Feel like you've run out of things to do in your city? Not to worry — Ontario is full of secret summer escapes where you and your friends can keep the good times rolling. From hidden waterfalls to secret trails, the possibilities for exploration are endless.
So grab your best friend, pack your bags, and start the car — it's time for a road trip!
Mono Cliffs is one of the coolest green spaces in the province to explore. The 732-hectare park consists of a 20-kilometre trail system through the Niagara Escarpment that takes you past incredible sights and natural wonders. Check out the Cliff-Top Side Trail, which cuts through an old moss-covered canyon via wooden boardwalks and staircases.
Cyprus Lake Grotto
Bruce Peninsula, ON
The Cyprus Lake Grotto is so surreal that it's been included in a list of the 11 Most Breathtaking Blue Grottos and Sea Caves In The World. People from all over the province make the trip to the grotto to see its crystal clear waters and mesmerizing colours. While the water can get rather frigid, taking a dip is a must-do experience.
The Cheltenham Badlands are a series of striking rock formations with a characteristic red hue due to iron oxide deposits. Green streaks run along the undulating surface, creating a pattern that looks like something out of Mars. The area was closed a few years ago due to vandalism, but reopened in summer 2018 with new viewing platforms.
Old Woman Bay
Old Woman Bay is one of those rare places that make you gasp in wonder. It boasts some of the most spectacular views around, with 200-metre-tall cliffs and beautiful vistas of Lake Superior. Many people often make day trips to conquer the area's scenic hiking trails, or to relax on the white-sand beaches along the bay.
Bridal Veil Falls
Manitoulin Island, ON
Bridal Veil Falls is a gently rolling waterfall in Manitoulin Island that's perfect for a summer swim. Visitors often spend an entire day at the falls, bringing picnic baskets and hiking equipment with them. There are a couple of other waterfalls nearby, including Whitefish Falls and Chutes Falls in the mainland.
Long Sault Parkway
Long Sault Parkway is the ultimate road trip destination in Ontario. The single road connects 11 separate islands in the St. Lawrence River, each with their own attractions to see and experience. Enjoy over 600 campsites, a variety of biking paths, scenic nature trails, public beaches, private picnic areas, and open-boating spots at the islands.
Lion's Head, ON
Greig's Caves is the perfect place to escape the city's hustle and bustle. It features a network of limestone caves that offer a fun, self-guided experience for hikers of all skill levels. Make sure to bring a flashlight and binoculars, as there are a few dark areas and viewpoints to check out.
This quintessential beach town, located in the Saugeen Shores township, is known for its gorgeous scenery and exciting beach life. The four-kilometre stretch of sand leads up to calm, shallow waters that heat up nicely during the summer. There's also a historic boardwalk, a few playgrounds, and some food stalls.
White River is a 15-kilometre route that cuts through the boreal forests of Pukaskwa National Park. Along the way, you'll come across beaches, waterfalls, coves, wooden boardwalks, and a gorgeous suspension bridge overlooking the river.
Ouimet Canyon is a stunning landform that features gigantic cliffs and a 150-metre river gorge. Explorers can see the canyon from various hiking trails atop the cliffs, or via a suspension footbridge or epic zipline that stretches across the entire canyon. Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park is day-use only, however, there are a few privately owned camping sites nearby for those who'd like to spend the night.