9 Lesser-Known Places To Explore In Ontario If You Think You've Seen It All

The province is full of hidden gems. 💎

Toronto Senior Staff Writer
Woman standing on a platform by a waterfall. Right: Woman standing in the window of a historic ruin.

Woman standing on a platform by a waterfall. Right: Woman standing in the window of a historic ruin.

Ontario is full of exciting places and attractions, and even if you think you've seen it all, there's so much more to explore. These lesser-known places make for incredible road trips.

From underground caverns to massive waterfalls, you can experience incredible surroundings at these spots.

Tyendinaga Cavern & Caves

Price: $14 per adult

When: Until October 9, 2022

Address: 2623 Harmony Rd., Belleville, ON

Why You Need To Go: You can journey to a "place where time stands still" at this ancient cavern, where you'll find fossils that date back 450 million years. You can descend deep into the caves, and even discover a secret pool where you can toss a coin.


Haliburton Sculpture Forest

Price: Donations accepted

Address: 297 College Dr., Haliburton, ON

Why You Need To Go: This forest isn't just filled with trees. As you wander the trails, you'll come across giant sculptures, including a beaver and a shoe.


Bathtub Island

Price: $15.50 vehicle permit

Address: Katherine Cove, ON

Why You Need To Go: This hidden island in Ontario is more like a giant bathtub. The hollowed-out rock is filled with water, so you can float the day away.


McGinnis Lake

Price: Prices vary

Address: 2249 Northeys Bay Rd., Woodview, ON

Why You Need To Go: Hidden away in Petroglyphs Provincial Park lies McGinnis Lake; a rare turquoise pool that's one of the only lakes of its kind in Canada. The park is also home to petroglyphs and a boardwalk trail to explore.


Kakabeka Falls

Price: Prices vary

Address: 4853 Hwy. 11/17, Kakabeka Falls, ON

Why You Need To Go: Dubbed the "Niagara of the North," this massive waterfall is worth seeing at least once. The 40-metre-high cascade is actually the second highest in Ontario, and boasts 1.6 million-year-old fossils at its base.


Amethyst Mine Panorama

Price: $10 admission per person

Address: 500 Bass Lake Rd., Shuniah, ON

Why You Need To Go: You can dig for sparkling gemstones at this amethyst mine in Northern Ontario. The mine offers tours and has a gift shop onsite.


Overhanging Point

Price: Admission fee

Address: 469 Cyprus Lake Rd., Tobermory, ON

Why You Need To Go: This secret natural wonder will have you feeling like you're in another world. The massive, hollowed-out cliff has towering limestone walls, and you can see crystal blue water along the hike.


Thornton Bales Conservation Area

Price: Free

Address: Mulock Sideroad, Newmarket, ON

Why You Need To Go: You'll find a hidden staircase with 99 steps in this enchanting forest. It's a beautiful spot for a hike, especially in the fall.


Spirit Rock Conservation Area

Price: Parking fee

When: Late spring to fall

Address: 92 Highway 6, Wiarton, ON

Why You Need To Go: From a trail that leads past crystal waters to a secret spiral staircase and historic ruins, this conservation area is worth a day trip.


Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

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