Algonquin Provincial Park
Visited: Every summer since 2016
With hundreds of interconnecting lakes, ponds, and river systems Algonquin Provincial Park is probably one of the best places in the world to canoe and camp in the backcountry. It is both the oldest and one of the largest provincial parks in Ontario. And one of the best places (that is relatively close to Toronto) to be completely immersed in the thick of the wilderness. We embarked on our first excursion to the interior of Algonquin back in the summer of 2016. It was our first experience camping in the backcountry. We might have overestimated our abilities (and brought too much wine and beer) but gorgeous weather coupled with great company made for a memorable camping adventure. So much so that it has since become an annual summer tradition
Arrowhead Provincial Park
February 2019 – 1 day
In light of a recent snow storm (or rather storms), we decided to take advantage of the abundance of fresh snow and head up north to spend our Family Day long weekend here in Ontario. We first visited Arrowhead Provincial Park, which boasts of hosting a variety of winter activities, including: skating, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.
Visited: February 2017 – 1 day
Blue Mountain is the largest “mountain” in southern Ontario and is situated along the highest part of the Niagara Escarpment. Due to its sheer size and placement along Ontario’s snowbelt region, every winter thousands of people flock up to the Blue Mountains to alpine ski. But there are a few options in the area for cross-country skiing as well.
Bon Echo Provincial Park
Visited: September 2018 – 2 days
Bon Echo Provincial Park is located in southeastern Ontario and is situated along several lakes, including Mazinaw Lake – the seventh deepest lake in the province. For years we’ve been saying we’d like to visit Bon Echo, in large part because it’s located close by K’s family cabin. So this year we finally made it happen. While there are just over 500 car camping sites to choose from in this provincial park, we booked one of the 25 coveted canoe-in campsites located in the backcountry on Joeperry Lake.
Bruce Peninsula National Park
Visited: May 2016 – 3 days
and September 2018 – 2 days
The Bruce Peninsula is a ruggedly scenic peninsula in Ontario that is bordered between Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. The Bruce Peninsula National Park is nestled along the northern part of this peninsula. And a large section of the Bruce Trail (an 885km trail that runs along the Niagara Escarpment from Niagara to Tobermory) that cuts through this national park offers phenomenal views of jagged cliffs, rugged rock formations, and overlooks the crystal clear turquoise waters of Georgian Bay.
Distance Hiked: 295.1km
The Bruce Trail is an 885km trail that follows the Niagara Escarpment from Niagara to Tobermory. The trail in divided into nine sections with each section managed by its own club. The trail itself is very well maintained and clearly marked by white blazes painted on trees or signposts. There are an additional 400km of side trails that are marked by blue blazes.
Visited: Various times throughout the years
Located on one of the hundreds of small lakes near Bon Echo Provincial Park there is a solitary cabin (in the woods). The property has been in K’s family since the early 1900s. And while this rustic gem might have no running water and no electricity, it is nestled in nearly 100 acres of untamed forest overlooking the water. It is one of our favorite places within Ontario to just reconnect with nature and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Charleston Lake Provincial Park
Visited: July 2019 – 3 days
Charleston Lake is located in South Eastern Ontario, just north of the St. Lawrence River. The rocky lake and surrounding forest area are an extension of the Canadian Shield, one of the largest and oldest geologic continental shields in the world. The shores as well as the islands of this lake are a mix between private property and the provincial park. Nevertheless, it is one of the best provincial parks in Ontario that is relatively close to Toronto for fishing, swimming, boating and camping.
Frontenac Provincial Park
February 2020 – 2 days
Frontenac Provincial Park is classified as a natural environment park. It is situated above an ancient granite ridge linking the Canadian Shield to the Adirondack Mountains and consists of forests, wetlands, marshes, lakes and granite outcrops. The park contains canoe routes through 22 lakes, over 100km of connected backpacking and hiking trails and four season interior camping on 48 campsites.
Visited: October 2016 – 1 day
Niagara is referred to the honeymoon capital of the world. It is perhaps best known for it’s waterfall that shares the same name as its city – Niagara Falls. Although technically Niagara Falls refers to three waterfalls: Bridal Veil Falls, American Falls, and (the most famous of the three) Horseshoe Falls. Collectively they form one of the largest waterfall networks on the planet. But Niagara is also known for being one of the largest grape growing regions across Canada. The Niagara Peninsula is nestled between the Niagara Escarpment and Lake Ontario making for ideal conditions for wine making. The climate is moderated year round – the escarpment shelters the vineyards in the winter while the lake cools the vineyards in the summer. The Niagara wine region also lies at the same latitude as other famous wine regions such as Bordeaux France. Together these conditions create some delicious delicious wine.
Visited: February 2016 – 3 days
and February 2018 – 3 days
As the capital of Canada, Ottawa hosts a number of large festivals and events throughout the year. The most famous of which is its annual Winterlude Festival. Over the course of three weeks (usually in February) the city is enchanted with all things snow and ice to celebrate winter. But its main draw is the Rideau Canal Skateway. At 7.8 kilometres long, when completely frozen, it forms the largest skating rink in the world.
Point Pelee National Park
Visited: March 2019 – 2 days
Point Pelee National Park is the southernmost point of the mainland in Canada. Despite being the second smallest national park (after Georgian Bay Islands, also located in Ontario), it boasts of being the most ecologically diverse national parks in the country. Point Pelee mainly consists of beaches, marshes, and woodlands. It is home to over 390 species of birds and is part of a bird and butterfly migration corridor over Lake Erie.
Presqu’ile Provincial Park
Visited: July 2019 – 2 days
Presqu’ile is the French word for peninsula. It is situated along the north shore of Lake Ontario near Brighton and features one of the larger wetlands along the lake. It contains forests, marshes and sand dunes, leading to diverse vegetation, ecosystems and habitats for the flora and fauna in the park. It also features a long sandy beach making this an ideal spot to swim, hike, and camp.
Rouge National Urban Park
Visited: Many times throughout 2020
Located in Scarborough, Ontario Rouge National Urban Park is the largest urban park in North America. The park features a number of trails through wetlands, forests, meadows, and along the coast of Lake Ontario. And it’s only about a 25 minute drive from where we live.