In this age of digital connectedness and instant sharing, capturing the moments of life is part of our culture. Have you ever been inspired to pause, exhale and let a moment capture you? Here are four Ontario outdoor trip ideas designed for those moments. Make sure your camera is always close at hand!
DIP INTO THE CANADIAN CANOE CULTURE
If paddling is part of your DNA, this trip is for you
Experience an amazing canoeing adventure into the heart of Northern Ontario’s wilderness.
In Ontario we are never far from water; it surrounds us, separates us and connects us, and possibly the most iconic symbol of our relationship with water is the canoe. James Raffan, Director of the Canadian Canoe Museum, puts it this way;
“If it is love that binds people to places in this nation of rivers and in this river of nations then one enduring expression of that simple truth, is surely the canoe.”
Travel to a place with legendary landscapes of majestic waterfalls, lakes and wilderness, and experience a profound connection to the canoeing culture. Start in Thunder Bay, the gateway to Northwest Ontario adventure. Make your own waves on Lake Superior on one of Sail Superior’s various sailing excursions. Tour the Sleeping Giant Brewing Company and sample locally brewed beer inspired by fresh, clean water.
You’ll be captivated by the drama of Kakabeka Falls, the ‘Niagara of the North’. Join Voyageur Wilderness Programme on a guided canoe trip along waters less traveled into Quetico Provincial Park and dip into the meditative bliss of finding your perfect paddling rhythm.
Tip: Mother Nature can be unpredictable, be prepared to be flexible and pack your woollies.
FOR THE ADVENTUROUS SPIRIT
Search for polar bears and beluga whales
Northeastern Ontario is home to some of the province’s most magnificent wildlife. Bearded seals, polar bears, beluga whales and snow geese migrate to and from the Hudson Bay, while moose, elk, deer and bison roam the old growth forests.
DYK: this region is also home to a small population of ‘Spirit’ Moose? Just west of Timmins, in and around the small Francophone community of Foleyet and the Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park sightings of the white coloured Moose (the ‘spirit’ or ‘ghost’ moose) have been reported.
You’re guaranteed to witness some of these animals, as well as unique Indigenous culture on this three day trip into the heart of the Hudson Bay watershed. If you’re lucky you might be treated to sightings of the northern lights as well.
Keep your eyes peeled for seals, beluga whales and snow geese along the Moose River up to the mouth of the Hudson Bay. Watch furry residents Ganuk, Inukshuk and Henry frolic in the five-acre enclosure at the Polar Bear Habitat in Cochrane, the only captive bear facility in the world dedicated to polar bears. At Cedar Meadows Wildlife Park in Timmins, you can actually interact with moose, elk, deer and bison on a tour of the 175-acre property. From Timmins, extend your excursion into the White Moose Forest in search of the Spirit Moose.
Tip: We recommend you arrange for a local guide to take you on a boat tour on Moose River from Cree Village Eco Lodge well in advance of your arrival.
CYCLE TOUR DE GREY
A spin-worthy place for those who dream on two wheels
Curb your car and become one with the road by bike in the bicycle-friendly counties that hug the south coast of the Georgian Bay. The scenic backroads and countryside routes are ideal for cycle touring, while parks and forests offer challenging mountain bike terrain.
Home to the prestigious Centurion cycling event in mid-September, the roads and trails in this region are a popular training ground for professional cyclists. You’ll be in great company on the road; Pan-Am Gold winner and Canadian Olympic cyclist, Emily Batty, is one of them; “This is what I do for a living, but ultimately it started on these trails and it started on these roads. And that’s what I keep coming back to. The roots of what I need to be a world cup professional athlete, stem from these local trails and roads. That’s the reason I keep coming back to them.”
Blue Mountain Resort will take care of your accommodation and equipment requirements, while Scandinave Spa has your relaxation and pampering needs met. Add the luxury of a four-season village resort, apple-licious-themed tours and succulent local cider for a perfect peddling getaway.
Tip: This trip follows one cycling croute in Grey County; consult the region of BruceGreySimcoe for more suggested routes, roads and trails.
READY TO ROLL, PLAN YOUR TRIP
URBAN MEETS OUTDOOR
Calling all outdoors-y urbanites!
Imagine a place where you can do city chic and find nature’s zen in one cool destination.
With over 100 waterfalls nearby, Hamilton serves up outdoor adventure right at your doorstep.
Waterfalls are one of nature’s most enchanting attractions, and the 20 metres high Webster’s Falls, and Tew’s Falls, a 41 metre high ribbon of water, are both crowd-pleasers. This two night getaway encourages you to get off the beaten path and find serenity at some of Hamilton’s lesser known treasures, like Borer’s Falls, Tiffany Falls, 17 metre high Sherman Falls and Felker’s Falls.
Tip: take extra precaution around all waterfalls – season, erosion, weather may create hazardous surroundings. Stay on marked paths and trails.
Get the best of both worlds. Linger over morning latte and a Donut Monster (seriously decadent, locally made, small batch from scratch donuts delivered to select cafes, shops and bakeries downtown). Hike to Instagram-worthy waterfalls surrounded by dramatic fall colour in the afternoon. Be back in the city by evening to soak up the foodie, drink and arts scene taking off in Hamilton (check out Collective Arts, a brewery, art gallery and live music venue).
Are you more of a foodie? If exceptional food and drink is your travel kryptonite, our next blog will explore more unexpected Ontario places your foodie passion could lead you this fall!