Killarney’s magnificent landscapes once inspired the legendary Group of Seven artists, and the pristine provincial park still retains its reputation as “the jewel of the Ontario parks system.” With sapphire lakes, majestic pine forests and ancient white quartzite cliffs, this 645-square-km wilderness park offers fantastic hiking, world-class kayaking and canoeing, stand up paddleboarding, yurt and backcountry camping, and more. The charming historic village of Killarney is located just 10 km from Killarney Provincial Park, with impressive local eateries, relaxing pubs and elegant lodging for an ideal Northeastern Ontario summer escape.
Here are the top five activities to experience in Killarney!
Hike the Crack Trail
The Crack Trail (yes, that’s its official name) follows an old logging road before its rocky inclines grow steeper as the trail progresses. Hikers can snack on wild blueberries along the trail before reaching the unforgettable ridge summit three to four hours later. At the top of a breathtaking lookout point, hikers are treated to a truly epic panorama: the La Cloche mountain range, vibrant pine forests and deep glacial lakes shimmer under big Killarney skies. Don’t forget your camera—this is an iconic view that you'll want to remember.
Stand-Up Paddleboarding & Kayaking
Killarney has recently tapped into the growing popularity of stand-up paddleboarding. Thanks to Killarney Outfitters, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards are now available to rent in Killarney Park as well. On Georgian Bay and George Lake, kayakers and paddleboarders can glide through crystal-clear water while taking in the calming wilderness views. George Lake is the perfect spot to go paddleboarding, since the water is often smooth and exceptionally warm. For more adventurous paddleboarding and epic kayaking, Georgian Bay offers bigger waves and open water. According to Lonely Planet, Killarney is one of the finest kayaking destinations in the world. Don’t miss a chance to tick it off your bucket list!
Killarney Mountain Lodge Carousel Lounge
The uniquely octagonal Carousel Lounge at the Killarney Mountain Lodge is open to the public, and its impressive panoramic view of Georgian Bay makes it a must-visit spot for a drink. Relax on comfy bar couches, enjoy live entertainment, and choose from a great cocktail and wine list. Killarney Mountain Lodge serves up carefully crafted cuisine, and if you book well in advance, you can rest your head in one of the lodge’s heavenly chalets, cabins or pine rooms. Set amid Jack pine trees beside shimmering Georgian Bay, this luxurious lodge is a destination unto itself.
World’s Best Fish ‘n Chips
Killarney is home to the famous Herbert Fisheries, named by Canadian Living magazine as one of the top 10 fish and chip restaurants in Canada. Each day, local fishermen bring in freshly caught whitefish to feed the hungry crowds. Enjoy battered and deep fried whitefish, hand cut fries and homemade coleslaw. Wash it down with a choice of two types of beer on tap. Take your fish and chips to go, gaze outside at the bay as you dine inside the dockside restaurant, or enjoy your meal on the outdoor patio set beside scenic Georgian Bay. Come hungry!
Swim in Topaz Lake
Set at the edge of a freshwater fjord, this picture perfect lake shimmers with incredible turquoise and sapphire hues. The ultra-clear glacial lake is surrounded by white quartzite diving cliffs, so jump or dive at your own risk! Accessible only by an 11-km hike, paddling and portaging, or taking a boat cruise, the scenic lake along the Baie Fine fjord is well worth the journey. Here’s an insider tip: Topaz Lake is a local skinny-dipping hotspot.