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Ontario Parks

Hiking Basics

When hiking it’s important to be prepared for anything, especially if you’re new to hiking at Ontario Parks or any other wilderness trail. Here are some easy tips to follow:

  1. Choose your trail. Ontario Parks has over 2,000 km of trails ranging from short, self-guided walks to more challenging treks. Find the trail that is right for you:
    • How long is the hike?
    • What’s the skill level?
    • How far can the members of your group hike (especially young children)?
    • Are there places to swim and picnic along the trail?
  2. Be prepared. Study the trail map and give yourself enough time to complete the trail. Plan to make it off the trail before the sun goes down.
  3. Check out the Visitor Centre for hiking ideas and information, including trail maps. Staff can tell you about different animals you might encounter while on the trails.
  4. Bring a backpack to carry your supplies like food and water.
  5. Carry insect repellent, sunscreen, a snack, plenty of water, and a small first aid kit with you. Make sure you are prepared for weather conditions – you might need a jacket, even in the summer.
  6. Sturdy footwear is essential for hiking. Although sandals are good on a beach or near the water, closed-toe shoes are best on rocky terrain.
  7. Never hike at night!

Pro tip: visit our 4 tips for a safe hike blog post for more information on hiking safely.

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