You may have heard that Canada is home to a lot of lakes, Ontario in particular. (It has to do with the Ice Age and glacial retreat. Basically, awesome science stuff.) With all these lakes and rivers connecting them, it means we have a lot of bridges too. From these scenic bridges in Ontario, you’ll get some of the best views of this province’s gorgeous and diverse landscape.
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What constitutes a scenic bridge? Well, it’s purely subjective, but in my opinion, a scenic bridge is a place that either gives a beautiful view of the surrounding landscape and/or is a marvel of itself in the landscape. It could be a suspension bridge, a covered bridge or one that takes you through a park or over something awesome.
As I said, totally subjective. But these scenic bridges in Ontario are some of the best places to give you a new perspective of our gorgeous landscape.
Best Scenic Bridges in Ontario
So here is the list of bridges, from small to large, across the province. Stick around to the end where you’ll find a handy map of the best scenic bridges in Ontario that you just have to visit.
Ranney Gorge Suspension Bridge
Location: Campbellford, Ontario
Cost: Free (sort of)
This 91-metre suspension bridge spans the gorge of the Trent-Severn Waterway, a historically significant waterway in the Province. As you cross the bridge, you’ll feel the sway of the bridge, and you can look 10 metres down through the mesh metal bridge.
The Ranney Gorge Suspension Bridge can be accessed for free on the west side (limited parking). During the warmer months, Ferris Provincial Park gives you access from the East. Here you can also play in the water, fish and walk along some of the beautiful trails. There is a daily permit fee, but you can also get an annual or seasonal pass if you plan on visiting multiple parks.
Scenic Caves Suspension Bridge
Location: Blue Mountains, Ontario
Cost: $26.50 for general admission
Visit the longest suspension bridge in Ontario, giving you incredible views of the Georgian Bay vista. The bridge lifts you 24 metres up, and add in the natural sway of the bridge, this place isn’t for the faint of heart.
For those that love the thrill, you won’t want to miss the magnificent fall colours here. The suspension bridge is part of Scenic Caves Nature Adventures, which also had some awesome tree-top trekking, zip lines and caving.
You can get to the bridge through a self-guided tour, which takes about 45 minutes, or with a tractor wagon ride, which you’ll take if you take part in the tree-top trekking.
Niagara Falls International Rainbow Bridge
Location: Niagara Falls, Ontario
Cost: $1 on foot
The Niagara Falls International Rainbow Bridge is the gateway between Canada and the USA near the glorious Niagara Falls. From this bridge, you can get a pretty great view of the famous Horseshoe Falls and American Falls. You’ll also be able to stand on the border between the two countries. And how often can you say you’ve done that?
This international bridge is pedestrian-friendly; you can cross the bridge for a dollar on foot. From the bridge, you can overlook the powerful Niagara River gorge.
The bridge itself is something of an architectural beauty. You can get a great view of the bridge for free at the Rambler’s Rest Pavillion and the Falls View Lookout near the Welcome Centre on the Canadian side. If you want another phenomenal view, you’ve got to check out the view from the Niagara Falls Observation Tower, which costs $1.25 during the warmer months and free in winter.
Location: Goderich, Ontario
The Menesetung Bridge is part of the Tiger Dunlop Heritage Trail (also known as the Goderich-Auburn Rail Trail) in Goderich, Ontario. This section of the trail, which used to be a rail line, crosses the Maitland River. The bridge was built over 110 years ago and is designated as a historic place in Ontario. The bridge, which is nearly 230 metres long, was the largest at the time of its construction.
Today, you’ll find a peaceful walking trail along the estuary of the Maitland as it feeds into Lake Huron. Take the time to spot wildlife and migratory birds who fish in the wetlands of the river.
To get to the bridge, you can park for free at the trailhead along North Harbour Road West. Continue along the trail for a ways and come to Tiger Dunlop’s Tomb, the final resting place of this man who was one of Goderich’s founders, and you’ll also get a gorgeous view looking back to the bridge and the lake.
West Montrose Covered Bridge (Kissing Bridge)
Location: West Montrose, Ontario
Likely one of the most beautiful bridges on this list, the West Montrose Covered Bridge – aka the Kissing Bridge – is the last remaining drivable covered bridge in Ontario.
It spans nearly 200ft across the Grand River in the little town of West Montrose. Its bright red facade and charming location make this bridge the destination, rather than a scenic viewpoint.
Built way back in 1881, this bridge is a designated historical site. It’s called the Kissing Bridge because hose and buggy drivers would sneak a kiss while driving under the cover of the bridge.
Visiting the bridge is free, but be warned, the land around the bridge is private property. You can take photos from the road, but be sure you’re not blocking someone’s driveway. The best place to park your car is at Leston Park.
Again, be courteous to the property owners and never trespass!
Five span bridge
Location: Pakenham, Ontario
The Five Span Bridge, located in Pakenham, is one of the Seven Wonders of Lanark County. Built in 1901, this bridge has five arches, crossing 82 metres over the Mississippi River. So why is it so special?
Well, not only is it the only bridge of its kind in North America (which is pretty darn cool), it was built to withstand ice flows. The Mississippi River freezes over in the cold Southeastern Ontario winters, and during the spring break up, large, powerful chunks of ice come hurling down the river. The bridge’s eight-foot thick piers have been withstanding those pressures since it was built in 1901 until it was restored in 1984.
Of course, mills were found on either side of the river, the largest of which, you can still see (and explore) the foundations of on the east side. There are parks on either side of the bridge, so feel free to sit and relax.
Victoria Street Pedestrian Bridge
Location: Elora, Ontario
As one of the newest bridges on this list, the Victoria Street Pedestrian Bridge in Elora has quite the history. The location of the bridge was originally a road, extending Victoria Street from the south across the river to meet with Metcalfe Street in the downtown. For nearly 100 years, this was the main bridge across the Grand River in this area. As time went on, the bridge was closed to traffic in 1969. But during the ‘80s, a movie company offered money to restore the bridge for a filming location. However, the bridge never was restored and was just used as a prop. As the years went on, the bridge deteriorated and it was eventually demolished in 2006.
In 2012, interest in a pedestrian bridge resurfaced and seven years later, it was open again.
Today, the bridge offers a convenient way to cross the Grand River and have some spectacular views of the famous Tooth of Time and falls.
Location: Waterford, Ontario
Many of the trails in Ontario used to be old railways, and the Black Bridge Waterford Heritage Trail is no different. This trail leads you through forests to the Black Bridge over the Waterford Ponds. The community has done a lovely job revitalizing the area from an old (and ugly) rail yard into a natural area. From the Black Bridge, which is 166 metres long, you’ll get a stunning view of the sunset over the ponds.
The trail is completely free, and you’ll be walking on a section of the TransCanada Trail. To get to the bridge, park at the end of Nichol Street West in Waterford and don’t miss the Old Silos with their fun painted murals.
Thousand Islands International Bridge
Location: Thousand Islands region, Ontario
The Thousand Islands International Bridge takes you up over the St. Lawrence River, giving you a birds-eye view of the famous spectacular scenery. There are actually five sections that make up the Thousand Islands International Bridge, three of which are in Canada. You can actually walk the bridge too.
While technically this is a border crossing, you can travel the Canadian span of the bridge pack and turn around without ever crossing the border. In fact, you won’t want to miss crossing over the bridge to the 1000 Islands tower, an observation deck that reaches 122 metres into the sky. It’s the best place to view the bridge and its surrounding landscape on the Canadian side. It runs only during the summer months and costs $11.95 per person.
The Covered Bridge
Location: Guelph, Ontario
While there is only one drivable covered bridge in Ontario, this one is one of the only public pedestrian-only covered bridges in the province. What I love most about this 43-metre covered bridge that spans the Speed River in Guelph is that the community built it. Over 400 volunteers from the Timber Framers’ Guild came together in 1992 to raise the bridge by hand.
The bridge also marks the start of the 4 km Eramosa River Trail, which meanders through Guelph’s river-side parks.
You can find free parking for this trail near the bridge and don’t forget to stop at the Boathouse Tea Room for high tea or a scoop of ice cream!
William E. Small Suspension Bridge
Location: French River Provincial Park
Cost: $12.25+ (or free with an Ontario Parks Annual Permit)
The beauty of the Canadian Shield is something that all people should experience. The smooth rocks, sweet-smelling pines and hidden lakes make this area a haven for outdoor adventurers. And the William E. Small Suspension Bridge, located inside French River Provincial Park, lets you take in those dramatic northern Ontario views.
Technically a snowmobile trail bridge, this suspension bridge spans over 152 metres across the historically important French River. Don’t miss checking out the Voice of the River exhibit at the visitor centre while you’re there to learn about the geological and cultural history of this important waterway.
While the park is only open from April to October, the bridge itself is used throughout the winter by snowmobilers.
Grand River Pedestrian Bridge
Location: Cambridge, Ontario
For one of the newer bridges on this list, the Grand River Pedestrian Bridge in Cambridge sure doesn’t look it. It fits right in with the historic downtown of Galt. This metal and stone structure crosses the Grand River from the Cambridge Sculpture Garden to Founder’s Point.
When I visited over the winter, the bridge was all lit in purple lights, which was so freaking beautiful. Even though the pedestrian bridge’s job is to help walkers cross the river, it’s a must-see when you visit the area.
Location: Fergus, Ontario
The Milligan Footbridge has a special place in my heart. It’s not a particularly beautiful bridge, but from the middle of the bridge, you can see the gorgeous Grand River as it cuts through the narrow gorge in Fergus.
I grew up nearby and would visit the Fergus Market, when it was still an open marketplace, the Goofie Newfie is a local establishment, and it led from easy parking into the historic downtown. A couple of years back, the town decided to install lights underneath the bridge, which added to the wonderful ambiance of the bridge.
Once you cross the bridge from the market, you can wander through the Templin Gardens where you can take the steps down to the river’s edge.
Historic Thornbury Wooden Trestle Bridge
Location: Thornbury, Ontario
Thornbury is one of Ontario’s most charming small towns. There’s so much to experience here, with its amazing restaurants and ample stores. But if you’re looking for gorgeous views of the Beaver River, then look no further than the Historic Thornbury Wooden Trestle Bridge.
This bridge is part of the 34-km long Georgian Trail, which runs from Meaford to Collingwood. It was once a rail line constructed in 1879, so the trail is relatively flat, making it great for walking, biking, or, in the winter, skiing!
To access the bridge, you can park along Bruce Street North, in the Town of Blue Mountains parking lot or at the Thornbury Farmers’ Market.
Heritage Walkway Bridge
Location: Durham, Ontario
The Heritage Walkway Bridge in Durham is another historic railway bridge in the province. Unline the one in Thornbury, the bridge in Durham is not part of a trail system. But it sits in the heart of Durham, a small town in southern Ontario and is one of the few remaining trestle bridges in Ontario.
What’s neat about this structure is that when the town restored it in 2018, it was built and assembled inside a timber plant in New Brunswick before being disassembled and reconstructed in Durham.
The bridge overlooks the Saugeen River and dam, which is perfect for watching birds play in the shallow waters.
To access the bridge, you can part just off Highway 6 or on George Street East
Humber Bay Arch Bridge
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Likely one of the most iconic bridges in the province, the Humber Bay Arch Bridge has been a part of the Toronto shoreline for three decades. Whenever I was heading into the city as a kid, I would always know we were almost there when I saw this bridge.
The pedestrian-only arch bridge is part of the Martin Goodman Trail at 56-km long multiuse path that runs along the waterfront from Rouge River to Humber River, where the Humber Bay Arch Bridge is located.
Not only is it a cool looking bridge, but you’ll also get stunning views of the Toronto skyline. To get to this bridge, you can park at the nearby Sunnyside Park and walk the short distance to the bridge.
Weldrick Nightstar Bridge
Location: Richmond Hill, Ontario
Despite its urban location, the Weldrick Nightstar Bridge is probably one of my favourites on this list, just because of how unique it is. It was built to replace another older bridge that crossed German Mills Creek, but thankfully the city decided to make it a beautiful project.
At night, the bridge is lit up like a thousand stars, and what I love most about it is the names of a few constellations like Ursa Major, Cassiopeia and more are etched into the concrete.
So why is there such a cool bridge like this located in Richmond Hill?
Well, the astronomy theme comes from the nearby Richmond Hill David Dunlap Observatory, where you can reach for the stars inside this urban planetarium. It definitely sets this bridge ~worlds~ apart for others on this list.
To get here, you can park in a nearby plaza.
McCrae Lake Bridge
Location: Georgian Bay, Ontario
McCrae Lake bridge is located inside the McCrae Lake Conservation Reserve and is a little tricky to get there. This is a backcountry park, despite being located so close to Highway 400.
But the views are worth it, as it overlooks what everyone loves about the Canadian Shield – an abundance of granite rock, stunning lakes and sweet-smelling trees.
The simple wooden bridge actually crosses over a waterfall as the water flows from MacDonald Lake to McCrae Lake. The trail to the bridge splits from the McCrae Lake Trail, which leads you to an awesome viewpoint called the Eagle’s Nest. You’ll want to follow the snowmobile trail to the bridge. Just a reminder, this is a challenging trail, with limited signage.
White River Suspension Bridge, Pukaskwa National Park
Location: Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario
Cost: $5.90+ (or free with a Parks Canada pass)
If you’re looking for a challenge, then hit the trails to White River Suspension Bridge in Pukaskwa National Park on the northern shores of Lake Superior. To get to the bridge, you have to follow the Coastal Trail, an extensive network leading through wetlands, forest and Canadian Shield to get to the magnificent overlook.
The 18 kilometre round trip trail leads you to White River Suspension Bridge, which sways 23 metres across White River looking down upon Chigamiwinigum Falls.
The trail is part of the National Park, so it’ll be well marked. The trail is rated difficult, and you’ll need to be well-prepared to set out on this trek.
Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park, Thunder Bay
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario
Cost: $12.25+ (or free with an Ontario Parks Annual Permit)
Northern Ontario features some of the most striking natural geological formations. Ouimet Canyon, north of Thunder Bay, is no exception. This provincial park surrounds a 100-metre deep, 150-metre wide and 2-kilometre long gash in the earth. Here, you’ll find a 1km easy loop trail leading to two viewing platforms and a bridge that crosses part of the canyon.
The magical setting makes this remote park worth the trip. There is ample parking and a visitor centre, so make sure to check out both while you’re there.
Eagle Canyon Suspension Bridge
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario
Located nearby Ouimet Canyon is the privately-owned Eagle Canyon, home to Canada’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge. There are actually two footbridges here, one spanning 183 metres across the canyon 56 metres below, and the other which is half the size and sits 38 metres above the canyon floor.
If the thrill of two swaying suspension bridges doesn’t do it for you, then you’ll have to suit up for Canada’s “longest, highest and fastest” zipline. You start 53 metres in the air and zip down, reaching speeds up to 73 kilometres per hour. The 800-metre ride only takes 60 seconds, but I’m sure you’ll want to try it again (or maybe never again). The zipline is an extra $60 on top of admission.
Location: Belfountain, Ontario
The Belfountain footbridge is a small suspension bridge crossing the West Credit River in the Belfountain Conservation Area overlooking a pretty waterfall inside the park.
This bridge is really easy and accessible to get to from the parking area. The pond loop is only 500 metres long and is perfect for a short scenic stroll.
This property is rich in history. It was the site of late-1800s mills before it was purchased in 1908 by an eccentric family who wanted to turn it into the area’s version of Niagara Falls. They built footpaths, fountains, scenic lookouts and the suspension bridge.
It’s almost as busy too; the park fills up quickly during the summer weekends, so plan accordingly. If the parking lot is full, you can park in the town and walk in; you will still have to pay entry.
These scenic bridges in Ontario offer some of the most gorgeous views of the surrounding landscape, and some are beautiful all on their own. Which one of these scenic bridges in Ontario would you want to visit first? Or do you have any you want me to add to this list?