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5 Ontario Parks you NEED to Visit!

Ontario is an amazing province full of beautiful provincial parks to explore! I've done quite a bit of provincial park exploring, with many more on my list. Ontario gets a bad rep for no reason, and I'm on a mission to show you how stunning this place is. SO without further ado, here are 5 Ontario Parks I think you NEED to add to your bucket list (plus some that are on mine!) I've compiled some places I've been to that you'll know already and some that I believe are a little bit less known. Enjoy!

Algonquin Provincial Park:

First up, there's the first park and my personal favourite - Algonquin Provincial Park.

Algonquin is near and dear to my heart because it's where I started my adventure gal journey. It's a well-known hot spot, and you probably won't escape the crowds here unless you head into the backcountry (something I've done in Algonquin, and it's always incredible).

Just because it's a busier park doesn't mean you won't find tranquility and beautiful views. There are lots of hiking trails with stunning lookouts and challenging treks. Booth's Rock, Barron Canyon, and Centennial Ridges are all favourites of mine!

There are also over 200 lakes for you to explore by canoe, making it a paddlers' paradise! Not to mention lots of campsites, both front country, and backcountry!

Killarney Provincial Park:

Although also more well-known, Killarney is an outdoor playground with stunning trails, beautiful paddling, and views that will leave you speechless!

This park is also where you'll find the La Cloche mountain range! They may not be the size of the Rockies, but they are steeped in history and just as fun to explore. The hiking here is challenging but so rewarding with lovely views. My favourite trails here have been the infamous "Crack," and Silver Peak.

The backcountry camping here is also amazing. Killarney is home to the La Cloche Silhouette backpacking trail that boasts a challenging route but some of the best views in Ontario. The canoe camping opportunities here are plentiful, and the sites are gorgeous.

Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park:

This park was one that I didn't expect much from but was so enamored with when I got there. I would say it isn't as famous as the first two parks on my list, but it absolutely deserves some more hype!

The historic Mattawa river runs through it and there are ample hiking opportunities. When I was there, I took on the Etienne trail which is comprised of 4 different loops. Along this trail, there are stunning vistas and rocky outcrops that are so beautiful.

There was also an amazing visitor's center with so much to learn about. I love learning about the places I visit, and I love when parks add extra attention to teaching people!

Chutes Provincial Park:

If waterfalls are your jam, then this is the park for you! There are so many here to see, and they are ALL amazing. This little gem wasn't even on my radar, and it totally should have been!

The trail here is a little more relaxed and offers multiple viewpoints of the many falls. It's 6km long, and there are observation decks to safely view the rushing water and some picnic benches along the way to stop and have a snack! Not to mention it's also an ideal base for you to explore Manitoulin Island as it's located only minutes off the Trans Canada highway.

You can camp here during the warmer months, and the park is accessible during winter, although there won't be any park staff there! It's a stunning spot to add to your list.

Misery Bay Provincial Park:

This day-use-only park is located on Manitoulin Island and has been one of my favourites to date! It offers beautiful views of the scenic Lake Huron coastline and lovely trails!

The water here was so amazingly blue that we stopped and enjoyed it for over an hour. The water is chilly and crystal clear, with little crawfish (be careful they'll pinch!) The high was lovely, but the main attraction is 100%, Lake Huron.

The visitors center was also amazing, with so much ecology to learn about! This park has so many unique florae, and it was cool to learn about some of them - We know I love a good learning opportunity! This place was anything but miserable!

Bonus bucket list parks I haven't explored yet:

  • Lake Superior

  • Sleeping Giant

  • Pinery

  • Tidewater

  • The Massasauga

I haven't made it to these parks yet but You KNOW I'll be making it to them really soon!

Happy exploring!

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