The Best Ontario Provincial Parks
Whether you’re looking for a calm retreat in nature or a fun outdoors adventure, the Ontario Provincial Parks System has you covered. With over 19,000 parks and campsites to choose from, an abundance of lush green forests, amazing cliff views and beaches with sparkling blue water, there is so much beauty to be found here.
Here are some fantastic Ontario parks to visit as soon as possible, in no particular order. We picked these parks because they are either national or provincial and are all easily accessible. They’re all only a couple of hours drive from the Toronto Metro Area:
Awenda Provincial Park features almost 12 sq. miles of forests flanking the shores of the Georgian Bay. You’ll enjoy 19 miles of trails, a sparkling lake that’s perfect for canoeing or kayaking, and private campsites. If you’re around in the summer, you can sign up to participate in a variety of programs.
Georgian Bay Islands National Park is the largest freshwater archipelago in the entire world! The islands represent a transition zone between shield rock formations and ancient deciduous forests. You’ll enjoy camping on the water’s edge and exploring the spectacular cycling trails.
Petroglyph Provincial Park is the largest area of Aboriginal rock carvings in Canada. During your visit, you’ll need to make time to enjoy McGinnis Lake, one of Canada’s only meromictic lakes (lakes which do not intermix with other bodies of water).
Sandbanks Provincial Park is the world’s largest dune formation at the mouth of a bay. This park boasts many public beaches. For a family outing, Outlet Beach has wonderful warm shallows. The park is beloved by birdwatchers, especially during spring migrations.
Silent Lake trail system has 12 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails. There are multiple lookout points throughout the park that provide spectacular views, as well as two sandy beaches and walk-in campsites available.
Pinery Provincial Park features a photogenic stretch of sand beach on the shores of Lake Huron. You won’t believe the diverse range of wildlife that call Pinery home! And the sunset views? Let’s just say that they’ll spoil you. The sunsets at Pinery have made National Geographic’s top ten list of best sunset spots in the world!
Bruce Peninsula National Park is famous for the cliffs that soar above the fresh blue Georgian Bay waters. Its forests are home to a wide range of plants – you’ll see wild orchids, ferns and ancient cedar trees. Just be aware, as black bears live in the deep forests of this immense park, so act responsibly and cautiously while exploring.
Bon Echo Provincial Park is famous for a 330 ft. rock formation known as Mazinow Rock. The formation is covered with over 250 Aboriginal etchings. Boat tours and hiking trails are available to help visitors explore this piece of Canadian history. Campsites are available to visitors as well.
Did you know that the Ontario Parks system offers over 19,000 developed campsites? About 6,000 of those are backcountry campsites, along with 329 parks. You could spend the rest of your life exploring parks just in Ontario alone!
For the dedicated park-goer, the province of Ontario has set up a park locator that helps you find the nearest park with all the amenities you’re looking for. So, take a little road trip and go find your favorite park.
Get In Touch With Nature
No matter the season, you’ll have so much fun planning a camping trip, fishing day or an outing to observe wildlife. Start planning your visit to one of Ontario’s gorgeous natural parks today.