Killarney Provincial Park

Located on Georgian Bay, Killarney Provincial Park is nestled in untamed wilderness, which include forests, mountains and wetlands. The landscape is so incredibly scenic that it inspired many members of Canada’s Group of Seven painters. The park is open all-year round and provides a number of activities depending on the season. From hiking and canoeing in the summer to snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter.

We’ve been to Killarney twice:

Hiking

There are six hiking trails in Killarney, one of which is La Cloche Silhouette Trail, an 80km strenuous loop that typically takes 7 to 10 days to complete. The other five trails range in length from 2km to 6km. Below are the trails that we’ve hiked:

(1) Chikanishing Trail (3km, rated moderate) – the trail winds through the southern boundary of the park, crosses a series of small smooth ridges and leads down to a point on Georgian Bay. There are a few interpretive plaques along the way that tell the history of this part of Georgian Bay.

A more detailed description of the hike can be found here

(2) Cranberry Bog Trail (4km, rated moderate) – the trail forms a loop through the forest and passes by a series of bogs, marshes and swamps. The trailhead is located in the campground near campsite #101 and parking is available at the second beach area.

(3) Granite Ridge Trail (2km, rated moderated) – the trailhead is located across Highway 637 from the park office. The trail leads through the forest and up a rocky ridge which provides views of La Cloche Mountains and the shore of Georgian Bay. 

(4) Lake of the Woods Trail (3.5km, rated moderate to difficult) – the trail loops around Lake of the Woods and involves hiking through the forest to a rocky outcrop and ridges, which features lovely views of the lake below and Silver Peak. The trail also offers a lookout, which can be accessed by walking along a small boardwalk, which connects to an island on the lake.

(5) The Crack (6.0km round trip, rated difficult) is reputed to be the most popular trail in the park. The trail leads up and around large boulders and rocks along the white cliffs of the La Cloche Mountains, through a crack between the range, and up to the top of Killarney Ridge. 

A more detailed description of the hike can be found here

Other Activities and Attractions

Besides hiking, Killarney offers a variety of other activities, including:

  • Swimming at two beaches in the campground
  • Canoeing
  • Day trip to Killarney the town

Camping

Killarney is considered a wilderness park, which means that large areas of the park are left to nature. As a result, the park contains one campground (with nearly 150 sites) on George Lake. The campground is open all-year round. In additional to regular campsites, Killarney offers six yurts and two camp cabins. Killarney also offers a number of backcountry campsites (183 sites) situated on over 50 lakes that can be accessed by foot or canoe.

When we visited in November 2020 we stayed in one of the cabins that came complete with a propane stove. It was a great way to “camp” in the off-season with some added luxuries, like a roof and heat.

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