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Head Out Hiking on One (or All) of These Beautiful Ontario Trails

Guest Contributor August 23, 2021

1. Georgian Bay Trail.

Where: Bruce Peninsula National Park

Length: 3 kilometres

Time: Three hours

Level of difficulty: Moderate to difficult. Best tackled by active adults and older children.

One of the jewels in Canada, the ever-popular Grotto never fails to dazzle with its intricate caves and mesmerizing turquoise waters. The Georgian Bay Trail hike takes you through wetlands and ancient cedar forests, before delivering breathtaking views over Fathom Five National Marine Park and down to the Grotto.

People hiking and sitting looking at water

2. Fairy Trail

Where: Georgian Bay Islands National Park

Length: 2.5 kilometres

Time: Three to four hours

Level of difficulty: Moderate

Take the DayTripper shuttle boat to Beausoleil Island to tackle the beautiful Fairy Trail, a short loop which takes you through the classic Canadian Shield landscape of white pines, hardwood ravines and shining smooth rocks. Discover the Anishinaabe legend of Miinkekwe and her encounter with the dreadful Migcheshibzhii; see the rugged countryside which inspired the Group of Seven to capture its beauty on canvas and listen out for the family of loons who live on the lake. Make sure to reserve the DayTripper shuttle boat ahead of time.

Woman taking photos on rock with water and trees

3. White River Suspension Bridge Trail is for thrill-seekers.

Where: Pukaskwa National Park

Length: 18 kilometres (return)

Time: Eight to nine hours

Level of difficulty: Difficult. Best for experienced hikers who can tackle obstacles such as loose rocks, tree roots and uneven surfaces. Check in with Parks Canada staff before you set off.

Are you ready for a challenging adventure? The 18 kilometre-long White River Suspension Bridge Trail will take you the entire day. Part of Pukaskwa’s 60km Coastal Hiking Trail, this section takes you on a suspension bridge 23 metres above the roaring Chigamiwinigum Falls. You’ll pass boreal forests and secluded beaches along the way.

Man and woman on bridge

4. Nipigon River Recreation Trail.

Where: Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area

Length: 10.1 kilometres one-way

Time: Three to five hours

Level of difficulty: Difficult. Best for experienced day-hikers only. Don’t forget to check in at the visitor’s centre and let people know your plans.

Challenge yourself to one of the toughest hikes in the area, the Nipigon River Recreation Trail, a full day’s adventure. This trail takes you along Lake Superior’s rugged shoreline with plenty of viewing platforms along the way. Look out for bald eagles soaring above, blue herons and white pelicans delicately perched on the water’s edge.

Safety first.

It’s always important to be prepared when you’re heading out on a day-hike. Make sure you let people know where you’re going and ensure that your hiking shoes fit properly. Pack plenty of food and snacks and bring lots of water.

Don’t forget to wear a hat, like the practical sun-protective Tilley Hiker’s Hat. It’s designed with an evaporative cooling insert that helps relieve heat stress during treks.

There’s no excuse not to bring emergency supplies: the lightweight, and inexpensive, Mountain Series Hiker Medical Kit contains emergency supplies for two people for two days and can clip to your backpack.

Woman hiking with purple backpack

Rent a car to take you there.

No car to take you to get you to the trail head? No problem. CAA Members get exclusive discounts and benefits* when they rent a car online. To put your mind at ease about renting a car during covid, read our guide of everything you need to know about renting a car right now.

For more great day-hikes:

Get even more information about hiking in Ontario – and in other Canadian provinces – when you download the Parks Canada App. It has all-new trail maps to use offline as well as insider hiking tips.

For more Ontario adventure ideas:

Discover more summer adventures close to home by visiting caasco.com/hiddengems or by calling 1-800-992-8143 to speak with an experienced CAA Travel expert.

Check regional policies and any local restrictions before you travel.

TICO Ont. Reg. #50014517. CAA Travel (South Central Ontario) Inc., 60 Commerce Valley Drive East, Thornhill, ON L3T 7P9.