hikers on trails

14 must-see Ontario trails

Happy Trails Week!

Whether you’re conquering a rocky scramble or taking a leisurely stroll across a boardwalk, we’ve got the perfect trail for you.

How many of these must-see trails from around the province have you explored?

Neys Provincial Park

Pic Island Overlook Trail

Pic Island lookout and button

Hike up this rustic roadbed to the pagoda and enjoy a spectacular iconic view of Lake Superior. Stand in the place where Lawren Harris of the Group of Seven captured and immortalized Pic Island in his sketches and paintings. Capture your moment, then sit next to the artist’s easel (interpretive panel) and read more about the Group of Seven.

Don’t forget to take a selfie at the top and show it to staff at the visitor centre to receive your “I hiked to Pic Island Overlook” button!

  • Distance: 4.5 km one way, 9 km return
  • Difficulty: intermediate/advanced (due to steep steady climb uphill)

René Brunelle Provincial Park

La Vigilance Trail

hiker on • La Vigilance Trail at René Brunelle

The path follows the shoreline of Remi Lake through the boreal forest, with views out across the lake. One shoreline opening looks out at Airplane Island, home of a 1920s floatplane base for fire-spotting aircraft. Forest fire-fighting was in its infancy in the 1920s, and airplanes has only been around for a couple of decades, but the deadly Matheson Fire of 1916 caused Ontario to create a fire-fighting organisation. “La Vigilance” refers to being on the lookout for forest fires.

  • Distance: 5 km
  • Difficulty: easy

Rondeau Provincial Park

Tulip Tree Trail

Tulip Tree Trail boardwalk

This barrier-free trail provides a close up look at Rondeau’s beautiful old growth Carolinian forest. Hikers will be awed by the towering Tulip Trees and be surrounded by rare southern species like Sassafras and Shagbark Hickory trees.

This trail consists of many boardwalks where you can stop to get a great look at the sloughs and the wildlife that inhabit them. Birdwatchers flock to this trail in May to enjoy the songbird migration and hope to catch a rare glimpse of the endangered Prothonotary Warbler in its prime breeding habitat. During the summer months, it’s not uncommon  to see a bright blue flash as a Common Five-lined Skink dashes across the trail.

  • Distance: 1.2 km
  • Difficulty: easy (and barrier-free!)

Arrowhead Provincial Park

Stubb’s Falls Trail

waterfalls and bridge

Who doesn’t love waterfalls? At Stubb’s Falls, the Little East River rushes down a rock chute.

In spring, enjoy truly spectacular blankets of trilliums. In fall, this trail is great for leafy colours.

  • Distance: 2 km
  • Difficulty: easy

Murphys Point Provincial Park

Silver Queen Mine Trail

Ore Wagon at Silver Queen Mine

From the Lally Homestead, the Silver Queen Mine Trail leads to the restored, early-1900s, partially open pit mica mine. Take in heritage displays and check out the rebuilt miners’ bunkhouse. Access into the mine and the bunkhouse is available during mine tours only.

  • Distance: 2 km partial loop
  • Difficulty: easy

Esker Lakes Provincial Park

Lonesome Bog Trail

Esker Lakes landscape

Esker Lakes is on the largest esker/moraine in Ontario. The trail circles a small, scenic boreal forest lake, crossing a treed bog at one end. Interpretive panels along the trail tell the story of the lake and bog, and point out some of the other features like glacial erratics moved by glacial ice from the far north.

The mix of forest and wetland habitat are a magnet for birds – the boreal forest is known as the “songbird nursery.”

  • Distance: 1.5 km loop
  • Difficulty: easy

Sauble Falls Provincial Park

Sauble Trail

Sauble Trail

The Sauble Trail travels through a mixed forest of hardwoods and red pine plantation. An interpretive leaflet, with marked stops along the trail, explains current and historic forest management practices in the area. This trail also travels through an area of ancient sand dunes so for their protection, is for hiking only, no bicycles allowed.

  • Distance: 2.5 km loop
  • Difficulty: easy

Bonnechere Provincial Park

Footprints in Time (FIT) Trail

The trail follows the meandering Bonnechere River. The trail features very innovative posts or “museums-on-a-stick.” It’s a great way for kids to explore while learning more about traditional Indigenous knowledge and park history. Some of the signposts feature instructions for on the spot activities and sensory games.

  • Distance: 2 km loop
  • Difficulty: easy

Blue Lake Provincial Park

Spruce Fen Trail

Spruce Fen Trail boardwalk

A “fen” is a fascinating world where land floats on water, plants eat animals and creatures of the water can fly. Spruce Fen Trail takes you through a black spruce fen and beaver pond environment. The trail is boardwalk-ed to protect the fen, and is also wheelchair accessible.

  • Distance: 1 km loop
  • Difficulty: easy (barrier-free)

Restoule Provincial Park

Fire Tower Trail

hikers on Fire Tower Trail

This scenic trail passes through a variety of deciduous forest habitats, past streams and ponds, eventually climbing to the top of “The Bluff” above Stormy Lake (Bald Eagles have been seen flying past the edge of the 100 m cliff).

Gaze out over the surrounding lakes and forests (breathtaking in the fall). An historic still-standing fire tower sits atop the hill, once used to spot forest fires.

  • Distance: 7 km loop
  • Difficulty: moderate (several steep rocky climbs)

Sharbot Lake Provincial Park

Discovery Trail

hiker on Sharbot Lake Discovery Trail

Follow this trail along the ridge of land that divides Black Lake and Sharbot Lake. Hike through stands of maple, oak and birch and see a dramatic change in topography. From the top of the ridge, you can see both lakes.

  • Distance: 1.2 km loop
  • Difficulty: moderate

Algonquin Provincial Park

Logging Museum Trail

Log Chute along the Logging Museum Trail

This trail is like a walking outdoor museum, interactive and great for kids (they like to climb on train and the “Alligator” steam-powered tugboat)

This trail is also wheelchair and stroller friendly

  • Distance: 1.3 km
  • Difficulty: easy (barrier-free)

Quetico Provincial Park

Pines Hiking Trail

Quetico hiker

An extension of the Whiskey Jack Trail, Pines Trail takes in a sandy beach guarded by a stand of majestic old-growth Red and White Pine. Enjoy the solitude of the walk, picnic on the beaches of Pickerel Lake, or venture into the interior. The trail includes moderate to steep climbs.

  • Distance: 10 km
  • Difficulty: moderate

Killarney Provincial Park

Lake of the Woods Trail

Lake of the Woods Killarney

A great alternate to some of the better-known Killarney trails, this one circles tiny Lake of the Woods in Killarney’s east end. For the best route, take the trail to the right as it forks, and climb up above Lake of the Woods, along rocky heights on its west side, with views of Silver Peak in the La Cloche Mountains off in the distance. After the route down, a boardwalk extends the trail to a small island in the lake.

  • Distance: 3.5 km
  • Difficulty: moderate to difficult

A few safety tips

  • Plan ahead and share your itinerary with a family member or friend
  • Always carry a map, compass and flashlight
  • Get all necessary park permits before heading out
  • Bring enough water, ensure you’ve eaten well and pack snacks
  • Bank on getting your feet wet crossing creek beds
  • Get an early start. Trail sections often take longer than planned
  • Wait a day or two for trails to dry out after a heavy rainfall
  • Wear proper footwear
  • Consider hiking poles for steep climbs
  • Bring rain gear, even if the weather forecast is good
  • Give yourself enough time to complete the trail before dark

Follow your feet to Ontario Parks

hiker on trail

We know you’ll find time to get out hiking at least once for Trails Week! Try one of our 14 suggested trails or find a park near you with our Park Locator.

Happy trails!