Even though Ontario’s highest mountain, at 693 meters, pales in contrast to peaks in the Yukon, British Columbia, and Alberta, the province is home to some of the country’s longest routes, many of which are placed in scenic settings. After all, trails longer than 100 km, 500 km, and 800 km are available in kinder environments for multi-night hikers.
Furthermore, just because you’re not in the mountains doesn’t imply nothing is interesting to gaze at. The shoreline of Lake Superior, a dizzying escarpment, boardwalk-dotted marshes, the exposed Canadian Shield, First Nations petroglyphs, old trappers’ huts, and much more are all present.
Despite Ontario’s size and abundance of trails, we were able to narrow down the 15 best hikes in Ontario.
1. La Cloche Silhouette Trail and Big Pines Hiking Trail
1.1. La Cloche Silhouette Trail
One of the best walks in Ontario may be found at Killarney Provincial Park in Northern Ontario. Most hikers need five to 10 days to finish the 73 km La Cloche Silhouette Trail loop.
La Cloche Silhouette Trail is one of the best hikes in Ontario out of all the best hikes in Ontario.
The famed Group of Seven painters Franklin Carmicheal and other well-known Canadian artists like Tom Thompson were both inspired by the beauty on the La Cloche Silhouette trail, which rewards intrepid hikers with a taste of it. You should prepare ahead of time for this trek due to its length and multiple creek crossings.
Because of this Ontario hike’s relative accessibility, you must reserve the campsites far in advance if you intend to attempt it. This Ontario hiking trail has 54 campsites spread out along it.
Remember that this challenging climb in Ontario is not for the faint of heart. The loop begins and ends at the George Lake Campground and takes an average of seven days to complete. The trail has many rocky and steep sections. You’ll traverse quartzite hills along the route and take in some of Ontario’s most breathtaking scenery.
1.2. Big Pines Hiking Trail
The Big Pines hiking trail, a 2.9-kilometer path through a forest and past the ruins of an 1880s logging camp, is located at kilometer 40.3 on highway 60. The ruins are completely enclosed and invisible to the untrained eye. The purpose of this hike is to view some enormous white pine trees and learn a little about the region’s logging history. The enormous trees strewn along the trail are still there because they were spared when the region was logged.
Near the beginning of the trail, which is traveled counterclockwise, is where most of these large pines are found. The trail then travels by the site of the former logging camp before making a loop that traverses a wetland area.
A trail guide, available at the beginning of the trip, corresponds to signposts along the route, covers the area’s history, and offers details on the trees.
Although there are some hills and uneven ground, this is a reasonably easy walk. Although the park recommends two hours for this hike, it can easily be finished in one to 1.5 hours.
Simply enter marker three or four if you don’t have much time but still want to view some large white trees. The biggest tree on the trail may be found at milepost three, but just beyond that are some towering pine trees growing over enormous rocks, with exposed tangled roots flowing down over the boulders.
2. Cup And Saucer Trail
Manitoulin Island, the largest island in a freshwater lake in the world, is primarily flat. However, those who trek to the island’s eastern half can find one of Ontario’s top hikes.
The 14-kilometer, moderately tough Cup and Saucer Trail frequently ranks among the most breathtaking walks in North America, and the views from the summit never let you down.
A trip to the island is made unforgettable by the trek, which is situated between the settlements of M’Cheegeeng and Sheguiandah. Additionally, while you’re there, you may learn about all the amazing things Manitoulin Island has to offer.
You must go on the Cup And Saucer Trail because it is one of the best hikes in Ontario.
This Manitoulin Island hiking trail can be as easy or challenging as you like. It has hikes that last anywhere from 15 minutes to four hours. However, those who take the hike to the cliffs will be rewarded with vistas that appear to encompass the entire island.
It takes a tough hike up the side Adventure Trail to reach the island’s highest peak. This difficult and rocky ascent necessitates some crazy scrambling through tight spaces and other obstacles.
3. Shield Trail
One of the wonderful provincial parks in Ontario is Bon Echo. You have lovely bays and campgrounds on one side. The 100-meter-high Mazinaw Rock cliffs are located on the other side.
Of its scenery, Mazinaw Rock is included on our list of the best hikes in Ontario. The 4.8 km cliff-top walk is not particularly challenging. But to get to the three cliff-top viewing decks, you’ll have to climb.
The Mugwump Ferry costs a few dollars to cross Mazinaw Lake to the cliffs if you don’t have your canoe. Only water may be used to access the trail.
The ferry also functions as a sightseeing excursion. Along the route, you can see indigenous pictographs painted on the Mazinaw cliff’s walls that are barely above the river.
4. Coastal Hiking Trail and Talus Lake Trail
4.1. Coastal Hiking Trail
Few places in Ontario have the same sense of isolation and untamed nature as the seaside route in Pukaskwa National Park. Both Pukaskwa’s beauty and accessibility are challenging. Rare adventurers who reach this remote region between White River and Thunder Bay will find unspoiled Lake Superior shorelines and breathtaking vistas.
Coastal Hiking Trail is one of the best hikes in Ontario out of all the hikes in Ontario.
One of the most beautiful sites in Ontario may very well be found along the Pukaskwa National Park Coastal Trail, which is undeveloped and harsh. The coastal campgrounds are fantastic. Additionally, the five-day climb assures that only the brave endeavor is made to take in the views.
Along the journey, you can anticipate encountering lichen-covered rocks, beaches littered with driftwood, and a few through-hikers.
The White River Suspension Bridge is reached after the first section of the Coastal Trail trek. This breathtaking bridge towers a whopping 23 meters over the White River and Cigamiwinigum Falls. An 18-km roundtrip day trip is also popular for this portion of the trail.
4.2. Talus Lake Trail
This challenging trail connects the Sawyer Bay Trail with the Kabeyun Trail (south) and is well known for its animal viewing during certain times of the year. It runs between Thunder Mountain and Sleeping Giant. Three hidden lakes, a sedge meadow, breathtaking cliffs, talus slopes, and a small waterfall are all passed by on this route. When it’s raining, be cautious.
The fabled Sleeping Giant is located near Thunder Bay on the southernmost point of this rough peninsula. Explore the backcountry by going far into its boreal forests or climb the giant’s rocky peak for unrivaled vistas of Lake Superior. In the extensive forests and lowlands of the park, keep an eye out for deer, moose, and other large creatures.
5. Spencer Creek Gorge To Old Dundas Loop
The best treks in Ontario don’t have to be in the wilderness. Hamilton, Ontario’s Spencer Creek Gorge to Old Dundas Loop trek offers breathtaking beauty in a city context.
Hamilton’s waterfalls are well known. And to display breathtaking views of the Niagara Escarpment, this hike in Ontario will lead you through forests and the Spencer Creek Valley.
Tew’s Falls and Webster Falls can be seen on the route. For children and couples, this hike in Ontario is ideal. It showcases some of Ontario’s natural beauty and is well-maintained and simple to use.
6. Grand Valley Trail and Fire Tower Trail
6.1. Grand Valley Trail
Between Rock Point Provincial Park, Ontario, on Lake Erie, and the town of Alton, close to Orangeville, Ontario, the Grand Valley Trail is a recognized walking path that spans more than 275 kilometers.
The Grand Valley Trails Association, a nonprofit volunteer organization, looks after the trail. A ten-person board of directors oversees the Grand Valley Trails Association, a nonprofit organization, and they are chosen annually at the annual public meeting.
The association’s mission is to create and maintain paths for hiking in the Grand River Valley.
This fascinating trail is primarily covered in trees and offers views of the Grand River. During the summer, you will go on adventures through the bush, so long pants and closed-toe shoes are advised. After a rainstorm, the trail would be very slick and muddy. Be aware that there are some steep sections. There is also a wooden ladder to climb over a fence.
Overall, the route follows a simple trail, making it excellent on a beautiful bright day with good weather. All of the animals will be visible when you move through the fields.
6.2. Fire Tower Trail
The Sunday Creek valley is visible from the summit of this accessible walk, which is 200 meters (660 feet) roundtrip. It leads to a cupola replica once perched atop steel fire towers in Algonquin Park. Read the exhibit panels along the way and learn more about fire and the fire towers in Algonquin Park.
On the site of a former fire tower, this walk leads to the ruins of an old ranger home. Follow the Sulphur Springs path for about a mile from the top parking area until you see the Firetower trail split off to the left. The trail is 1.5 miles one way and 3 miles round trip.
This old, fairly straight, steep road bed rewards you with some beautiful views of the mountains in the area. As you pass through poplar, maple, oak, and pine woods mixed with open spaces covered in wild berries and long grasses, you will gain 400 feet in height.
7. Kabeyun South Trail And Top Of The Giant
The views appear to get grander the further north you go in Ontario. And that unquestionably applies to Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, which is close to Thunder Bay. Some of the nicest views in the province may be found on the Top of the Giant trek.
The hard ascent on this 22 km round-trip trail leads to some of the most breathtaking vistas of Lake Superior from the soaring Sleeping Giant rocks.
Take this hike seriously. Your breath will be taken away by the climb. However, the 5-7 hour round trip is worthwhile. The 2.7 km Top of the Giant trek is an option if the entire Kabeyun trail seems like too much for you to handle.
8. Bluff Trail And Ganaraska Hiking Trail
8.1. Bluff Trail
One of the numerous Ontario Provincial Parks that doesn’t receive the recognition it merits is Awenda Provincial Park, which is about two hours north of Toronto. The longest section of old-growth, deciduous forests in the nation can be found in Awenda. Additionally, it is the location of one of Ontario’s most stunning walks.
The Bluff Trail is a pleasant 8 km circle that travels through some of central Ontario’s best foliage. It is even more beautiful in the fall. It is, without a doubt, one of the best hikes in Ontario.
Awenda Provincial Park may be found two hours north of Toronto, close to Penetanguishene on Georgian Bay. The largest stand of old-growth deciduous woodland in Canada may be found there.
Additionally, even though it’s not a difficult hike, you can still finish it with a cool plunge into the ocean.
8.2. Ganaraska Hiking Trail
The nine organisations that make up the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association Inc. maintain the Ganaraska Hiking Trail, a 500-kilometer recreational trail that connects Port Hope on Lake Ontario to the Bruce Trail in Collingwood with branch trails to Wasaga Beach and Midland.
Try out this 30.9-km roundtrip track that runs close to Minden Hills, Ontario. This course, typically regarded as difficult, can be completed in an average of 8 hours and 6 minutes.
Although camping, birding, and trekking are popular activities along this route, you can still find some peace and quiet there during the slower times of the day.
The route is open throughout the year and is lovely to explore. Dogs are permitted off-leash in some locations.
9. Barron Canyon Trail
Undoubtedly one of Ontario’s largest provincial parks is Algonquin. Backcountry travelers seeking to sail the many lakes of Ontario’s Muskoka region are particularly fond of this park.
The Barron Canyon is undoubtedly Algonquin Park’s most picturesque hike. The north rim of Barron Canyon is explored on this short 1.5 km circle.
This hike is among the best in Ontario, only for the vistas of the 100-meter-deep canyon. The canyon is home to numerous bird species, unusual vegetation, and stunning rock formations.
Try the 11-kilometer Mizzy Lake hike if you’re seeking a lengthier hiking trail in Algonquin Provincial Park. The numerous ponds, lakes, and wooded areas along this route provide some breathtaking vistas.
10. Orchard Trail
The only urban national park in Canada is Rouge National Urban Park. It’s in Toronto, Ontario, just beside the Rouge River. The Orchard Trail, one of Ontario’s most breathtaking hikes, is located in this urban park and is accessible via public transportation. This two-kilometer, one-way route is short but sweet and provides a fascinating look at how nature is recovering cities.
Swans frequently live in the man-made wetlands that the trail passes through. Additionally, apple orchards date back to the first European settlements that formerly provided hundreds of years of sustenance for pioneering families.
11. Bruce Trail
Covering the entire 890 kilometers of the Bruce Trail for ardent hikers is a must-do. It extends northward to Georgian Bay on Lake Huron from the impressive Niagara Falls.
Bruce Hiking Trail is one of the best hikes in Ontario out of all the hikes in Ontario.
For the rest of us, it’s a good thing that this difficult hiking track can be broken up into manageable chunks. Hamilton is a great beginning place for hikers who want to experience one of this trail’s most gorgeous sections because of its location on the Niagara Escarpment, designated a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.
Along the way, you’ll pass by some of the escarpment’s most stunning waterfalls, including the lovely Canterbury Falls. The Bruce Trail directly crosses the falls, situated in the Dundas Valley Conservation Area a short distance west of Hamilton’s central business district.
12. White River Suspension Bridge Hiking Trail and Casque Isles Trail
12.1. White River Suspension Bridge Hiking Trai
The famed White River suspension bridge must be mentioned on any list of climbs in Ontario. You will travel across Canadian Shield, wetlands, and dense forests for a long day. You will reach Playter Harbor’s isolated beach about halfway along the walk. Grab a bite to eat and take in the scenery before moving on.
To truly appreciate the bridge, one must visit it. It is an incredible journey, rising 76 feet above Chigamiwinigum Falls and spanning almost 100 feet.
12.2. Casque Isles Trail
One of the top 10 treks in Ontario, the Casque Isles Trail is an adventurer’s dream come true and more! The best path in Northwestern Ontario is this one.
The 53 km (33 miles)-long trail, which connects Terrace Bay, Schreiber, and Rossport, winds along Lake Superior’s north shore and offers some of the lake’s most stunning views. You’ll be carried away as you trek from one lovely bay to the next.
The Casque Isles Trail, maintained by the dedicated volunteers of the Casques Isles Hiking Club, is a crucial portion of both The Great Trail and the Voyageur Hiking Trail.
However, it is rated as challenging. But not to worry, as the trail has numerous moderately challenging portions. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an expert; the 53 km long trek may be completed in little chunks or all at once, thanks to the trail’s five segments and 11 access points.
Each part, which is broken up as follows, varies in length and difficulty:
- McLean’s | 14 km (8.70 miles)
- Schreiber Channel | 13 km (8.07 miles)
- Mount Gwynne | 7 km (4.35 miles)
- Death Valley | 10 km (6.21 miles)
- Hydro Bay walk around | 3 km (1.86 miles)
- Lyda Bay | 6 km (3.73 miles)
For those looking to spend the night and take in the majesty of Lake Superior, its ruggedly unspoiled coasts, and the captivating stars of the trail’s dark skies, there are also several unofficial campsites along the route.
13. Pukaskwa Coastal Hike – Lake Superior North Shore
The Pukaskwa Coastal Hike is regarded as one of Canada’s most difficult hiking trails and is also highly scenic and secluded. The 65-kilometer Lake Superior Coastal Trail travels from Agawa Bay to Gargantua Bay.
The trail is strenuous and lasts several days. Visit our trek in Pukaskwa National Park to learn more about this magnificent coastline trail.
14. Silver Queen Mine Trail
The amazing Silver Queen Mine Trail can be summed up as short, sweet, and historic. It is one of Ontario’s top hiking paths, even though it is slightly more than a mile long.
The historical mica mine that was a significant contributor to the neighborhood’s economy in the 20th century is reached by this well-kept trail. Although the mine is still partially functioning today, trekking is the best way to explore it. The bunker house, which once served as the employees’ housing for the mine, will be fun to explore for both kids and adults.
In addition, because it is not a difficult hike, this trail is ideal for families looking to include an outdoor activity on their agenda for Ontario.
15. Mizzy Lake Trail – Algonquin Provincial Park
It is advised to leave early to make the most of the Mizzy Lake Trail. The king of Ontario parks, Algonquin Provincial Park, contains this walk. On one of Ontario’s most beautiful hiking trails, you will encounter nine ponds along the way and several tiny lakes.
As you approach Mizzy Lake’s northern edge, the path transforms into a boardwalk, taking you to an area where moose, otters, and birds can all be seen in plenty. For this reason, getting up early will improve your chances of spotting wildlife. To get back to the trailhead, take a left turn into the boreal forest.
I sincerely hope you liked reading about the top hikes in Ontario and were motivated to try several of them if you haven’t already.
When visiting Ontario, don’t pass up the chance to go on a trek; there are many breathtaking hikes there. Plan your trip to Ontario as soon as possible; it is worthwhile.