there's something we can all agree on - hiking is beyond beautiful. It was, after all, the great thinker of the 2009 era who reminded us through song that it's all about the climb.
Whether it's spending the day with your best friends or fam, hiking is the perfect way to get some adventure in your life. Combine that adventure with the real "au natural", and you have an amazing day in the trees, listening to the birds and getting in touch with your roots. (Ah! It's already the start to an inspirational character development montage!)
Hiking doesn't have to be all or nothing, we live in Ontario, you don't have to worry about Everest. Living in the epitome of the word views, we have a huge variety or stunning hiking routes for any and every level. So don't fret, whether you're fresh off the patio or a seasoned hiker, there's something for everyone here, and we got two great hikes at each location. First, for the 'gram hiker, is perfect for those just looking for a nice day trip, one where they can snap a couple pics and have a good time with their squad while taking in the gorgeous views.
1. Killarney Provincial Park
We're gonna lay down two options for you; number one - you're on a bleak, sterile, functioning stair master with your overdone top 40 "get fit it's lit!" playlist with the view of about 30 other sweaty backs. OR, number two - strolling through a stunning 100km of white quarzite hills and granite landscapes so peaceful that they inspired the Group of Seven Frank Carmichael. Right near Sudbury lies option number two in Kilarney Provincial Park along North West Georgian Bay! With mountains that reach up to 1800' over sea level and 10 hiking trails, you're guaranteed to find some way to take in the fall views.
For the 'gram hiker: Sick of seeing constant tar from all the construction in the city? Why not switch it up and go back to the real life tar (which is MUCH nicer to look at) at tar Vat Bay. this is the perfect hike for anyone looking for a combo of fall forest beauty and clear, crisp views of Georgian Bay. It's about 3km (each way), and will probably take you around 2-2.5hours (we'd say three just to give you extra time to get some unreal pics of you looking extra cute and ~natural~). Want to go for longer? Extend your hike by combining it with the Lighthouse trail!
For the "not hardcore unless you live hardcore" hiker: La Cloche Silhouette trail is the definition of you get out what you put in, translation? With 78km of trails, it's a multi-day hike that'll probably take you 7-10 days, and from the amount you'll put in, you'll reap the rewards in the amount of satisfaction that can only come with climbing through valleys and crystal lakes! It's a challenging route but beauty must come with work, and the scenery must be gorgeous because the trail itself is named after the Group of Seven artist Frank Carmichael's "La Cloche Silhouette" famous painting of the region.
Need more recommendations? Hit up Kilarney Oufitters!
2. Algonquin Provincial Park
Indecisive as Sean Kingston, just can't decide (eenie meenie minny mo lover)? Algonquin Park is the place to be with over 1000 stunning lakes and two parts of Algonquin nature to choose from. With the leaves taking their annual fall ombre style soon, this park is the place to be for some seriously stunning scenery. With a variety of trails to choose from you'll have no problem picking one that's perfect for you, and if you're lucky you may even run into one of the many moose on the loose there.
For the 'gram hiker: No, this ain't poker and we're not bluffing, this is the hike you've been waiting for. Hemlock Bluff is perfect for you and your squad to go for a nice 3.5km loop that offers a stunning view of Jack Lake. We're never letting go of this Jack, head along Highway 60 for this gem.
For the "not hardcore unless you live hardcore" hiker: the 32-88km of Western Uplands trail is ready for you. With steep climbs and side slopes, get ready for the adventure you've always wanted. Because this is a backpacking trail, it'll take you a couple days to get through, but with those extra nights comes even more beauty!
Here's the full list of day trails!
3. Bon Echo Provincial Park
tucked in South Eastern Ontario lies the answer (or you could say echo...) to your scenic dreams. Bon Echo Provincial Park is home to the largest collection of Aboriginal pictographs in North America, as well as the amazing sights offered by Mazinaw Lake and Mazinaw Rock. Whether you're coming for a hard or easy hike, you're going to be more than satisfied with colours of the forests, wetlands and ponds!
For the 'gram hiker: After passing through the amazing tall pines of High Pines trail, you'll find yourself amazed at the view of Mazinaw Rock. Spend as long as you want taking in the scenery, as this trail is only 1.4km in length meaning it's ideal for anyone ready to stop and smell the roses.
For the "live hardcore to be hardcore" hiker: We're going with the Cliff top trail for it's unreal views. Exclusive as a King West patio, it's only accessible by water so you're going to have to rent a canoe/kayak or take the Mugwump Ferry Boat (which only runs on weekends after September 6h until October 19h! the perks? After the satisfaction of completing the steep hill, take in the view from a top of the famous Mazinaw Rock!
4. Lake Superior Provincial Park (Wawa)
This Provincial Park is 1600 sqaure km of pure autumn fantasy come to life. Go trade in that PSL for some seriously stunning views of the waters of Lake Superior with over 11 hiking trails to choose from. We could go on and on about gorgeous spots in the park such as the Katherine's Cove, Agawa Rock, and Sandy River: but you know what they say. A pictures worth a thousand words. Get your cameras ready.
For the 'gram hiker: Wishing you were seeing fall colours instead of grey skyscrapers? Head to Awausee trail for not only some gorgeous forestry, but also a scenic look out spo over Agawa Bay! (Perfect for you and your bae, see what we did there?)
For the "live hardcore to be hardcore" hiker: Get ready for a wild hike with the Coastal trail this challenging trail will take you about 5-7 days and you'll cover 65km of high cliffs and rocky beaches. this is a very demanding trail, so use extra caution and if your hiking boots are still in the box (or at the store)? We'd save this one for a little down the road. But if you're ready for the adventure? Get ready to take in the beauty of the shoreline of Lake Superior all the way from Agawa Bay to Chalfant Cove!
5. Niagara Glen Nature Reserves
Obviously you'll find one of the most glorious and free nature reserves on the Canadian side of the Niagara Gorge! Spend the day trekking through the Carolinian Forest and past boulders hand crafted by Mother Nature herself that will lead you to the stunning view of the Niagara River Whirlpool. With travel time from the 416 clocking in under 1 hour and a half, it's a must hit this fall!
For the 'gram AND "live hardcore to be hardcore" hikers: Free for all views! As if being in the middle of the Great Gorge wasn't enough, there's a huge variety of trails to spend the day on. For those water bound hikers, hike along the Niagara River following the blue river path, this is also a longer trail if you're looking for added beauty! If you're just looking for a sweet escape, head along the yellow Woodland path and green Eddy path for seriously stunning forestry.
6. Frontenac Provincial Park
Ready for some serious wildlife sightings (and no, we're not just talking about raccoons on you garbage bins)? Head to the unreal 5,214 hectares of nature in Frontenac Provincial Park. From Big Salmon Lake, to fun rolling terrain, and the majestic changing colours of the mature forest, you won't run out of things to marvel at. Only a short drive outside of Kingston, this is definitely on our list of places to be this fall!
For the 'gram hiker: We're heading to the Doe Lake Hiking trail, a relaxing 3.0km walk through the beauty of the changing fall colours. You'll stroll through vast forestry, pass by beaver ponds, past two lakes and to a small lookout hill! It's a great relaxing hike that is ideal for anyone whose ready to get they're much needed dose of nature without getting ready to commit to a multi-day hike.
For the "live hardcore to be hardcore" hiker: why slide into dm's when you could be on the Slide Lake Hiking Loop? It's recommended to do this 21.0km (plus the 4.6km from and back to the parking lot) in the early fall due to it's difficulty. But with hard work comes rewards! there are amazing look out points along the trail, with Mink Lake Lookout being one of the most popular. With the fall colours coming into full effect soon, head over for a full day in the best of the great outdoors.
Here are some other great day hikes recommended by Frontenac Outfitters!
7. Sleeping Giant Provincial Park
Rich not only with beauty but history, from Objibway and Sioux warriors, silver mines and the Great Spirit, Nanabijou. Apparently he turned to stone when the location of the mine was revealed to the White Man. this is a journey that you won't regret any time soon. Sleeping Giant get's it's name from the famous rock formation that looks like a sleeping man, and the park itself offers over 100 km of hiking trails! the only question left is when are we going?
For the 'gram hikers: Chase those waterfalls with Joe Creek Nature trail! Starting from Highway 587 to Lake Superior you'll feel a sense of serenity passing a variety of small waterfalls. Didn't get enough the first time around? It's only 1.6 km round, meaning you don't have to be a pro to go more than once!
For the "live hardcore to be hardcore" hiker: Here's what we got for you with the Top of the Giant hike. A 22.4km roundtrip packed with a climb that'll have you feeling like an iron man champ, and a view over thunder bay and lake superior so majestic even the best Instagram can't do it justice. Sounding exciting? Fall colours are going to be setting in soon to make it even more beautiful, get ready.
Here's some great recommendations for some awesome hikes and other things to do from Parks Blogger Ontario!