Hiking in Grundy Lake Provincial Park

Length of stay: 1 day
Visited: September 2021

Grundy Lake Provincial Park is located between Georgian Bay and Lake Nipissing and is a great place to experience the rugged beauty of the Canadian Shield. It features a few inland lakes and offers a variety of activities on and near the water, including swimming, fishing, boating, paddling, camping and hiking.

On the drive back home from our two-week road trip through Northern Ontario, we stopped at Grundy Lake to eat lunch and go on a couple of hikes. We arrived at the park shortly before noon. It was a beautiful day outside (19°C) and mostly sunny, which probably explained why the park was so busy.

We parked at the covered picnic area across from the main beach and walked for a few hundred metres to get to the trailhead for Gut Lake Trail (2.5km loop, rated moderate to difficult). The trail crosses rocky outcrops along the shoreline of Gut Lake, weaves through the forest, and passes by a marsh.

The trail is pretty straightforward and easy to navigate as it is well-signed with yellow markers on the trees and yellow arrows and circles on the rocks. The biggest obstacle was dealing with all the other hikers on the trail. This was by far the busiest park we visited during our road trip.

Once we wrapped up our hike, we walked back to the picnic area where we parked to eat lunch. The covered shelter was a great place to hang out to avoid the afternoon sun. I’m always amazed that more people don’t use these picnic facilities.

Afterwards we hiked along the Swan Lake Trail (1.5km loop, rated moderate to difficult), which is located in a protected nature reserve across from the Jack Pine Campground. The trail crosses a floating boardwalk over Swan Lake before weaving over, up, down and around large exposed rocks. Along the way there are nice views and lookouts of the wetlands. The nice thing about visiting in the fall was that there were no pesky bugs, only (pesky) humans.

It was then time for us to head out and continue our drive back home.


My progress on the Ontario Parks Challenge can be found here

67 thoughts on “Hiking in Grundy Lake Provincial Park

  1. Ab says:

    Looks like a beautiful outing, Linda. The Georgian Bay Area is so beautiful and the trails here highlight them well. I can see the one advantage of the early fall being to avoid the pesky bugs! I kept thinking of how I would’ve been eaten alive on that boardwalk during the summer. Picnic facilities are great especially during a rainy day. We’re very lucky to have these facilities in Ontario!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Grundy Lake was a lovely spot to stop for a bite to eat and to stretch our legs. We’ve camped here before early in the summer and were harassed by the flies and mosquitoes when hiking along the trails. Why do they always go for the face and ears!? I’m glad we were able to return in the fall for a totally different bug-free experience. The sheltered picnic areas are the best and we usually try to check them out whenever we’re visiting a park that has one. I’m surprised more people don’t use the covered picnic area, but then again, I’m glad they don’t because then we’d have to share.

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        I take no chances with my feet and always wear wool socks while hiking, even in the summer. Getting bit on the feet, ankles, ears or hands is the worst. I’m very much looking forward to the spring, but not so much the bug festival.

      • Ab says:

        I have the Off after bite stick with is rubbed onto the bite. It helps a lot. A great compact tool to have during outdoor trips!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your lovely comment. The scenery in Grundy Lake and Georgian Bay in general is very beautiful with all the wetlands, rocky outcrops and windswept pines. There are lots of great hiking options that range from short and easy to long and challenging (and everything in between).

  2. John says:

    Such a beautiful park, wow! The shield rock is always amazing, the lakes are so pretty. And no bugs, they would pick me up and carry me away!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s funny how the bugs (or lack thereof) can make such a huge difference. We visited Grundy Lake last summer and were nearly eaten alive so it was nice to return and be able to enjoy the scenery without running through the trails as fast as we could.

  3. kagould17 says:

    Those rocky lake sures and the lush forests are beautiful Linda. Looks like a great day and place for a hike. Ahhhh. September. So long ago. Thanks for sharing. Happy Monday. Allan

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We were lucky that we had such fabulous weather in the fall. No wonder the campgrounds (and trails) were still busy on the weekends. It’s finally starting to feel like Spring here in Ontario. We had a fresh snowfall on the weekend, but most of it has since melted. It’s supposed to reach a high of 17C on Thursday, which is practically shorts wearing weather! Thanks for reading. Linda

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It was a lovely day to be out on the trails and to enjoy the scenery and our surroundings. We were surprised at how busy the campground and trails were considering it was mid-September.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your lovely comment. The area around Grundy Lake is very picturesque with all the rocky outcrops, marshy wetlands and clear blue lakes. The trails were all well-signed and easy to follow. The only issue was that the park was quite busy. I guess everyone else had the same idea to take advantage of the nice weather.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kinds words. It’s always great to spend time in nature, especially when the sun is shining. This was a lovely spot to stop for a picnic and to stretch our legs. Take care. Linda

  4. leightontravels says:

    Lovely photos, Linda. The weather certainly was on your side. I’m sure it was disappointing to find the place so busy, especially since this was at the end of your trip. I still prefer dealing with humans to dealing with pesky bugs. 🙂

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      The fall is actually my favourite time of the year to camp as the days are still warm, but the nights are cooler, there are no bugs, and it’s (usually) less crowded. I’m not surprised that other people had the same idea since the weather was fabulous. Either way, we still had a wonderful time on the trails. I would probably pick the humans over the bugs too.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      For sure, especially since we had fabulous weather that weekend. Plus, Grundy Lake isn’t too far from the city. Either way, it was still nice to visit another park on our way home and to stretch our legs.

  5. wetanddustyroads says:

    Haha 😄, pesky humans! On most of our recent hikes, it was just the two of us (and maybe a handful others) … but I do enjoy a hike more when there’s not so much traffic (humans). I love the views of the lake – looks like yet two more beautiful trails (in good weather)!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I much prefer a quieter trail to one that’s packed with other hikers too. It can take away from the experience. Plus, I don’t like having random people in my pictures. This is one of the reasons why we’ve started to hike more in the offseason. Or we just travel further up north to get away from the crowds. Either way, it was still nice to take advantage of the nice weather on the last day of our road trip, even if the trails were busier than we’d like.

  6. Vanessa says:

    Looks beautiful! All your provincial park posts are making me looking forward to spring and summer! (I know there’ll be bugs and more hikers on the trails, but I’m ready!) 🙂

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your lovely comment. I’m ready for winter to be over as well. We just had an unexpected snowstorm yesterday (and here I thought I was done with shoveling). Thankfully it’s all supposed to melt over the next few days, which means the trails will probably be muddy. I’m looking forward to seeing all the wildflowers and greenery again too. Take care. Linda

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We couldn’t have asked for better weather considering it was in the middle of September. Even though the park was busy, I’m glad we made the most of the final day of our road trip.

  7. jmankowsky says:

    Looks like a beautiful place! I l love boardwalks. Too bad they couldn’t think of better directional signs than painted yellow arrows, though. ;-( Yup, I agree about those pesky humans. Humans or bugs on a hike–which to choose?

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Good question. It depends on whether I can use bug spray. If so, then I might actually pick the bugs. Hiking on a crowded trail is never fun. Now that the weather is getting warmer, I imagine the trails are going to become busier, but I am looking forward to seeing all the wildflowers and greenery again. Take care. Linda

  8. Lookoom says:

    What a beautiful dream of good weather, in a landscape that is quite ideal for this part of Canada, with its mix of lakes and outcropping rocks.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      For sure. While we had a bit of a rough start in terms of the weather during our two-week Northern Ontario road trip, I’m glad we ended on a high note. Having nice weather makes such a huge difference when camping and spending time outdoors. Grundy Lake is a very picturesque park with all those rocky outcrops, wetlands and windswept pines. Even though it was busy, I’m glad we made the most of it.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      The landscape in Grundy Lake and the area around Georgian Bay in general is stunningly scenic, especially on a clear sunny day. I’m glad we were able to take advantage of the nice weather during the last day of our road trip and go on a couple of hikes.

  9. Josy A says:

    This is another beeeautiful park! I can imagine it would be a bit of a nightmare in the summer with the bugs, but it looks perfect in the fall. 🙂

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      The fall is my favourite time to go camping. Sure, the days aren’t as long, but there are less bugs and (usually) less people around. Plus, it’s the best time to go swimming as the lakes are at their warmest.

      • Josy A says:

        Oooh good point for the swimming!

        We tried camping in the fall last year, and it was fun… but I think we left it slightly too late as it was soooo cold. It only worked because it was car camping and we brought a duvet in addition to our sleeping bags. 😀

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        That’s the beauty about car camping during the shoulder seasons is that it’s easier to take more stuff with you, like an extra duvet. We tried winter camping for the first time last year, which was interesting, but I don’t think we have any plans to do it again anytime soon!

  10. Bama says:

    Linda, please stop torturing us with those beautiful photos of Ontario’s parks! Just kidding. 🙂 Please keep sharing such feast for the eyes. I just love how blue those skies are in your photos. Looking at nature’s vibrant colors never fails to lift up my mood.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your lovely comment. Our two-week Northern Ontario road trip was such an amazing experience and a great way to explore many of the smaller and more remote parks in the province. It was hard to say goodbye, especially when we had such wonderful weather, but it was nice to sleep in my own bed again.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Agreed, the name Gut Lake doesn’t sound the most inviting place to go swimming. You can actually go cliff jumping here, which we saw a few people do, but it wasn’t for us. Maybe next time.


    Such a beautiful park, and yay for no bugs. Travelling in the off-season a lot, we got used to having parks and trails to ourselves, and it’s hard when we get to busy parks and have to share the rails. Something gets lost when there are a lot of people around.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I love travelling in the offseason as it’s a great way to experience the quieter side of a park, which is always great when camping. But yes, it’s then hard to adjust to the crowds and it can be a total turnoff. We’ve decided not to camp in Ontario this summer, except for a couple of backcountry trips, but will instead try to take advantage of the shoulder seasons.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I’m such a fan of a trail with a good boardwalk. It’s a great way to see an area that otherwise would have been inaccessible to us hikers. The best part about visiting the wetlands in the fall is that there were no bugs.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s funny how having blue skies and sun makes such a difference in terms of how the landscape appears. We camped at Grundy Lake the year before earlier in the summer and were nearly eaten alive by the mosquitoes and deer flies on the trails. When you do visit, I would highly recommend coming later in the summer or during the fall.

  12. BrittnyLee says:

    This place looks so gorgeous. I’m glad that you didn’t have to deal with bugs either. That’s always nice when hiking and trying to take photos. It’s hard to get a good photograph when bugs are in your face

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      No kidding!! And why do they always seem to go for the face!? The only way to deal with the bugs is to keep moving, which definitely makes it challenging to take pictures along the trail. That’s one of the reasons why I love hiking in the fall so much as the bugs are usually long gone.

      • BrittnyLee says:

        Same here !! Yes! They always go for the eyes !! It’s such a pain . Fall is the best for that reason, no bugs haha 🤣😆. Great post, Linda. I really loved the Pittsburgh one, too. Mat and I are going there this summer for a week, so your post helped us think of places to visit . 😕

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        And the ears. Can’t forgot about them. That’s the one thing about the spring that I’m the least looking forward to. Well, that and the muddy trails. Glad to hear that you enjoyed our post about Pittsburgh. A week sounds like a great amount of time to more fully explore the city. Happy trip planning!

      • BrittnyLee says:

        Yes, I understand that. I want to try those citronella bands . I use the spray too but I want to try the lemongrass one. The spray that is deets is too strong. It makes me nauseous. Yes, the mis is tough too. I always try to wear my boots but sometimes I forget . Thank you so much . Great post, Linda 🙂

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        I’ve been meaning to try those citronella bands too. I hate how my skin always feels so greasy whenever I use bug spray. Plus all those chemicals being absorbed in the skin can’t be good. Thanks for the reminder. I’ll look into picking up a pack for the summer.

      • BrittnyLee says:

        Yes, exactly ! The scent is also so potent with the sprays. I’m hoping to find some good bands . Fingers crossed 🤞 we both can 🙂 I wanted to do more research on the lemongrass, too. I’m hoping I can find something good. I will pass it your way if I do ☺️

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        Yes, please do. Mosquitoes are the one thing about the spring that I am the least looking forward to. Well, that and all the other types of flies too like deer flies and horse flies.

Leave a Reply