Hiking / Ontario

The 37 Best Hikes in Ontario

Use a hiking log for your next hike to record what you see on your adventures | My Wandering Voyage Travel Blog

What constitutes being the best hikes in Ontario? Well, my rule in order to be considered for this list, is that the hike has to have a lookout or natural feature (like a waterfall or geological feature) that makes hiking worthwhile.


NOTE: Travel is not recommended at this time. These posts are here to serve as inspiration when we can explore again. Hey there – this post likely contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them. This helps me earn a few dollars to run this website.


| Best Hikes in Ontario | My Wandering Voyage travel blog

I’ve done plenty of hiking in Ontario where I’ve been unimpressed with the long stretches of boring trail. I mean, can we all agree that trees all look the same after a while?

The best example of this is hiking the Top of the Giant Trail in Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. There is 7km of boring, relatively flat trail that seriously messes with your mind because there is seriously NOTHING to look at. But once you jump onto the exciting part of the trail, it makes it all worthwhile.

The exception to my rule is thru-hiking. For example, the Bruce Trail has numerous boring portions of the trail, but being able to thru-hike it and say that you’ve hiked the Bruce Trail end-to-end is pretty darn cool. There are other hikes in Ontario that are considered thru-hikes or multi-day hikes. I’ve included some of them at the bottom of this list.

Hiking in Ontario

hiking in Algonquin | Best Hikes in Ontario | My Wandering Voyage travel blog

Ontario has a diverse landscape, from flat wetlands, to the Niagara Escarpment, to the rugged Canadian Shield. This makes these hikes in Ontario fun and exciting no matter where you decide to go. It also means that no matter where you live, there are plenty of awesome hikes within an hour’s drive.

When hiking, don’t forget to take the hiking essentials so that you are safe and prepared for any length of hike. Remember to bring snacks, water and protection against the elements!

Log your Hikes

hiking log book | Best Hikes in Ontario | My Wandering Voyage travel blog

A physical hiking logbook is a perfect companion for this list of hikes in Ontario. After a couple of years of fine-tuning, I turned my hiking log page into a physical book that you can get on Amazon!

This pocket journal helps you document your hikes and keeps track of your outdoor adventures! The Hiking Log is a perfect gift for hikers, campers and nature lovers.

You can track:

  • Trail location
  • Trail start and end points
  • Elevation
  • Total distance and duration
  • Weather conditions
  • Trail type and difficulty
  • Personal trail rating
  • Hiking buddies
  • Trail conditions
  • Observances
  • Plus, plenty of space to document your hike.

The Hiking Logbook features a convenient 5″x8″ size, ideal for your hiking bag; 104 pages with 52 hiking logs, one for every week of the year; thick interior pages; durable cover and the perfect binding for durability.

Best short hikes in Ontario

These hikes are all under 5km and are great for hiking beginners. All of them lead to epic views or an amazing natural feature. If you’re new to hiking these short hikes in Ontario are a great way to stretch your legs and get a feel for this adventure!

Just because these hikes are shorter doesn’t mean they’re not difficult! In fact, some of these trails are very rocky or have large elevation gains. Make sure to bring proper footwear on the trails and don’t compromise safety, just because it’s a shorter trail!

The Grotto (Georgian Bay Marr Lake Trail)

the grotto in winter | Best Hikes in Ontario | My Wandering Voyage travel blog

Location: Bruce Peninsula National Park, Bruce County

Length: 4km (with option to extend)

Difficulty: Moderate

This 4km trail takes you to one of the most famous sites in Ontario – The Grotto – at Bruce Peninsula National Park. You can’t beat the amazing views of turquoise waters from the rugged cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment.

The trail starts off really easy with slight inclines. You get to walk over a bridge with the tiniest of waterfalls coming from Cyprus Lake. As soon as you pass the two outhouses, the trail starts to get more rugged. As you follow the escarpment, you’ll get views of the cove, the famous Grotto and boulder beach. If you extend the hike to Overhang Point (which I totally suggest you do), make sure to turn around because the Bruce Trail continues all the way to Tobermory.

RELATED: 31 Best Places to go Camping in Ontario

Stubbs Falls Trail

stubbs falls arrowhead | Best Hikes in Ontario | My Wandering Voyage travel blog

Location: Arrowhead Provincial Park, The District Municipality of Muskoka

Length: 2km

Difficulty: easy

I’m a big fan of this easy trail in Arrowhead Provincial Park. Stubb’s Falls Trail is a short loop trail that takes you through a beautiful forest beside the campground in the park down into a little valley where you cross over Stubb’s Falls. You can even explore this waterfall up close! The bridge over the water makes for a great photo spot!

Once you cross the bridge, you’ll follow the trail, which is a little more hilly and narrow on the north side of the river back to the main park road. You can park at the parking lot on the other side of this road. Don’t forget to check out the other famous pedestrian bridge in Arrowhead Provincial Park that crosses the Little East River.

RELATED: Top Things to do in Muskoka in Winter

Flowerpot Island Loop Trail

flower pot island | Best Hikes in Ontario | My Wandering Voyage travel blog

Location: Fathom Five National Marine Park, Bruce County 

Length: 2.5km

Difficulty: easy-difficult

Visiting Flowerpot Island is a bucket list item for many Ontarians, and it’s so easy to see why. The small island, located off the coast from Tobermory, boasts some of the only remaining flowerpot geological formations in the province. These sea stacks are what draw people to the island, but there is so much more to see.

This 2.5km loop trail starts out really flat, with one set of stairs to get to the flowerpots. Then the trail gets a bit more adventurous. You can pop into a cave and follow the trail to the lighthouse on the other side of the island. Most people return the same way, but continuing on the loop trail is well worth it! You get to see some of the rugged beauty at the centre of the island.

RELATED: The Complete Guide to Tobermory and Flowerpot Island Camping

Barron Canyon Trail

barron canyon algonquin provincial park | Best Hikes in Ontario | My Wandering Voyage travel blog

Location: Algonquin Provincial Park, Nipissing District

Length: 1.5km

Difficulty: moderate

There’s so much more to Algonquin than just the Hwy 60 corridor! Seriously, look at a map and you’ll see how much park exists north of this small stretch of highway. One location that is a must-see in Algonquin, not on the corridor is Barron Canyon Trail.

This trail is just a short 1.5km moderate loop trail that takes you to a spectacular view over Barron Canyon, a 100m deep gorge that cuts through the landscape. Be warned, there is no fence at the lookout of this trail and it’s a steep drop, so don’t get close to the edge!

Getting here is an adventure too. It’s a 30km drive on a dirt road, through wilderness that you probably won’t have a cell signal in. But it’s so cool and a must-see!

Niagara Glen Trail

Location: Niagara Falls, Regional Municipality of Niagara

Length: 4km

Difficulty: moderate to difficult

This trail has been on my bucket list for quite some time! Within Niagara Glen, there are several paths you can take, but the best one, I’ve heard, is the River Trail. The trail takes you along the swirling turquoise waters of Niagara River through 400 million years of natural history. You won’t want to miss the gorgeous scenery during the fall, but make sure to stay back from the water, as it’s super dangerous.

Agawa Pictographs Trail

agawa pictographs, lake superior provincial park | Best Hikes in Ontario | My Wandering Voyage travel blog

Location: Lake Superior Provincial Park, Algoma County

Length: 800m

Difficulty: moderate-difficult

For a short trail, this one packs a punch. The trail descends along a rugged trail into the forest to the shore of Lake Superior. It’s not an easy trail, but it’s short, and the views you see at the end of this in-and-out trail are worth it. The trail takes you along a volcano fissure, and to Agawa Rock, a stone canvas of Indigenous pictographs dating back 400 years.

This area is important to the Ojibwe people for millennia, and these pictographs tell stories of important events. The most prominent of the paintings is Misshepezhieu, the spirit of Lake Superior. It could calm the waters or bring wind and storms.

Getting out to the rocks to view the pictographs, requires a calm day as the waves easily splash up and can sweep you out to much deeper water. Remember, do not touch the pictographs as they are sacred to Indigenous people.

Along the way back, you’ll be scrambling along boulders back to the parking lot.

Cranberry Bog Trail

cranberry bog trail | Best Hikes in Ontario | My Wandering Voyage travel blog

Location: Killarney Provincial Park, Sudbury District

Length: 4km

Difficulty: Moderate

When you think of Killarney Provincial Park, the first trail that comes to mind is The Crack. But the other trails in the park are worth the hike too! This trail will give you a taste of the La Cloche Trail, hiking around bogs, marshes, rocks and forests. Keep an eye out for beaver dams and surrounding wildlife.

I loved the first viewpoint of the bog with the gorgeous granite in the background and this awesome bridge that goes around a natural dam between two lakes.

Devil’s Rock Trail

devil's rock trail | Best Hikes in Ontario | My Wandering Voyage travel blog

Location: Near Haileybury, Temiskaming District

Length: 2.4 km

Difficulty: easy-moderate

This in-and-out trail near Haileybury is one of the coolest hikes I’ve done. It’s so short, so the views are so worth the minimal effort. First, you’ll want to park at the small parking lot along Hwy 657. This is the trailhead for the shorter loop. If you go to Bucke Park Campground trailhead, then you’ll be in for a much longer, more strenuous hike. The trail itself isn’t super interesting, but the view from the end of the trail is fabulous!

I loved sitting, watching the sailboats whip around Lake Temiskaming and the views over the border into Quebec.

Old Baldy Lookout Trail

old baldy lookout | Best Hikes in Ontario | My Wandering Voyage travel blog

Location: Grey Highlands, Grey County

Length: 2km

Difficulty: easy-moderate

This trail is one that I return to every season. I love the view from the top of Old Baldy, which is a very steep part of the Niagara Escarpment. You can park (paid) at the parking lot of the Old Baldy Conservation Area. From there the trail goes into the forest to the lookout point at the top of the cliff. There is no fence, so don’t go too close to the edge.

Keep your eye out for the numerous turkey vultures who call these cliffs home. And see if you can find the ski hills at Talisman and Beaver Valley ski clubs.

From the lookout, you can backtrack to loop back to the parking lot. If you continue on the trail, you will eventually come to the main Bruce Trail. Unless you want to walk down the cliff then back up to your car, do not continue on this trail, instead, turn back and head back to the parking lot.

Cliff Top Trail

bon echo mazinaw rock | Best Hikes in Ontario | My Wandering Voyage travel blog

Location: Bon Echo Provincial Park, Frontenac County

Length: 1.5km

Difficulty: moderate

If you love heights, gorgeous views and a short trail, the Cliff Top Trail is for you. You can only access the trailhead by boat since it’s on the other side of Mazinaw Lake from the Bon Echo campground. There is a ferry service that runs during the summer for a fee. The ferry takes you to the Indigenous pictographs on the cliff face as well. You can also rent a canoe or kayak to get to the dock.

This trail is pretty short, but there are a bunch of stairs, so the trail is rated moderate. The trail leads you to three observation platforms.

Egg Rock/ Whispering Pines Trail

egg rock trail | Best Hikes in Ontario | My Wandering Voyage travel blog

Location: Bonnechere Provincial Park, Renfrew County

Length: 0.5km

Difficulty: moderate

This trail was the most rewarding trail I’ve ever been on, mostly because it’s so freaking short and the view from the top was amazing! This trail, which is located between Algonquin Provincial Park and Bonnechere Provincial Park, is maintained by the Friends of Bonnechere Parks. You can grab a trail book at the Bonnechere Parks Store.

You start your hike ascending from the valley floor to the top of Egg Rock, which gives you a fantastic view of the valley and lakes. You’re right on the border of Algonquin Provincial Park, so it really feels secluded from up above. Keep an eye out for turkey vultures!

Hell’s Gate Trail

high falls hell's gate trail | Best Hikes in Ontario | My Wandering Voyage travel blog

Location: Kap-Kig-Iwan Provincial Park, Timiskaming District

Length: 3.5km

Difficulty: moderate

Follow the Englehart River and see how it has carved out a path through the rock. Spot the multiple waterfalls and rapid along this trek and finally see Hell’s Gate, an epic waterfall at the very end of the trail.

This spot is actually really cool because it’s surrounded by a pretty flat area of the province, which is surprising since it’s so far north. You’ll drive along the flat fields surrounding New Liskeard, then when you come to Kap-Kig-Iwan, it’s a huge ravine. Rocks are neat!

Kap-Kig-Iwan also boasts about the fact they have no black flies due to their elevation, so that’s always a plus when hiking in the summer in Northern Ontario!

Lookout Point Trail

lookout point trail killbear | Best Hikes in Ontario | My Wandering Voyage travel blog

Location: Killbear Provincial Park, District of Parry Sound

Length: 3.5km

Difficulty: Moderate

This trail starts out with a nice boardwalk and it then turns into a muddy and rocky trail that leads you to a nice lookout over Georgian Bay. Killbear is such a beautiful park and I also recommend visiting the Twin Point Trail (1.6km) and Lighthouse Trail (800m) while in the area.

Ouimet Canyon

Ouimet Canyon | Best Hikes in Ontario | My Wandering Voyage travel blog | #Travel #Hikes #Ontario #Canada

Location: Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park, Thunder Bay District

Length: 1.8km

Difficulty: Easy

If you want to see one of the most spectacular views in Ontario, then you’ll want to hike this trail. The Ouimet Canyon Trail leads you to viewing platforms of Ouimet Canyon, a 100-metre deep, 150-metre wide naturally forming scar on the earth made by glaciers and erosion. ⁠Looking down into the floor of the canyon is a mind trip. It’s so hard even to comprehend how deep it is, and yet, on the floor, you’ll find arctic plants surviving in the mini-ecosystem.

The trail is short, just over a kilometre, which takes you to two incredible viewpoints over the canyon and across a beautiful little bridge.

High Falls Trail

high falls trail pigeon river | Best Hikes in Ontario | My Wandering Voyage travel blog

Location: Pigeon River Provincial Park, Thunder Bay District

Length: 2km

Difficulty: moderate

Pigeon River has got to be the weirdest provincial park I’ve been to. It sits right on the border between the United States and Canada, and both countries have a park dedicated to it. On the Canadian side, you park at the Ontario Information building, located less than 300 metres from the border and walk along the trails into the park. There are several trails here, but I suggest hopping on the High Falls trail. This 2km trail takes you under the highway and along an old logging road to a picturesque viewpoint over High Falls.

You’ll learn about the logging history of the area as well as the history of the resorts that used to call this place home. There’s even a fireplace and chimney still standing from one of the old buildings.

Potholes Trail

potholes trail | Best Hikes in Ontario | My Wandering Voyage travel blog

Location: Potholes Provincial Park, Sudbury District

Length: 800m

Difficulty: easy

This in-ann-out trail takes you along glacial potholes formed thousands of years ago. This park is a little tricky to find (don’t trust Google Maps!), but it’s about halfway between Wawa and Chapleau. It’s just off the main highway and offers a great place for a picnic. The trail includes some boardwalks and bridges and includes some interesting information signs to read along the way. This place is a hidden gem, that’s worth stopping for!

Rainbow Falls Trail

Rainbow Falls | Best Hikes in Ontario | My Wandering Voyage travel blog | #Travel #Hikes #Ontario #Canada

Location: Rainbow Falls Provincial Park, Thunder Bay District

Length: 2.2km

Difficulty: easy-moderate

From the trailhead, you’ll follow a boardwalk and stairs that lead you along the Hewitson River as it cascades down. From the bridge, you’ll see how the colours of the rocks change as you descend, which is probably what gave this place its name. Rainbow Falls isn’t a particularly large waterfall. But it’s an easy hike in a cool area, so who can complain?

Be careful to turn around at the bridge or you’ll end up hiking the much longer Casque-Isles Trail.

Ragged Falls Trail

ragged falls trail | Best Hikes in Ontario | My Wandering Voyage travel blog

Location: Oxtongue River-Ragged Falls Trail, Muskoka Region

Length: 1km

Difficulty: easy-moderate

This is a pretty simple in-and-out trail that leads to Ragged Falls on Oxtongue River. You’ll be able to hear the roar of the waterfall from the parking lot. Once you follow the trail in, follow the river upwards to the top of the falls. Depending on the time of year, you can climb on the rocks to the bottom of the falls (just please be careful!)

Note: if you decide to visit during winter, you’ll have to park at the gate and walk the 500 metres before hopping onto the trail.

Crystal Falls Trail

crystal falls sudbury | Best Hikes in Ontario | My Wandering Voyage travel blog

Location: Kinmen Park, Sudbury District

Length: 1km

Difficulty: easy

Follow this easy boardwalk trail to the first viewing platform of Crystal Falls, a 15m cascade waterfall. You can choose to follow the trail to the other viewing platforms and eventually to the top of the waterfall. There are other, longer trails in the area too.

Lookout Trail

lookout trail algonquin | Best Hikes in Ontario | My Wandering Voyage travel blog

Location: Algonquin Provincial Park, Renfrew County

Length: 1.9km

Difficulty: moderate

Lookout Trail is one of the more popular hikes in Ontario, that’s because the view at the end of this trail is spectacular! This short trail starts off with a climb. Seriously, you just keep going up and up until you hit the lookout. Make sure to grab lots of photos and don’t stand too close to the edge.

RELATED: Day Hiking Essentials: What’s in my day pack?

Best day hikes in Ontario

Looking for a little bit more of a challenge? These best day hikes in Ontario, which are all over 5kms are considered moderate to difficult, due to length and trail ruggedness. But all of these places are spectacular, and for a prepared hiker, it will be an awesome afternoon of hiking.

Hardy Lake Loop Trail

Location: Hardy Lake Provincial Park, District of Muskoka

Length: 8.7km

Difficulty: moderate

Hardy Lake loop trail has been on my bucket list for so long! It’s located in the beautiful Muskoka region and boasts pretty views of the gorgeous Canadian shield. The long loop takes you along a forest trail and over two boardwalk bridges to an island. This image famously represents this park and trail, so it’s a must-see!

Nokomis Trail

nokomis trail lake superior | Best Hikes in Ontario | My Wandering Voyage travel blog

Location: Lake Superior Provincial Park, Algoma District

Length: 5km

Difficulty: Difficult

Nokomis Trail takes you to one of the best viewpoints in Lake Superior Provincial Park. It’s not an easy hike by any means, since you’re basically walking from road level all the way up this large cliff. But once you get to the top, the view over Old Woman Bay is breathtaking and well worth the effort.

I suggest walking the hike counter-clockwise, where you climb up the backway of the cliff. It’s a bit more gradual and treats you with the view nearer to the end of the trail. If you decide to go clockwise, you’ll be in for a more strenuous climb.

Make sure to start the hike early (or later in the afternoon during the summer months) since the parking lot at Old Woman Bay fills up quickly.

The Crack (part of La Cloche Silhouette Trail)

the crack killarney | Best Hikes in Ontario | My Wandering Voyage travel blog

Location: Killbear Provincial Park, Sudbury District

Length: 6km

Difficulty: Difficult

I have to say, if you do one of these hikes in Ontario, please, let it be this one. Hiking to the Crack in Killarney Provincial Park has got to be one of the best hikes in Ontario. It has a range of geographical features and is really not that long.

I didn’t find it terribly difficult, but I can see how it can be tricky if you don’t have experience or if you’re not properly prepared.

The hike starts off by following an old logging road. Once you leave that the trail takes you through a forested area, over boardwalk, around lakes and such. Then you start the climb on the quartzite La Cloche mountains – yes it’s an actual mountain range in Ontario. The trees thin out here and it’s quite open, so make sure you bring sun protection!

After climbing a couple of ridges, you get to the bottom of the Crack, a split in the rock that takes you up to a beautiful view. This part is the trickiest since you need to navigate over large, sharp boulders in order to make your way up. But once you get to the top, you are treated to the most amazing view over the La Cloche Mountains.

Pro tip: Pack a lunch and enjoy it at the top!

Then make your way back down, carefully over the large boulders and back down to the parking lot.

Southern Headland Trail, Manito Miikana and Beach Trail loop

southern headland trail pukaskwa | Best Hikes in Ontario | My Wandering Voyage travel blog

Location: Pukaskwa National Park, Thunder Bay District

Length: 6.2km

Difficulty: Moderate-difficult

Pukaskwa National Park is a great place for hiking. It’s pretty remote, so if you decide to go, I suggest camping at the park to take advantage of all the awesome trails in the area. The southern Headland Trail combines with the Manito Miikana and Beach Trail, makes for a great loop around the campground area of the park.

The hike takes you from the visitor centre, along the coastline to viewpoints (where you’ll find the famous red chairs) then out to a rocky peninsula. From here you can see the rugged shoreline of Lake Superior. Follow the trail to Horseshoe Bay and hop on the Boardwalk Beach Trail that links up to Manito Miikana. This section of the trail takes you through the forest and over a crevasse to two incredible viewpoints along a rocky peninsula. The views here are 10/10. This loop takes you back to the Beach Trail, which you can take north along the middle beach and back to the north loop campground. Follow the campground until you get back to the visitor centre.

Cup and Saucer Trail

Location: Manitoulin Island

Length: 5 to 10 km

Difficulty: Moderate-Difficult

This trail is another bucket list trail for me, but everything I’ve been near it, it’s been horrible weather! Anyway, remember the Niagara Escarpment? Well, it doesn’t just stop at Tobermory! In fact, it circles around Manitoulin Island, Michigan and Wisconsin. And one of the best hikes in Ontario takes you to the most amazing lookout from the Niagara Escarpment on Manitoulin Island.

From the trailhead, there are three loops to the Cup and Saucer Trail. The main one is about 5km and leads you up to the viewpoints. There is the Adventure Trail, a 500-metre bypass of the main trail. This one is not for the faint of heart as it takes you along some pretty challenging terrain. Lastly, if you want to extend your stay on the Cup and Saucer Trail, you can add on the South Loop, which is an additional 5km.

No matter which section you choose, you won’t miss out on the incredible views from the top.

Twin Bridges Trail

twin bridges trail chutes provincial park | Best Hikes in Ontario | My Wandering Voyage travel blog

Location: Chutes Provincial Park, Sudbury and District

Length: 6km

Difficulty: moderate

The Twin Bridges Trail in Chutes Provincial Park takes you along the Aux Sables River and over two pretty bridges. You’ll be able to see some gorgeous scenery along the way and see a couple of lookouts over the main waterfall.

The massive cascade waterfall is pretty epic and not to be missed! They even have some interpretive signs about the history of the area.

Multiple Trails at Mono Cliffs

Location: Mono, Dufferin County

Length: Varying

Difficulty: Moderate

If you’re looking for a moderate trail near the city, Mono Cliffs offers just that. There are several trails that weave through this provincial park, but the ones you’re going to want to see are the Spillway Trail and Cliff Top Side Trail, which take you along this incredible boardwalk through a crevice then up to a viewing platform lookout.

However, it does seem like everyone and their mother knows about Mono Cliffs, so my advice is to go when the weather isn’t as nice or on a weekday. You do have to purchase a daily permit pass on the Ontario Parks site, and since it’s popular, I suggest booking at least a week ahead.

Pic Island Overlook

Location: Neys Provincial Park, Thunder Bay District

Length: 9km

Difficulty: Difficult

Pic Island Overlook in Neys Provincial Park is a gorgeous spot to hike to and has been on my bucket list for years. The trail is about 4.5km one way. You can either decide to make it a loop back to the campground or back the way you came. The lookout point is made famous by Group of Seven painter Lawren Harris. The lookout offers some pretty spectacular views that were painted by the artist. The park has set up a picnic shelter at the top as well as a Group Of Seven art easel to tell you more about the view.

Best long hikes in Ontario

Want to fill your boots with an amazing multi-day hike? There are so many amazing multi-day hikes in Ontario. Here are just a few of them:

Beaver Valley Loop

eugenia falls beaver valley | Best Hikes in Ontario | My Wandering Voyage travel blog

Location: Beaver Valley, Grey County

Length: 31km

Difficulty: Difficult

The Beaver Valley Loop of the Bruce Trail offers hikers some pretty spectacular views of the Niagara Escarpment. The hike starts at the Beaver Valley Ski Club parking lot, although you can park at any parking spot along the loop. If you go the loop clockwise, it starts by ascending the Valley Crossover Side Trail then hooks onto the main trail.

From there, you follow the main trail through the Eugenia Falls Conservation Area, then down into Hoggs Falls. The trail leads you to the southernmost point of the Beaver Valley section of the Bruce Trail before leading you back up the western side of the valley ridge.

On the western side, you’ll pass Stew Hilts Falls and an unnamed cascade waterfall near Grey Road 30.

If you complete this loop trail, even in multiple hikes, you can earn the Falling Water badge from the Beaver Valley Bruce Trail Club.

Bruce Trail

beaver valley loop of bruce trail | Best Hikes in Ontario | My Wandering Voyage travel blog

Location: From Queenston to Tobermory

Length: 900+km

Difficulty: Difficult-Strenuous

There’s no way I can mention the best hikes in Ontario without mentioning the Bruce Trail. This 900-km long trail starts in Queenston Heights near Niagara Falls and follows the rugged Niagara Escarpment to Tobermory. Millions of people live within a 30-minute drive of the trail, yet once you get out there, it’s like you’ve left civilization behind.

There are nine sections of the trail – Niagara, Iroquoia, Toronto, Caledon Hills, Dufferin Hi-Land, Blue Mountain, Beaver Valley, Sydenham and Peninsula. Each offers end-to-end section badges and you can even get a crest once you complete the whole trail. Not many people have completed it, a couple thousand people at most!

Generally, the trail is rated difficult, but there are easier sections of the trail if you want to test the waters.

The first thing you’ll need to hike the Bruce Trail is to purchase a guidebook. This book has updated detailed maps with descriptions on the trail, along with the 400+km side trails.

It can feel a bit daunting to set out on the Bruce, but if you think of it in small sections to complete, it gets easier. I’m almost finished completing my first section – just 20 km to go!!

Grand Valley Trail

grand valley trail | Best Hikes in Ontario | My Wandering Voyage travel blog

Location: From Belwood to Port Maitland

Length: 250km+

Difficulty: Moderate

If you want to take a hike on an underrated, and usually empty trail, in Ontario, then the Grand Valley Trail is one hike in Ontario you’ve got to check out. The Grand Valley Trail runs from Belwood to Port Maitland along the historic Grand River. Similar to the Bruce Trail, there are four sections – Pinnacle (40km), Black Walnut (75.6km), Carolinian Crest (68.9km), and Towpath (65.3km).

The trail takes you through the gorgeous watershed of the Grand River and is generally a moderate trail. There are some more difficult sections, and there are some sections of road walking through towns and cities. But generally, you’re going to be walking along or near the river!

I don’t think I’ve met a lot of people who know about this trail, and any time I’ve been on it, I haven’t run into anyone else! It’s definitely one of the more underrated hikes in Ontario.

Top of the Giant Trail

top of the giant trail sleeping giant | Best Hikes in Ontario | My Wandering Voyage travel blog

Location: Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, Thunder Bay District

Length: 22km

Difficulty: Difficult

What can I say about the Top of the Giant Trail? Well, it was probably one of the most difficult hikes in Ontario I’ve ever done, but not how you might expect.

The trail is actually three trails in Sleeping Giant Provincial Park that leads you to the knees of the Giant, aka the tallest cliffs in Ontario. The great part is that the trails are really well marked, so you know exactly where you’re going and how far you are at all times. From the trailhead, you follow along the Kabeyun Trail, where there are only two places of significance: the Sea Lion rock formation and a sky toilet. The Sea Lion rock formation is only 800m off the main trail and I highly recommend stopping by on your way in and not on your way out. The Sky Toilet is just a toilet in the middle of the forest, which I found hilarious and useful.

Other than that, you are pretty much walking FOREVER. At least it feels that way since the trail itself isn’t all that interesting, it’s wide, relatively flat and boring. I understand why many people elect to bike to the trail intersection, rather than walk.

Once you get to the intersection of Kabeyun Trail and Talus Lake Trail, you’ll see a bike rack. From there you head about a kilometre along a winding hilly trail to the Top of The Giant Trail. You’ll pass a large marshy area that could also be a lake depending on the time of year, then switchback up the back of the Sibley Peninsula. Once you reach the “top” you’ll be treated with a lovely view of T Harbour, but you still have a little while to go, just another couple hundred meters across the top of the giant to the knees, a giant crevice with an INCREDIBLE view. It will all be worth it once you get there.

Make sure to pack a lunch, because you’re going to want to stop and hang out there for a while. Because you’ll hang a long way back down the cliff and along that long, boring trail back to the trailhead.

RELATED: Toronto to Thunder Bay: a 10-day Northern Ontario road trip along Lake Superior’s spectacular coast

White River Suspension Bridge

white river suspension bridge, pukaskwa national park | Best Hikes in Ontario | My Wandering Voyage travel blog

Location: Pukaskwa National Park, Thunder Bay District

Length: 18km

Difficulty: Difficult

If I could name my favourite hike I’ve ever done, the White River Suspension Bridge hike would make the list. It wasn’t an easy hike, by any means, but it had to have the most diverse range of ecosystems on the trail.

You first walk through an area that is regrowing after a controlled burn. Then along a thin boardwalk through the muddy forest until you reach the marsh of Playter Harbour. You’ll hike over this bog on a thin, wobbly boardwalk, but it was one of my favourite sections of the trail. After that, you’ll be hiking over, around and through rugged rocky sections of the trail before the trail starts to even out. After one last ascent, you’ll come to the prize: White River Suspension Bridge over Chigaamiwinigum Falls.

Pack and lunch and stay a while at the bridge, before turning around and doing it all over again.

RELATED: Everything you need to know about Pukaskwa National Park [+ hiking guide]

Coastal Hiking Trail (Pukaskwa)

pukaskwa coastal trail | Best Hikes in Ontario | My Wandering Voyage travel blog

Location: Pukaskwa National Park, Thunder Bay District

Length: 60km (120km return)

Difficulty: Difficult-Strenuous

If you’ve ever thought about doing a scenic, multi-day hiking trip, then consider the Coastal Hiking Trail in Pukaskwa National Park. This 60km (120km return if you don’t arrange a water shuttle) hike is one of the best hikes in Ontario for that!

It follows the rugged shoreline of Lake Superior, leaving from the Visitor Centre of Pukaskwa National Park. The trail leads you through an epic bog, over rocky landscapes, over sandy and pebble beaches, across rivers and through gorgeous boreal forests.

You’ll need to be properly prepared to tackle this epic trail, but it’s truly an incredible hike. I’ve only done a short section of it and was so impressed by the feeling I got being so small in this massive extent of wilderness.

Coastal Hiking Trail (Lake Superior)

lake superior coastal trail | Best Hikes in Ontario | My Wandering Voyage travel blog

Location: Lake Superior Provincial Park, Algoma County

Length: 65km

Difficulty: Difficult-Strenuous

Pack your bags for this epic 65km (130km return if you don’t arrange a water shuttle) hike along the Lake Superior shoreline of Lake Superior Provincial Park. On this trail, you’ll hike through rugged rocky terrain, over craigs and beaches, along a waterfall and you’ll see some of the darkest skies in Canada.

It’s not for the faint of heart, as you’ll need to be properly prepared to tackle this trail.

La Cloche Silhouette Trail

la cloche silhouette trail | Best Hikes in Ontario | My Wandering Voyage travel blog

Location: Killarney Provincial Park, Sudbury District

Length: 78km

Difficulty: Difficult-Strenuous

Another epic multi-day hike is La Cloche Silhouette Trail in Killarney Provincial Park. This 78km loop trail takes you along the valleys and peaks of the La Cloche Mountain Range. You’ll pass over challenging but gorgeous terrain for 7 to 10 days, so you’ll need to be extra prepared.

Many hikers opt to do the loop clockwise, to limit the number of steep inclines with a heavy pack. The best bet if you want to set out on this trail is to do your research, buy the guidebook and connect with the Killarney Outfitters before setting out so that you are fully prepared!

Casque-Isles Trail

Location: Rossport to Terrace Bay, Thunder Bay District

Length: 53km

Difficulty: Difficult

The Casque Isles Trail is an underrated trail that connects Rossport to Terrace Bay in five chunks – McLeans (14km), Schreiber Channel (13km), Mount Gwynne (7km), Death Valley (10km), and Lyda Bay (6km). The trail weaves its way through the forest and the rugged shoreline of Lake Superior. 

The whole trail can be divided into smaller, more manageable sections. There are unofficial camping spots along the trail if you decide to tackle the trail all in one go. You can find the guidebook on Terrace Bay’s website.


If one of your favourite hikes in Ontario isn’t on this list, drop it in the comments, I’d love to check it out! This list will always be updated with my favourite hikes in Ontario as I hike them.

About Author

Olivia Rutt is the travel writer and photographer behind My Wandering Voyage, a travel website helping working millennials find time to travel. She shares insight in trip planning, travel inspiration and photography tips. Olivia hails from southern Ontario, Canada where she works in the media industry between travels. Follow Olivia on Instagram where she shares her travel photos, or catch up with her on Facebook or Twitter.

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