Ontario has so many beautiful spots to explore, and you can find some extra special hidden gems in these provincial parks.

From rare turquoise lakes to historic mines, you'll be treated to more than just gorgeous views when visiting these areas, and to make things even better, you can do your exploring for free this summer.

The province is offering free day passes during the week to 115 parks until Sept. 2 for all Ontarians, and these places are included in the list. *

Presqu'ile Provincial Park

Price: Prices vary

Address: 328 Presqu'Ile Pkwy., Brighton, ON

Why You Need To Go: There are a lot of things to do at this park, which boasts a 2.5-kilometre sandy beach, a marsh boardwalk, and the second-oldest operating lighthouse in Ontario.

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Murphys Point Provincial Park

Price: Prices vary

Address: 2243 Elm Grove Rd., Perth, ON

Why You Need To Go: You can discover the Silver Queen Mine, a historic mica mine from the 1900s, at this spot. Tours are often offered during the summer and fall months.

Website

Petroglyphs Provincial Park

Price: Prices vary

When: May 14, 2021, to October 14, 2021

Address: 2249 Northey's Bay Rd., Woodview, ON

Why You Need To Go: Not only can you see the largest collection of rock carvings in Canada at this park, you can also gaze over a rare turquoise lake that is one of only a few in the country.

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Lake Superior Provincial Park

Price: Prices vary

When: May 7, 2021, to October 24, 2021

Address: 96 Broadway Ave., Wawa, ON

Why You Need To Go: Located near Katherine Cove, Bathtub Island is a unique spot to float. The basin-like rock is filled with water, and you can enjoy the sun as you bask in this swimming spot.

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Bon Echo Provincial Park

Price: Prices vary

When: May 14, 2021, to October 17, 2021

Address: 16151 Hwy. 41, Cloyne, ON

Why You Need To Go: You can find a hidden gem carved into the towering Mazinaw Rock. In 1920, a tribute to poet Walt Whitman was inscribed in the cliff, and you can see 'Old Walt' from a viewfinder across the lake.

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Sandbanks Provincial Park

Price: Prices vary

Address: 3004 County Rd. 12, Picton, ON

Why You Need To Go: This spot is home to the world's largest baymouth barrier dune formation, and you can explore endless kilometres of sandy shoreline.

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Mono Cliffs Provincial Park

Price: Prices vary

Address: 795122 3rd Line E., Orangeville, ON

Why You Need To Go: A hike through this park will take you on a unique journey right through a giant canyon.

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Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park

Price: Prices vary

When: May 21, 2021 - October 21, 2021

Address: Greenwich Lake Road, Pass Lake, ON

Why You Need To Go: You can get panoramic views of a 150-metre-wide gorge by exploring this stunning park.

Website


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.


 

*Editor's Note: This article has been updated.