7 Lesser-Known Hiking Trails In Ontario Where You Can Sneak Away For A Hike Without Crowds

So many secret views.

Ottawa Staff Writer
Waterfront view in Charleston Lake Provincial Park. Right: Lookout platform in Loree Forest.

Waterfront view in Charleston Lake Provincial Park. Right: Lookout platform in Loree Forest.

If you're craving an escape into nature purely for the peace and quiet, it's time to find a hiking trail that isn't full of crowds. The popular trails in Ontario are well-known for a reason, but these easy walking paths and stunning views can mean they're pretty busy.

Here are some lesser-known hiking trails in Ontario so you can enjoy a peaceful wilderness hike. You can run through an easy trail to spend the rest of the day on a nearby beach, or turn a rugged adventure into an overnight camping trip.

Kolapore Wilderness Trails

Price: Free (donations accepted)

When: Spring through fall

Address: 495445, Grey County Rd. 2, The Blue Mountains, ON (main parking lot)

Why You Need To Go: You might need a map because this forested area has 50-kilometres of trails to hike and it can get rugged. The Kolapore Uplands trail is an almost six-kilometre trail you can follow that features forested areas, a boardwalk bridge and rocky crevices you can sneak through. If you're looking for a shorter walk, the Metcalfe Rock Side Trail is about two kilometres long.

Website

Parrot's Bay Conservation Area 

Price: Free

Address: 4977 Bath Rd., Amherstview, ON

Why You Need To Go: You can explore hidden boardwalks, wetlands and forested areas on over five kilometres of trails in this conservation area. There are waterfront views, and you may even stumble past an abandoned car that's hidden amongst the wildlife.

Website

Loree Forest

Price: Free

Address: 729297 Concession 21, The Blue Mountains, ON

Why You Need To Go: This trail loop near the Blue Mountain Ski Resort is a five-kilometre forested trail that comes out to a stunning viewing platform overlooking the valley and the lake glistening in the distance.

Website

Charleston Lake Provincial Park

Price: $12.25+ per vehicle

Address: 148 Woodvale Rd., Lansdowne, ON

Why You Need To Go: There are seven main hiking trails to be discovered in this provincial park. The trails range from something easy like Beech Woods Trail which is a loop under two kilometres, to more challenging like the 10-kilometre long hike on Tallow Rock Bay Trail. Wilderness exploring past rock faces and lake views await.

Website

Quetico Provincial Park 

Price: $12.25+ per vehicle

Address: ON-11, Atikokan, ON

Why You Need To Go: You may spot the odd camper or canoer in this rugged nature park in northern Ontario which features a whopping 2,000 lakes. The hikes here are for those who are up for a challenging trek because even the shortest trail, Baptism Creek Trail, is considered moderate.

Website

Crotch Lake Trail

Price: $9.95 for a daily road permit

Address: 1219 Crotch Lake Access Rd., Sydenham, ON

Why You Need To Go: You can get endless forest and waterfront views hiking around Crotch Lake and Big Gull Lake, on this approximately 11-kilometre trail loop. You can choose to shorten the hike by simply hiking straight in and back, or turn it into an epic adventure by booking an overnight campsite.

Website

Voyageur Provincial Park

Price: $12.25+ per vehicle

Address: 1313 Front Rd., Chute-à-Blondeau, ON

Why You Need To Go: If you'd rather get the hiking done quickly to spend the rest of the afternoon swimming, you may want to check this spot out. You'll find an easy trail loop that is under two kilometres, and four different beaches to spend the day soaking in the sunshine.

Website

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