4 of the Best National Parks in Ontario

national parks in ontario

National Parks are the treasures of the most stunning landscapes, historical sites, wildlife, and marine life. National Parks are created to preserve and protect endangered wildlife, historical sites, and cultural heritage.

Every year, they attract millions of people, whether solo backpacking or group camping; national parks are always a treat.

They have everything for every age group from hiking, swimming, kayaking, exploring caves, scuba diving, bird watching, learning about the wildlife, marine life, and the traditional tribes that still reside in the parks.

There are many national parks in Ontario worth visiting in 2022; we have curated a list below of the most visited national parks in Ontario, so make sure to check them out.

1. Pukaskwa National Park

Pukaskwa national park is one the largest national parks in Ontario, with a spread of 1880 square kilometers, and it is one of the remote national parks in Ontario. Established in 1978, Pukaskwa National Park is located in Northern Ontario, on the shoreline of Lake Superior.

The closest commercial airport to Pukaskwa National Park is Thunder bay which is 3 and half hour drive, and the next closest airport is Sault Ste. Marie, it is a 5-hour drive. You can only visit the park between June to August.

The admission fees are free up to 17 years of age; for others, it mostly depends on the season.

National Parks in Ontario

By Mark Harris/ Flickr

Wildlife at Pukaskwa national park

Animals like grey wolves, black bears, moose, beavers, river otters, lynx, peregrine falcons, and bald eagles are found in this park. Pukaskwa National Park is home to many hiking trails, making it one of the most popular activities in the park.

Activities to look out for at Pukaskwa National Park

It has a 60km long coastal trail, so hikers make sure to pack the best set of hiking shoes to take advantage of your time here. There are numerous campsites along the trail.

Other activities to look out for are boating, day paddling, fishing, geocaching, picnicking, kayaking, canoeing, and much more. You can even participate in Anishinaabe Camp, where you learn the traditional practices, culture, heritage, and lifestyle of the Anishinaaek people who still reside there.

Accommodation arrangement when visiting Pukaskwa National Park

There are three types of accommodation facilities in the park: front-country camping, back-country camping, and oTENTik camping. Frontcountry Camping is only available at Hattie Cove Campground; Hattie Cove has 67vehicle-accessible campsites, accommodating one vehicle and up to 6 people in two tents or one trailer/recreational vehicle with an additional tent or a dining shelter.

Campsites are available first-come-first-serve basis only. back-country campsites provide a fire pit, food locker, and private toilets. Tbackcountrytry campsites are only available on a reservation; you can reserve yours here.

The latest edition in lodgings here at the park is Otentiks, a perfect blend of outdoor adventure and the comfort of a bed. Each oTENTik has three and can easily accommodate 6 people.

2. Bruce Peninsula National Park

Founded in 1987, Bruce Peninsula National Park is situated near Tobermory, on the bruce peninsula in Ontario, Canada. This national park is a part of the Niagra Escaparment. It encompasses 156 square kilometers and is considered one of the largest protected areas in Southern Ontario.

Approximately 2,15,000 people visit this park every year. It is one of the busiest national parks in Ontario. Scientists believe that approximately 400 million years ago, this area was covered by a shallow tropical sea. To testify to the theory, fossils of marine life are still found in the rocks.

The park is best known for its Orchids; there are nearly 34 species in the park itself, 2/3 of all orchid species found in Ontario.

4 of the Best National Parks in Ontario 1

By Timothy Neesam/Flickr

Wildlife at Bruce Peninsula National Park

In the caves of this park, 7 of Ontario’s 8 bat species are found. It is home to animals like deer, beaver, fox, fisher, porcupine, otter, chipmunks, squirrels, red foxes, raccoons, coyotes, black bear, skunks, and many more.

This park protects species of reptiles in danger of extinction, namely, Spotted Turtle and Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake.

Activities to look out for at Bruce Peninsula National Park

One of the most renowned tourist attractions at this park is The Grotto, and it is a dreamlike swimming hole in a cave. People travel from all over the world hike out on the bruce trail to see this beautiful sea cave. There are many trails to explore for hikers, such as Cyprus lake trail, Georgian Bay, Marr Lake Trail, Horse Lake Trail, and Singing Sands.

Other activities here are swimming, camping, fishing, and bird watching. If you decide to spend the night, you are in luck; in the year 2009, this park was designated as the “Dark Sky Preserve” so you can have a good look at the stars without any pollution.

3. Thousand Islands National Park

Thousand Islands National Park (Formerly known as St Lawrence Islands National Park until 2013 ) is situated on the 1000 Islands in the Thousand Islands Region of the St Lawrence River. It is one oldest and smallest national parks, with a total area of 24.4 square kilometers.

This park comprises Mallorytown Landing inland, over 26 islands, and about 90 smaller islets. The park is located in the Frontenac Biosphere Reserve, an area known to have the greatest biBackcountryin Canada.

Approximately 73000 people visit this park in a year. Most of the park can only be accessed by a boat; you can easily rent one or even go for a cruise.

4 of the Best National Parks in Ontario 2

By Sajith T S/Flickr

Wildlife at Thousand Islands National Park

Animals in this park are coyotes, deer, porcupines, beavers, foxes, skunks, raccoons, turkey vultures, rabbits, squirrels, chickadees, and weasels.

Activities to look out for at Thousand Islands National Park

This park provides countless activities that can keep your schedule tight, such as hiking, birdwatching, swimming, cycling, fishing, kitesurfing, wildlife viewing, scuba diving, paddling, snowshoeing, photography, boating, canoeing, kayaking, camping, and whatnot.

The visitor’s center is an exciting place for kids to learn about the park.

Accommodation arrangement when visiting Thousands Islands National Park

If you want to spend the night, there are oTENTiks and camping facilities at Mallorytown Landing and several other islands. If you’re going to make a day trip, you can check out places to stay at Gananoque, the closest town to the Thousand Islands National Park. You look out for places to stay here.

4. Point Pelee National Park

If you have an eye for nature, you should visit Point Peele National Park, and it is the second smallest and most ecologically diverse national park in Canada. Established in 1918, this park is situated in Essex County in southern- western Ontario, Canada.

Point Peele is the first national park established for conservation and even the first park to be declared the “Dark Sky Reserve” in Canada. It is open all year round from 6 am to 10 pm.

4 of the Best National Parks in Ontario 3

By Mark Nenadev/Flickr

Wildlife at Point Peele National Park

Point Peele is famous for bird watching. Over 360 different species of birds have been recorded here, and it’s home to many migratory songbirds and butterflies during the fall, such as the Monarch butterfly and Blackpoll Warbler. Point Peele National Park hosts a Festival of Birds in May to celebrate the spring birds’ return.

Various rare, threatened, and endangered species: eastern mole, mink, white-tailed deer, and coyotes. The grey squirrel, raccoon, weasel, mink, and skunk are other animals found.

The bullfrog, green frog, spring peeper, western frog, northern leopard frog, six species of turtles, and non-poisonous snakes can be found in this park.

Activities to look out for at Point Peele National Park

Come here to have your best time, swimming on the longest continuous beach in Essex County. West Beach and Northwest Beach are the best. It offers washroom facilities, change rooms, and picnic facilities. Other activities are bicycling, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, walking, photography, and picnicking.

Accommodation arrangement when visiting Point Peele National Park

Planning to stay overnight, there are 24 oTENTiks available in Point Peele. There is no RV or tent camping available, so oTENTik is your best bet. Outside of the park, you can easily hotels in the nearby town, Leamington here.

Ontario has a lot of national parks that you can enjoy over the course of your vacation. These 4 are the most visited national parks in Ontario. If you have more time on your hands, you can also visit the other national parks.

All these parks in Ontario will give you a great time.

For more information about the national parks in Ontario, feel free to visit Parks Canada.

Reservation Service is available at Parks Canada Reservation Service or 1-877-RESERVE (1-877-737-3783)

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