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Travel Guide: Best Roadtrips in Ontario

27th Jun 2017 9:42am | By Editor

Home to crystal clear lakes, stunning forests, scenic towns, cosmopolitan cities, natural wonders and a varied culture, Ontario is one of the most diverse and beautiful places in the world. There’s no better way to explore the province than to jump in the car and embark on an epic roadtrip; and with Canada’s 150th anniversary this year, there’s no better time to get behind the wheel. We’ve got the routes; the playlist is up to you.

Georgian Bay

Georgian Bay islands, ON, Canada credit: SkyF

Often hailed as one of Canada’s most stunning drives offering magnificent views in all directions, the Georgian Bay Coastal Route takes visitors on an adventure along sandy coastlines and wilderness trails. Those embarking on this roadtrip will have the chance to visit Blue Mountain Resort, a lakeside resort offering caving, kayaking, golf, climbing, e-biking, and hiking as well as scenic gondola tours and a ridge runner mountain coaster during the summer months. Those looking for some beach time should travel to nearby Wasaga Beach – the world’s longest freshwater beach – for a relaxing day. Continuing north towards Tobermory, visitors can enjoy a glassbottomed boat tour of the area and its crystal clear waters, or explore Fathom Five National Marine Park before boarding the ferry to Manitoulin Island – the world’s largest freshwater island. It is here that holidaymakers can learn about Ontario’s indigenous culture and experience a traditional Pow Wow. Visitors can then continue on to the stunning Killarney Provincial Park before reaching Parry Sound where they can cruise around Georgian Bay’s 30,000 Islands aboard the Island Queen Boat. A playground for the rich and famous including Steven Spielberg, Kate Hudson and Tom Hanks, the roadtrip continues through Muskoka, a peaceful haven that offers visitors a chance to relax and switch off. Located just two hours north of Toronto, Muskoka is an ideal stopping point en route home. Visitors can spot wildlife such as the iconic Canadian Moose or test their canoeing skills on the calm waters.

Trailfinders offer a ‘Northern Ontario: First Nations, Lakes & Wilderness Wonders Tour’ for visitors interested in this area. The price for this 12-day tour starts from £1,649 per person and includes return flights from London to Toronto, 11 nights 3-5* accommodation, 10 days of car hire including a free upgrade and 3 breakfasts and 2 dinners. Prices based on select departures in September and October 2017.

Thunder Bay and Pukaskwa Park

Sleeping Giant Provincial Park and Thunder Bay, ON, Canada credit: Goodygreen

Beginning in Thunder Bay this roadtrip along the coast of the north shore of Lake Superior is spectacular. One of the most breathtaking views can be found from the top of the Sleeping Giant Provincial Park in Thunder Bay – the hike is most definitely worth it. Visitors to Thunder Bay can also visit Fort William Historic Park – a reconstruction of the Fort William fur trade post as it existed in 1815 when Northwestern Indigenous inhabitants came together with French and British settlers to make trades. The historical park offers an in-depth glimpse into Indigenous culture and there is a canoe maker on site offering an insightful glimpse into Canadian canoe culture. Whilst in the Thunder Bay region, Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park is also a worthy stop with beautiful panoramic views of a 150 metre-wide gorge and sheer cliffs. A day-only park, Ouimet Canyon provides fantastic opportunities for bird watching and hiking, with a one kilometre loop trail that takes visitors to two spectacular viewing platforms along the canyon’s rim. The roadtrip then continues to Pukaskwa National Park. With ONTARIO’S BEST ROADTRIPS no road access into the park, there are numerous hikes which can be enjoyed including trails from White Gravel River, Fisherman’s Cove, Oiseau Bay, Shot Watch Cove and Playter Harbour. Hikers will be rewarded with sandy beaches, turquoise waters and magnificent views. Visitors should also make time to stop at Wawa to see the world’s largest Canadian Goose statue and White River, where Winnie the Pooh was born. From here, the roadtrip continues through Lake Superior Provincial Park to Sault Ste. Marie where there is the option to take a scenic journey on the Agawa Canyon Train. This one-day wilderness train tour takes visitors 183 kilometres north of Sault Ste. Marie and hugs the shorelines of pristine lakes and rivers to Agawa Canyon, across the landscapes of the Canadian Shield, which inspired some of Canada’s most notable landscape artists, The Group of Seven.

Windows on the Wild offer a 7-night Pukaskwa Costal Hike package from £1,775 per person including return international flights from London to Thunder Bay on 26th August 2017, 7 days of car hire, 5 days professional guiding, all meals, tents, backpacks, cooking and safety gear, park fees, boat and vehicle shuttles as well as 2 nights’ accommodation in Thunder Bay.