Canada’s wilderness: the most beautiful natural parks near Toronto and Ottawa
Untouched natural landscapes, picturesque villages and Native American heritage – the Canadian province of Ontario is diverse and unique in every way. 60,000 rivers meander through deep forests and more than 250,000 lakes glisten under the Canadian sun. A trip with a rental car through Ontario is an impressive combination of sightseeing in the cities of Ottawa and Toronto and fascinating nature experiences in numerous provincial and national parks. The province on the east coast of Canada is the ideal destination for individualists and nature-lovers who want to escape the hectic pace of everyday life for a while. Numerous outdoor activities await you on your trip. Make your way through Canada’s pristine wilderness on walks, mountain biking excursions, fishing trips and kayak tours. A rental car is the best way to overcome the distances and travel through the parks. The best time to take this extraordinary trip is between May and October.
Algonquin Provincial Park
Deep deciduous and coniferous forests, 2450 lakes, rugged cliffs and impenetrable swamps – Algonquin Provincial Park is a unique natural paradise between Toronto and Ottawa. In its southern reaches, Canada’s oldest natural park is intersected by Highway 60 for a distance of 60 kilometres. The road is perfect for rental car excursions. Algonquin Provincial Park is known for its abundance of wildlife. About 3000 moose, 2000 black bears and 30,000 beavers inhabit the nature reserve. Spectacular hiking trails and 1600 km of kayak routes lead to the remotest parts of this natural paradise. Highway 60 also offers a lumberjack museum and several campsites, with more than 1,000 resting places offering overnight accommodation in the park.
Killarney Provincial Park
In Killarney Provincial Park in the centre of the province of Ontario, solitude on the shores of idyllic lakes, tranquillity and seclusion await you. The natural reserve is a jewel among Canada’s provincial and national parks. White quartzite rocks rise like hunchbacks from deep blue lakes and provide a breathtaking contrast to the dark green of the coniferous and mixed forests. The campsite on Georgian Bay is the only place to spend the night. Explore the unspoilt forests on romantic hiking trails or paddle a canoe through the network of waterways and lakes. The park is home to black bears, wolves, moose, beavers and lynx, and more than 100 species of birds have their breeding grounds in the area.
Bruce Peninsula National Park
The Bruce Peninsula National Park was established in 1987 and is one of Canada’s youngest national parks. It extends along the rocky Bruce Peninsula on Lake Huron and is crossed by the longest continuous hiking trail in Canada, the nearly 900-kilometre Bruce Trail. The park can only be reached by car from the south-east on Highway 6. The rocky coastal regions and the deep, game-rich forests are ideally explored on foot. There are no motels or guest houses. The park management has opted entirely for campsites to provide overnight accommodation. The Bruce Peninsula National Park is perfect for bird-watching and landscape photography. Fishing is allowed in some lakes, however the National Park Service warns that bears can be attracted by the smell of freshly-caught fish.
Bon Echo Provincial Park
The Bon Echo Provincial Park is located approximately six kilometres from the village of Cloyne in southern Ontario. Mazinaw Lake, located within this protected natural paradise, is the second deepest lake in the Canadian province. The rocky shores on the south-east of the lake rise steeply from the water’s surface. On this rock wall, Native Americans left behind numerous prehistoric rock paintings. Rock-climbing enthusiasts can find demanding routes among the national park’s smooth rock walls and dramatic overhangs. Campsites in beautiful wooded areas act as sleep sites and starting point for hikes and mountain bike tours at the same time. Excursions travel through rough terrain in a pristine wilderness, where nature presents itself in all its raw beauty.
Pinery Provincial Park lies on Lake Huron’s eastern shore.
Pinery Provincial Park on the eastern shore of Lake Huron is a paradise for hikers and nature-lovers. Numerous trails of varying length meander along the lake shore and through dense forests. The vast sand dunes on the coast of Lake Huron have only sparse vegetation. During your rental car tour through the park, you will spend the night in campsites or in simple yurts. These fixed tents are equipped with a wooden floor and electric heating and have a simple design with table, chairs and gas grill.