Ontario’s Top 10 Adventures!
1) White Water Rafting, Ottawa River
White water rafting has to be the number one sport for good, clean, terrifying fun, and when you’re not shrieking with excitement you can take in the stunning Canadian wilderness from the Ottawa River – one of the top five white water rafting locations in the world! And as the river’s name suggests, it’s easily accessible from the Canadian capital – trips start as near as just an hour and a half from Ottawa.
2) Canoeing, Algonquin Park
Algonquin Park is huge – almost 3,000 square miles, which is bigger than Lincolnshire – and there are 950 miles of canoe routes, which is lucky as there’s only one road going through the park and motorboats are restricted to a few lakes. So canoe really is the best way to explore. You’ll see unspoiled lakes and rivers, diverse wildlife and unique forests where northern conifers and southern hardwoods meet.
3) Hiking, The Bruce Trail
The Bruce Trail is a 500-mile walking trail starting at Queenston on the Niagara River, and finishing at Tobermory, the jumping off point for scuba diving destination the Fathom Five National Marine Park. If you don’t have time to do the whole thing you can of course do any part of it, and it’s commonly split into nine shorter sections as shown on the website https://brucetrail.org. Cliffs, caves, valleys and waterfalls mark most of the route, and you can also take a side path to Niagara Falls.
4) Canopy Walking, Haliburton Forest
Don’t look down… this is the longest canopy boardwalk in the world: over half a kilometre long and between 10 and 20 metres above the ground. And when we say boardwalk don’t think we mean it’s wide – you’ll be glad of your harness. But what a super way to take in this fabulous forest.
5) Kayaking, Georgian Bay
Back down at lake level, Georgian Bay isn’t on the sea – it’s part of Lake Huron, one of the five Great Lakes on the Canada/US border. Paddling it’s spectacular, not least because the eastern shore is dotted with 30,000 islands to explore (really). Take your wild camping kit – this is unchartered territory, or as good as, at it’s best.
6) Niagara Falls – by boat and chopper
This one needs little introduction: Niagara Falls is so spectacular you need to see it in as many ways as you can. Take a heli-ride over the falls to really get a feel for its size, then get up close and drenched on the Maid of the Mist boat tour www.maidofthemist.com.
7) Ice climbing, Batchawana Bay
Yep, Ontario’s got it all in winter too, and if you’re made of tough stuff, head to Batchawana Bay on the eastern shore of Lake Superior. The Batchawana Bay-Agawa Canyon area has more than 10 separate ice climbing areas featuring climbs of a variety of grades and ranging from between 10m and 200m long. We like the look of Mother of Pearl – a doable grade 3+ climb of 20m.
8) Mountain Biking – take the Ontario North Bike Train
Yes you read it right – a train service dedicated to making sure mountain bikers can get everywhere they need to to explore this fabulous province. How different to the UK and Europe where it’s more difficult to get a bike on a train than it is to pass a chemistry A Level. And wherever you disembark in the north of Ontario, the biking options are endless. www.biketrain.ca/ontario-north-bike-train
9) Diving in the Thousand Islands
The Canadians don’t exaggerate with their place names because they don’t need to – there are more than 1,000 islands along the St Lawrence River and the eastern shores of Lake Ontario, hence this area’s name. And the great news is, the Thousand Island region is the gateway to the St Lawrence Seaway System – a notoriously difficult passage of water that’s claimed hundreds of boats over the last 400 years. A diver’s paradise.
What a way to cover ground in the snow (and Canada gets an impressive dosage of the stuff) and what an amazing set-up for it: Ontario has the world’s largest inter-connected snowmobile trail system – nearly 35,000km of them. Whether you’re throttle happy and want to blast it, or prefer to pootle through the wilderness, this is a top way to see the wonderful landscape.
More secret discoveries in Ontario.