5 family friendly hikes at Ontario Parks

Want a fun way to bond with your kids, get some decent exercise and enjoy Mother Nature? Take a hike at Ontario Parks. Here are five parks with hiking trails that are easy day trips from Ontario’s major urban centres:
 

 Fall is an especially good time to head to Chutes Provincial Park  near Sudbury.  The Twin Bridges Trail, which follows the shore of the Aux Sables River, starts at the big chute the park is named for, but also provides enticing views of the river gorge and its many smaller waterfalls, nicknamed the “Seven Sisters.  The added bonus in fall is the reflections  of red, gold and orange of the maples, birch and poplar in the dancing waters of the river as they tumble through the cataracts and falls.  The trail is wide, surfaced and rated as easy – ideal for families.  There are lookout platforms and benches at key points – no sense rushing in a setting like this.

Chutes Provincial Park in autumn

 In or near Thunder Bay?  Pigeon River Provincial Park is a good bet if you like waterfalls and panoramic views. This day-use park is open all year, has two sets of waterfalls, and several hiking options. For a short hike and a great view of Lake Superior, try the Boardwalk Trail. The steeper Finger Point Trail is a good challenge if you have older kids. It also has a panoramic view of the lake as well as the shores of Canada and the USA. More trails are described here.   

 

You could call Murphys Point Provincial Park a ghost town. In the early 1900s, this park was a little mining community on Big Rideau Lake near Perth, southwest of Ottawa. Two restored pioneer homesteads and the abandoned Silver Queen Mine are still here. Five hiking trails include one leading down to the restored partially open pit mine. You’ll find trail descriptions here.

Silver Queen Mine at Murphys Point Provincial Park

 

One of the best things about The Pinery Provincial Park, near London, is that it’s open all year. This popular park west of London, Ontario, has 10 dynamite hiking trails plus a 10 km Lake Huron beach to walk. If your kids prefer biking, try Pinery’s 14 km Savanna Trail.

 

Bronte Creek Provincial Park ,  is open all year. This urban island of green in Oakville west of Toronto, is a corridor of trees, plants, birds and other wildlife. There are six hiking trails to choose from plus a 19th century farm with live farm animals for kids to see. 

 

Bronte Creek Provincial Park in autumn

 

This Park Blog post has more hiking suggestions.