Hikes in Ontario
As Canada’s second largest province, it should be no surprise that Ontario is a fantastic place to get outside and explore the natural beauty of the wild landscapes on offer there. The province features six national parks and 280 provincial parks, providing a wealth of opportunities for day hikes and multi-day backpacking treks that can take place on over 80,000.0 km of trails. With such a large number of hiking routes and a great diversity of terrain, it’s easy to see why over 800,000 Ontarians and countless visitors utilize the trail networks in the province every year.
A hiking excursion in Ontario can take many different forms, ranging from brief hour-long strolls through a public park to a multi-day trek along the 890.0 km expanse of the Bruce Trail that cuts across the southern portion of the province. Beginner hikers and seasoned outdoor enthusiasts alike will feel at home here, as the main contributor to the difficulty of a hike is the overall length, as opposed to technical terrain. That is not to say that there aren’t any challenging hikes in the province, far from it; however, the lack of any mountainous terrain means that your focus will largely be on physical fitness rather than technical knowledge or prowess. Even still, the breathtaking scenery and stunning landscapes across the province make for a wonderful experience, no matter where you are or what season it may be, so why not make the wild expanse of Ontario the destination of your next hiking adventure.
Hiking regions in Ontario
Best Hikes in Ontario
Mono Cliffs Trail
The Mono Cliffs Trail is an extremely popular hiking route in southern Ontario, due to its dramatic rock formations, beautiful scenery, and relatively easy access from Toronto. This route eschews the main entrance and parking area for roadside parking along 2nd Line, entering into the forest to follow an undulating trail through the tree cover that features the large sections of rock escarpment that gives the park its name. Well-marked and maintained, this route is perfect for exploring the outdoors with the family.
Humber River Recreation Trail
This stretch of the Humber River Recreation Trail is an 8.2 km out-and-back route that will take you from Etienne Brulé Park near the Old Mill, to the James Gardens and back. While out on the trail, you will walk along the forested edge of the river and take in some lovely views across the water. This beautiful route is popular with cyclists and walkers as a means to temporarily escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
Track and Tower Trail
Hiking the Track and Tower Trail is a great adventure in Algonquin Provincial Park that showcases the natural beauty and diverse wildlife in the area. While out on the trail, you will hike through the beautiful woodland landscape and take in stunning views of waterfalls, powerful rivers, and scenic lakes, with a good chance of spotting the blackbears and moose that inhabit the area. This route isn’t overly difficult, yet it still features a good variety of terrain, making it a suitable adventure for beginner and experienced hikers alike.
Decew Falls Loop
The Decew Falls Loop is a quick and easy adventure near St. Catherines that features some amazing natural and historic elements, making it appealing to a wide variety of outdoor enthusiasts. While out hiking the trail, you will make your way past the site of an old 19th Century grain mill before looping through a serene stretch of forest to visit Decew Falls. Whether you decide to try this hike for the waterfall, the history, or the chance to just reconnect with nature, there is no shortage of fun to be had on the Decew Falls Loop.
Centennial Ridges Trail
The Centennial Ridges Trail is a 9.8 km lollipop hiking route in Algonquin Park that will take you uphill along the rugged terrain of the Canadian Shield. While out on the trail, you will pass through beautiful stretches of woodland terrain to reach an elevated position atop the ridge where you will enjoy breathtaking panoramic views overlooking the forests and lakes of Algonquin. Although parts of this hike can be tough, it is more than manageable for casual and beginner hikers looking for a bit of a challenge.
Halfway Log Dump to the Grotto
Hiking the Halfway Log Dump to the Grotto Trail is an amazing experience along the shores of Georgian Bay that will see you climb uphill along the rocky escarpment for some stunning views across the water. While out on the trail, you will pass through tranquil stretches of forest along the rocky and rugged shoreline, eventually arriving at the scenic rock caves of Indian Head Cove and the Grotto. While the middle portions of this trail likely won’t be very populated, the start and end points are popular tourist destinations that will see a dramatic increase in foot traffic.
Crothers Woods Loop Hike
Walking the Crothers Woods Loop is a great outdoor activity in Toronto that will serve as a nice forest retreat without having to leave the city limits. While trekking through this tranquil forest setting, you enjoy beautiful views of the Lower Don River and have the chance to view several species of wildlife, in particular the birds that call the woods home. You should take note of the fact that this is a multi-use trail, so keep an eye out for passing bikers and trail runners.
Mount Nemo Loop Hike
The Mount Nemo Loop is an awesome adventure just outside of Burlington that will allow you to explore some of the rugged terrain along the Niagara Escarpment. While out on the trail, you will hike through the charming woodland landscape and make your way up the hillside to reach the edge of the escarpment for spectacular views overlooking the surrounding farmland of southern Ontario. This is a fantastic hike with spectacular views and easy to navigate paths, making it a great day excursion for the entire family.
Booth’s Rock Trail
Hiking the Booth’s Rock Trail is a fantastic experience in Algonquin Provincial Park that will take you up to an amazing lookout with arguably some of the best views in the park. While out on the trail, you will make your way through a scenic stretch of woodland terrain featuring beautiful pine trees before climbing up to a stunning lookout with views over Rock Lake. Well-marked, maintained, and easily accessible, this is a fantastic day-hike that is suitable for almost all skill levels.
Lion’s Head Loop Hike
The Lion’s Head Loop is arguably one of the most popular hiking routes in the entire province of Ontario, and it is for good reason. This amazing trail will take you across a rocky and rugged bluff for breathtaking views overlooking the shimmering waters of Georgian Bay before ending the hike with a relaxing stroll through a lovely stretch of woodland terrain. This trail is usually very busy and runs over capacity, so be sure to arrive early to enjoy at least a few of the beautiful views in solitude.
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Summit Mount Olympus Trekking Tour
Months Tour Operates
This tour is your chance to trek one of the most mystical mountains on earth: Mount Olympus. This self-guided journey starts in Litochoro, an enchanting town at the foot of Greece’s highest peak. Then you’ll spend two days on the mountain, sleeping in a mountain hut on the second night. You should be comfortable hiking up some serious elevation on this tour to reach the summit, a worthy reward for your effort.
Avalanche Skills Training 1 in the Canadian Rockies
Months Tour Operates
Avalanche safety is a must-have tenet of backcountry adventure and a critical step in keeping yourself and your adventure partners safe in the wintertime and shoulder season. The Avalanche Skills Training 1 in the Canadian Rockies tour is a practical chance to learn the basics of avalanche safety in one of the most beautiful mountain environments in the world.
Self-Guided Mount Triglav Trek
Months Tour Operates
Take on a quintessential Slovenian trekking adventure to the summit of its highest mountain! The Self-Guided Mount Triglav Trek allows you to hike at your own pace and enjoy the incredible scenery of Triglav National Park.
Other Activities in Ontario
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