Highlights of Ontario Route – Ottawa/Algonquin/Toronto

Planning a cross-province adventure? Check out the Ontario Parks Driving Routes.

A very popular route with overseas travellers as it provides a sampling of highlights of Ontario, including Toronto, Ottawa and Algonquin Provincial Park.

This is a spectacular route in the fall!

Toronto/Algonquin/Ottawa route

Parks you’ll want to explore en route:*

Arrowhead Provincial Park

Arrowhead fall waterfall

Nestled in the heart of Muskoka, this little gem of a park has lots of fall photo op spots. Walk down to a pretty waterfall or rent a mountain bike and try one of Arrowhead’s designated trails.

Oxtongue River – Ragged Falls Provincial Park

Oxtongue River Ragged Falls

Perfect spot for a picnic! A short hiking trail leads to the waterfall. Depending on the time of year, and with caution, you can climb along the rocks to the bottom of the falls; an equally impressive view!

Algonquin Provincial Park

Algonquin in fall

The essence of Algonquin is in its vast interior of maple hills, rocky ridges, and thousands of lakes. Hike, bike or paddle through its distinctive wilderness, and don’t forget to stop in at the Visitors Centre.

Come fall, Algonquin’s East Gate gets extremely busy. Find solitude at the northern or western edges of the park, or stop in on a weekday.

Rideau River Provincial Park

RideauRiver paddlers

Located on the historic Rideau Waterway (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), the park is an excellent basecamp to explore Ottawa attractions.

Charleston Lake Provincial Park

couple on bridge

Charleston Lake Provincial Park is close to Highway 401 and the Blue Mountain hiking trail affords views from the highest point in the county.

Presqu’ile Provincial Park

lighthouse at Presqu'ile

A spring/fall migration hotspot on the shores of Lake Ontario, 336 bird species have been recorded in the park. The park is also home to the second-oldest operating lighthouse in the province.

Or take an alternate route back to the GTA through Peterborough

Peterborough route

Parks you’ll want to explore en route:*

Silent Lake Provincial Park

SilentLake fall colour bike ride

Silent Lake is a great stop for hiking and mountain biking, and also offers yurt-style roofed accommodation.

Petroglyphs Provincial Park

Petroglyphs visitors centre

North America’s largest concentration of aboriginal rock carvings (“glyphs”) is protected in this park. Visit the Learning Place Visitor Centre to discover the traditions of the Ojibway (Nishnaabe) people through the teachings of the medicine wheel.

Darlington Provincial Park

family with kite on Darlington beach

End your trip at Darlington, located just outside Oshawa and close to drop-off points for rental RVs. Campers love the sandy beach, gentle trails, and sheltered waters of McLaughlin Bay.

*check park opening and closing dates to ensure availability.