With spring and summer about to kick into high gear, we asked the folks at Parks Canada to share their top 10 adventures that can be had at Ontario's National Parks.
Tour Flowerpot Island
Absorb the beauty and tranquility of Fathom Five National Marine Park on a glass-bottom boat tour or kayak trip to Flowerpot Island. Relax and enjoy the incredible rock formations that are among Canada’s most recognized and popular natural attractions. Hike the island’s trails, explore the cave or simply take in the flower and wildlife. Flowerpot Island... a destination for everyone.
Georgian Bay Islands
Lying on the edge of the Canadian Shield, the diverse ecosystems of the park islands offer outstanding biking, hiking, boating, canoeing and kayaking experiences. This ‘edge-effect’ is evident in the breathtaking park landscape of barren, glacier-scraped rock and windswept pines. Stay in rustic comfortable cabins or camp.
Paddle through the Thousand Islands
Surround yourself with nature. Convenient to major urban centres in central Ontario, St. Lawrence Island National Park is a tiny jewel with a rich and complex natural and human history. Navigate the park’s 20 islands by boat, then stay the night at one of its many island campsites. Relax and recharge amidst the rugged landscapes, island clusters, rocky cliffs, shipwrecks and wetlands.
Have an uplifting experience
Travelling Ontario’s waterways is an experience like no other. At Peterborough, you will find the world’s highest hydraulic lift lock. This open-air elevator for boats is like a giant bathtub that goes up and down ferrying boats from one water level to another. This is just one of the 45 locks you’ll experience as you travel the Trent-Severn Waterway.
Point Pelee National Park
Visit the southernmost point of mainland Canada, home to species and habitats found in few other places in the country. Watch for migrating songbirds and butterflies in spring and fall. Follow the floating boardwalk through one of the largest freshwater marshes on the Great Lakes or paddle through the cattails by canoe. This tiny peninsula is a sanctuary for people and nature alike.
Travel over 200 kM of heritage discovery
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007, the Rideau Canal is a beautiful system of lakes, rivers and canals. It winds 202 kilometres from Ottawa, Canada’s capital to Kingston, passing through the scenic countryside historic towns and quaint villages of Eastern Ontario along the way. There’s so much to see and do along the Rideau Canal.
Float on the world’s largest freshwater marine protect area
Cruise the wild, remote region of the Great Lakes in this corner of paradise. More than 70 species of fish inhabit the near-pristine water of Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes. Watch gulls, herons, eagles and pelicans as they fee in these waters. As many as 50 shipwrecks rest within the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area attesting to the power of the greatest of the Great Lakes.
Plunge into the deep
On the spine of the Niagara Escarpment, plunging below the lake and surfacing again on the shores of Manitoulin Island, Fathom Five National Marine Park is a region of stunning beauty above and beneath the water. Experience some of the world’s best freshwater diving. Novice snorkelers to advanced diving enthusiasts can explore fascinating underwater formations and more than 20 historical shipwrecks.
Pukaskwa National Park
The largest national park in Ontario, Pukaskwa protects over 1,800 square km of boreal forest and Lake Superior shoreline. Immerse yourself in the park’s exceptional beauty, revealed in its vistas of Lake Superior, rugged coastline s, landscapes and rushing rivers. The spirit of the wilderness envelops those who explore this special place.
Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site
Recreational boaters and landlubbers alike can experience fascinating examples of 19th-century technology and the many engineering "firsts" used in the construction of the Sault Canal’s historic lock. Don’t miss your chance to get up close to the last surviving emergency swing dam in the world and hear the fascinating story of how it saved the day during the disastrous 1909 accident.
Check out the map below to find out where all these great adventures can be had and be sure to visit www.pc.gc.ca for more details.
View Parks Canada - Ontario Water Adventures in a larger map