BEST WALKING IN PROVINCIAL PARKS
Ontario's provincial parks offer a wide variety of walking experiences, from short interpretive trails to long-distance backpacking wilderness trails. The following is a list of some parks with shorter trail systems. Parks with longer trail systems suitable for backpacking, Algonquin, Bon Echo, Frontenac, Halfway Lake, Killarney, Lake Superior, Sleeping Giant and Wakami Lake, are listed in Fact Sheet #6. Contact the Ontario Parks or the individual Parks for maps, guides and brochures, as well as information regarding dates of operation, designated campsites and reservations.
Call Ontario Parks and request a copy of their Parks Guide. This booklet will give you very complete information on Ontario's provincial parks.
We also recommend the book Ontario Provincial Parks Trail Guide, by Allen MacPherson, published by Boston Mills Press in 2000. The ISBN is 1-55046-290-3. Check with your favourite book dealer.
And finally, check the Hike Ontario website, www.hikeontario.com, for useful links and additional fact sheets.
ARROWHEAD PROVINCIAL PARK
The park, situated 10 kilometres north of Huntsville, has five trails that together cover more than 16 km. All are well-blazed and easy to follow. Interpretative trail guides are available at the park office. Arrowhead also makes a good base for exploring the Muskokas. Campsites available. Arrowhead Provincial Park,
R.R. 3, Huntsville, ON P1H 2J4
AWENDA PROVINCIAL PARK
The park, situated off the northern tip of the Penetanguishene Peninsula on Georgian Bay, includes over 30 km of marked hiking trails. The park demonstrates many effects of the glaciers. The six trails pass by boulder fields, cobble beaches, kettle lakes, sand dunes and great bluffs, with spectacular views of Giant's Tomb Island. The new Beaver Pond Trail is accessible to wheelchairs. The Trail Centre and the Park Office offer a number of brochures covering the trails. Campsites available. Awenda Provincial Park
P. O. Box 5004
Penetanguishene, ON L9M 2G2
MACGREGOR POINT PROVINCIAL PARK
The park, on the sandy shore of Lake Huron near Port Elgin, provides a contrast to the rocks of the Bruce Peninsula along Georgian Bay. Explore the park on 21 km of trail through wetlands and woodlands while peering for over 200 species of birds in the area. Campsites available. MacGregor Point Provincial Park
R.R. 1, Port Elgin, ON. N0H 2C5
MURPHYS POINT PROVINCIAL PARK
The park, located 20 kilometres south of Perth, 1 1/2 hours from Kingston and Ottawa, is situated on the Frontenac Axis - a southernly extension of the Canadian Shield. Its wild beauty is that of the north, with outcrops of ancient bedrock amid rugged bush. Murphys Point offers 1,240 hectares of land and 25 km of hiking trails. The natural area consists of typical northern forests of spruce, balsam and fir, and plants indigenous to the Canadian shield. The woodlands provide a range of different habitats for wildlife including foxes, deer, coyotes, and porcupines. There are five hiking trails: the Silver Queen Mine Trail, the McPharlan House Trail, Sylvan Hiking Trail, Point Hiking Trail, and a section of the Rideau Trail that runs through the park. Campsites available. Murphys Point Provincial Park
R.R. 5, Perth, ON. K7H 3C7
(613) 267- 5060.
PETROGLYPHS PROVINCIAL PARK
The park, located 55 km northeast of Peterborough at the eastern tip of Stony Lake, is home to one of Canada's most intriguing archeological treasures. The petroglyphs (petro=rock, glyphs= carving) were carved between 500 and 1000 years ago by Algonquin-speaking aboriginal people. The carvings are of symbolic shapes and figures and are known by the Ojibwa Anishinabe Nation as "the rocks that teach". Along with the carvings, Petroglyphs Park is home to a diverse array of flora and fauna: large stands of white and red pine, as well as some active wetlands, white-tailed deer, beaver, otter, and the occasional wolf. There is a network of rugged trails that wind through quiet forests, wetlands and rocky ridges; the longest trail is 6.5 km and leads past Minnow Lake to High Falls on Eels Creek. No camping. Petroglyphs Provincial Park
General Delivery, Woodview, ON. K0L 3E0
PINERY PROVINCIAL PARK
The park, on the shores of Lake Huron about 70 km from London, has over 16 km of hiking trail and 37 km of winter skiing trails. The park protects an unusual landscape of sand dunes, home of prairie grasslands, savannah oak and other Carolinian species which are very rare in Ontario. Pinery Provincial Park,
R.R. 2, Grand Bend, ON. N0M 1T0
RONDEAU PROVINCIAL PARK
Ontario's second oldest park is located on the shores of Lake Erie, 50 km southeast of Chatham. Rondeau Park has 3,254 hectares of land that supports beach dunes, pine-oak and beech-maple forests, open water, marshes and sloughs. As well it houses the largest southern hardwood forests in Ontario. Flora and fauna within the park are common to the central and northeastern United States, and are known as "Carolinian". The beauty of the park is enhanced by many rare plant species, such as nodding pogonia orchid, and 334 different bird species that pass through the park each year. Five nature trails wind through the park: the Tulip Tree Trail, the Spicebush Trail, the Black Oak Trail, the South Point Trail, and the Marsh Trail. Each trail explores a different region of the park, introducing the visitor to the natural geographical areas, flora, and fauna. Campsites available. Rondeau Provincial Park
R.R. 1, Morpeth, ON. N0P 1X0
SAMUEL de CHAMPLAIN PROVINCIAL PARK
The park, located 50 km east of North Bay, protects more than 2,500 hectares of rich in scenery, wildlife and history. The Mattawa river which runs through the park served as a major waterway for native peoples and explorers. The park supports a wide variety of flora and fauna. Hemlock and yellow birch stands in the north date back before 1880. The park has over 200 kinds of birds and large animals, including moose, wolves, and bears. There are two short theme trails and a longer system of 15 km which allows a superb scenic trek with lookout points over the river and marshes. Campsites available. Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park,
P.O. Box 147, Mattawa, ON. P0H 1V0
SILENT LAKE PROVINCIAL PARK
The park, 25 kilometres southwest of Bancroft, offers the beauty of the lower Canadian Shield. Beyond the campground areas, the park is undeveloped, an oasis for nearby congested southern Ontario. There are three well-marked hiking trails, the longest being the 15-km Lakeshore Trail which passes by rugged hills, beaver meadows and hardwood forests. Camping is not allowed along the trail. A brochure map is available. Campsites available. Silent Lake Provincial Park
P.O. Box 500, Bancroft, ON. K0L 1C0
WASAGA BEACH PROVINCIAL PARK
The park, on the southern shore of Georgian Bay east of Collingwood, is known for its 14 km white-sand beach with U-shaped dunes. The park's Blueberry Plains Trail System consists of 26 km of hiking trails over the dunes. There are boardwalks along two of the eight beach areas. No camping. Wasaga Beach Provincial Park
P.O. Box 183, Wasaga Beach, ON. L0L 2P0