Top 5 Summer Escapes in Ontario

Top 5 Summer Escapes in Ontario
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By Michael Linennen

Hamilton Waterfalls

One hour away from Toronto, it’s not only about one waterfall. In Hamilton, there are more than 100 waterfalls in the area that is part of the Niagara Escarpment which goes from Tobermory to Niagara Falls. It’s going to take at least a day just to go around to explore all the waterfalls around the area. One of the most featured waterfalls in the area is Webster Falls, the unique structure of the falls and surroundings draw a lot of visitors every year.

Rouge National Urban Park

Don’t want to go too far but want to explore? Rouge National Urban Park spans over Toronto, Markham, and Pickering. It is Canada’s first and only national urban park. The park offers guided walks for visitors to educate people about indigenous culture and many different plant species and birds. What’s so special about the park is that visitors will have the opportunity to see the wetlands and forests along the trail while still in the city. The park is located on the outskirts of the city and is accessible by public transit–TTC and GO transit. Having the chance to explore the rich biodiversity in the city is truly a hidden gem. The park offers canoeing, kayaking; paddle boarding on the river. Cycling along the trail and swimming in the lake!

Point Peele National Park
Leamington, Ontario

Looking for a romantic getaway but don’t want to get too adventurous in camping with the bears? Then this is the place for you! Point Pelee is the southernmost point of mainland Canada. Located in Leamington, it is four hours away from Toronto. The park offer activities like birdwatching, bicycling, canoeing, and swimming.  If you don’t feel like canoeing, you can always walk along the Marsh Boardwalk. It is a relaxing 40-minute walk where you can spot different breeds of birds while enjoying the view. There are over 360 types of birds within the park. Right at the tip of Point Peele, you can see the water from two side meeting with each other. From the right of the tip, you can see the roaring waves meeting with the calm lake on the left.

Arrowhead Provincial Park
Huntsville, Ontario

Not too close but not too far, Arrowhead Provincial Park is located two and a half hours north of Toronto. The park offers activities like biking, canoeing, fishing, swimming, and hiking. One of the most exciting activities in the park is mountain biking. There are two mountain bike trails (4.5 km Arrowhead Lake Trail and the 3 km Lookout Trail.) for you to experience some off-road mountain biking while exploring the trails with your bike!

Bruce Penninsula National Park
Tobermory, Ontario

Looking for a romantic getaway or an adventure? This is perhaps one of the best places for you to explore and camp during the summer! Located in Tobermory, just four hours northwest of Toronto. The park offers hiking, camping, and bird watching activities. 

The trail was relatively easy at the beginning from Halfway Dump Road to the beach, but the breath-taking view along the trail will make you lose your way in the wild! When my girlfriend and I arrived at the beach, we got lost and did not know how to continue along the trail. It took us 30 minutes to find our way back into the forest and continue our way to Stormhaven Campground. By that time, it was already seven in the evening, the sky was getting darker even though the sunset was beautiful. It started to become a challenge for us because we could no longer see the white markings on the trees to keep ourselves on the trail. We started freaking out and tried to find our way as quickly as possible because the park is famous for having black bears around the area. We managed to calm down and used our flashlights to find our way; we were so relieved after seeing other people in the campground. So what kind of activities does the park offer at night? Since the park is so far away from the city, there is no light pollution around the area, which makes it a great spot for people to do some stargazing by the lake. With clear skies, you can even see the Milky Way with the naked eye. And if you are really lucky, you can even see the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) so you don’t need to spend a fortune to go to Iceland to see it.

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