Ontario’s Provincial Parks
There are well over 300 provincial parks scattered across Ontario. Collectively these parks encompass nearly 10 percent of the province – an area equivalent to the size of Nova Scotia. We’ve hiked through a number of these provincial parks as the Bruce Trail (an 885km trail that runs along the Niagara Escarpment from Niagara up to Tobermory) winds and weaves through many of these scenic parks and other conservation areas. We’ve also camped at a couple of these locations and enjoyed some of the best sandy beaches, campgrounds, and hiking trails in the province.
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.
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.
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.
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.