Think Spring!

Favourite family to-do's in Northeastern Ontario

As the days grow longer and the weather gets warmer, we're ready to stop hibernating and start savouring the great outdoors. Northeastern Ontario has countless natural outdoor attractions to seek and explore. So, strap on those hiking boots and pack your adventurous spirit! Here are five outdoor activities in Northeastern Ontario that are perfect to pursue in the spring:

Devil's Rock, Temiskaming Shores

It's a relatively easy hike with a big reward. Devil's Rock is a 150-metre, 2.2-million-year-old cliff overlooking Lake Temiskaming in Temiskaming Shores. There are two accesses to the scenic viewpoint: a 3-km trail with a gentle climb, and a 1.5-km hike with some rocky passages. Be sure to wear proper footwear, especially in the spring when sections of the trail can be wet and slippery. Once you reach the outlook, you'll be dazzled by the vast, 180-degree view of this landscape. It's one of the most spectacular scenes in the province, yet not very well known. Don't forget to pack your camera!

Duchesnay Falls, North Bay

Spring is one of the best times of year to go chasing waterfalls. Duchesnay Falls is just outside of North Bay, and it's easily accessible from the highway. Although you can witness part of the waterfall from the road, you must explore beyond those initial views. Hike the trails that run alongside this impressive, cascading waterfall to marvel at this endless flow of water. The stream rushes across dozens of rocky ledges and plunges over the rugged Canadian Shield. The entire trail is a 3-km loop, and you can hike from the base of the waterfall to the upper falls.

Bell Park, Sudbury

Just because you're in the city, it doesn't mean that you can't enjoy the outdoors! Bell Park has a lengthy boardwalk that connects the park to Science North along Lake Ramsey. It's an ideal spot to go for a walk, ride your bike, or go rollerblading. This urban pathway is part of the Rainbow Routes, a trail system in Greater Sudbury. It's a great way to get some exercise and enjoy nature without having to travel too far if you live in the city. The boardwalk is paved and flat, making it easy for the whole family to enjoy.

Eager to hike more in Sudbury? The Rainbow Routes Hike Club is a great way to discover the hiking trails of the Greater Sudbury region, and these group outings are always led by an experienced hiker. Trek the Bell Park path and beyond in a friendly environment on the first Saturday of each month, from May to September.

Stargazing, Manitoulin Island

Photo by Joel Gale, Flickr. Creative Commons License 4.0.

There is a Dark Sky Preserve at Gordon's Park on Manitoulin Island, offering some of the most stunning views of the night sky. You can gaze at the stars stretching across the horizon, without any bothersome light pollution or white noise. Bring your telescope to discover the constellations and far-flung galaxies (check out our Guide to Spring Stargazing here). Spring is also one of the best times of year to view the Aurora Borealis. Yes, you can see the Northern Lights frequently from here on cooler spring and fall evenings. While there are no guarantees of sightings, this is a dazzling phenomenon and one of the world's greatest natural wonders.

Unwind at a Nordic Spa, Timmins

After countless exhilarating adventures, it's time to relax at an outdoor Nordic spa. Soak in the waters of Cedar Meadows Resort and Spa in the City of Timmins. Alternating between hot and cold temperatures has numerous benefits, including boosting the immune system, stimulating circulation, improving sleep quality, and detoxifying the body. This Nordic Spa offers complete relaxation in the dry sauna, steam room and the whirlpool bath. Rotate between pools and rooms of varying temperatures for the full experience. You can also treat yourself to several spa treatments and packages at Cedar Meadows Resort and Spa.

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