Now that 2018 has officially started, we can't wait to start crossing these items off of our travel bucket list this year. Ontario has so many great sights to be seen and adventures to be had, so we've picked some of our top choices of places we'd like to get back to and places we can't wait to discover.
Have you crossed any of these items off your list? Share your experiences with us in the comments below and tag us on Instagram!
Skate the Skate Trail at Arrowhead Provincial Park
The 1.3km ice skating trail at Arrowhead Provincial Park just opened and promises to offer an incredible winter journey. Saturdays are the busiest and the trail often reaches capacity. Try to visit during the week or on Sundays for a quieter experience where you can take in the magic of the ice trail through a thick, snow-covered, Muskoka forest.
Go Cross-Country Skiing at Tommy Thompson Park
Tommy Thompson Park, or the Leslie Street Spit as it’s known to many, is a great place to get some real adventure without actually leaving the city. Dogs are not allowed at this park, meaning it gets less traffic than many other parks making it a great place to cross-country ski or snowshoe in winter months.
Spot a Moose in the Wild
Although not guaranteed, paddling through Algonquin’s backcountry may get you the chance to spot a moose in the wild. For the best luck, avoid starting your trip at popular launches off highways 60 for a quieter trip, or embark on a Moose Safari with Voyageur Quest.
Go Tubing Through The Elora Gorge
An easy day trip from Toronto, the Elora Gorge is a perfect place to cool down on a hot summer’s day. The park also offers camping if you want to make an entire outdoor weekend out of the trip. The 2 kilometre river journey through the towering cliffs takes about an hour to complete.
Experience the Backcountry at Killarney Provincial Park
White quartzite ridges, pink granite rocks and the La Cloche mountain range are all perfectly good reasons to go explore the backcountry at Killarney Provincial Park. You can choose to canoe or kayak through the many lakes and along the georgian bay coast, or hike to one of the 33 hike-in sites. Winter camping is also available.
Visit Ontario's Badlands
The Cheltenham Badlands near Caledon are a very cool geologic formation similar, although much smaller, than the badlands out west. Pack a picnic and head out to these interesting formations created by soil erosion. The area has been closed for a couple of years due to misuse, but is expected to reopen in Spring 2018.
Watch the Sun Set over Lake Huron
Every evening, people gather on the beach to experience the incredible beauty of the sun dipping below the horizon across Lake Huron. No matter what type of adventurer you are, there’s options from camping at the Pinery, to incredible beach homes on Airbnb, to hotels in the town of Grand Bend - and with any option you’ll be able to easily explore the endless sandy beaches in the area.
Paddle to Toronto Island
We often travel so far to hop in a canoe and forget that it’s possible to have a great paddling adventure right in the heart of Ontario’s capital. From downtown Toronto you can hop right into the water and head over to explore the 13 Toronto Islands. Canoe, kayak and paddle board rentals are available from the Harbourfront Canoe & Kayak Centre.
See The Monarch Migration at Point Pelee National Park
Each fall, the Monarch butterflies stop in Point Pelee National Park during their long migration to Mexico. Time a visit to Point Pelee to see the incredible phenomenon in action.
Climb Maple Mountain
Located in Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Park, and accessible only by backcountry paddling, Maple Mountain is one of the highest peaks in Ontario. The trail to the peak is 3.3km from the shores of Tupper Lake, but the journey here often takes 2 days by canoe.
Kayak Around Philip Edward Island
Located just south of Killarney, this island is pretty much all crown land meaning you can explore and camp for free. High winds off Georgian bay can make paddling difficult which is why kayaking has become the preferred method of circumnavigating the island. The whole trip is about 50 kilometres, and most people take 5 days to tackle the loop.
Stay in a Yurt or Tipi at The Buffalo Farm
Open year round, The Buffalo Farm has 2 yurts and a tipi offering guests a truly unique experience. The secluded property has kilometres of trails to be explored, sand beaches, a horse sanctuary and roaming buffalo. Snow shoe and cross country ski around the property in the winter, or collect maple syrup and go for a float on the river in the summer.
Stargaze at a Dark Sky Preserve
Ontario is home to 6 dark sky preserves where you can been blown away by the night sky. The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada designates these sites based the amount of artificial light that is visible in the area. Because of the darkness, more stars are visible and you may even have a shot at seeing the Northern Lights.
Hike The Lion's Head Trail
The Lion’s Head Trail offers stunning views over Georgian Bay from majestic 200 foot cliffs on the Bruce Peninsula. Take in the beautiful turquoise waters, the incredible limestone cliffs, and if possible, experience a sunrise or sunset here to watch the waters turn an unbelievable pink hue.