person sitting at picnic table

5 reasons to visit Halfway Lake Provincial Park

Halfway Lake Provincial Park features over 4,000 ha of rugged, forested Canadian Shield, dotted with sparkling blue lakes.

Less than an hour north of Sudbury on Highway 144, the park boasts an oasis of swimming, paddling, and hiking with a full service campground.

Here are five reasons we think Halfway Lake will delight family campers and explorers alike:

1. Explore the bountiful boreal forest

Halfway Lake is located just 70 km from downtown Sudbury, but sits at the southern edge of the vast boreal forest, providing a glimpse of one of the world’s largest ecosystems.

The landscape is dominated by Jack Pine, Black Spruce, and Trembling Aspen, with the occasional towering White Pine.

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Jack Pine along the shores of Raven Lake on the Hawk Ridge Trail

The park is a great spot for birding. Many forest-loving bird species, like warblers, grouse, and woodpeckers, can be seen and heard. Hawks, Osprey, and Bald Eagles can be seen soaring overhead.

Moose are sometimes spotted in park wetlands munching on water lily roots. Park staff have even seen the elusive lynx!

2.  A unique geological landscape

A huge meteorite struck the Sudbury region 1.85 billion years ago. Halfway Lake lies within the affected area.

The crater was once 200 km across. Erosion and glaciation over time have reduced the basin to an area 60 km by 30 km, located 40 km to the south of the park.

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The hills of the Canadian Shield light up with boreal colours in late September

The park protects part of the Canadian Shield, an ancient expanse of bedrock, billions of years old.

The hard rock of the Shield resists erosion. It took millennia of water and glacial ice to shape this rock into the hills, valleys, lakes, and rivers we see today.

All that dramatic geological history makes for a scenic landscape that’s ripe for recreational pursuits.

3. Trails for days!

The park’s combination of boreal forest and rugged landscape creates a hiker’s paradise.

Halfway Lake has four hiking trails. Three trails are looped together, with the same starting point at the trailhead.

Moose Ridge is a short 2 km trail with a lookout in the middle. Check out the view!

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The view from Moose Ridge Trail

The 6 km Echo Pond Trail takes hikers through the boreal forest and some of the rugged uplands.

Hawk Ridge is the longest trail in the park at 15 km. It provides keen hikers with a challenging day hike or overnight backcountry hike.

Hawk Ridge’s backcountry campsites give a taste of remoteness with only a day’s hike out or less!

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Hawk Ridge Trail

Osprey Heights is also a challenging trail, following an upland ridge out to a spectacular lookout high above Antrim Lake. At 6 km, it’s a great option for a half-day hike!

Lookout over a lake with trees.
Osprey Heights Trail

**Note: Osprey Heights Trail is closed at this time due to ongoing trail maintenance**

Remember: these trails are rated moderate to difficult. Be sure to wear good solid hiking footwear, and take water, a snack (or your lunch for longer hikes), and a park map.

Learn more about hiking safety here.

4. Lovely lakes 

The rocky hills and boreal forest cradle a number of sparkling blue lakes.

All the park’s trails either pass right by some of the many lakes, or provide a spectacular lookout over one.

You can get up close and personal with them by paddling a canoe, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard — the park rents all three.

lake

Follow the Two Narrows Canoe Route through a chain of lakes, beginning on Halfway Lake and passing south into Bailey Lake. You may see nesting Bald Eagles, a Great Blue Heron rookery, and the origins of a forest fire that burned the southeast corner of the park in 2007.

From there, a series of portages and small lakes takes you deep into the heart of the park to Two Narrows Lake.

Located at the northern edge of the park, Antrim Lake is accessed on the east side of Highway 144. This day trip offers tall cliffs and ample wildlife viewing opportunities.

5. Take a dip

While many Sudbury-area locals flock to Windy Lake Provincial Park, Halfway Lake is a short drive north and has an excellent beach.

Halfway Lake beach
Halfway Lake Beach

The fine sand and shallow waters in the buoyed areas of the park’s two beaches are perfect for families.

The south-facing beach is typically warmer. On sunny days, the breeze pushes the warmest water to the surface.

Dog swimming in lake.

Visitors with pets will love the park’s new dog beach! Dogs much be leashed on shore, but can enjoy an off-leash swim.

Children and non-swimmers should wear a PFD when near the water.

Bonus: more fun nearby!

Sudbury’s top attractions are only an hour away!

Science-lovers should check out Science North and Dynamic Earth. See porcupines and flying squirrels, witness science demonstrations, and learn more about that meteorite and the minerals it created.

Visit festivals like Northern Lights Festival Boréal, a musical celebration of folk, French, and Indigenous music, and the Sudbury Blueberry Festival, which is, of course, all about blueberries. Yum!

This could be you!

person sitting at picnic table

Halfway Lake’s campground has electrical and non-electrical sites, comfort stations with washrooms, showers, and laundry facilities, rentals (canoes, kayaks, paddleboards), and Discovery programs (in July and August).

The park is open until September 26, 2021.

Book your trip today!